Radio Veteran Xolani Gwala has passed away in the early hours of Friday morning (01 November 2019).
His titles in the industry include working as a news reporter, news anchor, producer, talk show host, and current affairs presenter.
The radio giant has been battling stage four colon cancer which had already spread to his liver.
Back in 2017, Gwala announced that he had been diagnosed with colon cancer and would be off air to focus on getting well. He returned to Radio in August (2018) for a short time where he thanked his friends, family, and fans for their support.
Xolani’s family have released the following statement:
Fellow South Africans
Just over two years ago, our beloved and well-respected media broadcaster and my dearest partner, Xolani Gwala, informed his Radio 702 listeners and colleagues that he had been diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer. The children and I, and the rest of the family, are devastated to share with you that our dearest XG, father, friend, broadcasting icon and campaigner for cancer awareness, tragically lost his brave battle against this ferocious disease today.
We have been moved and inspired by his hard and formidable fight he waged, which represented his greatness and will power to conquer. Xolani won his battle against cancer not only for himself but for many others and was a fierce campaigner for cancer awareness and early detection.
Since the public announcement in September 2017, myself and Xolani, together with our families, have been deeply touched by the massive outpourings of love and ongoing support from so many South Africans. Xolani was an inspiration and mentor to so many colleagues, friends and listeners over the years. We thank you for your heart-felt messages. These have meant so much to us. Siyabonga!
Your thoughts, prayers and best wishes have made an enormous difference and helped us cope. You gave Xolani enormous strength as he recovered from liver surgeries and underwent his treatments, while always maintaining his infectious laugh and sense of humour. We were hopeful but always knew the gravity of the situation. From February to June this year, Xolani took part in a world-first clinical trial in Israel. His medical team has been amazing and we have enormous admiration for the work they are doing in advancing cancer treatment. While the miracle did not materialise, these last few months have been precious, and we are eternally grateful that Xolani has been able to spend them with us as a family. This journey has made our family so much stronger and brought us ever closer together.
To all the people who have grown to love Xolani, thank you for your compassion and prayers. We know you will respect our privacy in what is a devastating time for us all.
To the medical teams lead by Dr. Ormondi Ogude and Dr Thomas Marumo thank you for believing and going an extra mile in your medical search to preserve Xolani’s life. To the nursing staff at the Sandton Oncology, Morningside Clinic and Donald Gordon your commitment, care and support was unwavering and we thank you for serving our hero with profound respect and kindness. May your professionalism and excellence continue to touch many South Africans.
Hamba kahle, Mphephethwa. We cannot express how much we will miss you. God bless.
Peggy-Sue Khumalo, all the children and the Gwala family.
Fans, as well as other Radio personalities, took to Social Media sharing their tributes:
RIP Xolani Gwala.
You were a brilliant broadcaster, a kind human being with an affable smile, always.
Condolences to your family and friends.
Rest in peace, my colleague. pic.twitter.com/5HiQjdNI7J
— Eusebius McKaiser (@Eusebius) November 1, 2019
BRO!!! 🤯😢 The fight you put up was nothing short of admirable!! You were always selfless and wanting to BE the difference!!! Broadcasting has lost a titan!! Till we meet again 💔 #RIPXolaniGwala pic.twitter.com/l9HNiCMD5y
— DJ Fresh (Big Dawg) (@DJFreshSA) November 1, 2019
Robala ka kgotso abuti wa ka. You were a great colleague and friend. An inspiration and big brother. Re leboha botho ba hao, hlompho ya batho, lerato la sechaba.
Re pheha ka lemina #RIPXolaniGwala
— Azania (@Azania_) November 1, 2019
— Thando Thabooty (@Thando_Thabethe) November 1, 2019
Tmw is never promised 😢 #RIPXolaniGwala
— Melanie Gia Ramjee (@Hypress) November 1, 2019