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Nelli Tembe’s former teachers share fond memories of her

13 April 2021 - 13:30 By deepika naidoo
AKA and his fiancée Nelli Tembe in happier times.
AKA and his fiancée Nelli Tembe in happier times.

As those close to AKA’s fiancée Nelli Tembe battle to come to terms with her tragic death, her former school teachers have added their voices to waves of tributes in her honour. 

Nelli apparently fell from the 10th floor of the five star Pepperclub Hotel in central Cape Town on Sunday. News of the 22-year-old’s death was confirmed by her family. 

“We are still in shock and are dealing with our emotions as she was an exceptional and gifted young woman with so much life ahead of her,” read part of the family’s statement. 

Police are investigating the incident.

Nelli grew up in Durban and attended Durban Girls’ College, where her former teachers have described her as a “respectful and humble young lady”. 

Sershni Naidoo, one of Nelli’s high school teachers, remembers how fond Nelli was of her teacher’s dog, Misty.  

“She was a bubbly young woman who enjoyed the finer things in life. She was very passionate about her cooking, fashion and beauty. I remember when she was little, she had this immense love for animals. She always used to stop by my car to see my dog Misty who  accompanied me to school."

Zuziwe Mdladla, another teacher who taught Nelli, said she was passionate about her language, isiZulu.  

“Anele was a very respectful and humble young lady who took pride in her language, isiZulu.

“She was a resilient young lady who was popular with her peers. Anele was stylish and well-groomed. She will be remembered for her genuine  smile and willingness to take part in isiZulu forum discussions. She was a pleasure to have in class.”

Nelli’s former school friends have also flooded social media with tributes for her. 

Close family member and US-based actress and musician Nondumiso Tembe who viewed Nelli as her “baby sister”, spoke about the heartbreak her death has left. 

“My baby, Ngiphelelwe amazwi. Words fail me right now. We will hold you in our hearts forever. Lala kahle, mbali yethu,” she wrote.