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MBABANE - South African gospel music star Neyi Zimu has answered to the Lord’s call. Barely a month after the music industry in South Africa and in the country poured in prayers for the ill and hospitalised Neyi Zimu, he was confirmed dead yesterday morning.

According to the esteemed News24, the family of Neyi Zimu released a statement to the media confirming that the singer had died in hospital on Wednesday after ‘a struggle with a difficult illness’.

In an interview with this journalist, Spirit of Praise Manager Matthew Nkabinde confirmed that the ‘Jehovah Retshepile Wena’ artist had passed away.
Sprit of Praise is a South African gospel music ensemble that was co-established by Benjamin Dube. It has Women of Praise under its wing and local gospel artist Nothando Hlophe was part of it.

“We are still in disbelief about his death. As we speak, South Africa is at a standstill because of his death.
“I am from his house for a formal statement for the media. This is an unbelievable situation,” said Nkabinde.
He said he prayed God would comfort his wife and children during this time.

Nkabinde described Zimu as a prayerful man.
“All his songs proved that he was a worshipper. We will miss that about him,” he said. The local music industry, which also sent their prayers while Zimu was still in hospital, expressed their shock and grief.

Eswatini Christian Artist Association (ESWACA) President Phetsile Masilela said that they were moved on hearing that Zimu had passed on.
“We are greatly saddened by his demise. He has ministered to the world in song and in act. Humble man of God and prophet.


“He has added so much value to the gospel industry; heaven has gained a lot. It’s a great loss to the Music industry globally. He has left a great legacy. Rest In eternal peace our brother, friend, worshipper and minister. We will miss you. We shall meet you in the morning,” said Masilela.
Leserato Events management, through its Public Relations Officer (PRO)Lerato Mtshali, said they were saddened by the news.

Leserato Events is an entity that worked closely with Zimu through the collaboration of Women of Praise and Nothando Hlophe.
Leserato Events managed Hlophe until recently.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the Zimu family and the Spirit Music family on the passing of our brother Neyi Zimu. He has left an indelible mark in the gospel music industry as a whole, as one of the pioneers of the industry as we know today.

“Our relationship extends to the strong relationship we have with Spirit Music as a company, and have had one of our artists attached there for the last 4 years,” said Mtshali.
She again said that more than just a talented musician, he had been an amazing role model and an encouragement to the young and upcoming musicians.
“It is no mistake that the world has responded so much to his illness and subsequent demise, it is a testimony of how great a man he was, and for that we honour him.


“May the Lord of comfort be closer to the family during this time of loss. Rest in power Neyi,” she said.
Zimu, who was also a pastor, has been in the South African gospel scene from the early 1990s. In 1996, he was one of the founders of Family Factory and Joyous Celebration. This collective saw him collaborate with various artists. In 2001, he released his much-anticipated album ‘Excited’ which featured Concorde Nkabinde and Jazz duo Tsunami.

He died an inspirational South African gospel singer, worship leader, and pastor. His music captured the hearts of Christians and encourages those who are suffering to trust in Jehovah. He is popularly known for belonging to the Spirit of Praise with whom they performed ‘Jehovah Retshepile Wena’.

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