by TANKISO KOMANE
The South African gospel fraternity mourns the tragic passing of celebrated gospel singer and pastor, Neyi Zimu, who died at the age of 49 after succumbing to a year long battle with skin cancer.
The devastating news were confirmed this morning, just two weeks after his family publicly revealed that the “Jehova Re Tshepile Wena” hitmaker was battling skin cancer and was about to undergo chemotherapy.
His wife, Nellie Sibisi-Zimu, said Zimu died at Busamed Moderfontein Hospital on Thursday. Sharing details of his diagnosis, she said Neyi was diagnosed with a rare skin condition earlier this year and had been trying different skin therapies.
“Unfortunately none have been as successful as we hope.” She added: “We had resorted to chemotherapy because the doctor’s recommended it.”
Clues about the singer’s underlying health problems became apparent when his face started to show some abnormalities early this year and it appear to have worsen as he would be seen in public wearing hand gloves.
His health further deteriorated over time, resulting in the singer failing to honour all his concert bookings. During one of his recently scheduled concerts in Polokwane which he failed to honour, his brother Silas Zimu revealed to concert goers that Neyi had been diagnosed with a rare skin cancer, saying they “had thought it was something small”‘ until latest tests proved otherwise.
“The good news is that he is in good hands, specialists and doctors are looking after him 24 hours [a day]. Hence, as a family, we said he needs to be grounded just to get rid of this disease so that he can come back healthier,” Silas said at the time.
Details of his funeral and burial will be released in due time, the family said.