Farewell Sindi, ‘beacon of love’
● Radio presenter Dr Sindi van Zyl, who died of Covid-19 complications yesterday at the age of 45, was remembered by friends and colleagues as a fount of compassion and humanity.
The Kaya FM presenter, who died in a Johannesburg hospital after nearly two months in intensive care, was “a fantastic human being to be around”, said former station boss Greg Maloka.
“She often talked about the things that were close to her heart, which were her husband and children,” Maloka said, remembering how excited Van Zyl had been to meet her new colleagues when she joined Kaya FM.
“She was actually such a fun person. She had a dress for every show. That just shows how excited she was about it [radio]. She had a feminine touch to everything.
“What we will miss about her is her impact with the audience. Her professionalism shone through her great personality. She humanised every element of conversation she had with the audience. She had respect for people,” Maloka said.
Transport minister Fikile Mbalula described Van Zyl as a selfless person. “Dr Sindi’s passing leaves all of us cold and sad. She lived an exemplary life of giving, selflessness and grace,” he said on Twitter.
Fashion designer Thula Sindi said Van Zyl was a good person who touched many lives. “You will be sorely missed … you were a good person through and through, Sindi,” he tweeted.
Twitter user Qhama Xhali said he met Van Zyl in 2018 at an event. “We immediately hit it off. Post that, I used to tweet about my mental health and she used to DM [direct message] me therapists that she felt would definitely be able to help and just check on how I was doing,” Xhali said.
Van Zyl, according to Xhali, was a “lovely and bubbly person”.
He added: “She insisted we take a selfie. I complimented her on how she looked. We took a selfie then went to take more photos at a media booth.”
Van Zyl leaves her husband, Marinus, and their two children, Nandi and Manie.
A statement from the family said: “Sindi always offered support and great advice to educate those around her. Not only was she a beacon of love and light on her Kaya FM show, Sidebar with Sindi, and all her social media platforms, but she genuinely loved and gave endlessly to all she knew with grace and kindness. She modelled the love and grace that she knew in Jesus.”