Lewis Nkosi laid to rest

By Drum Digital
15 September 2010

EVERYTHING is just as the great writer would have liked it: a jazz lullaby plays in the background and lazy morning sunrays shine through the stained-glass window of the Methodist Church in Umbilo, Durban. You can smell the sea air from here as family and friends of Professor Lewis Nkosi from around the world gather to respect his dying wish that he be buried overlooking the Indian Ocean.

The former DRUM journalist, author and academic died at the age of 73 on 5 September at a hospice in Houghton, Joburg. He suffered a severe stroke a year ago and spent his last months unable to speak, feed or look after himself.

But at his bedside to the end were his children, Thokozile Louise and Sibongile Joy (39), his London-based twin daughters with his late wife, Bronwyn Ollernshaw, and his partner, Astrid Starck-Adler. Astrid, a professor of Yiddish and German at universities in Switzerland and France, spent months tending to a bedridden Nkosi and puts on a brave face for the mourners.

“His last hours were peaceful,” she says. “He was ready to go.”

Read the full article in the Drum of 23 September 2010

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