Doctor Sindisiwe van Zyl lived several lifetimes in the 45 years that she was on earth, all of them anchored by love and faith. The daughter of Rita Mahamba-Sithole and Muchadeyi Masunda, she was born in Harare on the 3rd of April 1976 and raised on love and confidence. Age four, when accompanying her grandmother to the hospital, Sindi decided to become a medical doctor. Studying a BSC in Human Physiology and Psychology and MBChB at the University of Pretoria from 1996 to 2005, she blossomed intellectually, socially and politically.
Joining Radio Tuks in 1997, she began a lifelong love of broadcasting. Sindi became an HIV Clinician in public health, championing free access to ARVs working to eliminate mother to child HIV transmission. Sindi gave her life to God while at medical school and this crystalised her purpose and vision. It led to meeting Marinus van Zyl, who became her husband in August 2004. Nandi and Manie were born in the years thereafter.
As an intern at Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital and a doctor with Anova Health Institute in Soweto, surrounded by despair, she redefined HIV to mean Hope Is Victory. Her victories include using social media and mainstream media to share HIV-related knowledge and other health information that is easy to understand.
Sindi loved medicine, radio, and deejaying. In 2018 she joined KayaFM to host Sidebar with Sindi, a talk show that combined her love for radio with her empathy, expertise and flair for conversation. She relished all her roles – daughter, friend, researcher, sister, aunt, cousin, doctor, speaker, entrepreneur, student, social butterfly, perfumista, deejay and chief liker of all things fabulous – but truly, she was in her element as a mother and wife. She loved her family and enjoyed them wholeheartedly.
They will always be the perfect embodiment of her love, hope and faith.
Sindi passed on 10th of April 2021. She is survived by her husband, children, father and siblings; and a legacy that will endure for years to come