Sim­phiwe Ngema on her tough­est year & life af­ter Dumi

A year af­ter the death of her beloved hus­band, Sim­phiwe Ngema is mov­ing on and tak­ing it one day at a time

DRUM - - Contents - BY QHAMA DAYILE

TOP: Ac­tor and singer Dumi Masilela lost his life dur­ing a botched hi­jack­ing last year. ABOVE: Sim­phiwe and Dumi wed just two months be­fore he was mur­dered.

SHE’S learn­ing to live again, one day at a time. For the past year she’s been mourn­ing the man she loved with all her heart but life has to go on – and so she’s taken off her wed­ding ring, is go­ing out with friends and fam­ily and en­joy­ing some down­time at the pool­side.

Sim­phiwe Ngema has also re­leased one of the last songs her beloved hus­band, Dumi Masilela, recorded be­fore his tragic death in a botched hi­jack­ing in Tem­bisa in Au­gust last year.

uPhushiwe is an ode to their love in which the singer and Rhythm City ac­tor talked about send­ing his un­cles to Sim­phiwe’s house to pay lobola.

He sang it for her dur­ing their tra­di­tional wed­ding cer­e­mony, not know­ing he’d have only a few more months left with the love of his life.

“It feels so dif­fer­ent that he’s not here with us, en­joy­ing this mo­ment,” Sim­phiwe (29) said on Metro FM when she re­leased the song. “If he was here he’d be scream­ing and what­ever – climb­ing up the walls. Be­cause he was just all about that en­ergy. He was amaz­ing!”

In a gut- wrench­ing post on In­sta- gram just days af­ter the song’s re­lease, she said, “Do­ing it without you is tough, but I’m do­ing it any­way.”

One of the hardest things she’s had to do was take off the ring Dumi put on her fin­ger.

“We have a love-hate re­la­tion­ship, some­times I look at you [the ring] and I smile,” Sim­phiwe wrote in an­other heartrend­ing In­sta­gram post along with a video of her re­mov­ing the ring.

“Some­times I look at you and my heart bleeds. It’s al­most time to let you go and the thought of liv­ing without you makes me anx­ious, but hold­ing onto you is more painful. I will love you, for­ever and al­ways.”

THE past year has been one of pain and grief – but pos­si­bly the hardest part of it all has been the judg­ment she’s re­ceived from the public. The for­mer Mu­vhango ac­tress has been the re­cip­i­ent of vi­cious barbs from crit­ics who be­lieve they know the deeply per­sonal griev­ing process bet­ter that she does.

She’s advertisin­g her­self, they say when she’s spot­ted in a bikini at the beach. She needs to learn to cover up, they tell her as soon as she shows signs of be­ing happy.

No one knows how hard her life has been, she has said on her of­ten emo­tional so­cial me­dia posts.

She’d been feel­ing down and her fam­ily took her to the beach to cheer her up. “Lit­tle do peo­ple know that day was one of my low­est. I con­nected with God that day be­cause for a split sec­ond I wasn’t sad.”

Some days she’s okay. And then there are days when she misses Dumi so much it’s hard to breathe. He was her “eter­nal crush” and she’s been learn­ing to live without him but it’s been any­thing but easy.

“I’m not okay, not to­day. I miss my hus­band and my spirit feels heavy. Don’t let them lie to you, time doesn’t heal. God sus­tains you and you learn to carry the bur­den. You be­come strong­er but some days you’ll be weak. Let your­self be weak. There is strength in liv­ing your truth,” Sim­phiwe posted on In­sta­gram, just days af­ter the first an­niver­sary of his death.

Now she’s tak­ing things one day at a time. “It hasn’t been easy, but I have to move on. I had to re­mem­ber who I was be­fore I met Dumi.”

SIM­PHIWE has been through a lot for some­one so young – and now she’s writ­ing a book in a bid to in­spire oth­ers and make them re­alise there is hope even in the dark­est of days.

“I’m writ­ing about my life and what I went through. I hope it will help some­one who went through a sim­i­lar ex­pe­ri­ence,” she told Sun­day World.

Sim­phiwe has slowly been mak­ing her way into the spot­light again. She’s played singer Dudu Mkhwanazi on e.tv drama Bro­ken Vows and had a role on Uselwa, a drama se­ries shot in KwaZulu-Natal. She’s ex­cited to be act­ing again, she told Metro FM.

The ac­tress is get­ting ready to join one of South Africa’s flag­ship soapies, Isidingo, and will start shoot­ing this month. She’s go­ing to play goal-ori­ented and driven Phindile Shezi, a straight-talker with a love for min­ing and writ­ing.

“I love act­ing, it’s what I’m pas­sion­ate about,” she said about her new role.

And it’s keep­ing her busy too – and that helps ease the pain and fill the empty hours.

Six peo­ple have been ar­rested in con­nec­tion with Dumi Masilela’s mur­der and po­lice are work­ing to close the case, spokesper­son Bri­gadier Mathapelo Peters says.

“Four of the men were ar­rested in 2017 and one sus­pect died in a rob­bery. The five ac­cused are set for trial in the Pre­to­ria High Cour from 8 to 19 Oc­to­ber.”

‘I had to re­mem­ber who I was be­fore I met Dumi’

FAR LEFT: Sim­phiwe sang at Dumi’s fu­neral last year, and now she’s hon­oured his mem­ory by re­leas­ing the song uPhushiwe, which Dumi sang on their wed­ding day. LEFT: She faced a lot flak af­ter post­ing this pic of her in a bikini but she says peo­ple don’t un­der­stand how hard it’s been for her. RIGHT: Sim­phiwe’s par­ents have been very sup­port­ive the last year.

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