A fam­ily di­vided

CityPress - - News - MSINDISI FENGU, NTOMBIZODWA MAKHOBA and LEBOGANG TSEBETSEBE msindisi.fengu@city­press.co.za / ntombizodwa@city­press.co.za

The fam­ily of late gospel star S’fiso Ncwane say they were side­lined from his fu­neral ar­range­ments, amid dis­agree­ments be­tween his widow and his mother over where he should be buried. This week, close friends of S’fiso’s wife, Ayanda, told City Press that his mother, Fik­ile, in­sisted her son be buried at her home in Qolo­qolo, a sea­side vil­lage about 87km south of Dur­ban. But she was told that S’fiso’s will stip­u­lated that he be buried near one of his homes in Jo­han­nes­burg or Dur­ban.

On Fri­day, his great un­cle Amos and great aunt Homis­tar, whom S’fiso re­ferred to as his grand­par­ents, were still in the dark about the role they would play at his fu­neral yes­ter­day at Dur­ban’s Moses Mab­hida Sta­dium and a ceme­tery in Hill­crest.

“We are go­ing to be like any other vis­i­tors at the fu­neral. We will not be up in front. His wife has taken con­trol and we un­der­stand this be­cause he was mar­ried,” said Amos.

He said Fik­ile was mak­ing a mis­take in in­ter­fer­ing with S’fiso’s fi­nal rest­ing place.

“We’ve also heard ru­mours that there is a dis­agree­ment be­tween the two over where he should be buried, but S’fiso was a mar­ried man. His wife should be in con­trol. Fik­ile is mak­ing a mis­take. If he has said some­thing dif­fer­ent in his will, it will come out after the fu­neral.”

Amos said the fam­ily had a burial site where S’fiso would have been buried if Fik­ile had had her way.

“His younger brother was buried there, along with other mem­bers of the Ncwane fam­ily. We would have laid him to rest next to his brother,” he said.

S’fiso’s un­cle Za­muk­wakhe Booi said he was also un­sure of the fu­neral ar­range­ments and whether he would at­tend be­cause he had no trans­port and the venues for the memo­rial ser­vices and fu­neral were too far away.

At the memo­rial ser­vice at eThek­wini Com­mu­nity Church on Thurs­day, speak­ers called for fam­ily unity and warned Ayanda of neg­a­tive me­dia re­ports to fol­low.

Among them was Pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma’s wife Tobeka, who urged Ayanda to fo­cus on her in­ner cir­cle and not her “outer cir­cle”, of which the me­dia formed part. “That is how we sur­vive the hos­til­ity of the me­dia in our coun­try, re­gard­less of how hard our pres­i­dent has worked for South Africa,” she said.

In Oc­to­ber, Ncwane told Drum magazine that he was not sup­port­ing his mother be­cause “kune­mikhovu lapha (there are zom­bies around that house)”.

In Septem­ber, he made head­lines after do­nat­ing a Mercedes GL 63 AMG worth al­most R2 mil­lion to his pas­tor, Rev­erend Fran­cis Anosike from the Rock of Vic­tory Min­istries In­ter­na­tional Church in New­town, Jo­han­nes­burg, while his mother said she of­ten went to bed hun­gry.

Anosike, how­ever, was nowhere to be seen at the memo­rial ser­vices this week.

S’fiso’s last per­for­mance

De­tails have also emerged of S’fiso’s last per­for­mance last Satur­day night at the Tho­bela FM Praise and Wor­ship Gospel Fes­ti­val in Burg­ers­fort, Lim­popo. Just be­fore mid­night, a few min­utes after re­veal­ing that his new al­bum had gone gold, he told his au­di­ence he wasn’t feel­ing well. Con­cert pro­moter Bruce Kga­pane told City Press: “He be­gan on a high note. When he sang Ngipholise Nkosi, I no­ticed that he was sit­ting on a chair, but he still didn’t look like some­one in pain. He was jovial. “When I looked at his eyes, I could see some­thing wasn’t right. But I thought maybe some­thing was wrong at home.” Kga­pane called an am­bu­lance. “The paramedics were wait­ing for him after his per­for­mance. They told him his blood pres­sure was very high and wanted to take him to the near­est hospi­tal, but he re­fused and told the paramedics he was tak­ing med­i­ca­tion and was go­ing to be fine. All he wanted was to go home.” Kga­pane said he phoned Ncwane at around 11am on Sun­day. “He said: ‘I’m su­per and happy. I’m just prepar­ing my­self for my Kaya FM gig.’ That was a few hours be­fore he died,” Kga­pane said. Ncwane made it to Kaya FM, but his con­di­tion de­te­ri­o­rated be­fore he could per­form. He was rushed to hospi­tal after vom­it­ing blood. “It’s sad to know that he came to per­form at my gig to bid farewell to South Africa,” Kga­pane said.

Let­ter of love

At S’fiso’s memo­rial ser­vice at Soweto’s Grace Bi­ble Church on Fri­day, his wife’s sis­ter, Toti Makoba, read out a love let­ter Ayanda had writ­ten to her hus­band. “Who am I to ques­tion God after I have seen him through you, my love? I am truly hon­oured to serve you in your min­istry, even more hon­oured to have your chil­dren and trusted by God to share ev­ery­thing with you,” Ayanda wrote.

“The abun­dant love and amount of re­spect and honour you gave me as a wife is be­yond words.”

Ayanda said she was one of very few wives who could “claim and brag about the for­ever to­gether”.

“You gave me a once-in-a-life­time kind of love; made me feel and treated me like a princess and a queen all at once. You de­clared me the most beau­ti­ful woman that you have ever laid your eyes on,” she said.

She also said she was sure his “de­par­ture was a secret plan be­tween you and God”.

“He wanted to crown you in Heaven as pure and clean-hearted as you are, be­cause this world was slowly try­ing to stain your pu­rity. I know that you’re go­ing to give King David a hard time in Heaven. God will have a dif­fi­cult time to choose His favourite singer be­tween the two of you,” she wrote.

“I can feel it in my spirit that this was your per­fectly de­signed jour­ney of 37 years.”

Ayanda said her good­bye let­ter had been “the most dif­fi­cult thing” to write.

“Thank you for the per­fect ex­pe­ri­ence of love you show­ered me with since I was only 18 years old in Au­gust of 2002. I thank God for that faith­ful day.” For ac­counts from S’fiso’s clos­est friends of the man they knew, go to http://city-press.news24.com/

TALK TO US Who should have the right to de­ter­mine where a man is buried? His mother or his wife?

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MEMO­RIAL MO­MENT Re­becca Ma­lope per­forms at the Moses Mab­hida Sta­dium dur­ing the fu­neral of gospel sen­sa­tion S’fiso Ncwane


RIP Gospel singer S'fiso Ncwane

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