‘I’ll see you all later,’ were the last words Dumi said – Simphiwe Ngema

Images: Nick Boulton
Images: Nick Boulton


“When I got to the hospital, it wasn’t dramatic. There wasn’t blood all over or doctors frantically working on him, like in the movies. He was lying on a bed, bandaged around his abdomen, and a tiny dot of blood seeped through to mark where he’d been shot. The first thing he said to me was: ‘Askies nana.’ That was typical Dumi – always thinking of others. I held his hand and kept wiping the sweat from his face. The doctors were discussing whether they should work on him there or transfer him to another hospital as he was on medical aid. I remember Dumi yelling that he was in pain and didn’t care what hospital he was in and needed to be worked on immediately.

When it was time to operate, Dumi was still talking and looked fine; he didn’t show any signs of intense pain. My family had arrived by then. His two best friends were there as well as his younger brother. We accompanied Dumi to theatre. I held his hand, kissed him and told him I’d see him later. Little did I know that would be our last conversation and kiss. He called to my dad as we were walking out that he’d see him later. My mom kissed and told him she’d see him later. His brother told him he was going to fetch their mom and that, he too, would see him later. ‘I’ll see you all later,’ were the last words Dumi said.

Read the full story in our Feb 2018 issue out on shelf now.

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