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HomeEntertainmentWATCH: Lumko ‘Johnson’ Leqela’s life celebrated at memorial service

WATCH: Lumko ‘Johnson’ Leqela’s life celebrated at memorial service


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Family, close friends and colleagues came out in their numbers to honour and celebrate the life of actor, radio and TV personality Lumko ‘Johnson’ Leqela at an emotional memorial service, held at the Market Theatre, on Wednesday.

Leqela died on September 14, at the age of 32. Their unexpected death was confirmed by a statement shared on their social media account.

“It is with great sadness that we share the news of the untimely passing of our beloved Lumko “Johnson” Leqela. They departed on the 14th of September 2022,” said the family.

“This is a gut-wrenching loss to the Leqela family, their loved ones, the LGBTQIA+ community and ultimately to the South African broadcast and television community

“Lumko lived a life filled with purpose and authenticity. As we process this shock as a community, let us remember their light in this world,” the Leqela family added in the statement.

Grief-stricken, each speaker at the memorial service shared fond memories of Leqele while also sending their heartfelt messages to the family.

Friend and colleague Keletso Bonolo Modiba, popularly known as Lula Odiba, shared her love letter to Leqele, which she wrote shortly after news of their death broke.

“My love, I’m going to miss you so much. It’s not kike you to leave the party early. I’m so gutted at your departure,” said Modiba.

We met in 2020…you walked very fast and you didn’t say much And then we got to connect when I stood in for the show that you produced. You intimidated me a lot. You always intimidated me with your large energy and over the last two years, we moved closer and closer.

“I got to see how huge you are. A lot of people that are here today, I met through Lumko and now we have the most amazing relationship, I want to thank them for that as well.

“I loved how smart, thoughtful, charismatic, opinionated, and how strong they were.

She added: “My heart aches that I can’t tell you I love you again Lumkeezi. I’m broken at the fact that I will never hear you say “good job miss Lula” to me again, which didn’t happen often because Lumko was very hard on me…always told me, you are the Sh**, don’t doubt yourself.

“I missed Lumko even before you left because they were supposed to continue with ‘The Night Cap’.

“Thank you so much for existing. Johnson. Half of the ‘The Nightcap’ is gone. I hardly know how to move forward from here,” concluded the award-winning presenter.

Leqele produced “The Night Cap with Lula Odiba” for over five years.

Actress Rami Chuene burst in before addressing the guests. In her speech, she hailed Leqele for their passion for the craft, while describing them as “beautiful, vibrant, happy, crazy and a fighter.

“My first meeting with Lumko was in ‘Inkaba’. Lumko hated that script, so much that they would change dialogue, every single time.

“And when they didn’t understand why the story was going that way, Lumko would go to the office and ask, ‘Why is my character saying this…can I rephrase it?’

“Lumko was a fighter and I’m saying this from the industry point of view. Lumko knew their worth. Lumko knew what they brought into the world, not just that but the value…and Lumko was not going to allow anybody to mess with that.

“And that’s what I loved about Lumko.

“If there’s anything that you have not learnt from Lumko, I’m going to beg you to learn this part, live like it’s your last day, live like you are winning…give it your all, that’s what Lumko did for their life.”

Chuene urged her fellow stars to take from Leqele’s book of life and be daring, bold, bright, colourful and happy. “Do it for yourself. Do it for the future of this industry. Do it for the memory of Lumko,” concluded the “How to Ruin Christmas” star.

In an emotional tribute to her friend, the former “Our Perfect Wedding” host Thembisa Mdoda-Nxumalo hailed Leqele as an incredibly talented creator, writer and performer.

“Never in my entire life did I ever imagine that I would be standing up here saying goodbye to one of our own.

“As much as this is a goodbye, it’s also a perfect time to celebrate the life that they led and the life that we will never forget.

“Their voice is an important one in the arts because it was brave, it was bold, it was honest.


Original Article

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