During her memorial service on Wednesday, close friends, family, and industry colleagues gathered at the Birchwood Hotel in Boksburg, on the East Rand, to remember late media personality and actress Nomakula “Kuli” Roberts. It was a day filled with tears and laughter for the family of Nomakula “Kuli” Roberts.
Roberts passed away on Wednesday at the age of 49.
Roberts has been in a number of projects, most notably in the Netflix original film Angeliena, which was released earlier this year. Co-host of various prominent radio and television series, including What Not To Wear, The Real Goboza, TrendingSA, and Kaya FM’s morning show alongside late radio great Bob Mabena, she has also been on several reality television shows.
She has also worked as a journalist for publications such as Fair Lady, Drum, You, and Sunday World.
It was former Trending SA presenters Nina Hastie and Shaka Sisulu who oversaw the funeral service. In her remarks, Hastie said it wasn’t something Roberts would have wanted as a “traditional memorial.”
Legendary musician Ringo Mandlingozi paid a heartfelt homage to the icon, who was subsequently joined on stage by his family members.
During the reading, Hlubi Mboya-Arnold read an open letter from Roberts’s two children, who described this period as “the darkest” of their life. Mboya-Arnold also urged that people accept the fact that her sister is no longer alive and not to hold grudges against anybody, as Roberts would not have wanted anyone to live with regrets.
“Let’s just let her go because she’s tired and wants to relax, and we all understand that… You showed my sister a lot of affection. ‘In that small body of hers, she housed both the worst and the greatest parts of all of us,’ she remarked, a brave expression on her face.
“You have assisted us in maintaining our sanity during this difficult period, which we refer to as the worst because it really is the worst. “We miss you mother, we miss you sister, we miss your love and laughter, as well as your jokes and sense of humour,” the letter said.
“You showed my sister a lot of affection. She contained both the best and the worst of us inside her little frame. I know one thing for certain, however, and I’m certain that we all feel the same way: let’s not live a life of regret. Let us just let her go because she is in need of rest, and we all know that she was complicated and tough.” “She was complex and difficult, she was beautiful, she was loving, kind, crazy, magnificent, but she was so gentle, let us just let her go because she is in need of rest and we all know that.”
Some of her former coworkers and schoolmates walked to the platform to pay tribute to the lady they lovingly referred to as “Momomo,” “Titi,” and other nicknames that the actress coined for herself.
Sonia Motaung, a seasoned journalist and publicist, said it would take time for her to embrace the fact that she would have to live in a world without Roberts. She described journalism as a thankless profession.
“She was outspoken, she was strong, and she was well aware of why she had been brought to this planet.” Yes, Kuli is resting wherever she is, and we are left with whatever it was that caused her misery. We must move forward with the times, and we must move forward with the reality of what actually happened to Kuli, and who was responsible for Kuli ending up the way she did by not treating her correctly. Kuli sacrificed a great deal of herself.”
Hastie reintroduced Skumba Hlophe, the comedian and former colleague of Roberts at Kaya FM, and the crowd erupted with applause as he took the stage in typical Roberts way. He expressed his pleasure in spending time with Roberts and Mabena.
It was only I who was able to provide Kuli Roberts and Bob Mabena with the most enjoyable last days of their broadcast careers. Thank you to Kuli’s family for entrusting us with Kuli; as everyone knows, the entertainment business has the ability to consume an individual.”
Nambitha Ben-Mazwi and Nyaniso Bhengu, two of Roberts’s pals, sent heartfelt tributes to the late journalist.
Professor Mzobanzi Mboya, Roberts’ uncle, stated, “There are things we didn’t know about our kid, but now you have helped us realize how painful the psychological wounds she was going through were, and she wanted to cope with them alone.”