Dr Sandile Simama, a close friend of late gospel star Lundi Tyamara, gave a touching speech at a memorial service held at Grace Bible Church in Soweto today.
Alongside Lundi’s family and colleagues, Simama spoke about who Lundi really was and how he had touched the lives of those close to him. Rebecca Malope, Sechaba and Phutuma are among the artists who performed. Spotted in the crowd were Ayanda Ncwane, widow of deceased gospel legend Sfiso, SABC boss Hlaudi Motsoeneng and Yvonne Chaka Chaka.
See the speech below.
“Today SA is mourning the passing of a friend Lundi.
It is a pity though because I feel South Africa is mourning a stranger, South Africa never knew Lundi.
They knew the Lundi that was sold to them, the lie that was sold to them for 20 years and they bought it, for 20 years you were supporting a lie because the media killed this boy spiritually.
They showed you the side of Lundi that was his weakness, everybody here is not perfect we all have our weaknesses. But they chose to show that side of him.
It’s been over 10 years that Lundi has not touched drugs
I would like to tell you today about the Lundi we know, that his family knows. Lundi was very kind and caring. He is a boy who was made to believe that he was nothing when he was everything to us. His music lifted us up when we were down. He restored our hopes when we had no hope at all. That’s the Lundi that I know.
Lundi was someone that would take in a stranger, someone he has never met in his life. Someone he just met on the streets who has no roof under their heads. He would house them, clothe them, feed them, how many of us can do that?
But that is not the Lundi that you guys know. You know the Lundi that has been dubbed as a drug addict. It’s been over 10 years that Lundi has not touched drugs. But today all we hear about since his passing is that Lundi was on drugs. He was not.
Lundi was such a giving person.
No one could survive 20 years of torture and not break
Coming back to his kindness. “This is the guy who loved unconditionally”, there was no in-between.
He would come to my house at 3 am with a burger and say “I missed you my friend”. That’s the kind of guy he was, he was very giving. Sometimes I would get mad at him.
He was fragile at the same time. No one could survive 20 years of torture and not break. He did break, he was brave he tried to cover it up. But when we’re having a one-on-one then you would see the brokenness in him. Lundi never recovered from the loss of his mom he would call later at night crying saying his misses his mom. He could never sleep at night with lights on because he would get scared, he would never sleep alone because he is scared.
These are the things that we did to him as this country that is today crying saying why did God take him away?
Are we crying because we don’t anything more to ridicule, are we crying because we don’t have anything more to laugh at?
South Africa we are at fault, we cannot lie to ourselves and pretend that we never did damage to this boy, we did. And we were there we tried picking up the pieces but we are not God. We don’t have glue to mend those pieces Lundi was a broken man because of us.
Lundi was a people’s person anyone that would say otherwise is someone who did not know him.
One thing I would like SA to know is that for the next few weeks things are going to be said and written about him. Stories are going to be made up and some of those stories are coming from us his friends. It was never a stranger that sold Lundi to the public it was a friend, if you are that kind of a friend. What kind of a friend are you? We know who you are and what you’re doing but please respect the spirit of a dead man. Lundi is gone so can we please stop now.”