Mzansi Celebs

Anele ‘Nelli’ Tembe finally laid to rest

Close friends and family gathered at the Durban International Conference Centre on Friday morning to pay their final respects to 22-year-old Anele “Nelli” Tembe, who died on Sunday.

Nelli was engaged to rapper Kiernan “AKA” Forbes.

She apparently fell from the 10th floor of the five-star Pepperclub Hotel in Cape Town on Sunday morning.

Nelli Tembe funeral

Her body arrived in Durban on Wednesday ahead of the funeral, accompanied by AKA and other family members.

Due to Covid-19 safety precautions, attendance at the funeral was limited to 100 people. Only family and those chosen by the family will be allowed to attend in person.

However, the service was carried on YouTube for those who wanted to pay their respects.

Nelli Tembe funeral

At a memorial service held on Thursday, Nelli’s sister Zama Thonga said bringing Anele home from Cape Town was the hardest thing she had ever done.

“It hurts that she’s gone. It’s difficult to accept that she’s gone, but at least I know she’ll be at peace. I just want you to know that I love you, and sorry wherever we failed,” Zama said.

A series of prayer services for Nelli were held throughout the week, with friends and family paying tribute to her kind and loving spirit.

At a service on Wednesday, Uzonqoba Dhlomo, fought back tears as she spoke of the love she had for her friend.

Nelli Tembe funeral

“It feels like Anele is going to walk in here at any moment with her bubbly spirit. Anele was so fierce about the way that she loved her friends. She was just that friend who was unapologetic when she loved someone. Anele was that friend we had to keep reminding that it’s just a game when we played 30 Seconds.

“Anele is at peace where she is, she won’t suffer like we might still suffer in our everyday lives.”

Exact details around Nelli’s death are unknown at the moment but witnesses at the hotel described hearing a scream on Sunday morning, followed by a “loud doef” sound. They said they had also heard a man shouting.

Police have confirmed the incident is under investigation.

In other news – More touching photos of AKA during Nelli’s funeral service

Anele ‘Nelli’ Tembe was laid to rest at Lala Kahle Cemetery in Hillcrest, west of Durban on Friday, 16 April.

AKA during Nelli Tembe funeral service

Her funeral service was held at Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre and was attended by her fiance AKA, family, close friends, artists and business people. The service only had two speakers and was characterized by choral music. Learn More

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