It’s been a sad week for South Africa as we mourn the untimely deaths of Dr Sindi Van Zyl and 22-year-old Nellie Tembe. Dr Sindi was widely revered in the radio space and respected by many. Nelli was AKA‘s first non-celebrity girlfriend in years and the first woman he asked to marry him.
Nellie was a very private person, given the fame that her fiancé AKA carries with him. But somehow, she found a way to keep her life as private as possible.
Back in August 2020, she slid into a local tabloid, ZAlebs’ DMs to let them know that she was unhappy with an image of her they had used in an article. She was not impressed with the picture quality and asked that they use better images of her in future. “I don’t care about the articles because that’s what I signed up for but at least use nice photos,” said Nellie.
Though the exchange was brief, they got to experience this fun, outgoing and loving soul. She was very much aware of the attention she was getting ever since her relationship with AKA went public but wanted to protect her family from the limelight at all costs.
“Yeah well, I don’t care about people knowing the real me. My family and I are very private people.”
It’s still hard coming to terms with the fact that she’s passed on. Her death has sent shock waves across the globe and touched many. It’s been reported that she jumped from the 10th floor of the Pepper Club Hotel in Cape Town on Sunday morning and died on the scene. Police are still investigating the cause of her death. Fans have flooded social media with tributes dedicated to Nellie and Former Kaya FM presenter Dr Sindi Van Zyl who passed away on Saturday morning. Her family released a statement confirming her passing. The 45-year-old succumbed to Covid19 after spending weeks in hospital.
“The Van Zyl family humbly thank everyone who stood together with them recently to help raise funds for Sindi’s hospital bill, in addition to the national outpour of prayer, love, and support for her. It is however with profound sadness that we confirm the passing of our wife, mother, sister, and daughter Sindisiwe Van Zyl (45),” their statement read.