'I didn't know Akhumzi but he was my son's icon'

TV presenter Andile Ncube burst into tears when he was reading a message from Akhumzi Jezile's mother Zoleka during the funeral service of the late actor yesterday.

Zoleka looked forlon and dazed during the speech and family members rushed to comfort her when Ncube started sobbing during the emotionally-charged service at the Rhema Bible Church in Randburg.

The ceremony turned into a musical spectacle with a sombre tone as Jezile's friends and colleagues in the arts fraternity came out in their numbers to pay their last respects.

Among the stars who paid their respects in song were Kelly Khumalo and gospel artist Hlengiwe Mhlaba.

It was during the pair's performance that the 400 or so mourners were forced off their chairs to sing along while expressing their loss.

Artist Thulo Lwazi, who was among Jezile's friends and colleagues who attended the funeral, said he was saddened by the star's passing.

"There's a lot I can say about him but he was a king of unity, he united everyone. For me, I am still confused and heartbroken.

"I feel we were robbed by the Devil even though people say it's God's will. God gives life, he does not take life," said Lwazi.

Lesego Kubese from Pretoria said she came to pay her last respects because Jezile always reminded her of her own son who died in 2010.

"I did not know Akhumzi but he was my son's icon. I got to know Akhumzi because every time I came back from work, I would find my son watching Yo-TV," Kubese said, referring to the show that made Jezile a household name on TV.

"Coming here today brought back the pain of when my own son died. I have never healed since then. To Akhumzi's mother I just want to say 'you are not alone and I will keep you in my prayers'."

Jezile, 29, died when the car he was travelling in with four other people was involved in an horrific accident near Queenstown, Eastern Cape, last weekend.

His travel mates singer/actress Siyasanga Kobese, actor Thobani Mseleni, IT technician Skhumbuzo Mbuthuma and his girlfriend Itumeleng "Masesi" Morake also perished in the deadly crash.

Kobese and Mseleni will be buried in the Eastern Cape on Saturday while Mbuthuma and Morake were also buried yesterday at Westpark and Avalon cemeteries respectively.

TV and radio personality Akhumzi Jezile was finally laid to rest on May 5 2018. Friends and family celebrated his life through song and tributes.