When Somahashe was alive, I was spoiled. My husband did everything for us, says wife of Menzi Ngubane

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Menzi Ngubane had been working on his documentary before the COVID-19 outbreak and his family want to continue his legacy.
Menzi Ngubane had been working on his documentary before the COVID-19 outbreak and his family want to continue his legacy.

It has been a year and four months since veteran actor Menzi Ngubane died after suffering from a stroke.

For years, Menzi battled with kidney failure and sugar diabetes publicly and spent many years promoting positive lifestyle changes.

This weekend, his family plans to unveil his and his father, Baba Ngubane's, tombstones in KwaZulu-Natal where family and friends will gather in his honour.

Menzi and his father died just days apart and they were buried together in Ladysmith. 

To honour the South African film and television icon, on 28 August – what would have been Menzi’s 58th birthday – his family will premiere also the documentary Ngubs: The Life and Times of Menzi ‘Ngubs’ Ngubane.

This is a project Menzi had been working on with Siyabonga Zungu before his passing. The documentary will show his life from his humble beginnings in Ladysmith to the moment he took his last breath. 

Speaking to Drum, Menzi’s daughter, Siyasanga Sishuba (24), says the documentary has been emotional for her mother, but she knows it will tell his story, beautifully.

“Bhut’ Siyabonga Zungu approached my mom just after my dad passed, but she needed to finish her mourning period and be at the right place.”  

In the documentary, they tell Menzi’s life using his experiences and through the eyes of close friends, colleagues, and family members.

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Menzi’s wife, Sikelelwa, tells Drum that life has not been easy since he died, and they are still adjusting to his absence.

“When Somahashe was still alive, I was spoiled. My husband did everything in the house. Even though I worked, he took care of me and the kids financially until his last days,” Sikelelwa says. 

“When he passed, I felt the pinch. The bulk of the income was no longer coming in, the children had to adjust.

"We always laugh about how the kids lived a soft life while he was still alive even when he was ill."

"But I am so grateful to have experienced his kindness and love and I want to show that in the documentary,” she says.

“I want people to see the real Somahashe, his humble beginnings, the ups and downs of the industry. Nothing came easy but he loved his craft, no matter how small the role, he would play to the best of his ability. He was a loving father, brother and husband,” she adds.

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Sikelelwa says shooting the documentary was very emotional as she had to play back memories.

“I started from the beginning, when we met, and how we parted ways, him getting married and us getting back together. But the family is also very involved,” she says.

Sikelelwa says her husband’s death has taught her in life nothing is guaranteed. 

“It’s shown me that as much as I believe in God, he really showed up for me at my weakest and showed me that I am stronger than I think. Through God’s grace and family support, I am still standing. I thought I’d lose my mind.

"But every day, things get easier and I learn to be grateful.”

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