Businessman with heart of gold

Kenosi Modisane

Kenosi Modisane

The passing of Lucky Jabane, a Soweto undertaker, is not only a loss to his friends and family, but also to poor families he helped bury their relatives.

A few days before he died, I had spent sometime with him and he told me how he was owed for funerals he had conducted on credit.

He said although he could reclaim the money, he would not do so.

"What's money after all? They know they owe me and have promised to pay. If they don't, leave them, it's fine," he said.

This was typical of Jabane.

I believe wherever his soul goes, it will find peace because before he died he had discovered that we were relatives. We had known each other for years but did not know this.

It was during his last days that we discovered that we were from the same Jabane lineage and were the descendants of Barolong boo-Ranthuwa.

Jabane cut his teeth in the undertaking and hospitality industry at the tender age of 16 when he was a flower arranger at the Rebafeti Undertakers in Meadowlands - an undertaking business of which he was one of the founders.

After a few years he went on his own and established Phomolong Funeral Services and later added a catering service.

Jabane, who died at Helen Joseph Hospital in Johannesburg after a long illness, was born on May 25 1973.

He attended Tsogang and Matshidiso primary schools and Anchor High School.

He will be cremated on Sunday. The service will be held at Mzimhlophe Hostel Hall from 7.30am.