Johannesburg – Recently deceased former Idols SA finalist and runner-up Thami Shobede was suffering from depression shortly before he died.
This is according to his mother Mantombi Buthelezi, who told the Sunday Times he had been admitted to hospital for observation last Friday because he was feeling weak and she still did not know what caused his death.
Shobede died at Kalafong Hospital in Pretoria on Thursday, where he had been admitted after collapsing while performing on stage about a week ago.
“The doctor told us he was suffering from depression. I wasn’t really surprised but I didn’t think it would lead to this. On Monday he was fine … but on Thursday he gave in,” Buthelezi told the publication.
Buthelezi attributed his sudden illness to the pressure she believed he was under as the family’s sole breadwinner.
“He wasn’t a talkative child, so it was hard to tell where he was emotionally. Lately, he closed himself in his room for hours. I wish he had spoken to us as his family, I wish I could comfort him. Not so long ago he sent me a message, telling me he will make me proud even though things aren’t going great. He wanted me to trust him and I did.”
Buthelezi and her other children had recently moved into Shobede’s Marshalltown apartment in Johannesburg.
“I’m unemployed. He didn’t want me to pay rent in Benoni while he was also renting. And he was helping with the school fees of his siblings. My poor first-born – he became a father, a provider for all of us. I am a single parent and he felt for me,” she added.
She also stated that the lack of paying gigs Shobede was facing recently really got him down.