‘She calls for him and realises he’s gone’: Back home, Babes is faced with Mampintsha’s death

11 January 2023 - 12:33
By Joy Mphande
Babes Wodumo is longing for her late husband Mampintsha.
Image: Gallo Images / Sowetan / Veli Nhlapo Babes Wodumo is longing for her late husband Mampintsha.

The footsteps leading home after losing a spouse can be the most hollow and lonely. For Bongekile Simelane, popularly known as Babes Wodumo, it has left her calling out for Mampintsha.

Big Nuz member Mandla “Mampintsha” Maphumulo died on December 24 after a minor stroke. 

After laying her spouse to rest at Lala Kahle Cemetery in Durban on December 30 2022, Babes was accompanied by her family to her marital home for lunch. Once the funeral formalities were out of the way, she faced the reality that the love of her life was no more. 

She is a 28-year-old single mother to a two-year-old boy, Sponge, comforted by the love her husband showered her with while he was alive. 

While her online persona might suggest it is business as usual, her shedding tears on stage during recent performances prove otherwise.

At home, while occasionally visited by in-laws and close friends to offer her support, her empty bed at night is a reminder she is widowed.  

"The sad thing is the bed is empty and she needs to take up more responsibilities. Babes is strong. What I like about her is that she didn't change her character," Babes' sister Nondumiso Simelane told TshisaLIVE.

She said a grieving Babes catches herself calling out for her sweetheart. 

"She misses him a lot. She would call for him then realises he is gone."  

Nondumiso is confident Babes will be able to pick up the pieces after her loss and provide for her son. 

She recalls how the musician easily assumed the role to raise her nephew while she was doing promotions before her fame. 

"Raising Sponge is going to be easy for her. She raised my child. What would be difficult for her this time around?

"Babes will be fine. A lot of things in the house were Babes' responsibility. She has been hands on. The only difference is that she has access to Mampintsha's money, but Babes is still enjoying royalties from her Wololo hit song. I don't see how she would go broke."

Mampintsha's family have criticised Babes' grieving, including her revealing she had access to her partner's phone.


Nondumiso said she was dismayed by Mampintsha's family continuously trending for stirring up drama instead of sympathising with Babes.

"Emotionally, she is not okay. She needs to fix herself first. She needs to heal but that woman (Mampinstha's sister) is not giving her time to heal and get a grip on reality and how to move forward."