The Herald (South Africa)

PE-born entertaine­r dies suddenly

Much-loved Craig ‘Mischief’ Wiblin leaves fans, friends in shock

- Kathryn Kimberley

On Monday, entertaine­r Craig “Mischief” Wiblin posted on Facebook that he would not be doing any online shows this week because he had come down with a terrible dose of the flu.

At 4am the next morning, he was rushed to Tygerberg Hospital in Cape Town, where he later died.

His sudden death came as a huge shock to his fans, family and friends and was met with an outpouring of love on social media.

His devastated older sister, Linda Mey, said while Covid-19 had been ruled out as his cause of death, the family was still waiting for the postmortem results.

Right to the end Wiblin, who would have celebrated his 54th birthday next month, tried to reassure those about him that he would be fine.

A single father, he leaves behind his daughter, Skye, 14, described as “the apple of his eye”.

Wiblin was born and bred in Port Elizabeth, where he attended Grey High School.

From a very young age, his main goal in life was to make people laugh.

“He was always the life of the party. He loved people,” Mey said.

“And he always had some or other musical instrument in his hand.”

Though his parents tried to convince him otherwise, he knew all along that his dream was to perform on stage.

A couple of years after school, he finally packed his bags and headed to Johannesbu­rg to try and turn his dream into a reality.

From karaoke to comedy and eventually joining a band, Wiblin decided that his ultimate dream was to become a solo entertaine­r, stand-up comedian, vocalist and MC, and that was when “Craig Mischief” was born.

He moved to Cape Town in December last year.

Mey said yesterday that her brother’s death still felt like a bad dream.

“I was up all night speaking to people from all over the world.

“We can finally see how loved he was.”

On June 12, Wiblin had posted on Facebook that he had been in bed all day with chronic sinus and had to postpone his online show.

He had taken to live-streaming his acts due to the lockdown, but Mey said while he always came across as bubbly, he missed people and not being able to perform live had depressed him.

On Monday he wrote: “OK Facebook family, I will not be doing online shows this week ... I’m down with a terrible dose of the flu.

“I haven’t been this sick in many years.

“But I will be back soonest.” Mey said when he was finally admitted to hospital, they noticed his stomach was quite extended.

“They immediatel­y tested him for the coronaviru­s but he did not have it.

“We are not sure at this point what went wrong but we are waiting on the postmortem results,” she said.

Doctors at Tygerberg informed the family that Wiblin had been speaking to them at his bedside at about 2pm on Tuesday when he turned his head to the side and took his final breath.

His elderly mother, Daphne Schroeder, 83, who still lives in Port Elizabeth, was devastated.

Wiblin’s brother, Gary, died six years ago at the age of 52.

Close friend Anton Pretorius said what he would miss most was Wiblin’s fiery personalit­y and the way he always made people laugh.

“He had such a big heart and did so many things for other people.

“He was a friend in a million.”

Hundreds of people also took to social media to share their condolence­s with the family.

Layla Walters, of Cape Town, wrote: “Never got to meet you face to face but I feel your absence and mourn with so many others. You made this world a better place.”

Jody Foster of Port Elizabeth said: “I always admired Craig’s positive attitude, his will to make the best of any bad situation and his love for his daughter. RIP.”

No funeral arrangemen­ts have yet been made.

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Entertaine­r Craig ‘Mischief’ Wiblin died on Tuesday
Picture: FACEBOOK POSITIVE TO THE END: Entertaine­r Craig ‘Mischief’ Wiblin died on Tuesday

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