RADIO personality Hilton Mambo who was hospitalised last week has died aged 60. The popular disc jockey – lovingly called Dr Bobo – died yesterday morning at Avenues Clinic after succumbing to hernia.
His daughter Catherine confirmed the death saying Dr Bobo had been in and out of hospital since his return from the United Kingdom in 2009.
“He has been ill since 2009 and he actually came back to Zimbabwe because of hernia,” she said.
Mourners are gathered at house number 74 Twentydales Road in Hatfield.
Dr Bobo survived by his wife Eleanor and children Kudzai, Devon, Catherine and Caryn.
By yesterday afternoon, The Herald was inundated with calls from fans and friends sending their condolence messages.
UK-based journalist and music critic Vivian Maranyika said:
“Oh man! I shared my good old time stories at his favourite joint in Slough. I can still hear raspy laughter echoing in the place, and I hope it echoes to eternity! What a sad day, what a sad day.”
Dr Bobo, who popularised his slot on radio called the “Mumbo Jumbo’s World” for the then Radio 3 used to command a huge following during his heyday.
Born in 1951 and grew up in Mbare, Dr Bobo’s husky voice was so distinct on and off the airwaves.
“It’s natural, I haven’t done a thing to it, my voice sounds the same today as it did 50 years ago when I cried at birth,” he once said in an interview.
“I started supporting Dynamos in 1966 – three years after its formation. I was 15 years old then. I was a staunch supporter then and I still have the club close to my heart,” he told The Sunday Mail.
The name Dr Bobo came from a radio programme that used to air on African Services Radio (now Radio Zimbabwe) of the mid 70s.
“There was a radio play called Jason Zonk and I played the character Dr Bobo, enemy of the bad. The name just stuck with me from then up to now,” he once said.
However, in Mbare was popularly known as Kambezo. Some of his contemporaries say that he must have read at least 10 000 novels as he enjoyed both his drink and books.
Despite his small frame, Dr Bobo had a booming voice that could easily deceive anyone into thinking he was one colossal of a man.
The jazz fraternity will surely miss the Mumbo Jumbo’s World.
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