Drum – 15 August 2019

(Barré) #1

http://www.drum.co.za 15 AUGUST (^2019) | 7
A yearafterhisdeath,ProKid’sgirlfriend


HE death of the Sekele hit-
maker stunned the nation but
it shook Mandisa to her core.
Pro died of a bleeding pancre-
as at the age of 37.
The night before, the rapper
was chatty as usual, she says – but the
next morning he was a shadow of his
old self.
“He looked frail but he didn’t want to
go to the hospital.”
Instead, Pro asked Mandisa to play
him music. “I played gospel because I
could see he wasn’t well. I don’t know
why but it made sense at the time.”
He was singing along to Mary Mary
ofhisgrandfatherwhowasa healerin
ciferfroma distanceandwhenhetried
whenhehithimwitha Bible.Buthe
Thispromptedhertolighta candle
andprayfortherapper.“I’ma pastor’s
kidandI knewwhatthismeant.I knew
deathwascomingforhim.I askedhimif
where, but she knew he was at death’s
“He knew where he wanted to take his
last breath. He was an adult and made
his choice.”
Soon, he took a turn for the worse and
started vomiting. “While I was asking
why he was vomiting, he shouted, ‘This
thing is coming back, please hold me’. I
ran to him and held him,” Mandisa says,
her eyes welling up with tears.
“I thought it was the seisures he
warned us about.”
Before he died, Pro had suffered sei-
zures on two occasions.
Mandisa sobs and Lola picks up the
story. “He was breathing in a very strange
way,” she says.
While Mandisa tried to performed
CPR, Lola called the ambulance.


Zwelakhe was having his
evening cup of coffee while
his son’s life was nearing its
end. “I don’t know if I was
feeling down or needed sol-
ace of my own, but I wasn’t myself,” he
He remembers a knock on the door
and being told to get into the car but
wasn’t told where they were going. When
they arrived at Mandisa’s flat in Joburg
CBD, paramedics were at the scene try-
ing to resuscitate his son.

It feltlikeProwaswaitingforhim,the
old man says. “I kneeled next to him. He
was reluctant to take his last breath. He
held my hand tight and took his last
b r e a t h .”
He had last seen his firstborn a month
before he died. “He was a midnight mov-
er because of his work. He came to see
me in Jabulani, but I was already in bed.
He promised to come back.”
Sadly, it was a promise he couldn’t
keep. Yet Mandisa is comforted by the
fact that, before he died, Pro spent time
with the other woman in his life, mom
Fikile. She passed away in April this year.
“I’m just glad they saw each other be-
fore they both died.”
Having lost his wife and his son within
a year, Zwelakhe has found comfort in
Mandisa, who provided much-needed
answers about Pro’s last few hours alive.
“I needed to quiet the storm, he says. “I
don’t blame Mandisa because ProKid
was an adult. He made his own choices.
I also knew she needed comfort so she
could continue with her life.”
Reports that Pro had drank himself to
death pains him. Zwelakhe says his son
wasn’t an angel, but he never saw Pro
drunk. “I’d see evidence in the form of
empty bottles lying around but my son
was very smart,” he says.
“He had a gift. You could see in his
lyrics, they were deeper than you think.”
One year on, their hearts are still heavy
with grief and longing. “I miss him every
day,” Mandisa says. “My man walked me
to work when he could be anywhere, but
he chose to be with me.
“Pro raisedthebar very high. I doubt
I’ll ever meeta guy who will love me the
way he did.”


‘I doubt I’ll ever meet a

guy who will love me

the way he did’

Prokid’s father Zwelakhe Kheswa (right) reached out to Mandisa (left)
and her friend Lola Mapanya (middle) who were at the flat when his son
died. RIGHT: Prokid was widely believed to be married to Ayanda
Dhlamini, but the late rapper’s father rubbishes the claim.
Free download pdf