OPINION | Dr Sindi taught us a lesson in humanity on what can be a very inhumane platform

15 April 2021 - 07:00 By chrizelda kekana
DJ Dr Sindi van Zyl died on April 10, her family announced.
DJ Dr Sindi van Zyl died on April 10, her family announced.
Image: Twitter/Kaya FM

Death sucks! I really wanted to get that out of the way because above all thoughts I have had this week, the undisputed pop-up in my brain has been that.

It's ridiculous that while we all know death is coming for us, it is still so shocking when it arrives, especially when it takes the best among us ... people like Dr Sindi van Zyl.

Death never gives, it only takes, which is the opposite of what Dr Sindi stood for.

Everyone who knew Dr Sindi was certain about her stance on the “cake” Twitter thread, which was a very popular thread she tweeted, warning people about the addictive and detrimental effects of a certain brand of painkiller readily available in Mzansi.

That's how I learnt about Dr Sindi for the first time and she was already neck deep in helping people. She was providing information that saves lives, the kind of information not many people were prepared to share.

I clicked the follow button on Twitter and never looked back. I have loads of her threads on different health subjects bookmarked and saved, in case I need that info one day. I also followed Dr Sindi straight to Kaya FM when she got that “dream” job.

Since I've followed her, I've watched her help and treat people with so much humanity that when she was taking over the TL, one quickly forgot that Twitter was the home of relentless trolls and constant hurting.

For all the good things Twitter may be, or give, it gives twice as much in toxic interactions and triggering words for people suffering with mental health issues.

It makes perfect sense that when people take social media sabbaticals, they mainly deactivate or uninstall Twitter because no other social media platform matches up to the inhumane treatment people dish to each other on it. 

But that space quickly changed when Dr Sindi was doing her thing, proving how powerful the “Dr Sindi effect” was.

No matter the day she was having or how good or bad she was feeling, Dr Sindi radiated humility in her interactions, her jokes and, even when she was calling trolls to order, you never got the feeling that she was intentionally trying to hurt anyone.

Like many people, I learnt about her love for her hubby Marinus van Zyl and her two adorable kids Nandi and Manie, affectionately known as the “Caramelos”. I learnt about her love for Woolies and LV and near crazy-obsession with dresses that had pockets or bold colours or prints. And I got to love her like many others, because I quickly realised she was filled with love herself.

I never physically met the good doctor and so I can't speak about her aura or possibly talk about the facets of her I never interacted with. However, I know that after her death, I felt a terrible loss.

It has since dawned on me that it may be because, on what I consider the most inhumane social media platform, I met someone whose humility didn't have an off button. That is a rare quality and it makes sense, because as a human being, Sindi was a rare as they come.

Just by living, Sindi gave a lesson in humility and that lesson will stay with most of us for a long time ... Along with all her life-saving threads.

May her soul rest in peace.


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