It is over a month since the passing of fashion designer Lebogang Quiteria Kekana, who died after losing a battle with Multiple myeloma.
His family is still grieving but also keeping his legacy alive by continuing the running of his fashion business. In 2020, Quiteria announced his engagement to now ex-lover Phakamani Mario Mbele and the two were planning a lavish wedding.
But things did not work out and they parted ways before the lockdown. They had connected again, a few weeks ago. Phakamani was planning to visit the ailing Quiteria. But he unfortunately passed.
On Monday 23 May 2022, the family of Phakamani announced that the designer’s ex-fiancé also died in what they thought and still believe was a suicide at first.
“We thought he committed suicide. He was not sick, he was healthy. But when the postmortem came back it said, he died of natural causes,” his cousin Sharon Thusi tells Drum. “I am confused.”
She says on Monday around 5pm, Phakamani’s mother called her to the house when he was not feeling well.
“His mom called me to say he was foaming at the mouth. When I arrived, he was opening his eyes too much. I thought he was drunk. I asked him why he was drinking on a Monday,” she adds.
“Next to him were some pills for TB treatment. He was not on any treatment and that is what led us believe he was attempting suicide. He was getting fits but they would stop and he would be fine and then start again, until he started losing energy. The fits stopped but he seemed weak, so we gave him food. This happened so fast and until we saw that he needed to go to hospital. But minutes later, I heard him he take his last breath almost like he was choking,” she adds.
A confused Sharon says. “Peekay was not sick. He died in my arms. It was too late to take him to hospital, so the police came and took him around 6pm.”
Sharon says she believes it was not his time to die.
“He had big dreams, he wasn’t meant to mysteriously die,” she says.
“Peekay has been through a lot but he stayed strong.”
Sharon says she knows he was planning to visit Quiteria just before he died.
“Quiteria’s death really hurt him. He was planning to go and visit him because he knew he was going through chemotherapy. I don't know if they were talking about getting back together but I know Peekay was in a new relationship with someone else. ”
Real Housewives of Johannesburg star Brinnette Seopela, who was very close to Phakamani, says they last spoke on Monday.
“He was telling me about coming back to Joburg. He left my place in December last year. Everyone close to him knows that Peekay suffered from depression. He was very fragile. I had to watch how I spoke to him. But he had a good heart and was very ambitious. I didn’t see this coming. He was never sick,” Brinnette says.
Reality show star Yaya Mavundla says Phakamani had a good heart and he still cared deeply for Quiteria.
“I know he cared for Quiteria. They were still in touch, but I don’t know the length of their discussions. Mario’s first trip to Paris was with Quiteria. He helped to launch his modeling career,” she adds.