Gospel music fans across South Africa are sending heartfelt tributes to singer and pastor Neyi Zimu, who has passed away aged 49.
Gospel ensemble Spirit of Praise, which Zimu was part of, broke the sad news on Twitter on Thursday morning.
In a statement, it said, “Renowned gospel musician pastor Neyi Zimu has passed away after a struggle with a difficult illness.”
‘End of his journey’
It added, “He reached the end of his journey at Busamed Modderfontein [Private Hospital Orthopaedic & Oncology Centre] on the night of 04 December.”
Zimu’s wife, Nelisiwe Sibisi-Zimu, revealed in November that her husband was being treated for skin cancer.
The popular singer was best known for his hit song Jehova Retshepile Wena. He was a pastor at All Nation Revival Ministries.
Social media is already awash with tributes from Zimu’s fans from all walks of life.
‘Gospel musical legend’
The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF)), hailed Zimu as a “gospel musical legend.” EFF leaders visited Zimu in hospital before his passing, and the late singer often performed at the party’s events.
EFF national spokesperson Dr Mbuyiseni Ndlozi tweeted, “The Vaal has lost a giant, SA has lost a musical titan, and Gospel has lost a Shepard [sic]. But HEAVEN has gained a worship and choir leader. His will rest in power.”
Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi wrote, “Go well my spiritual leader.” The government also conveyed its condolences to Zimu’s family via its Twitter account.
Gospel artist Dr Tumi added, “Nothing would have prepared me for that call… #RIPNeyiZimu You represented the kingdom so well. Thank you for the contribution you have made and how you have touched our lives. Forever loved and your ministry will live on.”
“Neyi Zimu healed so many of us. Neyi Zimu gave us songs that prayed for so many of us when we couldn’t pray for ourselves. May his soul rest in eternal peace. Thank you for the music Neyi, thank you for the healing,” wrote TV host Hulisani Ravele.
#CountryDuty founder Tumi Sole also said, “Rest In Perfect Peace Neyi Zimu. You touched and healed many with words and song. Ka nnete, Jehova re Tshepile wena.”