The father of late actress Busi Lurayi had to jump over the wall to gain access to her home when she did not respond to calls.
This was revealed during Lurayi’s send-off that took place at Redemption Church at Greenstone in Modderfontein, on the East Rand, on Wednesday.
Freddy Mokoena said when he got to her apartment, he found her lying down on the floor, a scene he will never forget.
The family said it was waiting for a full autopsy report to find out what was the cause of death.
“I hated to see my daughter lying down on that floor. But we will find out what took her,” a weeping Mokoena told mourners, including TV stars.
Mokoena said it was difficult to accept that his daughter was gone. He defined her as smart, fierce, talented and stubborn, and related how Lurayi would refuse to wear certain clothes when going to crèche.
“I remember as a young girl, I used to take her to crèche when she was young. Every day, before we go there, there will be a discussion because she will either refuse to wear a red tracksuit or she did not want to go to crèche that day.
“But she taught me a lot even though she was young. She knew how to say no. I am proud of her.
“Busi was well-raced by her mother and her grandmothers. I used to play Ray Charles’s song called It Is Crying Time while driving with her. When I found her that day lying down, I wondered if it was crying time for me.”
Her aunt Sonti Lurayi said she would miss her love for cooking and dancing.
“Busi was stylish and loved fashion. She loved life and was loud. We will ultimately remember how much she danced for us. She left us as the family with great memories and love.
“Our hearts have been shattered by your death Busi. Now that days have gone by, it is starting to sink in that you are gone. We are crying and in deep sorrow right now.”
Lurayi’s cousin Sizwe Mokoena said: “It is a very difficult time for the family to accept your death. Busi was our oldest sister and when we were young we look forward to school holidays and be with her again in Durban. I loved her commitment to her craft and confidence.”
Joburg Theatre artistic director James Ngcobo, who worked with the actress in different shows, including Nina Simone Four, said he had casted Lurayi on another show — A Piano Lesson.
“Busi and Phakamisa were going to be leads in that show. I have worked with many actors but there was something that transcended acting with Busi. We shared pictures of the food we cook because I love cooking. Busi would disappear and immerse herself into a character.”
Actors Lerato Mvelase and Aubrey Pooe performed during the service.
Lurayi was expected to be buried at the Mooifontein Cemetery in Kempton Park.