Farewell May Biyela a.k.a Mkhulu MENZIWA
Ndabezitha, Zulu, Mageba, a maternal grandchild of Khanyile clan.
A funeral service with a difference was attended by community members and Victorious Ministries Church International (VMCI) whose congregants are of the LGBTQIA community. Majority of those present were women.
Date : 08.12.2019
Venue: Biyela Village (Esgodini sakwa Biyela) Eshowe, KwaZulu-Natal
Start time: 10:45
Presiding Pastor: Apostle Zungu
Funeral Home: Icebolethu
In attendance: VMCI congregation, family and friends
Succeeded by wife: Rita Plaatjies a.K.a Maplaatjies
Children: 2 daughters and a son with grandchildren
Siblings: one sister
IN WORSHIP: VMCI CHOIR
Leading worshipper: Mbali Biyela
Documentation: Inkanyiso Crew
Thobeka Bhengu, Lizzie Ziqubu & Zanele Muholi
Zungu conducted burial rights, welcoming of the body and ushering of the coffin into the house to perform burial rituals and led it into the tent where the last funeral service of Menziwa took place.
Lighting of candles was performed by congregants, taking turns in holding the white candles followed prayer Evangelist Mngoma.
Pastor Nkambule presided as MC over the farewell service. Bathini Dambuza read the obituary. GOGO BIYELA spoke on behalf of the family to welcomed all who attended and assured the community that they were safe and did not need to feel to feel unwelcome, the family knew of the late community lifestyle and it is something that existed long ago even with our great ancestors. Spoke highly of Menziwa as the Princess of the Biyela clan who chose Christ as a way.
Senzelwikhaya song followed Gogo Biyela speech as that was Mkhulu Menziwa favorite song.
Community speaker, Mr Sabela bided farewell to May. Then May’s grandson Sthembile (whom Mkhulu raised as His son) thanked his mother for raising and sang Mkhulu’s song, Izintombi nezinsizwa ezinhle.
Sphephile Shandu, May’s granddaughter performed “Inkondlo” /Poem bidding farewell her grandmother, blaming death for robbing her of more time with her grandmother whom she referred to as her twin due to striking resemblance between them.
Mr Xaba who spoke on behalf of friends, touched on their last days together deciding on the final resting home where Mkhulu expressed wish of being put to His final home next to His biological family, at His Home. Xaba, then sang “I am going home” as a goodbye to his friend.
VMCI special choir group ( Inkazimulo) rendered items of worship as their way to bid farewell.
Baba Mkhize spoke on behalf of the church. He gave a background of the church whose mission and goal is to grant home and hope to the excluded community of LGBTQIA+ members who are often judged and excluded from main stream churches. He touched on how dedicated Menziwa was as a Christian and a member of the church.
Gogo Biyela came back to acknowledge Mkhulu’s partner whom she left out when she spoke of Her later brother. She welcomed her as official wife of late Menziwa whom they never met in person.
Grandchildren Sthembiso and Nompendulo spoke on behalf of the grandchildren
Pastor Sibisi delivered the Sermon for the service,
Opened Cor 2 verse 5
Which He used to encourage the family to be strong with the knowledge that, the body is just an empty shell which houses our souls and spirit, which some day will give in. Encouraged the family to find comfort in knowing that, Menziwa prepared for his journey, He was in Christ.
Apostle Zungu performed last burial rights for late Menziwa and the service proceeded to Mkhulu’s final home on earth at Malibele Grave yard where the Biyela family lay their loved ones.
A sad day of loss that celebrated life of the Hero in a dignified manner with praise and humility.
A human life is beyond sexuality, colour and societal classification. We are all humans before all else.
Rest in perfect, Menziwa