Neyi Zimu’s widow on life after losing her husband: 'I was intentional about staying strong'

Neyi Zimu. (Photo: Neyi Zimu Facebook)
Neyi Zimu. (Photo: Neyi Zimu Facebook)

Cape Town - It has been a tough couple of months since the death of Jehova Re Tshepile Wena hitmaker, Neyi Zimu.

His widow, Dr Nelisiwe Sibisi-Zimu, recently opened up about the pain she’s experienced since his death in December 2019.

READ MORE: SA reacts to death of gospel star Neyi Zimu

Speaking to Move! Nelisiwe shared her thoughts on how people have called her "brave and strong" after she spoke at her husband’s memorial service and funeral.

“It can only be God that has kept me this strong and brave no other person than him. I know my strength came as a shock for a lot of people and there were mixed responses, and I believe I’m mature enough to know what to respond to and believe in my head.”

“I was intentional about staying strong not just for me but for him as well throughout the whole process, and I think that is one of the things that was protecting for me, she shared.

Neyi had been battling cancer for a number of years and his wife had always been by his side.

Nelisiwe said that she had been writing in her journal from October until the day Neyi died.

“Things are definitely not the same and grief is grief, sometimes you cry and sometimes you don’t. It was really not my intention to go out there and portray this mega woman I am, I was just expressing what was within me.”

When asked about how her children are coping, she said that it is still early days and they are sad.

“My children are still sad about the passing of their father and the beautiful thing is that they are able to express themselves especially because I have a really close relationship with them, so they are able to express themselves freely.”

She also spoke about how much she misses her husband and how different life is without him.

“His absence is hard not to notice because he had such a big personality, which was very clear because whenever he was around, you’d feel that he was there.”

“I miss his humor, us watching movies together as a family, praying together and how close we all were.

Since her husband was a musician, she said that they listen to all his music when they reminisce about him.

“We want to keep his legacy alive by keeping his productions alive, we are managing his music right now.

“We also have merchandise that we’re selling in his memory such as journals, t-shirts etc, not for the sake of his name but for the sake of his work.”

“We are also looking at doing concerts that will celebrate his life and music and we also want to live up to one of his wishes which was to start a foundation, the Neyi Zimu foundation for people who have the same skin problem so that people can get educated and supported, so I’m also looking into doing that.”

Nelisiwe also encouraged widows who might be going through what she went through after losing her husband.

“We tend to get crushed, hurt and encounter pain in the process and in as much as we are driven and serve God, we tend to limit ourselves to what we see and what is on this earth.”

“When I reflect about Neyi and his life, for me the focus is not what we have lost, but the heritage that he has left us with both as a musician and pastor,” she concluded.

She also recently took to social media and told fans that she relies on God to give her strength.


We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24