OPINION | Don't be a grinch, Simz Ngema & other widows deserve joy as well

14 August 2020 - 09:00
Simphiwe Ngema has found love once more and it's beautiful to see.
Simphiwe Ngema has found love once more and it's beautiful to see.
Image: Gallo Images / Oupa Bopape

I was minding my own business yesterday when a snap of a pregnant Simphiwe “Simz” Ngema in front of a bright yellow background popped up, and the amount of happiness it gave me was personal.

I took to my WhatsApp to share the news and say how happy I was for Simz and her boyfriend Tino Chinyani. I found that most of the people in my contacts were doing the same. I had a young sigh of relief because I was feeling a bit odd at how personal Simz' joy was to me, and it made me feel better to know I wasn't alone.

In August 2017 Simz became a young widow after her husband, Dumi Masilela, was shot and killed in a botched hijacking.

We all watched Simz go through an unimaginable amount of pain caused by a tragedy so sudden and so brutal that the thought of healing and being restored seemed far-fetched.

I, for one, struggled to get her soft but agonising weeping out of my head after the funeral. That and the image of her, dressed in white, holding on to her father's arm for dear life when she had to throw soil into Dumi's grave.

We watched her break.

After that, we watched her grieve and go through a number of painful firsts.

First birthday without him, first anniversary, and all the other moments she didn't have the strength to share.

So I understand why myself and the many others are so happy to finally watch her glow, win, smile, find love, conceive a child and just be restored.

That is exactly why I was so baffled by all the negativity I saw trying to rain on her parade.

I'm talking about the, “isn't it too soon to be moving on?” people and their cousins. The “Simz doesn't respect her dead husband” crowd.

Ayt, so here's the thing: keep your mouth shut if you have nothing nice to say about people's life achievements and milestones. Never mind those trolling just to troll or for retweets, it's the “we know what's best for her” and “but she hasn't healed properly” crew who really annoy me.

Never mind that African traditions have logically set the mourning period to be 12 months, people deal with and go through loss differently. And, when those people come up for air and attempt to live again, they deserve applause not petty criticism.

What you need to understand is that Simz was ready to settle down and have children. Unfortunately for her, life disrupted her plans by taking the man she had identified as the person to do that with.

It takes a lot for a woman to get there with a man, and rising up after that and aligning yourself with the new reality once that man is gone takes a lot of self-awareness and hard work.

Losing someone to death is difficult, but losing someone you planned a life with is even more tragic.

That they are gone will never change, and the truth is: the loss will always be felt because one never really stops mourning.

So, if Simz was to wait to “get over Dumi completely” before moving on, as some suggested, then she would never have moved on.

That's no way to live.

Now, for all the other unnecessary xenophobic comments on her Zimbabwean-born partner's timeline, all I will ask is how you are not ashamed to tweet such rubbish?

Simz deserves every bit of happiness the world has to offer. God knows she's had her share of pain.

That said, from what I can tell, Tino has a lot of people to answer to if he even thinks about breaking her heart.

Also, how can you hate on such a miracle that is bringing a life into this world? All it should do is leave you hopeful that God restores.