ZENANI 'WAS FULL OF LIFE'

SMART, intelligent, humble and full of life were some of the words used to describe Zenani Mandela, who was buried yesterday at the Fourways cemetery.

SMART, intelligent, humble and full of life were some of the words used to describe Zenani Mandela, who was buried yesterday at the Fourways cemetery.

Mourners at the funeral service, which was held at the St Stithians College chapel in Johannesburg, painted a picture of an adorable 13-year-old girl loved by her family and friends.

Her grandfather, Oupa Seakamela, said she was an "old soul who knew things even adults didn't know".

"I called her Princess Makombo because everything she did, she did with style ... dignity. She carried herself like a princess."

Zenani Zanethemba Nomasonto Mandela, 13, died in a car crash after the World Cup opening concert in Soweto on June 10.

She was the granddaughter of Zindzi Mandela, who is the daughter of Winnie Madikizela-Mandela and former president Nelson Mandela.

"Within the African context the number 10 means completion and that gives me comfort because I felt she lived her life to the fullest. She touched people," Seakamela said.

"There's no one who can say she met Zenani and can't remember her."

Seakamela is the father of Zenani's mother, Zoleka, who is the daughter of Zindzi Mandela.

While her uncles Bambatha Mandela and Sizwe Hlongwane described her as a "charming, beautiful and sometimes irritating girl with a big heart", it was a message from her mother that moved mourners.

"Baby, there's no other place I'd rather be than with your brother and you, sitting on my bed and watching Hannah Montana or cooking shows like we used to.

"You used to walk around in my heels and tell me you can't wait to wear them.

"I should have allowed you to choose your own hairstyles, listened to you when you said I wasn't listening, gave you more hugs and kisses. I should have helped you more with your homework and left you to leave your room in a mess.

"If I do all that now, would you come back to me ... even if it's just for one more day? I need you to come back to me so that I can hold you in my arms. I miss you so much," she said in a message read on her behalf.

Zenani's father, Casey Moyo, spoke of his daughter's love for music and how easily she had grasped lyrics.

"I'd give everything to have Zenani back so I could say 'I love you' one more time," he said in a message.

Nelson Mandela was excused "to go home and rest" around 1pm, while the funeral service was still in progress. - Sapa

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