OPINION: Xazana’s death leaves a gaping void

Siyavuya Khaya
How does one begin to describe 2018? I have tried and perused the dictionary with the hope of finding the exact words to describe what a year it was. 
However, it seems to be a daunting task and a long shot. 

I don’t intend to bring up the bad memories of 2018 or demons that you wrestled with but for some to others it was a year where they lost a parent, sister, brother, cousin, husband, wife or father. 

While to some us ofFor others it was a year that tested our strength, faith and belief in God. 

I’m also aware that to some of you it was a year where you finally managed to start your business while others got their dream jobs to kick-start their careers. 

Well, it is also safe to say that to some of you it was a year that enabled you to finally buy that dream car or house. 

But allow me to state that 2018 has been a year of death period!.This might sound like I’m exaggerating things or making it up. Well I wish I was but, unfortunately, I’m not. 

Death has snatched well-known and loved celebrities in our midst such as HHP, Hugh Masekela, Robbie Malinga and PRO. 

But death has also snatched one of the unsung heroes in Khayelitsha who had devoted and dedicated his entire life to the upliftment of this area. 

He was known as Sipho Raymond Xazana and frequently referred to by  people as “Sikhulu”, which is loosely translated as boss. 
The ever -smiling and soft, tall, dark community activist had made it his mission to uplift others. To say that his death was a loss only to his family I would be lying. The entire community of Khayelitsha is bleeding after his death on December 29. His sudden demise will be felt by the children as well who he loved dearly.

Mr Xazana spearheaded Uyesu Unathi, an NPO just behind Rands in E section, Khayelitsha. He often said he made a pact with himself that the existence of his organisation must help and make a difference to others. 

There is absolutely no doubt that death is an inevitable end which will come when it must come. Death is inevitable and No one can escape it. It truly breaks my heart that nothing can be done to defeat death. Can’t the scientists and academics find a cure for death? I guess all of us one day would be defeated by death. 

But if death comes to loved ones, the grief of those affected could never be fully imagined or explained. And the pain they might be feeling could never be felt by anyone. This is because it becomes very clear that that person could never be seen or heard again. I can’t find the precise words to describe Mr Xazana’s contribution to this area. 

He has fulfilled every obligation he ever undertook. He was never a stingy person and the generosity he showed with his money could be matched by his generosity of spirit. He had no enemies and absolutely never allowed to let another man down. He continuously preached that violence had never solved any problems. He had a very good sense of humour. 

His humour was never meant or designed to hurt or humiliate others. He has never for once treated or uttered unpleasant slurs to others. But he always treated the next person with nothing but kindness, love and respect. 

He simply could not stand to see others suffer. He completely understood the values of education and commitment to community upliftment. He strived in making people the best that they could be. He worked tirelessly for the best interests of his community and he was passionate about it. 

He treated everyone with dignity and he also had a quiet dignity. His death is a loss to the entire country. There are no words to describe his work and the mark Mr Xazana left on the community development work is indelible. Phumla ngoxolo qhawe lase Khayelitsha olwakho uqhantso ulufezile.