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Hanging up the earphones: Broadcaster Xolani Gwala dies

Those that know and love Gwala have described him as hard-hitting yet warm, fierce with a touch of softness as well as fearless with a generous spirit.

Radio 702’s Xolani Gwala talks to President Cyril Ramaphosa. Picture: Abigail Javier/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Seasoned broadcaster Xolani Gwala died in the early hours of Friday morning.

His family made the announcement on 702 on Friday morning.

In September 2017, Gwala announced on 702 that he had been diagnosed with colon cancer.

WATCH: The life and times of XG

Family spokesperson Matsi Modise said, “Xolani won his battle against cancer, not only for himself but for many others and was a fierce campaigner for cancer awareness and early detection. Xolani was an inspiration and mentor to so many colleagues, friends and listeners over the years. We thank you for your heartfelt messages. These have meant so much to us.”

From February to June this year, Gwala went to Israel where he took part in a clinical trial.

Modise said the family was grateful for the last few months they spent with him.

“These last few months have been precious, and we are eternally grateful that Xolani was able to spend them with us as a family. This journey has made our family so much stronger and brought us together.”

Gwala's wife Peggy Sue Khumalo and his children say they have been moved and inspired by his formidable fight, which represented his willpower to conquer.

Meanwhile, listeners have paid tribute to the man most called Mphephethwa.

“He was a kind, honourable human being,” one listener said.

“I’m entering the media industry because of Xolani so I’m heartbroken,” another said.

Others even pointed out his signature laugh: “He had such an infectious laugh.”

another listener added: “This is a shock. We have lost a great broadcaster.”

WATCH: #TimeOut with Xolani Gwala

GWALA REMEMBERED AS HARD HITTING YET WARM

Those that know and love Gwala describe him as hard-hitting yet warm, fierce with a touch of softness as well as fearless with a generous spirit.

The man many affectionately called XG or Bra X among others has endeared himself across a spectrum of sectors in South Africa.

His work ethic and command have also earned him respect in the industry he so dearly cherished.

“It was such a privilege to stand in for him during his show, I will remember him for the political discussion we had and most of all his laughter, which was so contagious,” EWN’s Clement Manyathela said.

“Our time on the Breakfast Show was filled with so much laughter. Gwala made everyone feel so loved and valued. He spoke highly of his wife and kids,” EWN's Cindy Poluta said.

(Edited by Refilwe Pitjeng)

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