Fitting send-off for Bacardi icon DJ Pencil
African News Agency
IT WAS in March 2015 – on a Sunday morning – after Sammy Moripe was involved in a car accident that he discovered he had cancer. This was revealed at an emotional memorial service and flower dropoff for the Pretoria-based Bacardi musician, known as DJ Pencil, on Thursday at the Mbolekwa Hall in Atteridgeville. He died last Friday at Kalafong Hospital, where he was receiving treatment following his battle with cancer. At the memorial service, broadcast through a live stream on Youtube and Facebook, mourners said the DJ would be widely remembered for his contribution to the music industry in South Africa that gave birth to the amapiano genre. The renowned DJ began his music career in 2010 and was part of the Bacardi duo, Pencil & Zing Master. Born and bred in Atteridgeville, the 40-year-old was a veteran Bacardi and amapiano artist and widely known for his hit singles Suna Papa, Tshwara Tshwara and Serope Ko Ntle. Until his death, he was regarded as one of Bacardi’s greatest assets, and it was his efforts that contributed to the development of many other young upcoming artists. His colleagues in the music industry and loved ones shared tributes, sympathy, and expressions of grief at the service, where his life was celebrated with performances by several of his friends in the music industry, among them Mapentane, Banna Ba Maatla, Bohlale, and JD Monate. Mourners were welcomed by Ezekiel “Judy” Moripe, who thanked everyone for coming to support the family during the difficult time. He asked that people continue praying for the family, especially DJ Pencil’s mother. Family representative Dr Angelina Latakgomo spoke about Moripe’s battle with cancer and how he had tried to look at the positive of life until he succumbed to the disease. “As I'm talking about Sammy, I just want to say that life is a journey that we never know when will end. “I want to encourage you to believe that we are tourists in this world, and God’s plan is always the best for all of us. “Sammy embraced his journey. We don’t know how this journey will end for all us. Only God knows. “When he had that accident, tests were conducted so that they – the doctors – could understand and give guidance if the young guy was injured internally or not. “It was during that time that Sammy found out he had cancer, and like any other person, he didn’t expect it, but it was unfortunately confirmed that Sammy that leukaemia.” But he survived and then started the journey of cancer treatment, which Latakgomo said was a very expensive journey, which he managed. “He was in and out of hospital, but he pushed through until, unfortunately, on March 10, he succumbed because his disease was at an advanced stage.” Paying tribute to his brother and sister, Dikeledi Mojapelo spoke about how Pencil went through the entire process of treatment while still going on with his regular life. “I think that is why so many people were shocked when they found out that Sammy had passed on, because he didn’t show any signs of illness. “We spoke on a regular basis and the last time I spoke to him he was in hospital, saying how tired he was and how he could no longer go on.” Mojapelo also spoke about the DJ’S final days and how he pleaded with his mother to take him to hospital, saying whole body was in pain. Delivering a short yet emotional tribute, his childhood friend Thabiso Mthimkhulu spoke fondly about the muso and shared how their friendship began. “I have known him for most of my life. He was someone who loved life from the first moment I knew him. He knew exactly wanted he want in life. I still can’t believe that he is no longer here.” Speaking about Moripe’s personality, his cousin Boetie Setlhako said he never showed any signs of pain, “Even though we knew he was fighting this disease. “He was always such a cheerful person who just wanted to see everyone happy. “We have been robbed of a brother. We have been robbed of a son to my mother, and we have been robbed of a potential never-ending life with my brother.” Throughout the speeches, guests and fans broke out in songs they said reminded them of who they had just lost as a community and everything he stood for. The family announced that they had already appointed a funeral parlour and said that they would like to thank “everyone that has come forth with the willingness to assist” in making all the arrangements. He is being buried today at Lotus Garden Cemetery.