People from all walks of life gathered at Bolotwa, Dutwya, in the Eastern Cape, for the funeral of the late social activist and businessman, Gwebindlala Makhonya Mkiva. Mkiva was buried on Saturday, 15 August 2009. He was 77 years old. Speaker after speaker regaled the mourners with stories of the fatherly role that Mkiva played both in the village of his birth and further afield. Friends fondly recalled his days in Langa, Cape Town, where he worked as a migrant worker. While there, he formed a football club, TK Spearing Lions. The club’s unrivalled success highlighted Makhonya’s extensive management skills. Makhonya, a great orator whose skills were widely on demand at funerals and weddings, had the special ear of the late King Xolilizwe as an advisor. Among the mourners who came to pay their last respects were MP and Prince Mandla Mandela; Xhosa King, Zwelonke Sigcawu and Prince Xhanti Sigcawu; Minister of Labour, Membathisi Mdladlana; Chairperson of the Congress of Traditional Leaders of South Africa, Patekile Holomisa; artists Lundi, and the Lusanda Spiritual Group. Mkiva was the father of world renowned praise poet, Zolani Mkiva.
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