In Gloria, I have lost a dear friend
Gloria Dlamini was my friend, a very important one for that matter. We shared everything - from our personal lives to problems we experienced as single parents.
When the going got tough, her advice was: "We must pray and stay in God's house because those who believe in him won't go wrong."
I knew Gloria for years, from the days she worked for our former boss, Marlon Hilzelroth, as a helper. Gloria joined Sowetan in 1999, working in the supplements department.
When she joined us in the classified department in 2005, we immediately struck up a friendship. We became very close. On weekends Gloria, former colleague Jabu Ndaba and I would hang out together. At work, I helped her out a lot. I understood her very well, better than most people in our department.
And when she got sick, I would phone her daily, just to check on her. She was worried about losing her job because she was on contract. She was the breadwinner, so if she lost her job it would be a disaster because her children depended on her.
Our boss assured me that her contract wouldn't be terminated. Four months ago, she got sick again. She thought it was just flu. When she didn't get better after visiting her doctor, she went back only to be told that she had been given the wrong medication.
I last spoke to her on Thursday last week. When I asked her what the problem was, she said: "I will tell you when I come back to work. I am very sick."
She never came back.
Gloria will be buried tomorrow in Mpumalanga. She is survived by her mom and three children.