For Thembi Losi

Today will be my fourth day of rural Family Medicine. I do not know what awaits me, but while I treat patients and learn as much as I possibly can, I will also be thinking of one beautiful green-eyed girl who is laid to rest today.

I met Thembi in 2007. We were attending a local Rotary Youth Leadership Awards. She was wonderful. So kind and humble. Everyone fell in love with her. She went on to make a massive success wherever she went, as an Allan Grey Orbis Foundation fellow and a South Africa-Washington International Program Delegate.

But while on holiday in Mozambique, her life was cut short. I cannot believe that it was “her time” or that it was “meant to happen”. Thembi was one of the most beautiful people I have ever known. She was supposed to become a parliamentarian or Finance Minister or President. She was going to make it big. She was going to change the world. But in truth, she had already changed so many of our worlds.

I cannot be at her funeral today. But I will not forget her.

Thembi at her recent graduation from the University of Cape Town

What The Papers Won’t Tell You 

A twenty-two year old woman
While on holiday in Moçambique
A twenty-two year old woman
Will no longer begin work
As investment banker
This month.
A twenty-two year old woman
Takes her hard-earned
“This degree belongs to everyone”
To her grave today.
A twenty-two year old woman
Should have become finance minister
Should have become matriarch
Should have lived.
Fifty two million South Africans
Do not know it
But their country changed irrevocably


  1. I am sorry deeply sorry for your loss. These are beautiful words that you have dedicated to what sounds like an amazing person. All my love and sympathy to you, her family and all of those that are feeling the loss of such a young soul.

  2. Man, my deepest condolences! I wish I had known her, we would have surely had interesting converations. May her memories last through the ages!

  3. Wow, this is a really moving tribute to Tembi, a tragic loss indeed. May her soul rest in peace.
    You’re a talented writer.

  4. Wow I will miss my friend. You did it all Thembi at age 22 you had conquered the world. I looked up to you, my God fearing women and and now I literally will look up to you in heaven.My green eyed angel.

  5. This is beautiful, Mariechie. She was such a radiant and powerful woman. It’s always tragic when the most gifted die young.

  6. This is beautiful, she’s in a better place, the world has lost big time…heaven gained big time!

  7. Beautiful tribute. I had the privilege of attending her funeral, and hugging her mom, telling her I am sorry, praying for her and I believe that I did that for all of us who knew her and loved her. Her life continues to inspire us. Safe in the arms of Jesus..

  8. Beautiful and deeply felt, thank you for sharing this gift to your friend. I am so sorry she is no longer with you or the world, sounds like she was truly amazing.

  9. Oh how I’m still in disbelief…thank you for this. Her passing has inspired so many of us to live and experience at least half the lives she did. Thanks Megz, *hugs*

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