Johannesburg - 17-year-old Robbie Malinga Jr has caused quite the ruckus on social media by taking over the Instagram account of his late father, the pioneering musician and producer. Some of his antics have been meme-worthy, to say the least.
The Grade 10 pupil has posts of himself showing off his father’s cars and revving the engines, even though he can’t drive.
He made an appearance at the SA Music Awards last weekend dressed in Christian Louboutin red-soled shoes, a Simioni suit, a Breitling watch and Dolce & Gabbana shades – the ones on which the D andG form the shape of the lenses.
He was reluctant to say how much they cost.
“I don’t want to discuss figures, but just know it’s too much,” he replied with a slight smirk.
His favourite brand is Gucci.
“Gucci, that’s my life. I’ve been that guy since I was young. My dad would even call me Gucci. It’s an authentic brand and it sets a lot of trends. Even right now, gang [many] people copy Gucci.”
The idea of being the Instagram-verified boy, it turns out, was Malinga joking around.
“It boils down to just being noticed, because gang people can have 2 million followers, but not really be noticed. So it’s just me saying I’m verified boy and I’m out here.”
He says he was running his dad’s Instagram account while he was still alive.
“I’m posting my content now to keep it alive. It would just go to waste and, at the end of the day, I’m also Robbie,” says Rob Mal, a name he sometimes calls himself in the third person.
He doesn’t think he is damaging his father’s legacy at all, and doesn’t want to talk about his dad too much because the family is still in mourning.
“I’ve been doing what I’m doing, even when my father was alive. You can go check, there’s a video I posted on my 16th birthday. My dad was cool with what I do when he was here and I’m sure he still is.”
He says he’s the last person who would tarnish what his father left behind, which, beyond timeless records, is clearly a formidable amount of money.
“People are always saying I’m spending all the money, but I’m a minor and I don’t have any money. Only when I’m 18 or 21 will that happen. I don’t have a car, I get driven everywhere.” He says his mum gives him her card when he needs to buy something.
Although he is preparing for exams, he’s also gearing up to do a reality television show, but the details are still under wraps.
“Eish, it’s too much. I’m working with a quality team. I just want to take it to a whole other level. Nothing clichéd. You can see with everything I’m trending with, it’s all new.”
Will it be scripted?
“Of course, because even a rich 17-year-old can be boring. We will try to keep it as real as possible.”
How are his schoolmates taking his fame?
“I always tell them to treat me normally; I’m still Rob, and they see me as that. They’re a part of me.”
Malinga doesn’t come across as the flake he’s made out to be. He plans to follow his father’s path and release an album after studying IT.
“Right now, I’m strategising,” he says.
He wants to compose a rap album, but is still researching and getting to grips with writing rhymes. He hopes to one day win a Grammy for album of the year and would like nothing more than to collaborate with Atlanta-based trap producer Metro Boomin.
“I don’t want to be just another Nasty C or Cassper Nyovest, I want to be Rob Mal. I’ll do this with my research and knowing how to outstun [shine].”
He says he’s not trying to be famous, it’s just something that happened. For him, it’s about the art.