Bra Vus was one of those who was going to live forever. In fact, I always thought he would one day deliver the eulogy at my funeral
LAST week a stalwart in the media industry passed away. Those who had the honour and privilege to just know Vusi ‘Ike’ Tukakhomo can count their blessings.
I was shocked when I heard of the death of Bra Vus on Tuesday last week. In my mind, Bra Vus was one of those who was going to live forever. In fact, I always thought he would one day deliver the eulogy at my funeral.
No words can ever describe the life of such a prolific man who had an influence and effect on everyone who crossed paths with him.
My first encounter with him was in December 1990 when I first walked into the DFA newsroom. I was all fresh-faced, innocent, naive and having one dream – to be a reporter.
Having just completed my matric two years prior, I was a true novice in the newsroom. I almost missed Bra Vus on my first day. He was quiet, minding his own business plodding away on his typewriter.
I think that is what drew me to him.
We eventually started talking and having real conversations. I was totally enamoured by what he would tell me about the people he had met on the street and what their stories were all about.
I could also share my dreams and aspirations about being a reporter with him. He would never judge me or look down on me. In fact he was always encouraging me.
As the years went on, our rather “unconventional” friendship saw me scavenging through his lunch box on a daily basis.
His wife Sylvia always used to prepare the most divine sandwiches packed in this red lunchbox with a white lid or, if we were lucky, we would be blessed with a cake every now and then from her kitchen.
I have to say that they were some of the nicest cakes.
I now have to make a confession. I’m sorry Bra Vus, sometimes when you weren’t in the office and I couldn’t wait for you to come back, I would sneak a sandwich out of your lunchbox.
I knew you never minded because I think you knew it was me. You would just smile, not say a word and eat the rest of your lunch.
I will also not forget the day you had your accident with the train. I remember getting a message about what had happened and that you requested the then editor of the DFA, Kevin Ritchie, and my presence at your hospital bed. Even though it wasn’t the greatest circumstance, the fact that you wanted me there speaks volumes.
I must have meant something to you and your family.
I also know how much your family meant to you and how much you loved them.
Everything you did was for them. I know you spent a lot of time away from them telling the stories that needed to be told, but you made sure that everyone knew that you were doing it for your family.
Bra Vus’ family made many sacrifices, allowed him to be part of so many people’s lives. I know I am the richer for it.
He has left a legacy. He left so many lives richer. He has run his race, it is now time for him to rest. Thank you, Bra Vus for all you have meant to me and to many city residents.