PE-born en­ter­tainer dies sud­denly

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

The Herald (South Africa) - - Front Page - Kathryn Kim­ber­ley kim­ber­leyk@the­herald.co.za

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.

Pic­ture: FACE­BOOK

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

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