By Minister Lindiwe Sisulu
Today is a sad day for all of us, more so for our precious uSivuyisiwe Nikiwe, together with their beloved children, namely Nivuya, Imange, Avelakhe and Nokhanaye. he it is sad because the King of his castle has fallen: uVuyani Alexander-Magnus Magqabi. Yet I would venture to say that in all this sadness, we have to acknowledge this King by celebrating his life and the time he spent with and amongst us.
In brief when we talk about celebrating uVuyani it is about accepting the reality that he has run his race and that we are grateful that he passes on whilst we love him dearly and value him to the core.
Sivuyisiwe, Nikiwe, it is true that you have lost your companion and your husband, your first port of call when all is dark but most especially when the morning dew is defrosted by the warm morning sun. no one can ever know the emptiness you will feel and have to endure every time the realisation of his absence dawns on you.
One cannot even say that you should be strong because you have every right to mourn your beloved now taken away from you. The lady that you are is a reflection of the kind of relationship you had, that you were supportive of each other and wanted each one to grow and develop into a better human being.
How does a mother like me begin to talk about the loss of a pillar of strength to the children? This brings a lump to my throat.
Nivuya, Imange, Avelakhe and Nokhanaye, together with your cousins, remember your father for all the values that he instilled into you. Your precious moments with him must be a source of comfort to all of you. Remember his love, his laughter, his encouragements as well as his reprimands. All of these were in love and to your benefit in the long term. Remember that. Remember him through all the awesome times you spent together.
I would also wish to send words of appreciation to the Magqabi family for allowing the South African family to tap into the Magqabi treasure trove through the activities of Vuyani. The passion that he had towards the under-privileged and vulnerable. He demonstrated this by using his passion and experience as a lawyer to participate at the coal face of service delivery to the poor and vulnerable as a member of one of the water boards in the country, Magalies Water. This water board serves primarily the people of Madibeng Local Municipality.
In all of this one has to give thought to parents who have to bury their young. Humanity expects the opposite, that children will bury their parents. Tata, mama, I truly have no words. A kwehlanga o ku ngehlanga!!!! Words can never be sufficient to comfort you. I wish you all the grace and support from On High on your way to recovery from this huge loss.
To all of us today, but especially the Magqabi family, may we receive all the comfort from one another and our prayers.
Elizabeth Kubler-Ross writes:
“The reality is that you will grieve forever. You will not ‘get over’ the loss of a loved one; you will learn to live with it. You will heal and you will rebuild yourself around the loss you have suffered. You will be whole again but you will never be the same. Nor should you be the same nor would you want to.
*Sisulu is Minister of Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation