Hundreds of friends, colleagues, fans and family members gathered at Rhema Bible Church in Randburg, Johannesburg, on Saturday to bid farewell to TV personality Akhumzi Jezile, who was laid to rest at the Westpark cemetery.
Close friends and family took to the stage one by one to share anecdotes and memories of the former YoTV presenter, whom they all described as a humble, hard-working, bubbly person who loved gospel music and often introduced it to his friends.
Andile Ncube read out a heart-wrenching letter from Akhumzi's mum, Zoleka Jezile, in which she poured her heart out about how much she would miss her son.
"You are my child, but you were also my friend, confidant and helper. My body aches at the thought that I have lost you. I long to hold you in my arms one last time, I have enjoyed having you, my son, but God has reminded me that he is the almighty and you were loaned to me, and he wants to enjoy you too," Ncube sobbed as he read out the emotional letter.
Akhumzi's close friend and singer, Kelly Khumalo, fought back tears as she delivered a powerful rendition of "Uthando lukaBaba" and "Kulungile Baba", which echoed through the church as she poured her heart out and had mourners in tears.
TV personality and best friend Musa Mthombeni also struggled to fight back tears when speaking about their close bond and how they jokingly insulted each other, reminiscing a recent phone call he had with Akhumzi a day before his passing. Mthombeni expressed how much he loved Akhumzi. He ended his eulogy by requesting the congregation to say: "I love you, Akhumzi".
Akhumzi's Urban Brew colleagues - including Sjula Mkhize, LootLove, Lerato Kganyago and Warras - spoke of their friend. Sjula broke down during his speech as he described Akhumzi as family.
Arts and Culture Minister Nathi Mthethwa described Akhumzi as a role model for the youth, who had touched the lives of many South Africans.
The former YoTV presenter and four others, including media personalities Siyasanga Kobese and Thobani Mseleni, were killed in a car crash near Queenstown in the Eastern Cape last Saturday.
Many people who had tuned in on the live broadcast of the funeral flooded social media paying tribute to the star:
This is honestly heart breaking for me. My emotions are everywhere 😭This funeral reminds me of my mothers funeral #AkhumziJezileFuneral— Lasizwe Dambuza (@lasizwe) May 5, 2018
I've never been this hurt by a celebrity's passing. This is too painful 💔 #AkhumziJezileFuneral— Vho-Tali (@talimahlo) May 5, 2018
I've watched a lot of funerals of celebrities but never have I felt it cut deep like Akhumzi's funeral 😢😢 You'd swear I knew him personally . If I feel like this , imagine how people that worked with him day in and day out feel. This is heartbreaking 💔💔 #AkhumziJezileFuneral— † (@_Thato_N) May 5, 2018
Akhumzi's death feels so damn personal. It even forced me to reflect on life. #AkhumziJezileFuneral— Vuyo. (@Vuyo_Unchained) May 5, 2018
Watch the full service: