Nkululeko has seen Covid take his family members one by one

Everson Luhanga

With some in hospital and others battling the virus at home in isolation, Nkululeko says he doesn’t know who will be the next to go.

Nkululeko Khanyi has lost his uncle, two aunts and one cousin sister. They all died from Covid-19 between October 2020 and January 2021.

He said his hope now remains in God’s hands as more of his family members are suffering from the virus.

He has lost:

•             His uncle Andries Mwelesa 68 years died in July 2020

•             His cousin Poppy Maswanganyi 40 years died in October 2020

•             His aunt Thoko Khanyi 60 years died on 3 January 2021

•          His aunt Thembi Khanyi 62 years died on 10 January 2021

Nkululeko said:

  • Andries worked for the department of Education as inspector in KwaZulu-Natal. He left behind his wife of 40 years.
  • Poppy worked at a funeral parlour in KZN for 10 years. The mother of two died from Covid-19 after she was admitted to Nkosi Albertina Sisulu Hospital.
  • Thoko was a domestic worker in Johannesburg for 13 years. She had one child. She died in hospital a day after she was admitted.
  • Thembi was an unemployed single parent with three children. She looked after her children after her husband died years back.

“It is hard to accept their death as I looked up to them as my parents since both of my parents died on the same day in a car accident seven years ago,” he said.

He said it has been seriously painful to see his family members dying one by one. “It is tough. We don’t know who’s next. It could be me or anyone,” he said.

He said Covid-19 is a fast killer. “Thembi felt sick on Sunday 10 January. We rushed her to the hospital. She died on the same day. It happened so quick and least expected,” he said.

The 43-year-old Nkululeko said his family members are not the only people who succumbed to the virus in his circle. “I have lost friends and other people I have known for many years.,” he said.

Nkululeko admitted that funerals have been the main super-spreaders of the virus as most of his family members got sick after attending the funerals of other family members. 

Nkululeko pleaded with the government to help different families across the country who are going through tough times of losing their loved ones with counselling. “We are not coping.

“There are some families who have lost more than one relative in a very short period of time. This is heartbreaking and traumatic,” said Nkululeko.

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