RHODES University and friends and family of Amanda Tweyi, who was gunned down in a university residence last week, paid tribute to the 21-year-old
student at a memorial service.
Some of her fellow students cried quietly in the beautiful Rhodes chapel yesterday as those who knew her best described her as a calm, loving and always ready-to-laugh person who adored her two-year-old son.
Tweyi was shot in a men’s residence last week in what police believe was a murder- suicide.
Her boyfriend, 34-year-old Nkosinathi Nqabisa, who was visiting from King William’s Town, was found dead in the same room with what is believed to be a self- inflicted gunshot wound to the head.
The service was attended by dozens of students from Cullen Bowles, the residence in which Tweyi was shot, as well as from her own residence, Rosa Parks.
University heavyweights, including vice-chancellor Saleem Badat and his two deputies, Sizwe Mabizela and Peter Clayton, sat behind Tweyi’s family.
Tweyi’s little son, oblivious of the solemnity of the occasion, delighted all by chatting merrily to his grandfather.
Acting dean of students Dr Colleen Vassiliou, who is also a counselling psychologist, told students it was natural they should feel troubled, distressed and saddened by the tragedy.
Tweyi’s sister, Talina, 18, described Amanda as a friendly person who loved people. “She loved spending time with her family, especially her grandmother and her son.”
Kimberley Hall warden Dr James Gambiza described the incident as heart- wrenching.
Speaking on behalf of Rosa Parks residence, Sandra Motatu said the residence had lost a sister and a friend. “She is gone before her time.” The women from her residence stood in honour of their friend while Motatu spoke.
There was a strong undercurrent of activism that ran through the ceremony. Some students arrived wearing purple T-shirts condemning gender violence.
Rhodes Students Representative Council president Brad Bense said Tweyi’s death was a reminder to all to make a more concerted effort to deflect gender and domestic violence. – Adrienne Carlisle