Zimbabwe News and Internet Radio

Ray Phiri : Thank you for the music

Personal tribute to Ray Phiri by DJ John Matinde

It is not everyday that when one hears of the sad demise of a loved one, friend or colleague, one is immediately moved to pay a publicised tribute. Today is not one of them, as I was soon persuaded to, once a good friend and colleague, journalist Violet Gonda, sent me a “have you heard…” message.

Before his death, the musician appealed to the media to respect his privacy
Before his death, the musician appealed to the media to respect his privacy (Gallo Images)

I will not profess to have known Ray better than others, but I have a personal perspective and reflection on our encounters, for yes, our paths had crossed, many dry years ago, in the 80’s, when “Bhudi” Ray (as I used to look up to him as a bigger brother) and I met.

For all my sins, my career in the media brought me in touch with many people from all walks of life, but particularly from the entertainment industry, as that remains my staple diet and favourite tipple.

I first learned of Ray’s music whilst he was still with the Cannibals. Mpharanyana and the Cannibals, as my foggy memory recalls, long before his sojourn into “Afro-Jazz”. I think their beat then was more reminiscent of Mbaqanga…which was to my ears anyway, evolving from “Smanje-manje”.

I do not like to pigeon-hole music particularly, as I think that may thwart or impede my enjoyment of the rich diversity of our music, but I express that point of view more in illustration of the breath and depth of musical talent which Ray Phiri possessed and honed over the years.

I was to later personally meet Ray (then fronting his band, Stimela), at a concert or two before the famed Paul Simon Graceland Concert, which I was also fortunate to compere. I enjoyed several radio and television interviews with Bhudi Ray, which usually had the added bonus of off air mingling and socialising.

Ray had a very broad talent, and was also of a very deep and philosophical bent. We enjoyed several social discussions that spread over a wide variety of issues. I enjoyed his wit and incisive wisdom, optimism and foresight. I always emerged a much enriched individual from my deliberations with him.

There are many talented musicians in Africa, and Bhudi Ray surely must be included in the cream of the African crop. I do not need to do a hard sell of his talents. His legions of fans will do that for him. He was a befitting showman and frontman for the super-group Stimela. His guitar licks were legendary, and I can still see him flicking that guitar plectrum at the end of “Highland Drifter” into the Rufaro Stadium (Harare) crowd. Wow!

His untimely passing on is a truly sad occasion, not only for his fans, but family and friends, who are deeply in our thoughts and prayers. May they find comfort in the fact that he was a much loved person, who gave more than he received, enlightened more than he lost, entertained more than we deserved, and shone a light where we surely must follow!

Where words fail, music speaks. Allow me poetic licence when I say: Bhudi Ray, “thank you for the music”. Go well.

John Matinde, Broadcaster. UK😏

  • Good music .

  • Good music .RIP Phiri.

  • and to you John Matinde thank you for introducing me and alot of my generation to diverse music

    • tafamutekwe

      You can surely say that again,bra! I still listen to the video recorded in Rufaro Stadium in which John Matinde was the MC for the traveling Paul Simon entourage that included the creme-de-la-creme of South African musicians who, among many other greats, also had Mama Africa Miriam Makeba, Hugh Masekela, Joseph Tshabalala and his famed Ladysmith Black Mambazo and of course, the one and only, Ray Phiri!

  • and to you John Matinde thank you for introducing me and alot of my generation to diverse music

  • Sadly missed

  • Sadly missed

  • For JL

  • For

  • RIP RAY PEE

  • Rest in peace Ray,we a coming,

  • my name is Bethel Mungazi and this is a testimony of how i got cure from HIV/AIDS, i have being suffering from hiv/aids for the past 8 years without the expectation of being cure, i was on ARV, despite the ARV i was not comfortable and there was nothing i could do because i knew and i was told by my doctor that there is no cure for HIV/AIDS, my dream of getting cured came to past the day i came across a testimony like this on a facebook page of how someone was cured through the help of DR ABUMEN herbal medicine, i was advice its not real that there is no cure but something keep telling me to contact him, of which i later did and the cure was sent to me with an instruction on how to use it which i did accordingly and went for a test, to my greatest suprice the result was negative i could not hold back the tears of joy running down my chick my doctor was shocked, i thank God that am finanly cured from hiv/aids, DR ABUMEN is an herbal specialist that can cure hiv/aids, you can contact him through his email which is ([email protected]) or whatsapp his mobile number is +2347085071418, am sharing to save lives

  • my name is Bethel Mungazi and this is a testimony of how i got cure from HIV/AIDS, i have being suffering from hiv/aids for the past 8 years without the expectation of being cure, i was on ARV, despite the ARV i was not comfortable and there was nothing i could do because i knew and i was told by my doctor that there is no cure for HIV/AIDS, my dream of getting cured came to past the day i came across a testimony like this on a facebook page of how someone was cured through the help of DR ABUMEN herbal medicine, i was advice its not real that there is no cure but something keep telling me to contact him, of which i later did and the cure was sent to me with an instruction on how to use it which i did accordingly and went for a test, to my greatest suprice the result was negative i could not hold back the tears of joy running down my chick my doctor was shocked, i thank God that am finanly cured from hiv/aids, DR ABUMEN is an herbal specialist that can cure hiv/aids, you can contact him through his email which is ([email protected]) or whatsapp his mobile number is +2347085071418, am sharing to save lives

  • I loved his music especially “this is our story”

  • John Matinde! I remember your show on tv (sos) Sounds on Saturday woo those great early 80’s years. Big up to you John for Ray Phiri tribute

  • RIP Ray….my fav song being…whispers in deep….nice music it wont fade.

  • True Matinde. Ray was icon of Afro Jazz. Please revive SW Radio.

error: Content is protected !!