Devi Sankaree Govender on loss of her mother: 'She was a warrior – thoughtful and resilient'

Devi Sankaree Govender. (Photo: Supplied/M-Net)
Devi Sankaree Govender. (Photo: Supplied/M-Net)

South African media icon, Devi Sankaree Govender took to social media on Sunday afternoon to pay tribute to her late mother. 

Devi’s mother, Moganagie Govender, died on 11 May 2020 after a seven-year-long fight against breast cancer. She was 71 years old. 

"She was a warrior – thoughtful and resilient with sparkly eyes that matched her sense of humour," Devi said. 

She added: "Born in Inanda, KZN, she matriculated at Verulam High and married my dad, almost straight after. She didn’t get to study towards a degree and instead, poured all her energy into my sister and I. She read to us while we were in her belly and taught us to read before we went to school.  She later told me that she had focused her entire life on 'making my girls clever'.

"She was ahead of her time. In an era when male children were prized assets, my mum believed girls were precious gifts and we were raised, believing that there was no limit to our dreams. Saying goodbye to a parent is already difficult.  Having to do so, during a pandemic is a whole other kind of pain.  But my mum was practical and she got the send-off she wanted – minimum fuss with maximum meaning. 

"There is a lot of significance to this picture (see photo below) – it was taken 17 months ago during a live broadcast. What you see here are two smiling faces but behind that, is the story of a woman who inspired positivity, determination and independence while encouraging her girl children to always take the road less travelled. And, that is what made all the difference. Go well Amma."

The well-known investigative journalist's social media was flooded with heartfelt condolences and messages of love and support. 


In January 2020, Devi announced that after 18 years on M-Net’s investigative TV show, Carte Blanche, she’d be exploring new career opportunities. 

"Working on Carte Blanche has been one of the greatest privileges of my life," Devi said in a statement to the media at the time. She added: "It led me into the hearts, minds and homes of our people."

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