Fundraiser for artist’s heart set for Sunday

Raymond Mupfumira. Photo: Contributed

Raymond Mupfumira, musically known as Sir Ray, is the kind of musician with scores of musician friends, many of whom will be playing at ‘Music for Ray: A Fundraising Concert’ taking place at Joyful Noise at Maerua Mall this Sunday.

Banding together to raise funds as Sir Ray seeks treatment for a newly diagnosed cardiac condition, the show’s featured musicians include Ras Sheehama, Savannah Afros, Hot Pocket Band, The Yesterdaye, Dwaine, Ongoma Drum Café, Johnny Louw and The Ells.

While Sir Ray is known as a friendly fixture of Windhoek’s live music scene, hitting the keys, exploring mbira punk and as a cool cat at the city’s jazz events, the multitalented musician’s once prolific schedule of performances has slowed to a crawl.

“This diagnosis has greatly affected my career because I’ve been put on bed rest. I’m constantly in and out of hospital and my blood pressure is low which leaves me feeling fatigued,” says Sir Ray.

The musician has consequently had to cancel a number of international shows as he will be unable to travel for the next six months.

Like many local creatives, the Zimbabwean-born musician does not have medical aid, which makes accessing treatment and medication challenging.

The artists says the cost is compounded by the fact that heart patients react differently to treatment so it is a process for doctors to find therapies that work for his particular body.

Sir Ray is currently focused on remaining in the right mental state to deal with his new reality while heeding his doctors’ order of bed rest.

To offset the musician’s inability to generate an income, Sir Ray’s friend and owner of Joyful Noise Family Entertainment Centre Genoveve Plaatje is hosting the show.

Plaatje first met Sir Ray at a jazz show in August 2023, where she fell in love with his musicality playing with Hot Pocket Band. She later hired them for her birthday celebration.

“Ray has been a mentor and an inspiration to many of us with his love of music. His music transcends borders, weaving together the rich tapestry of African rhythms and soulful lyrics. His songs resonate with hope, love and resilience. But now, his own heart’s rhythm falters, drowning out the very notes he once sang,” says Plaatje, who describes Sir Ray as a cornerstone of the community.

“Bringing a unique blend of creativity and passion to his music, Ray’s contributions have helped shape the local music scene and his influence can be seen in many emerging artists,” she says.”We decided to host this benefit show for him to celebrate his legacy and support him during this time.”

The show will feature a collection of talented musicians who have collaborated with Ray over the years.

“This includes some of his closest colleagues, musical friends and peers, all of whom share a deep connection with him and his work,” says Plaatje.

Though Sir Ray’s diagnosis presents a significant challenge, the musician says he appreciates the love from Plaatje and his industry colleagues and feels less alone in his fight for recovery.

As his health doesn’t currently allow him to do live shows, Sir Ray is looking for online work composing for film and advertising and also hopes to publish an EP at the end of his treatment.

“Over the years I have studied music from ten Namibian ethnic groups as an ethnomusicologist. I intend to blend that with Zimbabwean music to build this project,” he says. “It will be an afro contemporary blend of Zimbabwean and Namibian traditional music.”

Meanwhile, Plaatje invites everyone who loves music and Sir Ray to come and enjoy the show this Sunday, 7 July at Joyful Noise at Maerua Mall from 17h00. The concert is strictly for adults and tickets are available from Webtickets.

“Come and enjoy an evening of fantastic music, great company and delicious food. Attendees can look forward to heartfelt performances, a vibrant atmosphere and the opportunity to support a beloved figure in our community,” says Plaatje.

“Sir Ray has given so much to us, and this is our chance to give back to him.”

–; Martha Mukaiwa on Twitter and Instagram;

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