Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Coronavirus: etv News boss Nisa Allie pays tribute to cameraman Lungile Tom who died from Covid-19: The loyal 'fist-pumping guy who documented everything and who liked a muffin and coffee for breakfast'.

by Thinus Ferreira

Nisa Allie,'s head of news, on Wednesday described the etv News and eNCA cameraman Lungile Tom who died Wednesday morning in South Africa  from Covid-19 as "the fist-pumping guy" who was extremely loyal, documented everything, and who liked a muffin and coffee for breakfast.

eMedia Investments was stunned over news of the cameraman's death on Wednesday morning who became one of the latest victims of the global Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic in South Africa, with South Africa's TV news and media fraternity who mourned his untimely passing.

On Wednesday switched its afternoon, 18:30 and 20:00 etv News TV news bulletins to the eNCA feed which was simulcast on after's Cape Town studio went into lockdown.

"Seven years ago I was the Cape Town news editor for eNCA at the time and we had a vacancy in our camera department and he had applied for the position. I remember sitting across the table from him and seeing this larger-than-life character," Nuruniesa Allie, head of news and sport, told eNCA and etv News on Wednesday night from self-isolation in her home.

Nisa Allie paid tribute to Lungile Tom from her home after his death this morning after she went into self-isolation similar to the over 70 other eMedia staffers in Cape Town who have are now under quarantine.

"Within a few moments I realised that this was a man who carried his heart on his sleeve. He believed in being kind, he believed in being respectful, and he loved his craft. We instantly knew that this was the right fit for our organisation."

"I have been very privileged to see Lungile Tom bloom in his position," said Nisa Allie.

"In the office, this larger-than-life character he was the first-pumping guy. He was the person who, if he felt that you looked a bit down on the day, he would come and ask you is everything okay. He was extremely loyal to the people he cared about."

"He was constantly on Whatsapp, sometimes just sending you a joke to remind you that he was there. New Year's Eve you'd always get a message from Lungile. I have been so touched to read some of the many tributes that have been posted on social media - people who have contacted us, his colleagues."

"He loved documenting. Besides being a camera person and documenting stories, he documented every single moment of his life. You'd go onto Whatsapp to the status updates and you'd see what Lungile had been up to on the day: He had visited a colleague in hospital and had taken a photograph. The event didn't happen unless he had taken a photo."

"Somebody else had written how, at parliament, where he had become quite a force and a familiar face, he was very pedantic about the reporters going on-air and looking good. He loved being in that space. He spoke to politicians, he spoke to police officers who were based there."

"He liked a muffin and coffee for breakfast - never asked for it - but his friends knew that's what he liked. He embodied that warm person, kind individual every single day".

The eNCA anchor Sally Burdett, said Lungile Tom "was not just someone who was just passionate about television and camerawork but just a wonderful, wonderful man".

ALSO READ: Coronavirus: cameraman Lungile Tom fondly known as 'Marawa' who worked for eNews and eNCA dead from Covid-19, staffers who had contact will be tested and told to stay home.
ALSO READ: Coronavirus: eNCA anchor Sally Burdett on the Covid-19 death of cameraman Lungile Tom as more details are revealed: 'It's just so sudden and so shocking and so desperately sad.'
ALSO READ: Coronavirus: Lockdown of eMedia Investments' building in Cape Town for a Covid-19 deep-clean after cameraman Lungile Tom's death, over 70 staffers sent into home-quarantine to self-isolate for 14 days.
ALSO READ: Coronavirus: Tributes flow after Covid-19 death of etv News and eNCA cameraman Lungile Tom: 'A tender, older-brother figure whose physical size made you feel safe and secure no matter where we were reporting from'.