From a framed graduation photograph, the glittering smile of Aviwe Jam Jam greets visitors as they walk into her home in Site C, Khayelitsha.
A further two pictures on either side above the television in the sitting room, from her graduation at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT) in 2013, glare at people while they sit down.
Growing up in a relatively poor neighbourhood, the images bare testimony to the hard work, sacrifice and determination the 26-year-old had to improve her life, that of her family and her two-year-old son.
However, herpromising life was cut short when she was brutally murdered last month.
Her battered body was found by a security guard inside Vygieskraal Stadium, in Athlone, on Sunday July 30. However, her family was only able to identify the body on Tuesday August 8.
Aviwe had studied tourism at CPUT and worked for the Airports Company of South Africa (ACSA) before she mysteriously disappeared.
Grieving family members said she went missing on Saturday July 29.
At the time of her disappearance, she had been staying with her boyfriend in Summerville, near Kuils River.
Her boyfriend has since been arrested in connection with an unrelated case. He has been charged with the attempted murder of Ms Jam Jam’s stepfather, Michael Mguga, as well as malicious damage to property.
He appeared at the Khayelitsha Magistrate’s Court on Friday August 11 and will remain in custody until Friday September 8.
It is alleged that the boyfriend and a group of friends had attacked Mr Mguga at his home in Site C. In an interview with Vukani regarding Aviwe’s death, Mr Mguga said the pair had been staying together for two years and had a two-year-old son. He added that their relationship had never been a good one. “We had to intervene a number of times, and they would be back together again,” he said.
Mr Mguga said the last conversation Aviwe had with her mother, Nomthandazo Jam Jam, was on Friday July 28 when she made an arrangement to drop her son in Site C. He said the couple had planned to attend an “event” in Cape Town on the same evening.
When Aviwe failed to drop the child off, Mr Mguga said they tried to phone her on Saturday morning, but her phones were not answered. When they were eventually answered, Mr Mguga said the boyfriend told them that she had gone to the salon. “That was very strange because this child would never leave her phone behind,” he said.
On Saturday, at midnight, he said they phoned again but the calls went to voicemail. He said they became concerned but opted to wait until they received some feedback from her boyfriend.
On Monday August 7, Mr Mguga said they decided to open a case at Mfuleni police station. A day later, on Tuesday August 8, he said the family was asked by the police to go and identify a body at the government mortuary. It was only then that they learnt of Aviwe’s gruesome killing.
“We are sad. We had high expectations of her. We had hoped that she would elevate our family to another level,” he said. “We did not expect her to die so soon.”
Mr Mguga described Aviwe as a “sweet somebody” who loved her family. “She also loved good things and loved herself. We trusted her with organising all our events,” he said.
The distraught mother could not speak of her child’s death, only saying the family had put their hope in God.
Aviwe will be buried in Dimbaza, on Saturday August 19. A memorial service was scheduled for yesterday.