Ray Phiri died in a Mpumalanga hospital on Wednesday. SOUTH African music legend and former Stimela frontman Ray Phiri died in a Mpumalanga hospital on Wednesday morning after a battle with lung cancer. He was 70. In an interview with The Sowetan earlier this month Phiri asked for space and privacy during his sick-bed. He told the newspaper: “Let me suffer (in peace with my) pain, on my own with my dignity.” Phiri – a jazz, fusion and mbaqanga musician – was born on March 23 1947 near Nelspruit , Mpumalanga. He was a founding member of the Cannibals in the 1970s. Later, the Cannibals would grow in size and rename themselves, becoming the hugely influential…