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Sunday, October 4, 2020


(Durban musician Colin Penn at the Oyster Box in Umhlanga)

Report by Billy Suter – sosuterbill

Popular Durban musician Colin Penn died yesterday (October 3, 2020), aged 79.

Less than two hours after his death today, following a stroke in hospital, tributes starting pouring in on social media for long-popular Durban musician Colin Penn.

The amiable producer of nostalgic music tribute shows, also a versatile pianist and leader of The Pennants musical trio, died at 16h00. He was 79 and would have turned 80 on January 6 next year.

Penn, who brought a lot of joy to many and gave employment opportunities to many up-and-coming singers in their early years, had a stroke yesterday morning. His immediate family was summoned after he slipped into unconsciousness.

(Colin Penn and his wife, Barbara)

“We spent the entire afternoon there and were able to see Colin. The doctor ordered an MRI and he found six spots – three on the left side of his brain and three on the right side,” said Penn’s widow, Barbara.

Penn suffered kidney failure as well as suspected cardiac failure and it was believed by the family that had he survived, he would have been unable to have the use of his limbs on the right side of his body, and would have most probably have been wheelchair-bound.

“This is something Colin spoke about for many years. He did not want to end up like that,” added Barbara.

“Play the piano up in heaven, Colin. Thank you for the great times. Rest in joy,” wrote Durban actor-singer Lyle Buxton on Penn’s Facebook page.

“Terrible news, such wonderful memories from as early as the 1980s. Sending condolences,” said Durban musician Bev MacGregor, while Durban arts doyenne, Caroline Smart, also expressed condolences over “this very sad news”.

“May his memory be a blessing,” said musician Ross Tapson. – Billy Suter