The memorial for Oupa John Sefoka (the DJ and entrepreneur popularly known as DJ Sumbody) on Wednesday afternoon was an emotional roller-coaster that saw various friends, family and colleagues share the podium to honour the late amapiano icon.
The memorial live stream, which streamed on YouTube, opened with different images of the late DJ on screen.
Upon the family’s arrival at Lewende Woord Centurion, they were given a standing ovation as they entered the hall.
Peter Mashata, a long-time friend of Sefoka’s, was the MC.
“This occasion is not scripted,” he said as the memorial got under way. “I was not trained to become a programme director. A friend of mine by the name of DJ Sumbody saw a gift in me and said: ‘Buddy, I’m gonna carry you through, we’re gonna walk this journey’.”
Mashata went on to thank the Sefoka family for allowing mourners to bid farewell and celebrate “the life of a giant”.
One of Oupa’s uncles then opened with a prayer. Over the duration of the nearly four-hour-long memorial, other members of his family took to the stage to share Bible verses and their personal memories of him.
There were also several industry friends and colleagues who took to the stage to share their tributes.
One of these was long-time collaborator, rapper Cassper Nyovest.
“I’m here to talk about my friend,” he started, before sharing an anecdote about how Sefoka, a radio DJ at the time, took his number and began calling him unannounced every week to interview him on the phone. They became close friends a short while later.
Nyovest then went on to share how their smash hit single “Monate Mpolaye” came about.
“I didn’t really feel the song, I just did it because he wouldn’t take no for an answer. He kept on calling.
“And when the song was released it changed everyone’s career, not only theirs but even mine. It became one of my biggest songs to perform on stage.”
He also shared other personal anecdotes and spoke on how grounded and rooted Sefoka was.
Later in his remarks, while speaking on how Sefoka was the one person who always had a plan and could be counted on in times of need, Nyovest became overcome by emotion.
Heart-felt send of by @casspernyovest
“My beautiful brother, Ntja ya Kota!!! You broke my heart. I won't lie, ha ke shapo. You had big plans!!!" Cassper Nyovest wrote#RIPDjSumbody#Djsumbody pic.twitter.com/PYz1DWb9mo
— News Live SA (@newslivesa) November 23, 2022
When he composed himself, a tearful Nyovest said: “You could be brutally honest with him and he wouldn’t take offence. No matter how much you fought with him, he wouldn’t change how much he loved you. I’m going to miss you, I love you.”
Others to speak at the memorial included frequent collaborator DJ Vettys and Sony Music rep, Katlego Malatji. There were also performances from the likes of Kaylow, Mfana Ka Gogo and The Lowkeys.