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Legendary musician Philip Tabane dies aged 84

Arts and Culture Minister Nathi Mthethwa has joined many South Africans in expressing shock and sadness at the news of the veteran's death.

FILE: Legendary musician Philip Tabane. Picture: @GautengANC/Twitter

JOHANNESBURG - Legendary musician Philip Tabane has died at the age of 84 at a Mamelodi hospital in Pretoria on Friday afternoon.

As a young man, Tabane founded a music trio called Malombo Jazzmen in his birth town of Riverside.

In 1998, the University of Venda conferred an honorary Doctor of Philosophy in music to Tabane, who was also known as "Dr Malombo".

Arts and Culture Minister Nathi Mthethwa has joined many South Africans in expressing shock and sadness at the news of the veteran's death.

The department has described Tabane as a musical giant who placed South Africa's Malombo music on the map.

He is known for his distinct style of music, layered by passionate cries over the pull of his guitar strings.

Dr Malombo performed right into his twilight years though his health began to fail him. The department’s Lisa Combrink says they still looked forward Tabane's contributions to the arts.

“I think the nation is in shock. As much as we knew that in recent years he had been ailing, we had expected him to live a long and equally fruitful life.”

Combrink says Tabane shared his skills and knowledge with the youth of South Africa.

“He influenced a lot of new generations. As part of the Living Legends Legacy project, we believe he has managed to transmit a wealth of culture and music to all our people.”

Tabane is remembered for the theme songs of popular TV drama series Muvhango and his hit track Nkupi.

(Edited by Winnie Theletsane)

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