EVERY day from the time he was diagnosed with bipolar disorder as a young boy until his death, Zibuzele “My Soul” Nqezo would go in and out of salons, doctors’ offices and butcheries in New Brighton telling stories to make people laugh.
An institution in the Port Elizabeth township, the often well-dressed and slightly built “My Soul” died at home last week after complaining of shortness of breath.
The 59-year-old, known for his signature quote, “We are all mad, we just differ in levels of madness”, was diagnosed at a time when mental illness was regarded as witchcraft but he never let it stand in the way of his happiness, according to his family.
His sister, Bandlakazi, said he was popular because he was able to get people to smile even if they were having a bad day. “Every day he would wake up, wash, iron his clothes and go visiting at the different businesses.
“He was loving, always ready to give, even when he had nothing. And if he had wronged someone during one of his episodes, he would always apologise.”
Bandlakazi said her brother had first had a breakdown when he was in what was then Standard 6, and after he was diagnosed as bipolar, he was never able to go back to school.
She said there would be a memorial service for “My Soul” today at the Nangoza Jebe small hall at 5pm.
Nqezo’s funeral service will start at 7am on Saturday at his home in Connechar Street in New Brighton, before moving to the Arthur Wellington Hall in Aggrey Road at 8.30am.
He is survived by two sisters and a brother. – Thulani Gqirana