It was an emotional and spirit- filled celebration as the life of Dumi Masilela was remembered.
A memorial service for the actor, who was shot dead after an attempted hijacking last week, was held at the Hope Restoration Ministries in Edenvale yesterday.
Family, friends, industry colleagues and fans gathered to pay their last respects to the 29-year-old who was described as a spiritual being.
Programme directors for the service were Rhythm City colleagues, Siphiwe Mtshali and Connie Chiume.
Joyous Celebration and the Ekurhuleni metro police department choir provided praise items that kept the spirits of the family high.
Surrounded by family members, the actor’s wife Simphiwe Masilela who spoke last, remained strong.
“Dumi was so strong, that’s where I get my strength from right now. When I went to see his body, I felt like I just saw a suit. And I remembered he said to me our bodies are just that” she said.
Simphiwe said she had a lot of questions for God after Masilela died.
“I didn’t know this man five years ago. Why bring him so I can depend on him only to take him away? But God is still God.
“What comforts me is that I saw God in Dumi, he lived through God. I could never fit in with my peers, because I was a spiritual person. When I met Dumi, I saw a reflection of myself.”
When she met Masilela, she thought to herself she had finally found someone who understood her, she said.
“We had conversations about God. I want you guys to know that no one has the power to take somebody else’s life. The God he believed in is a God of miracles. If God wanted him to be healed, he would be healed.
PICTURE: Bhekikhaya Mabaso
“Dumi was perfect. I never worried about anything. God takes the good ones”
Thulani Ngema, Simphiwe’s father, said he called Masilela his “daughter”, because he became one with Simphiwe when they got married. “We are shaken as a family.
“He was a man of the Word, a worshipper. No child is born without a talent, we can only pray our children use their talents to the fullest before they are taken away from them.”
His colleague Mduduzi Mabaso said he could still not believe that the young man who called him ‘Bra Mdu’, was gone.
Picture: Bhekikhaya Mabaso
“We want to ask why him, but the Lord knows best. He paves the way for those he wants to have in heaven. We always talk about people at funerals and say things how good they were, but with Dumi it was all true,” said Mabaso.
Mabaso asked those gathered to lift Masilela up in spirit.
Eric Mduduzi, from e.tv, said it was ironic how his last conversation with Masilela was about death.
“He said he wasn’t scared of death and that no one would kill him. He would die in his own way. I’ll always remember how much of a deeper love he had. As Rhythm City, we will always ensure that his name lives on.”
The Rhythm City family said they prided themselves on finding raw talent, something Masilela had in doses and he managed to eclipse experienced actors for the role.
“He became a firm favourite with the viewers, his good looks and acting made the character authentic, “ said Ziyanda Mngomezulu.
Friend and actor Clement Maosa said when he first met Masilela, he shared the Word of God with him.
PICTURE: Bhekikhaya Mabaso
“I experienced the same love he gave to everyone. Dumi was very spiritual and we would always meet in the parking lot at Sasani to share the Word. People would ask why I was friends with him, but they didn’t understand that you needed to tap into Dumi’s spirit to know who he was,” said Maosa.
He said he would forever be grateful for the memories.
“When I heard the news I was broken. I thought it couldn’t be real,” he added.
Clips of Masilela’s life were shown throughout the service, including his Idols audition where he chose to sing an original song and a clip from his wedding in May to Simphiwe.
The funeral will be held at the Hope Restoration Ministries on Saturday.