Phiri was raised in the farming town where his family still lives.
HuffPost SA visited the family home on Thursday where preparations are underway for Phiri's burial on Saturday morning.
Meanwhile, neighbours at Phiri's other house in the township of KaNyamazane, outside Nelspruit, told HuffPost SA that during the musician's time in the township, his home was open to the community.
One neighbour, who did not want to be named, said: "Bra Ray loved people and we enjoyed interacting with him.
"He was so lovely and did not live like a celebrity at all. We are saddened by his passing and hope that his family can find strength during this time."
At the family home at Crocodile Valley, the mood is sombre.
Extended family members have arrived and mourners have visited the home to convey messages of condolences.
Phiri's 113-year-old mother, MaThabethe, is also at the family home.
Soccer giants Orlando Pirates will visit the family on Friday evening to offer their support.
Phiri was a staunch fan of the 80-year-old team and was vocal about his support for the team.
The team is in Mbombela for its game against Maputo's Maxaquene on Sunday.