SENZO'S LEGACY
Drum English|23 January 2020
A new book takes an intimate look at the life of soccer star Senzo Meyiwa, whose murder more than five years ago remains unsolved
BONOLO SEKUDU

THERE were two things Senzo Meyiwa’s father, Sam, wanted to accomplish before he died. He’d hoped to see his son’s killer brought to justice, and for Senzo’s life to be documented in a book so he’s never forgotten.

Sam died without ever seeing justice for his son – but he did manage to make sure his son would be immortalised.

The book Decoding 666_9: The Inexplicable Life of Senzo Meyiwa, written by Soweto Mandlanzi, is already causing a stir and it hasn’t even been officially launched yet.

In it, Soweto reveals how Senzo’s mom, Ntombifuthi Meyiwa, feels about her son’s girlfriend, singer Kelly Khumalo, and how a heartbroken Mandisa Mkhize, the slain soccer player’s wife, dealt with the pain of losing her husband.

It’s been more than five years since the Orlando Pirates goalkeeper’s tragic death at 30. But his murder is still one of the most-talked-about crimes in the country.

Of course, it doesn’t help that his killers haven’t been caught. And the question persists: Who shot Senzo?

While Soweto doesn’t have the answer to the crucial question, he tries to give readers an intimate glimpse into the life and times of the talented athlete and the emotions of his immediate family.

“Senzo really had an interesting life,” he says with a sigh.

It took Soweto three to four years to complete the book, which was made even more challenging by the fact Senzo’s killers are still out there. The family is yet to begin the healing process, he says.

While his book is complete, he feels more could be added because “wow, it is a lot of drama”.

Even after five years, Senzo’s death is still so raw that a lot of people he interviewed cried.

“I am certain some of them would not be comfortable with some of the things they revealed once they read the book. Someone who was in the house even says, ‘We all know who killed Senzo – everyone in the house knows who killed Senzo.’

“But I didn’t want to go there, as the intention of the book wasn’t to focus on the murder case but to tell his life story.”

SOWETO started working on the book two years after Senzo’s death, after Sam asked him to meet to discuss documenting his son’s life.

“The family did not know me personally but heard about me. I get featured as a motivational speaker on Ukhozi FM’s breakfast show, but we met coincidentally in Umlazi [KwaZulu-Natal].

“Senzo’s father first asked me to help with finding the killer and I knew I could not help with that. The second thing he wanted was for me to write his son’s life story,” Soweto says.

The first time the author went to the Meyiwa house, Sam had gone out.

“I had to convince uMa that I was not a journalist so she would let me in. Sam was notified that I was in his home and rushed back from where he was,” he says.

Sam, who has since died, didn’t want his son’s name to be forgotten.

Continue reading your story on the app

Continue reading your story in the magazine

MORE STORIES FROM DRUM ENGLISHView All

Homegrown Heroes

Drum speaks to two volunteers in the Covid-19 vaccine trial and the professor heading the team in Africa

5 mins read
Drum English
9 July 2020

The Big Clean Up

Whenever a Covid-19 case is confirmed at a shop, they call in the deep-cleaners. We find out exactly how they disinfect stores and supermarkets

5 mins read
Drum English
9 July 2020

I'm Back & Better!

Babes Wodumo shares what she’s been up to in lockdown – and there’s some new music on the horizon

5 mins read
Drum English
9 July 2020

Not An Easy Ride

Taxi commuters and industry players tell DRUM what’s driving them to defy lockdown rules

5 mins read
Drum English
16 July 2020

Mam' Mary Bows Out

Iconic actress Mary Twala is fondly remembered by friends and family for her humour and talent

6 mins read
Drum English
16 July 2020

‘They Lived For Each Other'

This Cape Town teen’s parents died from Covid-19 on the same day. Now she’s alone and battling the virus too

6 mins read
Drum English
9 July 2020

Stranger Than Fiction

For actor Mangaliso Ngema and his daughter Khosi Ngema, her role in Blood & Water was like watching their family’s real-life story unfold

5 mins read
Drum English
9 July 2020

I Was Raped By A Pastor

His accusations against a well-known man of the cloth turned an Eastern Cape man’s life into turmoil but now more victims have spoken out

5 mins read
Drum English
16 July 2020

My Fight With Life And Death

More Covid-19 patients, too few beds and staff, constant sanitising and personal fears – a Western Cape doctor shares her experience

6 mins read
Drum English
16 July 2020

I AM ENOUGH

Ten years after being set alight, Thembi Maphanga is living life to the fullest

5 mins read
Drum English
9 July 2020
RELATED STORIES

Locals Only

A cabaret star asks: Can you find yourself without leaving home?

4 mins read
New York magazine
January 17 - 30, 2022

BRITNEY'S PLAN B FOR MOTHERHOOD

Pop tart & fiancé eye surrogate - just in case!

1 min read
National Enquirer
January 17, 2022

days of our lives

Across The Pond: Jack (Matthew Ashford) and Jennifer (Melissa Reeves) had a big send-off chez Horton before moving to England.

4 mins read
Soap Opera Digest
January 17, 2022

OUTLANDER'S FRENCH KISS

Ooh la la! Claire and Jamie head to the City of Lights for Season 2 of Starz's sizzling drama

6 mins read
TV Guide Magazine
Outlander Forever

CLAIRE & JAMIE'S AMERICAN DREAM

The Frasers build a new life full of danger and family turmoil in 1700s North Carolina-but there's still plenty of steamy romance

6 mins read
TV Guide Magazine
Outlander Forever

To Dakar and Back

21 Days Across North Africa and Back

3 mins read
Adventure Motorcycle (ADVMoto)
January - February 2022

CIA & MOB TEAMED TO POISON CASTRO!

Newly declassified JFK documents bare twisted conspiracy

1 min read
National Enquirer
January 10, 2022

KIM'S REVENGE

SUCH A SAMANTHA! KIM CATTRALL GETS A LITTLE CATTY ABOUT THE SEX AND THE CITY REBOOT.

1 min read
Star
January 03, 2022

Believe in the Beat

From Broadway to Breakin’ and beyond, Godfather of Street Dance the late Adolfo “Shabba-Doo” Quinones discusses the Lockers, Lionel, and his legacy in his final interview from 2020

10+ mins read
Music Video Time Machine
Issue #1

Because Our Underworld Is World Class

Samuel Fuller (1912–1997) became a newspaper copy boy when he was just 12. By the time he was 17, he was working the murder beat for the New York Evening Graphic, a tabloid so lurid it was known as the New York Pornographic. Fuller knew a good lede when he saw one.

5 mins read
New York magazine
December 6-19, 2021