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MBABANE – Pupils from St Francis Primary School rendered a moving eulogy for Tiyandza Simphiwe Nzima, a fellow pupil who died after allegedly ingesting a concoction with her parents.  

Born September 28, 2011, Tiyandza’s vibrant 12-year-old life was cut short on Friday June 2, 2023, after allegedly drinking what was believed to be indayela (a concoction made of different caffeinated products). Her friends from school remembered her as a very bubbly person, who was always smiling and in good terms with everyone. She hailed as one of the best dancers in school. She left school on Friday afternoon in a happy mood and even shared a few dance moves with some of her friends. Taking chances to remember their friend, some of the pupils shared with the mourners that they never thought of anything worse when she did not come to school on the following Monday.


They said it was only on Tuesday that rumours started making rounds that their friend had passed on. The school fell into dead silence followed by sobs and mourning from both teachers and pupils on the Wednesday, when the news was finally confirmed that Tiyandza had died. Her obituary reflects that she was the apple of her mother’s eye. It was also stated that she was very smart, loved attention and was a very attentive child. The Grade VI pupil told her late mother that she was going to get a merit in Grade VII and was going to build a successful future for herself. St Francis Primary School Principal also joined the pupils and hailed Tiyandza as one of the best students at the school. “We never knew that the analogy of an empty chair exists in the real world. On Monday we saw it and the pupils saw it that Tiyandza’s chair was empty in class and her desk was also empty. She is not going to come back to sit on that chair and learn from that desk. She is gone forever and we will always remember her for being a clean pupil. She was clearly in the hearts of all the pupils as you have seen them and as a school we will keep all the good memories we shared with her in our hearts,” said Mthupha.

Mthupha was speaking to close to 500 mourners at Mbabane Assemblies of God Auditorium where a memorial service was held in honour of the three Zion church members. Tiyandza, her 41-year-old mother and 42- year old father were found dead inside their house at Mdzangwini, in Mbabane. The three family members were discovered dead last week. The deaths were confirmed by Chief Police Information and Communications Officer Superintendent Phindile Vilakati yesterday. “On June 2, 2023 at about 9pm three family members were discovered lying dead inside a house after having ingested a concoction (indayela),” said Vilakati. Vilakati said details on the death were still being investigated and the police were not in a position to share more information on the matter. Family members at the memorial service revealed that they were waiting for post-mortem and autopsy results to ascertain what happened to the family.

Bongani was a church leader who had recently established a church branch at Mdzangwini, where he also had a home, and was about to be ordained. Narrating the events that unfolded to our daily publication, Sabelo Mabaso, a helper who assisted the family with gardening and maintenance and was first on the scene, said they were supposed to meet with the Nzima family at church. Mabaso stated that the church leader (Bongani) would normally cook the concoction (indayela), which was a mixture of different brands of tea, incense, milk and other additives. “On the day the incident happened last Friday, he was supposed to mix the concoction and bring it to church to share with other members, as usual,” said Mabaso. He stated that every Friday, they would pray at the church or have choir practice. Mabaso said though he would usually go to the Nzima homestead every morning, on the fateful Friday, he had not.
Mourners at the memorial said Bongani was a polite person who loved his family and church. He was also praised for helping people and putting them first before his own needs.