Farewell to 3Sum's Jeff Moyo

By Drum Digital
11 August 2010

VIBRANT, loud, outrageous and the life and soul of every celebrity party – that’s how flamboyantly gay singing group 3Sum can best be summed up. Close friends with the likes of controversial socialite Khanyi Mbau and musician Kelly Khumalo, Amstel, Koyo Bala and Jeff Moyo oozed style and bling and wouldn’t be seen out without their faces immaculately made up and their outfits perfectly coordinated.

At first South Africa didn’t know what had hit it but these guys didn’t care if they made waves – they were who they were and they refused to compromise for anybody. In fact, making waves is exactly what they wanted to do.

But 3Sum is no more, not since Jeff – regarded as the quietest member of the band but no less of a star – passed away recently, wracked with pain in a Rustenburg hospital.

Aged just 34, he died after telling his band mates he was going home to rest after their last performance during the Fifa World Cup. Amstel and Koyo knew something was wrong with their friend as he’d complained of stomach cramps but that hadn’t stopped him from doing his best on stage.

“I spoke to him on the phone after he went home and he sounded fine,” a distraught Amstel tells DRUM shortly after his friend’s passing. “He said he missed me and that he’s going to get better. He said, ‘Tsala, I’ll be fine – just wait and see’.”

But he wasn’t fine. Jeff died of a ruptured gastric ulcer in the Rustenburg Provincial Hospital, devastating his family, friends and scores of fans.

His older sister, Rosi (37), is battling to come to terms with what has happened. “We thought he was just tired, that he needed to see a doctor and get some rest,” she says. “We can’t believe he’s gone.”

When Jeff arrived home in Geelhoutpark, Rustenburg, he spent two days resting, Rosi says, but his condition didn’t improve. The family took him to hospital where he was admitted for stomach ulcers but two days later he had improved enough to be discharged.

“He seemed strong, not like someone who was about to die,” his sister continues. “He would cook his delicious dinners for us. ”

Rosi and Jeff were very close. Raised by their grandmother while their parents were at work, they did everything together. “It was great to have him home again. When he was bored in the evenings he’d call me to his room and ask me to tell him all the gossip. We’d stay up laughing and giggling way past midnight.”

His cramps would come and go but on the night of 5 August the pain became unbearable. “It was so bad he couldn’t breathe properly,” Rosi recalls. “He kept saying it felt like the pain had moved up his diaphragm.”

Read the full story in DRUM of 19 August 2010

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