Shaleen Surtie-Richards: the sadness and struggle behind the smile

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Shaleen Surtie-Richards’ body was discovered on Monday in a guesthouse she was staying in. (PHOTO: Gallo Images / Foto24 / Bongiwe Gumede)
Shaleen Surtie-Richards’ body was discovered on Monday in a guesthouse she was staying in. (PHOTO: Gallo Images / Foto24 / Bongiwe Gumede)

This year is going to be different, she told her friends shortly after celebrating her birthday in May.

Shaleen Surtie-Richards had had a tough time in recent years and the pandemic didn’t help. But things were looking up for her – she had work again after long, desperate periods of joblessness that left her almost destitute.

She’d also had many health issues, including two strokes and an extended battle with Type 2 diabetes.

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