Anele Mdizeni had an childhood in which laughter was treasured. At his death, the family gathered in a rondavel, lit only by a single candle, and decided to remember only the good times they enjoyed with him in his short life.
Anele grew up in Cwede near Elliotdale in the Eastern Cape, and started working at the mine when he was 22. Seven years later, he was shot dead.
Vuyisani, his brother, remembered Anele as a talkative young man who went out of his way to make people laugh. “My brother wanted a good life for his family and he knew he had to work hard to achieve his dreams. He took great pride in his job.”
Luvuyo Mveli, Anele’s cousin, said, “We would be in stitches all day. We’d actually go hungry because of laughter. When he saw that his jokes had made us hungry, he would dig into his pocket and buy us some bread.”
His mother, Notshovile Mdizeni, said they were expecting so much from Anele. “My son had big dreams. He wanted to buy a car especially to transport me around.”
Luvuyo said the day they heard Anele had been killed was “a very painful day – everyone was wailing. I can’t explain it any further because it hurts so much.”
Anele, a fervent Pirates fan, married in 2009 and has one child, Asisipho (6). – Thanduxolo Jika