My world stood still on Wednesday morning when I heard my colleague Dudu Gumede had died just a few days after a head-on collision. Can’t be? We heard she just hurt her chin badly? How can this be?
I cried, because Dudu was so much more than a colleague. She was my friend. When I walked in at The Citizen four years ago, it was she who gave me the warmest welcome which made me feel right at home.
Together we laid out the stories for the paper every day, but it was the times we shared a quick cup of coffee in the office kitchen that cemented our friendship.
I heard about her son, now 17, whom she adored; her cycling; the degree in political science she was finishing this year at Wits – and then her ambitions: she wanted to move up in the world and had aspirations to join the subs desk.
But her life was cut short at 41. No more dreams, Dudu. But know I will remember your love; for your family, God, even me.
It is too early to say goodbye, but I remember your wise words: “Tebo, you must get a wife and enjoy your marriage while there’s still time. As you can see we die young these days…”
May you soul rest in eternal peace.
Dudu Gumede was a layout artist at The Citizen for the past five years and died on Wednesday morning. She will be missed. The Citizen team’s thoughts and prayers are with her family,