WATCH | ‘Lindani never abandoned me’: Humble beginnings for a man of royal blood

25 May 2021 - 14:43 By emile bosch

Siyabonga Mtshali chuckles as he recounts his childhood years spent laughing with cousin Lindani Myeni among the mountains of Ubombo in northern KwaZulu-Natal. 

“We took each other as friends at first. We didn’t know we were related,” Mtshali says. 

According to Mtshali, the two enjoyed a typical boyhood filled with joy, troubles and, of course, mischief. Their innocent youth developed into a lifelong cherished friendship.

“We were always happy together. We treated each other more as friends than family,” Mtshali says. 

He believes he was lucky to get to know Lindani’s character through their lifelong friendship.

“It is true that he was a gentle giant. He was always calm, collected, a forgiving person, a loving person and mostly he loved making friends. As you can see, Lindani had friends all over the world.”

His great aunt Beatrice Nhleko watched Lindani blossom as a young boy. 

“Lindani was always a happy child. He liked singing, running around and playing. He was always busy with other kids. He was a very lovely child,” she says. 

Lindani grew up in the same Ubombo homestead as the two previous generations of his bloodline.

Nhleko said the surrounding community is a peaceful place where most people are related. 

“Cousins, uncles, aunts we are almost all related around here.

“Lindani is from a royal family, the Ntsinde family,” she says.

Friends and family say Lindani always looked forward to new adventures, new friendships and new experiences. 

For the full four-part feature, click here.