Losing a legend is never easy

The first of December has become a significant day for me. This is the day my father passed on last year. And as you can imagine, the entire month was just a drag. The year 2016 started on a sad note. It was incredibly difficult.

When you lose a hero, a pillar, you feel like your own life can just end.

Time flies, though, it’s a full year since he left us. But not without great experiences and teachings.

I remember how he used to make us drink Epsom Salts, for instance. Even when there was no need. He was a health freak of sort. When I would cough a few times in front of him, he would almost always say, “Uphethwe inyongo wena!” When my younger brother had dry lips, he would say, “Mzweks, bheka umlomo unjani. Kufanele usebenzise isisu.” We knew what followed those words.

And so we always made sure not to tell him when we were tired. Because then he’d proudly wear his Doctor Mahlobo hat and prescribe something we didn’t enjoy taking 😂

What’s worth noting, though, is his impact on the world. On people. He was highly respected because of the sort of heart he had for other people. Many people would put us on a pedestal when they found out we were his kids.

“Hawu! Uyintwana ka Ngamla boy?” would be the question, followed by illustrious stories of yesteryear. Stories of my father being his legendary self. “Ntwana, uyalazi i’timer lakho belinjani? uNgamla madoda. Suka!”

And him passing on reiterated something to me:

It matters how we treat other people. It matters when we decide to become more than the material things we acquire. You know, when we go back to being human. What’s even more important, urgent to pay attention to, is this: (I’ll quote myself from a recent interview I did to make this point) “I look up to my father because he was a genius, had high self esteem, cared about people, loved exploring new things, knew his worth and was comfortable in his own skin”. It dawned on me that being comfortable in my own skin is the only way I am going to win at this life thing.

There’s no one I’ve met who in is in the calibre of that gentleman. I was fathered by a legend — I hold myself to those standards.

Mahlobo. Ntombela. Shomela. Zulu 😍