Beloved husband, father, brother and friend.


"If life were predictable it would cease to be life, and be without flavor." -Eleanor Roosevelt


Written by Hlangalethu Radebe

From where I sit,

These mountains isolate me.

From the valley of my people,

Beyond the Drakensburg,

Across the Tugela River,

Over the Umkhomzi Pass

Lies the Valley of Nhlangwini.

There the mountains drip with

Springs of clear water,

Every man has his own homestead,

Every hill is a home for cattle,

Every hut is a home for extended family.

There my people live,

They are poor but they are built with love.

Everyone is filled with dignity and respect;

Every man in ‘Baba’,

Every woman in ‘Mama’,

They all are equal and respected.

From where I sit,

These mountains isolate me

From the valley of my people.

Nhlangwini, home of the seeds,

Land of plenty.

IMG_9463 (1)

"I’ll love you forever Dad. Thank you for everything you did. I am proud to call myself your daughter and you will always stay close to my heart. Thank you for fighting for so long."
- Luntu Radebe -

WhatsApp Image 2021-01-09 at 22.24.27
WhatsApp Image 2021-01-10 at 18.22.29

"An intellectual giant, a great political and commercial mind, the best father and husband there ever was.
Oh what a loss, what an extraordinary life, what an epic battle. Thank you, Lord for 23 years of life and love with his beloved son of yours. I will honour his memory for the rest of my life.
Go gently into the good night muntwam. You legend. So proud of all that you achieved in your short life. Go well, go rest on the bosom of your Maker.
Love Always."

Pam Radebe

"This is sad news indeed, may his soul Rest In Peace, the brother fought a gallant fight. Condolences to his family, may they find strength and guidance from the lord during this difficult time."

Shakes Matiwaza

"May his good soul Rest In Peace. So sad when the truly good amongst us depart. A gent of the highest quality."

Ciko Thomas

"One of the very good, honest and sincere ones has left us. My condolences to Pam and the kids."

Archie Mase

Vuyisile was a gem of a friend. I first met him in Atlantic college and was immediately charmed by his bright smile and vivacious personality. Luckily a couple of years later our paths crossed again during his freshman year at Dartmouth college as I was attending Mount Holyoke College which was located a couple of hours away. He had a keen interest in Gandhi and we had so many long conversations about the Indian freedom struggle and the political situation in South Africa. Over the past few years I have watched from afar, as Vuyo battled so valiantly with this terrible disease and I have been filled with awe and respect. Funnily, on my low days he never ceased to pick up my spirits with his fabulous sense of homour and witty comments and whenever I asked him how he was, he always said he was ok. He always put my needs and happiness before his own, even though he was the one enduring so much pain and physical suffering. He truly was one of a kind and I will try to remember all his advice to me, especially asking me to put on my dancing shoes and to go out and enjoy life. Vuyi’s larger than life personality and unique ability to endear himself to one and all will forever be etched in my heart. Keep shining Vuyi and spreading your light, my world is so much brighter, richer and happier for having known you. Thank you for everything. 
Best regards 
Arundhati Mukherjee

"Dearest Vuyi.
You know what’s in my heart, so I won’t say much. Sleep in heavenly peace my brother."

Neo Lesela.

"May his soul rest In eternal peace. He is resting after a long period of suffering. Our prayers are with & his family. "

Molefe Khomo

"Aka lale ngoxolo umfowethu. Deepest condolences to Pam and family."

Jabu Sibisi

"It’s sad that Vuyi is no more but the hardship is finally over. May he Rest In Peace and may his family find solace. His lessons live on."

Mohale Ralebitso

"Our sincere condolences to Pam. She did a difficult and yet great job of looking after him. God bless her!"
- Mpho Diale -

"This is very sad and heartbreaking. A dearly loved brother, mentor, father and friend has left us. May he find eternal peace."

Risana Zitha

"He pushed hard & persevered. Who would've thought he would see 2021... Well done Radebe. Even in the face of extreme hardship you remained resolute and determined. You can now Rest in Peace, Brother."

Motlatsi Mutlanyane

"Vuyo was such a great guy, one of the smartest guys I ever met, he will be missed. May his dear soul rest in eternal peace."

Dumisani Muhlwa


"We have lost a dearest friend and brother. He’ll always be cherished, loved and remembered for his genius, his love of family and the way he honoured his Zulu heritage. We are blessed to have been so close. We will forever speak his name.”​

“My heart broke today. No one in my entire life has ever challenged me and pushed me  to overcome adversity and secondly to be the best version of oneself in every facet of life. What a sharp brain, from the streets of Alex to a top Ivy League school and then to Wall Street. I’m going to miss this guy, a LOT,  and all the shenanigans we got up over 25 years.”

Winston Monale

WhatsApp Image 2021-01-10 at 21.36.49

"Condolences to Pam, Hlanga and Luntu. We will miss your dear husband and father. He was beloved. May his soul rest in peace."

Owen Maubane

"Vuyi fought. May His Soul Rest in Eternal Peace...Strength to Pam and the kids."

Kennedy Memani

"A very good man. He has endured so much suffering. His spirit lives on. Rest in peace Vuyi. Thinking of Pam and the kids."

Mncedisi Mayekiso

"Bhungane om’khulu! What a valiant fight bafo. Okwakho ukwenzile, lala ngokuthala."

Nkululeko L

"We pray that Vuyi’s soul Rests In Peace and Rises In Glory. May Pam and the family find solace in Psalm 23."

Itumeleng Kgaboesele

"May You Rest in Peace Bhungane. Deepest condolences to Pam and family."

Xola Sithole

"Our thoughts and prayers are with his family. Rest easy King."

Thabiso Ado

The man suffered. Let us release him. Ha moya wa hae o robale ka kgotso.  – Winston Monale

Sincere condolences to the family. – Tsepa Ramoriting

Our heartfelt condolences. Akalale ngo xolo uBhungane – Themba Nyembezi

Wonderful soul. MHSRIP. – Andrew Makenete

Vuyi left an exemplary legacy and chartered a path for many to follow. God bless him and his family during this trying time. ~ Musi Skosana

May his soul rest in eternal peace – Tapiwa Munemo

Pam Radebe Portfolio 2006
September 2006

"Rest easy Uncle Vuyi. Wishing love to Hlanga and Luntu and Aunty Pam in such difficult times."

Tshiamo Khoele


“Pam thank you for doing this for Vuyi. Thank you also so much for including his Family (abo Radebe) even though some are very far.This would have meant a lot to him. Vuyi was very fond of his culture and traditions. He was a gent, who was excited by achievement and progress and really sought to establish his standing, not only in the world but also, in his community and family. His story can be a best-selling book. The years he suffered illness, showed his fighting spirit and also his wit and naughty character. I pray for love, peace and joy in your life with your kids.”

~ Lwazi Mzozoyana

"One of our finest is gone! Consummate professional, brilliant at everything he did, always confident of his abilities but never arrogant about it. You will be dearly missed. Farewell Vuyi."

Thabo Leeuw

"Vuyi left an exemplary legacy and chartered a path for many to follow. God bless him and his family during this trying time."

Musi Skosana

"We have lost an incredible man! So smart, funny and strong, he fought bravely for so long. Now he can Rest In Peace. I will never forget his infectious laugh. Love"

Noo McLeod

Dearest Pam and family, My sincere condolences to you and your lovely children and the entire Radebe and Mongoato family. So many years have passed since we first met at Rhodes University. I was deeply saddened to learn about the dreadful disease that had taken hold of your husband. I got to know him as friendly, bubbly, kind and humble person just as you are. I was comforted by your positive attitude and your outlook on the situation. “Oh my friend, it is a tragedy, I hope I will come out strong on the other side”. Wow! May you and your family find strength during this challenging time. I join you in celebrating the life of Vuyi, a friendly, bubbly, kind and humble human being. With Love, your friend,

Nwabisa Stofile

"Dear Semadi, the team at Navigare and especially the Radebe family.

Please accept my deepest condolences on the passing of Vuyisile. We hope that the family and his colleagues find comfort and that his legacy is continued by those he leaves behind. May His Soul Rest in Peace."

Yours sincerely,

Yusuf Mowlana

"Dearest Vuyi,

I feel so privileged to have played a small part in your medical journey, and even more so to have known you and your brilliant mind. I appreciate how you always checked on my family and had a vested interest in my kids, despite your pain and suffering. The pride you had for Hlanga and Luntu shone through your eyes, no matter how ill you were. I will miss you and will be here for your beautiful children and beloved Pam." Love


Condolences to Pam and the kids, may you find peace in the hands of God.

Lunghi Novela

Bhungane! Mthimkhulu!
Phumula ndoda yamadoda! Shinga lama Shinga!
Uyibekile induku ebandla, siyibonile.
Best of Regards to your family,

Dr Mpucuko Nxumalo

“The true greats are often the most humble, most unassuming, most loving of people from all walks of life, most curious, most challenging and most open. Vuyi was all of these things and so much more. A giant in heart and intellect. This world has lost a passionate contributor. What a courageous journey he walked. Such strength and bravery. Our hearts are aching, but Rest In Peace dearest brother. We release you with love.”

Itumeleng Monale


"Vuyi was the most engaging of people. Whether you were 6 or 60 years old he engaged us all - be it on the side of the school rugby field or around the dinner table. There was always something interesting to talk about, something funny to laugh about. Questions to be asked and answered. Perspectives to be analysed. Inspiration to be shared. I especially loved the way he interacted with Hlanga’s friends. They all adored him. He spoke to them, supported them, believed in them, and inspired them. Vuyi we will miss you greatly and you will always be with us in our memories."

All the best, Julia Day

Pam, we were shocked and saddened to learn about the death of your husband Vuyi. We know you were very close to him and he was ‘your life partner’. We imagine your grief must be overwhelming. Please know that we are here for you. Hlanga & Luntu , we wish you courage, strength and love to help you through this loss. Your dad will stay ageless in the memories of those who loved him. God will protect and guide you at all times. May his fondest memory be inscribed in your hearts forever. May his soul rest in eternal peace

Alex & Grace Masianoga

“I used to be fascinated by how you would swiftly move from the Bain Executive Boardroom, to uMjita wa ko Alex, Kleva, book and street smart. I also enjoyed how you would narrate and analyse stories. At any given opportunity, you would perform the traditional zulu dance and request that Maskandi be played at parties. You deserve an eternal peaceful rest Vuyi. So long brother. May Pam, the children and your family be comforted, granted strength and healing.”

Magauta Netshitangan​i

We remember  him at my house  with my Son in law .The way he was happy and doing his Zulu Dance.MHSRIP. Lucia Shasha

I feel so privileged to be able to call Vuyi my friend. He was the most courageous, driven caring human being. His extraordinary determination throughout his life is a lesson to us all!

Vyui had so many admirable qualities; always showing interest, being interesting and focusing on others’ strengths. When I asked my kids what they would say about him they reiterated my words “caring and interested”. I loved his wicked sense of humor and mischievousness. 

I hope to take from our friendship the blessing of kindness and courage. Pam, your warrior, husband and best friend is at peace. Hlanga & Lulu the values that your father has instilled in you both will be with you forevermore. Carry him in your hearts with pride. 

Hamba ngokuthula iqhawe lethu lakwaZulu

Janine, James, Daniel and Gabi


Vuyi my brother, The real story is not how you fought the disease, and not even how in the face of your own mortality, you remained upbeat and positive. The real story is how you lived your life fully and proudly, and for a short time graced this planet with your brilliance. You were amazing, totally unique and larger than life, and one of those rare and wonderful human beings we sometimes call “Characters”. You barely allowed negative words in your conversations, and you remained positive throughout your illness. I take my hat off to you. Fare thee well my brother.


We were lucky enough to meet Vuyi when our sons started grade 0 at Pridwin together. We quickly came to enjoy his company and, as his remarkable story slowly emerged, our respect for him grew. We learned that, while a man of astute excellence in many things, Vuyi was also humble, kind and compassionate. He never once failed to enquire, with genuine interest, after my own minor health problems. We will remember his mischievous sense of humour and big smile, even in the face of this terrible disease. He fought with great bravery and dignity. Pam, you are a lionhearted warrior and your grace and courage in the face of this tragedy has been extraordinary. Our thoughts are with you, Hlanga, Luntu, the extended family and close friends. With warmest regards,

Brett, Lauren, Jamie, Michael and Ben Woods

It was a great pleasure knowing you. My Dartmouth College experience would not have been the same without you. You were the first person I called when I needed advice, when I was down, or when I wanted to celebrate. I will always fondly remember the good times we shared together. My most sincere condolences to your family. Hamba Kahle Mfowethu. Your Friend,

Methembe Ndlovu (London,UK)

Our love and sincere condolences to Pam on the passing of your precious Vuyi and strength to you, Hlanga, Luntu and the family in this very sad time. I will never forget the opportunity I had at Luntu’s 13th birthday to chat to Vuyi and be reminded me of his sharp intellect and charm. A true gentleman. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.

Cindy, Kita and Boston

Dear Pam and Family May God comfort you and His light be with you through this dark period of grieving. Celebrate and cherish the time, love and memories you were blessed with him. Rest well Vuyisile Radebe, in Peace, Love and Light

Phuti Makgotlho

Vuyi spoke to me like a friend, astrophysics was our main common interest. And in this uncommon relationship he inspired me to pursue my dreams. Vuyisile was exciting to converse with, and I’ll always miss trading our most recent ventures into science. Rest In Peace.

Nate Williams

There are few days that go by without me thinking about something I learned from Vuyi. About struggle, and accomplishment.  About adapting and being comfortable in unfamiliar settings.  About race.  About the joys of intellectual discourse – real discourse with the goal of pursuing truth, even if that truth makes us uncomfortable.  About living in a world that contains shades of grey – rather than a world that tries to demand that we be completely on one side or the other.  He was full of what some might say are contradictions – an Ivy League graduate from Zululand via Alex.  A leader of the African/Caribbean Society at Dartmouth while a member of a fraternity (at the time a violation of AfriCaSo policies).  A Marxist working on Wall Street!  But they weren’t contradictions, they were the fabric of an incredibly rich life.  Despite the sadness, I am thankful for every minute I got to spend with him.  How I would love to be a fly on the wall for the debates I am sure he is already having in the heavens.

Andrew Housser

thami hams

Dear Vuyi, You touched our lives in many different ways, directly, and indirectly through your beloved wife, Pam, and your beautiful children Hlanga and Luntu. We will remember you for your bright smile, humour and humility, for your passion for rugby. For how fiercely you loved your family, how selflessly you sought to uplift community, and how bravely you fought your illness. In our eyes, these deeds make you a winner in this life. Goodbye Vuyi. We will miss your quiet inspiration.

Mondo, Andile, Nnema & Ava Mazwai

My boss’s boss The type that just knew when something was wrong. It didn’t need to be work but you could read into so much more than just the person working for you. Throughout your fight, your strength was to be admired. Trying to always smile and when we no longer saw you, your messages still made us feel that you were still doing just that,… smiling. You will be sorely missed. It was an honour knowing you. Forever in our hearts, Pam, you are a lionhearted warrior and your grace and courage in the face of this tragedy has been extraordinary. Our thoughts are with you, Hlanga, Luntu, the extended family and close friends. With warmest regards,

Jennifer and Lawrence Titus

I see your picture and the first instinct is to smile! Smile because I know the first thing you always did was to chirp and tease us all! You were always so entertaining, sharp wit, sharpest mind, die hard challenger of anything from political discourse or business opportunity or socioeconomic issues or even the bouncer at the club that’s taking his job a bit too seriously! I recall most vividly the stories you used to regale us with - stick fighting in Alex or some escapade you got into along the journey of your life. You lived hard, fast and fully -I admire that. Knowing you has been a real privilege and sheer pleasure. I know you’ll keep a firm watch over your beloved family and dearest friends from the new realm. Thank you for being such a special gift of life to so many of us. Keep on keeping on! Your Friend,


"A life is like a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory." - Leonard Nimoy Meeting Vuyi transformed my life. He had a great mind, was a visionary strategist and expert negotiator. I attempted to learn as much as possible from him in those fields. However, what impacted me the most was his frequent question "How are you doing Ruanne?". He truly cared about the answer and engaged in meaningful conversations, never hesitant to talk about taboo subjects and always seeking to truly understand the perspective of a guy from the West Rand. He connected to people on a deep level, across cultures, to inspire and encourage others. Vuyi often allowed people to see his emotions, a testament to his steadfast character and passion. I will truly miss you, my friend and mentor.

Ruanne Foster

May uncle Vuyisile’s soul rest in eternal peace. They say we die twice - the first when we stop breathing, and the second time, a bit later on, when somebody says our name for the last time. May uncle Vuyisile’s name live forever in our hearts as we remember how he taught us to be critical thinkers, reminding us to never forget where we come from, and to always treat others with kindness; in our souls as we remember that life is worth living, no matter what it throws at us; and to seek, with all passion, the silver lining. We will never forget you uncle Mavuyi. Your name will forever rest on our tongues. Hamba kahle Radebe ️ - my heart is so sore. Pam, you are a lionhearted warrior and your grace and courage in the face of this tragedy has been extraordinary. Our thoughts are with you, Hlanga, Luntu, the extended family and close friends. With warmest regards,

Malebo Sephodi

Onesmus has been an inspiration to me ever since we were teenagers attending the Gifted Child Programme in Alexandra. He always called me a township genius because once, himself and his best friend Conrad were on school holiday from St Albans and I met them in the streets and said to both of them that they were "virtually inconspicuous". Little did I know that they did not know the meaning of the word as they looked at each other very puzzled. We always laughed about it. Vuyi was a free spirit, highly intelligent, very kind, accommodating and extremely humble in spite of his monumental achievements. He always wanted to see others succeed and never looked down on anybody unless he was helping them up. When the debilitating condition hit him, I was very very sad and his ultimate passing has left a deep wound and void in my soul. I will forever cherish the moments we laughed and poked fun at each other and I pray that the Most High will have mercy on his soul. Till we meet again Makhulu.


Uncle Vuyi, A man who always had a smile on his face and looked to lighten up any room with his infectious character. There was never a dull moment with you around, and everyone fed off your energy. I can’t even begin to imagine the many lives you touched along your beautiful and fulfilling journey. You have left behind an amazing family who are incredibly strong and we will all carry the weight your name bears. May your soul rest in eternal peace.

Love Tshiamo Lesela

Vuyi, I always remember you as full of life, full of heart and forever making fun of my forehead and this I appreciated because you always made me laugh. Never a dull moment when you were around. Thank you for always remembering and reminding me to pass your regards to my mom. You made a great impression to me and my family. You shall forever remain in our hearts until we meet again. Rest peacefully. Love & Light,

Boniswa Madikizela

From the deepest that is grief, the gentlest of memories float to the surface, you fought a great fight and you will forever remain in our hearts and minds.

Molefe Makhene.

Words truly fail me. I did not know him for long but I rarely have been impacted by a human to that extent. An incredible mind. A heart full of life and laughter for all the aspects of his life. A lover of his wife, his children and his extended family, a creator of strategic solutions and a fan of all things Nhlangwini. Silahlekelwe kakhulu njengesizwe. Sis Pam, Hlanga and Luntu:May the grace of the Father and the deep love that Bhut Vuyi had for you, be your strength at this time. Lala uphumule Bhungane. Ukulwile ukulwa okuhle. Love Always,

Ayanda and Thanda Mngadi

Hamba kahle Bhungane omkhulu. Siyokukhumbula njalo. Indoda ebiphile njengosheleni. Your love, encouragement and jokes will never be forgotten. What a privilege it has been knowing you. .Lala ngoxolo Vuyisile.


I met Vuyi through the Monales, in the late nineties/beginning 2000. We were youthful, some of us were starting out on our first jobs, kwaito music was in - it was a time of TKZ, Glenzito's house mix and Fresh house flavas. This was the sound track of our lives and we partied hard. Vuyi was the life of the party! This is the memory I will always have of him. I only learnt a few days ago when I found about his passing that he had Motor Neuron Disease. I am led to believe that he fought valiantly against this disease which is only how I would have imagined Vuyi would do it. Sometimes words can be so trite, but I want to convey my deepest condolences to Pam and the kids and to Vuyi's family and his friends. May your soul be at peace.

Adoma Peprah, Accra, Ghana

Vuyi, You have been an absolute inspiration as a person in your journey with and fight against ALS. It has been a great privilege to have met you and interacted with you over the past few years. Your personality, integrity and intellect will be sorely missed, but your memory will continue to be very much alive in all the people you touched! Rest in peace my brother.


Moya wa ka o tetebetse. Robala ka kgotso ngwana bo rona. ~ John Mohlalefi Seheri

Heartbreaking news. May he now Rest In Peace. ~ Tshepo Molebatsi

May his departed soulf rest in peace. A fine gentleman indeed. ~ Thokozani

What a gentleman. Makalale ngoxolo. ~ Litha Nkombisa

We’ve lost an amazing human being. MHSRIP ~ Moss Ngoasheng

He was truly an amazing awesome man. ~ Graham Kusano

We remember  him at my house  with my Son in law .The way he was happy and doing his Zulu Dance.MHSRIP. ~ Lucia Shasha


When someone you love becomes a memory, that memory becomes a treasure.

Our thoughts, love and prayers are with you and your family as you hold firm to the lasting memories of your dear husband and father.

From the uBumbano Family

You fought a gallant fight. You lived life to the fullest. I enjoyed every moment together. Until we meet again. Umkhul’ uBhungane !! Camagu. 

Thami Hams

A passage from our favourite author’s first book reads “our painful experiences aren’t a liability, they’re a gift. They give us perspective and meaning, an opportunity to find our unique purpose and our strength”. It has been an absolute privilege to witness your metamorphosis through this journey. I wish you God’s grace, abundance and favour. May Vuyi’s smile greet you every morning and fill your heart with peace.


It is an honour to have worked for and lived to experience the goodness and kindness of Mr Radebe - the few good men in this world. The angels could truly no longer wait for one of their own. They have welcomed him with open arms to dance with him in heaven. May he be forever remembered. We say thank you for walking a mile with us, and most of all with Mrs Radebe who walked most of it with him. We pray for strength, unity and love amongst those he has left behind, and believe that one day we shall meet again.

Sizah Moyo

Vuyi was an amazing, kind and caring man. He was always wanting to assist me in making sure my business model was strong and that we were doing the best that we could. Even when he got to the stage where computers spoke for him, it was business as usual for him. In meetings, before we spoke about work, he would spend a lot of time asking how I was, how my family was. It was never about him. When asked how he was, he would say “I am doing very well”. He faced this disease with so much courage. May you rest in peace Vuyi, knowing you have left a massive footprint in our lives. You will be sorely missed. Regards

Tania Riviere

An inspirational man. His journey has shown me the true meaning of strength and resilience, as well as the power of family. I shall carry into my future all I have learned from Vuyi, Pam, Hlanga and Luntu. May his family have long life.

Ethan Leibowitz

Vuyi was like a father to me. He gave me great rugby advice when he came to watch our rugby games at Pridwin, which were my most fond memories of him. I will seriously miss him and all that he stood for as a father and husband. Rest in great peace Vuyi.

Kai Leibowitz

I’m going to miss you my friend, We chatted about doing crazy things, we wanted take the world over and now you’re gone. We chatted about this life, our souls and our dreams. Your energy, wit and wisdom is what I will always miss. Your humble nature made your intellect accessible to everyone and that will be sorely missed.The earth has lost a great mind, a great leader, a great soul and a kind heart.


How does one begin to pay tribute to such a giant as Vuyisile who is still so much alive in our thoughts? Thank you for you being generous with yourself, your knowledge, your compassion and thank you for teaching us how to never stop living. Ah, Ntate Radebe, monn’a gešo, re leboga thuto le hlahlo e o re bontšhitšego yona. Moetapele wa go swana le wena o a hlokwa. Robala monn’a gešo. Robala Bhungane.

Semadi le Asmeralda Motau le ba lelapa

Dearest Onesmus,

Thank you for sharing your incredible vitality so generously with all of us who were lucky to be near you, albeit just for a short while, in your life time. You will live on in our hearts. Rest assured.

Lots of love, Malou   

Vuyisile, you taught me patience and perseverance; you showed me that we are stronger than we ever thought possible. You taught me to embrace every single day; tomorrow is never promised.
Your short time on earth was enough to see your personality blossom.
I am so sorry Vuyi. I am sorry for you, for myself, and for everyone who cared so deeply about you. You were an amazingly intelligent person with an uncommon intellectual curiosity. You were someone who could have made some more positive changes in the world on so many different levels.
Vuyi, your mortals may be out of our sight but one thing I know: I am so grateful that you were my son, and that I had the honour and pleasure of having you be a part of my life from the moment our paths crossed. You brought a beautiful light to my life that I shall always treasure. I shall really miss you – your dry wit, your kindness, your love of singing, your beautiful smile, your brightness, your flamboyant character. I wish you so much love and light in the heavenly places always.
Lala kahle uphumule

From Mama Thuli Mthembu

Vuyi, I didn’t know you well enough, but all I can say is “Wow”, you have an amazing wife and amazing kids.  This is a great testament to your role as a husband and father – deep respect.

Angel Jones

nate williams

May your Soul Rest in Eternal peace Vuyi. Your family has lost, friends have lost, but we know you are in a better place now. You fought for so long it broke us all who heard about your struggle. We prayed for your healing, we prayed for a miracle, but God needed another Angel by his side. Rest RADEBE.


My heartfelt sympathy to you in your sad loss. I am sorry I did not have the privilege of meeting Vuyi. I can only say I missed a lot. Seeing the beautiful love, wonderful pictures and hearing the heartfelt messages. I realize just how Special he was. I share your pain. I pray you find peace and strength in bearing this dreadful loss. God bless you all,

Vourn Small

Vuyi, you and your smile will be dearly missed. I only had the honour of meeting you as your illness took you to a very difficult place. In our short time together, I was very blessed to receive the story of your life and to walk beside you on this path. Oriah Mountain Dreamer wrote a beautiful poem called “The Invitation” and one paragraph states “It doesn’t interest me who you know or how you came to be here. I want to know if you will stand in the centre of the fire with me and not shrink back.” This depicts our journey together and how I will hold a space for you in my heart. Pam, Hlanga, and Luntu, you were a holding light and brought Divine joy to Vuyi’s face when he spoke of you and the many things that he loved about you and his family. I send you my deepest love and condolences at this time.

Ashleigh Jayne Tennier

I may have only had the privilege of knowing Vuyi for a few years before he became ill, and visited him a few times in recent years, but his authenticity and infectious smile even while bravely fighting this terrible illness, will live with me forever. He has the heart of a Lion. I love you Vuyi, and rejoice that you are now free.

Susi Koch

Onesmus, you leave us with the memory of your amazing smile, your immense energy and passion for life. You leave an unimaginable impact on those who have had the privilege to know you and whose lives you have touched. I will miss you and our exchanges. My sincere condolences to your family. My thoughts are with them.Rest in great peace Vuyi.


Vuyi, Always laughing and looking on the bright side or having a quick quip about something and everything. The sheer intellect allowed you the ability to simply breeze through things and brainstorm with ideas and thoughts. Go well proud Zulu warrior, go well. You left is all with beautiful memories.

Andrew Makenete

As I write this in these sad times... ngifikelwa ingoma. That’s who you were - a beautiful soul, full of song!!! " Ayilalanga ingane kababa izolo bayidle ngomnyama bayitshel'emehlweni imnandi kanjani" we would sing this song for ever and loudly as we go... for me the excitement was a familiar one.. it felt like we grew up in one place! Of course we did, haha. KZN is a huge province but same, we were familiar, we knew the same things from childhood, sang the same songs. When we sang, besivukwa usinga and we knew that was what made us, what healed us...THE SONG! I remember the time I heard ngokugula kwakho how shattered I was!! I couldn’t show it because I was scared if I did, it might change how we related. I thought and maybe knew, that remaining INSIZWA YAKWENU was important during this time. To change the uncomfortable feeling for me was asking you if your machine could speak IsiZulu or even have your songs in there?? You laughed and said "lamasimba awasikhulumi isiZulu" it sounded more funny because of the accent forced on the machine!!! I had to view the screen to see what you were saying, though you said you insisted on having a few songs recorded in there. I missed having umkhaya, having a big brother as you fought for life. What a great person you were!!!! Caring and encouraging to friends, lover to your family, great father and husband, intellectual to the community, never changing personality to anyone you meet. You were such a good person and straight talker who hated nonsense. An apitome of what UBUNTU meant, umthandi nomenzi wamasiko. You even taught your kids izithakazelo, you were not ashamed of who and where you came from. That I admired and always will. The only person who called me by my full name, you would say " ngyaqala ukubona umuntu ngawes’, nami I felt the same. Phumula Bhungane, phumula Zikode, hamba kahle Makhulukhulu. Uyithungele induku ebandla. Mabakwamukele omkhulu, nogogo. Batshele wenze konke abakufundise kona. Akwamukele u Mamkhulu ngesbani esihle eskhanyela wena mfowethu. LALA NGOTHANDO


From the first day I met Vuyi I knew he was the partner we were looking for at Navigare. We had met many possible partners for the business but none were the correct cultural fit for us. What made Vuyi special was his honesty, calmness, humility, knowledge and family values. It was the perfect fit we had been seeking and were so excited, and believed that this would be a dream team.

Vuyi brought a business brain that we had not seen before and took Navigare to a different level. Navigare is where it is today because of Vuyi’s fantastic personal people management and for putting the correct building blocks in place to uplift us to where we are today. Vuyi was the leader we had been craving for.

Even after his diagnosis – I cannot imagine the strain it must have had on his personal life, he fought valiantly with such courage and wanted to come to the office as much as he could. He was a warrior with an unbelievably strong mind and soul. Vuyi soldiered on through all his diversity and almost impossible situation. When some of our staff were in hospital with Covid, who was the only person that called them every day to encourage them and tell them to fight the virus with everything they had? VUYI.

I remember telling him not so long ago during a WhatsApp conversation how much we missed his presence and leadership around the office. Only for Vuyi to tell me “keep my chair warm. I’ll be back to lead you all soon, I’ll beat this disease”. The mind, faith, courage and strength of the man was unbelievable. I can only learn from such strength and power – he was colossal in everything he did.

Vuyi you were our Zulu warrior and will be sorely missed. Our friendship will live on via your wonderful family

Rest in Peace now Vuyisile – your Legacy is assured and will live on with us forever. 

The Bruce Clan

I remember the day you took me out for drinks at the Wanderers clubhouse. You sat me down and looked me straight in the eye, and asked whether I knew what I was getting myself into. LOL because the life I was choosing, I needed to savour the moment. I realised then that you had a mischievous character to you. Upon reflection I realise now that I met you at a time when life was dealing you with lemons. However, you maintained a strong and kept-together exterior. 

You know I realise now why you didn’t want to tell me your second name. Onesmus. Hahahah you flat out denied you had one. I reckon you knew full well, that I would have taken you to the cleaners on that one.

I have a lot of respect for you. You are a proud Zulu man, and it is fitting that your casket bears that out so much. I experienced you at a time when you had strong desires to return to your heritage, to understand your beginning and your being. You were so proud of your knobkerrie, isgila sakho you called it. I remember how desperately you spoke about integrating your immediate family into your culture so that they too can be as proud as you were. 

Wow hey, your story, your journey would be a best seller. Full of thrills, drama, intrigue, achievement, disappointments, failures, tears and joy. But then again those that know you, would not need a book to tell them about you. They lived those moments with you.

Vuyi you advised me a lot, in your fight and will to live you showed me a lot. I will never forget, you telling me that one day, I will be President. When I do, I will make sure to share the moment with you.

You loved your family. Your family stood by you until the end. You have done so much for your family. You made it against all odds. You even ended things on your own terms.

I respect you, I appreciate you. Thank you for the memories, thank you for the experiences and thank you for the lessons. 

Go well brother. Go well. 

Lwazi Mzozoyana


Reluctant Farewell. VUYI, you sent everybody into rapturous laughter nonstop as MC at my farewell party in 1990 as the first of our crew to head out overseas on scholarship. Bro, I can still see the day like it was yesterday; teenagers, young, excited, full of life and dreams. Why abandon ship so soon bro? I look and gaze from a distance in admiration of what we have achieved with what little we started with. Bro, I know you are here in my presence as I write this note. You leave a lot of lessons behind, and I'm happy to share anecdotes with our kids and the next generation of superstars. Let's connect beyond if possible. Lala ngo xolo Radebe. Mashiy'amahle.

Brother love, LUMS

Vuyi had a special ability to find common ground and start stimulating conversations without ever resorting to small talk or trivia. We were surprised and happy to discover we both came from Ixopo and reminisced on how much it was a part of who we are and how we loved and missed the green hills that ‘are lovely beyond any singing of it, and the sound of the cows’ hooves in the mud that gave Ixopo its name. His legacy in my life and his gift to me was he made me stop and consider what it means to be an integral and reciprocal member of a community. I am ashamed to say I had not understood or considered ‘umuntu ngumuntu ngabantu’ or the idea that it is our collective responsibility to raise our and each other’s children to be their best selves. I thank you Vuyi for bringing me into this circle. May God bless you on this part of your journey, whilst you remain within us and all around us. All love to Pam, Hlanga and Luntu.

Robyn McLaughlin

South Africa has lost a magnificent man, a remarkable son of the African soil, who battled unimaginable odds with courage and grace. So tragic that the life of such a spirited, talented, dynamic man can have been foreshortened in the cruellest of ways. His candle did not burn long, but it burned with a bright intensity and lit the way to a far better South Africa. We did not have the honour and pleasure of spending anywhere near as much time with Vuyi as we would have liked, but we knew him to be passionate and compassionate, interested and interesting, funny, sincere, smart, a great conversationalist and a devoted husband and father. We are thinking of Pamella and Hlangalethu and Zoluntu and sending them our love and wishing them the strength they need to get through this time and make sense of this cruel tragedy. There is bittersweet relief that he is beyond the suffering and frustration. But he will live forever in our hearts and in the sparkle in his children’s eyes. He is now free to soar with the eagles.

Sandy Van Hoogstraten and Ian Liddle

Dear Pam & Family, we were heartbroken to hear of Vuyi’s passing and send our love in your loss. Vuyi had an immeasurable impact on so many of us in the Dartmouth gang. His strength of personality, loyalty, wisdom and humour are unforgettable. I will cherish the memories of our time together in Hanover, New York and San Francisco. We deeply regret the casual planning to visit with you from London to South Africa, assuming we would find the right time. We are happy Vuyi is at peace and smile thinking of him in heaven, with a beer in hand and a trademark lid on his head, grinning from ear to ear and singing and dancing with abandon. Love,

Sean & Poppy

I’ve been smiling through some very damp eyes all evening as I’ve looked over the photos and read the testimonies of Vuyi’s countless friends. Thank you for giving us the gift of communing with him from afar. Below is a moment I’ve recalled often over the years when I’ve thought of Vuyi, so I wanted to share it with you.

Perhaps my favourite memory of Vuyi is one of my first. We lived on the first floor of South Fayerweather Hall in our freshman year at Dartmouth, and fast became debate sparring partners, over late nights, many drinks, and keenly different views of political philosophy. One night, he knocked on my door and asked whether I would go over his first philosophy seminar paper with him. Flattered, I went down the hall to his room, looked around, and asked: “So, where’s the paper?” 

Vuyi returned a curious look, walked over to his computer, and then proceeded to read me his entire paper aloud, as if he was addressing a thousand-person campaign rally. His voice booming, his hands gesticulating determinedly, he worked his way to a concluding crescendo along the lines of “…and the people will struggle and throw off the yoke of colonial exploitation!” I’d never heard anything like it. 

Then he turned to me, with his mischievous smile, and asked: “Ah Keith, so what do you think?” To which I could only reply: “That was absolutely perfect.” And it was.

Keith Lieberthal

From the age of twelve when we first met, to his last days, Vuyi had a drive and determination that was second to none. Add to this his sharp intellect, his humour, his sporting prowess and his concern for those less fortunate than him, this made for a formidable and very unique individual.

I am privileged to have been his tutor, friend and mentee, such was the man’s ability to play many roles in peoples’ lives. Vuyi jumped at every opportunity to advise, master and learn.  His life purpose was clear and he pursued it relentlessly.   

Monna, you touched so many lives in ways that words cannot fully express. You have left us with many rich and vibrant memories that will motivate and energise us for years to come. Hamba kahle fine friend.

Barry Poppleton


Dearest Pam, Hlanga and Luntu Words can simply not even begin to express the sadness felt in hearing of Vuyi passing. No words can englobe the heaviness in our hearts. Having had the pleasure of meeting and spending time with Vuyi and those he loved, was an absolute honour! He was a gentleman and a scholar! Confident of where he had come from and fearless of the journey that lay ahead, embracing every situation with an open heart and mind! A true warrior! Pam - you, Luntu and Hlanga too are warriors ! The journey you have travelled with Vuyi's battle has been awe inspiring. Vuyi's and your dreams will be carried through in your beautiful children. You have held the fort together in your special way! You are truly amazing! Absolute respect for you my dear friend. Sending all our love, much light and strength .

Laura, Dave, Victoria and Oliver Gale – Zambia

Dear Pam My sincere condolences go out to you, Hlanga and Luntu as you mourn the loss of your beloved husband, Vuyi. Hlanga and Lungu spoke so beautifully about their dad; a truly exceptional human being. There was never anyone quite like Vuyi. He is a true original. What an extraordinary life and beautiful journey of love and friendship, Pam. I am so very sorry for your loss. I wish you comfort and peace of mind. Love

Dawn Mpati

Dearest Pam thank you for a most beautiful service. I did not know Vuyi before Wills started at St John’s and it has been such a privilege to learn about what an extraordinary and wonderful man he was. I am so filled with admiration for you and all you have done over these past few years. Much love to you, Hlanga and Luntu. With kind regards,

Louise, Carlyle and Will

Dearest Pam, Hlanga and Luntu,

What an incredibly beautiful and moving service. Your beloved husband and dad was such an incredible person. The stories shared, the incredibly deep emotion and the sincere love that wove its way through the afternoon is testimony to just how special he was. Even though I have only shared a small part of your journey, I will always keep you in my heart, especially during this new phase where you come to terms with life without Vuyi. I pray that you will find comfort in each other, and that Vuyi’s incredible presence will always be felt in your lives.

Hlanga, he was so incredibly proud of you! I will never forget his shining eyes and pure joy after that incredible performance at the Linder auditorium!! May each note that you play come from your heart and find its way to your dad as he watches over you.
Love to you all,

Karien Gudde

Uncle Vuyisile you are the most amazing person I have every met. You were always so in touch with your heritage and super religious. You knew all the zulu songs, prayers, rituals, and traditional dance. I’m happy I got to sit in a business meeting with you. I appreciate the loan you gave me in 2009 when I was still building my brand, I’ll return it tenfold to your children. You felt and knew after all my troubled youth and abrupt decisions that altered my life I was going to live up to my name and conquer my destiny. You were always enthusiastic about my dreams, cheered me on and wanted me to be the BEST. It breaks my heart, you won’t be at my future wedding or meet my future son but I’ll always remember your teachings and hold you in high regard always. I love Aunty Pam & the kids and I’ll forever be in their lives. I will never forget the last time I saw you and your smile through your bedroom window. I was so angry Aunty Pam didn’t let us in but hoped to visit you again.When I get my Lamborghini I’ll come show your son and pick you up :-). LOVE YOU so sooo much. REST IN PEACE.


And just like that, we’ve lost Vuyi from our lives.  Vuyisile Radebe was one of my first friends at Dartmouth and the best man at my wedding – and every bit as memorable as someone who fills both those roles should be. Getting invited by Vuyi repeatedly for fries was one of the great pleasures of my freshman year.   It’s nearly impossible to sum up his life except to say he knocked his short one out of the park in every way. And for someone who started with so little, he returned to the world so much. He was sharp and sporty and funny and good looking – and the most tenacious debater I’ve ever had the pleasure of sparring with. To be clear, I lost every time.  But, I also came away, if not reliably riled up, then better informed and more in awe of his mind. More importantly, Vuyi was a fantastically loyal friend and he defended me at every turn, even when I didn’t deserve it. Even better, he had the good sense to marry Pam – and in one beautiful ceremony in South Africa, they doubled the Radebe magic. Pam, you’ve always been every bit Vuyi’s match in smarts and beauty, as are Hlanga and Luntu, whom we adore. And I’m so glad we still have you to stand in for your lovely husband and father who brought us all together. Vuyi, you were a spectacular person.  I’m sorry we had no say over how long we had you on earth, but comforted that we can always keep you close in our hearts.  Rest comfortably, Vuyi.


Emily Abernathy

PHOTO-2021-01-11-15-01-52 12

I met Vuyi a few years ago upon an introduction by Ali Barker. I arrived at his home and he was in his bed in the lounge. With great enthusiasm he said ‘who are you and who sent you?’ I told him Ali had. ‘Ah Ali!!! Are you real?’ he asked me. We both had a good laugh. We chatted and shared our stories and I told him of my dream to restore a sacred church called Saint Elmo’s in Umzumbe Kwa-Zulu Natal. He bubbled with enthusiasm and showed me a picture his wife Pam had stretched on canvas for him of his beloved valley in the area. He then asked me if I would heal him. The only answer I had was yes. I had been sent to him as a healer and knew that whatever path we walked on together it would be one of healing. There was instant synchronicity and Vuyi began to visit me in my home weekly for reiki sessions. He could walk through my door, across the courtyard and lay down on my couch with the assistance of his driver. We shared many stories. He loved to chat about Olivia and always upon arrival would say ‘how is Livvy?!’ He had gone to school a few meters from my childhood home and would literally walk past me as he passed my house regularly on the way to climbing the nearby koppie. We were the same age and had grown up in apartheid on the opposite sides of the coin. Me a white woman. Him a black man. As the reiki energy flowed from my hands into his limbs stiffened by motor neurone disease, the healing was sublime on both sides. When Vuyi’s legs would no longer carry him through my front door we communicated telephonically. His hands then failed him and through the miracle of technology he was still able to respond to my whatsapp messages. I wrote to him often sending him pictures and stories about life. When lockdown hit and I ranted and raved, I often thought of Vuyi in complete lockdown in his physical body, his mind perfectly intact. Looking over the Ixopo Valley always reminded me of him and I would send him pictures each time I went there. On Thursday I sent him my last picture. I visited him in a meditation on Sat and was told he died that day. Hamba kahle Vuyi. I know you are flying high over your beloved valley. I will miss not sending you photos but you remain my friend, healer and teacher showing me how I can now visit you in a different dimension.

Katherine Fillmore

I remember first meeting Vuyi in a dorm room at Dartmouth in 1992. A radical young man with dreadlocks and a fighting passion for radical politics. I was terrified! Over the years we engaged in many political debates and arguments, challenging each other based on our life experiences until we eventually found a middle ground through friendship, love and a desire to return to South Africa and contribute to the land of our birth.

In the last 5 years of Vuyi’s life we rekindled our strong friendship; discussing business, philosophy, life and love. Vuyi’s mind was brilliant but more importantly his heart was huge. He was the most passionate of men. Loyal, feisty, unafraid, brave, courageous, determined, and curious. He loved to talk business. He loved to make money. He loved new ventures and even from his bed kept asking me when we were going to do more deals. Mostly though he loved his friends, especially those of us who were his family in the days at Dartmouth and thereafter. And more than anything his family. His desire to be a father to his children, Hlanga and Luntu fuelled his will to live right to the bitter end.

Vuyi’s courage throughout his illness is a lasting example to me of his bravery and determination. He suffered through so much and yet never complained to me, never wanted to talk about his own suffering or illness. He kept his sense of humour, he strengthened his mind, he opened his heart and he kept on living.

I will miss my friend. But he often liked to quote the words of Big Rich, my late father when he was dying of cancer in saying “life, birth and death are the cycle of life.” When I asked Vuyi a few months ago about his philosophy of life he said, “I think we are born, we live, we die. It’s as simple as that.” Let his memory be my inspiration to make the most of the life we have; to cherish our health; to be loyal to our friends; to find purpose through our family. To be honest, brave, courageous and determined. To laugh in the midst of suffering. To always be curious in life. He longed to taste a freshly picked plum. To smell the mountain air again. To sit with friends. To be a father to his children. Let his memory remain with us until our time comes to pass and the luxuries in life that he gave up as each muscle and sense organ left him be cherished by us to its full. Let his feisty passion and curiosity and determination drive us to achieve our best and reach our dreams. Farewell dear friend. May you now Rest In Peace.


To my beloved uncle Vuyisile. 

I see you standing and dancing on the tallest mountain eNhlangwini, but I keep shouting- calling for you to come down and feel the soil, and the air dust beneath your feet. I keep trying to convince you that you can stand as tall as you want to down here too. But, you keep ignoring me, and I realize that you maybe can’t hear me, because I’m trying to compete over your chanting and what your spirit and soul knows what to do best. I keep hearing the drums beating, whistles blowing, hands clapping and a breed of women ululating, and echoing; “Radebe, Bhungane.” These magical beings that you’re surrounded by up there have clothed you in your best Zulu warrior attire. They keep giving you Mnqombothi (Zulu beer) for you to taste again. They keep touching your limbs for you to feel again. They continue ululating & celebrating your extraordinary life! I see your smile again. I see your leg positioned at a 180 degree angle flying into the sky and coming down to shake and awaken humanity again. Down here, we do not remember that you were diagnosed with ALS 4 years ago. Down here we remember the hope and dreams that you had. Down here we make your story known. 

So whilst you’re up there on the tallest mountain eNhlangwini celebrating with your people, we will remember the lessons and memories you left us with. Vuyisile Onesmus Radebe you lived an incredible life. You are the change. You are the history book. You are our unsung hero. You fought for your life and you made us realize how powerful the mind is, and especially yours. We will make sure that your life doesn’t end with a full stop, but weaves through paragraphs, commas, essays, short stories that can thread your stories together and continue your life. I look up at the mountains and I wave goodbye and I hope you can read my lips saying: Hamba Kahle Radebe, Bhungane. P.S I’ll reserve a seat for you at my wedding day (laughing out loud)

Slindile Mthembu 

Capture 2
Capture 5

I was looking for a black financial services sector advisor when Zwide Nxumalo recommended Vuyi Radebe. This was in 2016. After one conversation, I knew I had found a brother. Respectful, witty, exceedingly smart. Vuyi understood that to change our country in a meaningful, transformative way, we had to be bold and visionary. He was all that and more. He was brave, fearless and willing to work very hard to achieve his personal goals and to transform our country. We have lost an important ally and soldier in our struggle for change, and the Radebe family have lost a brother, a husband, a father and a son. May his soul rest in eternal peace. Farewell Vuyi.

Enos Banda

The Guest House

Written by Rumi

This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they’re a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.

Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.