Durban - When her artist husband was shot dead, one year and three days after they were married, Nicola Seward and her 7-year-old daughter, Eva, went to eManzimtoti to be comforted by his close-knit family.
So close is the family of slain Durban artist, Clinton De Menezes, that his sister, Pam De Menezes, made him a “bridesman” at her wedding in 2012, because she had to have her brother by her side.
Pam, the lead vocalist for popular music duo The Arrows, of Spin My World Around and Lovesick fame, was too distraught to speak to the media.
Her band mate, drummer Christie Desfontaine, wrote on her Facebook page: “My heart is broken for Pam’s whole family. Clinton De Menezes I love you and will miss you for ever. RIP.”
Desfontaine’s husband, Sidney Rash, wrote: “Very mixed emotions this New Year – mourning the death of a friend, while celebrating his life as a brother. Clinton De Menezes we love and miss you. God rest your soul – thoughts and prayers are with the whole De Menezes family.”
A post on The Arrows’ Facebook page read: “We are grieving – Pam’s brother was shot in the early hours of yesterday morning. We will miss him terribly. Thoughts and prayers are with the whole family. We love you CJ. RIP.”
The post had more than 100 comments from fans expressing condolences.
Even before completing his Masters Degree in Fine Art at the Durban Institute of Technology in 2004, De Menezes had work exhibited in Durban and Germany.
Between October 2010 and October 2012, his artwork titled Procession (Exodus) was installed on long-term loan at the Metropolitan Museum of Arts in New York.
The multi-disciplinary artist worked in different mediums, including installation, painting, drawing and photography.
He also had work exhibited in galleries in London. One of them was the Bicha Gallery. Its founders, John Bryson and António Capelão, wrote on the gallery’s Facebook page:
“Words cannot describe our shock and sadness… He was an inspiring artist and a man of integrity. Our thoughts and hearts go out to Nicola, Eva, family and friends.”
De Menezes’s socio-political works top the list in the highlights on the gallery’s website.
The former painting, drawing and history of art lecturer moved to London in 2007 to actively market his artwork fabrication company, Alchemy Studios, which he founded in 2004.
He had been living in Nairobi, Kenya, since July last year after his wife, Nicola, had to move there for work.
Hundreds of messages of support have been posted on her Facebook page.
Trend Analyst Dave Nemeth tweeted: “RIP Clinton De Menezes this is such a loss.”
From London, @5ueboo wrote: “Shocking end to 2013. Charismatic artist friend Clinton De Menezes shot & killed. Can’t stop thinking about this.”