Family, friends and fans packed the Assemblies of God church in Sandton on Wednesday afternoon to pay tribute to “a giant of SA screens” Andile Gumbi, with those close to him remembering the impact he had on their lives. The former Isibaya and The Lion King star died in an Israeli hospital two weeks ago after suffering a cardiac arrest last month. He was performing in a production called Daniel The Musical in the country at the time, with the production confirming that his wife had flown out to be at his side. He loved his wife and his family”
Andile’s mother and widow were both in attendance at the memorial.
hey listened as Isibaya’s Desiree Markgraaff spoke of the love he had for his family. He always spoke about you ma. He spoke of everything he wanted to do for you. He never wanted to disappoint you. He loved his family and when he told us he was going to get engaged, we were over the moon,” she said. Millicent Makhado remembered how Andile “loved his wife and he loved his family” and would always keep them up to date with all the family’s adventures. One of the founding member of The Lion King musical described the production’s struggles to find a person to play Simba on the project and how when they met Andile they knew he was the right man.
“He made history. He was the first African to play Simba on Broadway … The man was fierce. He was fearless. He took the role. One thing we noticed is that he exuded the spirit of Zulu, the spirit of Biko. The man was tough. Even if he was playing a character, you could see the man was what the character was meant to be.”
The most important thing is that you know you will always be in my heart. The heavens have gained an angel. All I can say is thank you for being in my scenes. Thank you for all the moments, I will always light a candle at sunrise and sunset and remember you. God speed, my friend.
Gumbi’s friend Thabo Gwadiso was with him in Israel when he fell into a coma and told mourners that he was taken to hospital on the Tuesday and was in a coma by Wednesday. Gumbi will be buried in Umlazi, KwaZulu-Natal, on Saturday.
In other news – Mzansi Reacts to Mampintsha’s sudden Weight Loss
Mzansi is in a state of shock and confusion after a video of a “skinny” Mampintsha went viral on Thursday. In it, Mampintsha is seen dancing to an infectious beat, with his hands in his pockets.
He later takes them out to clap and do another move. It was not the dance moves that had the streets shook, but the “state” of the star. Read more