Ray Phiri died in his wife’s arms

May 27, 2017.Ray Phiri performing at the Zakifo Music Festival in Durban on Friday night. Picture: THULI DLAMINI

Ray Phiri’s memorial service on Thursday in his hometown of Nelspruit was filled with touching tributes and emotional goodbyes from those who were close to him.

Speaking to Sowetan Ray’s friend and driver Larry Myataza emotionally recalled his last moments.

Larry said that the jazz veteran took his last breath in his wife, Rabelani’s arms.

“When we got there, he was not breathing properly. He was not talking anymore. He wanted to talk but the words were not coming out of his mouth. He cried.  His wife rubbed his chest. While she was doing that, he took his last breath. We just cried. She held him while crying,” he said.

He said that they got a phone call from the hospital at around 3am in the morning and rushed to the facility to be with Ray.

Phiri family spokesperson Paul Nkanyane previously told TshisaLIVE that the family was hit hard by Ray’s death.

The musician’s 112-year-old mother had to be told the news with the help of medical professionals and social workers.

Ray died on July 12 after a battle with lung cancer. The jazz veteran will be laid to rest on Saturday after a funeral service at Mbombela Stadium in Nelspruit.

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