Tributes have poured in for a pillar of the Gugulethu community who fought passionately for what she believed in.
Royal Princess of AmaTshawe, Zelda Phillips passed away at the age of 45 at Groote Schuur Hospital on February 27.
At the heart of many campaigns, she was instrumental in organising the communication and events for her Majesty Kumkanikazi Nonzuzo Sigcawu in Nqadu, Eastern Cape; Eastern Cape Awards with Gugulethu’s Phumzile Nteyi, and as a public relations executive at the X Royale Studios.
AmaTshawe and the Gugulethu community packed the Luyolo Community Centre hall last Thursday, March 9, prior to Ms Phillips funeral on Saturday, to celebrate her life.
The memorial service was also attended by the Eastern Cape’s two princes, Mlungisi Ndamane and Siphiwi Salakuphathwa, who said they were “incredibly saddened” by the loss of their princess and a sister.
“We are all going to miss her bright smile and positive attitude. Zelda was a workaholic who was well known and had a deep list of contacts country wide. With her you would not go wrong. She was not just an ordinary person but a princess. We enjoyed being with her in King’s Palace in Nqadu,” said Prince Ndamane.
Prince Salakuphathwa said the tragic news had shaken the country and the music industry.
“She was a valuable member of X Royale Studios and her sad passing is being felt by many within our industry today. One of the things that hurts most and is highlighted by her passing, is when you look at her network and the respect and appreciation people who have never even met her have for her, shows how it takes loss or an unfortunate incident for us to act, appreciate and support our own,” he told the packed hall.
In a comforting message, Her Majesty Queen Nonzuo urged the family to take solace from the fact that they will be able to mourn her for generations to come through her work and they should be proud of her legacy.
“Unlike other families who still do not know where their loved ones were buried with no reason to be proud. Lala ngoxolo sisi. Ugqatso lwakho ulufezile. ISizwe sakwaXhosa sihlakelwe. Sohlala siyikhumbula imisebenzi yakho. Beluluhle unyawo lwakho , imihle imisebenzi yakho, singa sonke singafunda lukhulu khuwe,” said the Queen.
She acknowledged that people can never get used to death, as it is always painful and at times leaves scars that people will carry with them for a lifetime, however, she said everyone must celebrate her life and the time God has afforded them to live.
Speakers including colleagues and community members all said Ms Phillips was a bubbly and a loving person who respected all.
Her brothers and sisters led by Sigqibo Phillips thanked her for living such a beautiful life.
In closing, Cape Town-based Prince Chistopher Ziwele said the amaTshawe are grateful to all who attended the memorial and the funeral when Ms Phillips was laid to rest on Saturday.