Today South Africa said goodbye to a broadcasting legend. To be honest, my experience of Vuyo Mbuli was rather limited – I used to listen to his afternoon talk show on the radio as a student and only seldom watched the breakfast news show where he was anchor. But there’s no doubt that he was one of the best and most beloved news men ever produced by our country. You only need to read this tribute to get a good idea how people felt about him.
I had been following him on twitter as well for the past few months. This morning, as I was reading the articles and tweets regarding his funeral, something made me search for his Twitter profile. I guess I was wondering whether it had been deleted or perhaps updated by a family member or something. Instead, I found the last tweet sent by Vuyo himself.
Last week Saturday Vuyo was at a rugby match when he collapsed of what would turn out to be a pulmonary embolism. His last tweet? The score shortly after half-time. His team was winning.
I just about broke down when I saw this, which was silly, really – it’s not as if I knew him. Then I realised, it must have been mere minutes after he tweeted this that he collapsed. That made me wonder: if Vuyo had known this will be his last tweet ever, it this what he would have said? Maybe someone who knew him better could answer this. Maybe he loved rugby so much he would be happy with his last tweet being about rugby. I don’t know.
The point is, he was out with his son enjoying the game. He was 46 years old (a decade younger than my parents). By just looking at him you’d judge him healthy. He loved his job and his family and was loved by many. And without any warning he was gone.
I realised that this can happen to any of us. It’s not just the old, or sick, or infirm who dies. Death can strike any of us. Whether by accident, an act of violence or natural causes, our flame can be snuffed out at any moment. And what would be left should that happen? What have I done that would remain after I’ve gone? Will I be willing to “live” with my last tweet for ever?
We have a limited time on earth. We only have so long to leave our mark. This morning Vuyo reminded me of that. In my life he has left his mark.
Thanks, Vuyo, for letting us all be part of your life.