Sanele’s light lives on at Sea Point High

Family, friends and pupils release balloons in honour of Sanele Mdikane.

It was with heavy hearts that Sea Point High School bid a final farewell to one of its pupils, Sanele Mdikane who died in a taxi accident on the N2 two weeks ago.

Family, friends and pupils from other schools gathered at Sea Point High’s hall for a memorial service to honour the 15-year-old Grade 10 pupil.

Sanele was described as a quiet girl who loved singing and had a love for worship.

Best friend Fundiswa Ntshali talked about their friendship. She said they had plans for their future. She wished she could have time with Sanele again and tell her how much she loved her.

“She brought out the best in me. Ever since I heard the news about her tragic death, I’ve been reminiscing about the moments I shared with her. I’ve been so torn to a point where I wished someone would hit me so hard that the physical pain could overpower the emotional pain that I’m feeling, at least physical pain heals eventually,” she said.

Sanele’s father Vuyisa Mdikane said he has other children but Sanele was his favourite. “She’d often ask whether I was happy to have such a beautiful child and I’d say, ‘Yes, my child, you look just like me’.”

Mr Mdikana joked that Sanele could be a lazy child at home. “When it was her turn to cook she would not even eat her food, but when her mother and sister did, she’d be licking fingers,” he said.

Mr Mdikane said they did not blame God for Sanele’s tragic death, but he never thought he would be standing in front of the whole school and talking about the death of his child.

He said he wanted her to finish school and accomplish great things in life because she had plans for her future.

He thanked the school and the pupils from other schools who had come out in numbers to show support and sympathise with the family.

Mr Mdikane said the support the family has received showed that Sanele was loved. “The other day, she came home complaining that she was being punished at school because of her short skirt. I’m against short skirts and I gave her my last money to get a new one and gave her a stern warning that she mustn’t cut or shorten it,” said Mr Mdikane.

The school’s head of Grade 10, Sonia van Zyl said the light of Sanele will shine at Sea Point High School forever.

“I know it’s hard for her parents but it’s also very hard for us at the school to lose a pupil because we get so attached to them and it feels like we’ve lost our own child,” she said.

Mother Zoliswa Mdikana said she was still coming to terms with the tragic death of her child. She said she knows that God will give them strength. “As a mother, I don’t think I’ll be able to forget her. She will always have a special place in my heart.”