Durban - A gentle giant who defied all the odds to become a broadcast colossus is how mourners described the late Xolani Gwala, during the special provincial funeral service at his village of Impendle, in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands, on Saturday.
The scores of mourners who filled a thousand-seater marquee included ministers, politicians, lawyers, radio personalities, journalists and community members.
On Friday, President Cyril Ramaphosa declared Gwala’s send-off a Special Provincial Funeral Category 2.
Gwala, 44, succumbed to colon cancer last Friday after battling the disease for two years. At the time of his death, he was a breakfast show host at Johannesburg-based commercial radio station 702. He had also worked for SABC TV and radio as a news reader and a host of current affairs programmes.
After being diagnosed with cancer two years ago, he became an activist and pledged his support to fight cancer by bringing about easy access to tests and medication.