Ayanda, Simz and Letsego: Brave individuals with lives, not just widows…

We look at three strong women after becoming widows who are negotiating their lives after the loss of their celebrity husbands: Ayanda Ncwane, whose award-winning Gospel singer husband Sifiso died of complications arising from kidney failure; Simphiwe Ngema who lost her husband and actor Dumi Masilela, following an attempted hijacking in Tembisa, and Letshego Zulu, who lost her husband and race car driver Gugu Zulu, on Mount Kilimanjaro.

Ayanda Ncwane

After the tragic death of award-winning gospel singer and husband, Sifiso Ncwane, Ayanda  opened up about loss and the process of moving forward. The couple met when she was only 18 and their love grew stronger over the years. She spoke about how culture has been twisted when it comes to being widows. A woman must lose her identity when she is widowed, all she becomes is a widow and that has trends in fashion. She shouldn’t have to ‘wear a certain colour of clothes to be identified as a widow’.

The businesswoman continues to wear bright, beautiful colours as she appealed to churches and communities to continue to embrace women who have lost their husbands as firstly human beings.

She told Sunday World ‘it wasn’t easy for people to see her because they expected her to die with Sfiso’.

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“Because spiritually, you are linked together. You know you can feel that you are dead, but glory be to Jesus because on the same day you say… during the vows you say the words ‘till death do us part’ and then a part of you has separated. So, you pick yourself up from scratch,” she also said on SABC3’s Trending SA.

Simphiwe Ngema

Dumi Masilela played the role of street kid Sifiso on the e.tv soap opera Rhythm City. Earlier this year, Simphiwe shared a picture with the date “03 August” on it, writing: “Someone in me died with you on this day.”

On Metro FM’s Fresh Breakfast show the actress shared her experience, “After Dumi passed away everything came crumbling down for me. My dreams, I mean we dreamt together, so, that means everything that I had dreamt of was wiped, so I had to start dreaming again, and start hoping again.” She later shared – in a heart breaking post – her decision to put away her wedding ring.

Letshego Zulu

Letshego and Gugu Zulu were among a group of people attempting to summit Mount Kilimanjaro. It was for a charity raising funds for ‘Caring for Girls’, an initiative provides sanitary pads for schoolgirls. Tragically, Gugu died after suffering respiratory problems. The fitness guru promised she would return and climb the mountain once again in his honour, which she did. In June this year, she spoke publicly about wanting to honour her husband’s memory.

“I was on autopilot, but I am fully aware now of what is happening. I have had to prepare for this climb emotionally and it has been difficult. I still haven’t completely processed everything that has happened, but I am taking it one step at a time,” she said.

Every woman deals with the death of their spouse differently but it’s so important to see these women who live in the spotlight doing their best to cope with their grief and trying to be positive after suffering such tragic loss. They teach everyone a valuable life lesson: Keep moving forward.

The post ‘Women First, Then Widows: Celebs Speak Out About Loss’ appeared first on People magazine.