He had dreams, goals and a legacy he wanted to achieve.
But it’s all gone now. The family of DJ and producer Sandile Mkhize (33), better known as DJ Citi Lyts, have confirmed his death after he was shot dead in Soweto on Valentine’s Day morning.
Citi Lyts, the younger brother of late rapper Linda “Pro” Mkhize, who died in 2018 after she was found dead in his girlfriend’s apartment in downtown Johannesburg in August, was reportedly shot multiple times.
Citi Lyts wanted to carry on her brother’s legacy, but her dreams were cut short.
In a 2019 interview with Citi Lyts, he was struggling to come to terms with his brother’s death and released the song Cel’Ukuthi (Can I Please), dedicated to the late ProKid.
The song features up-and-coming rappers Touchline and Red Button, who were mentored by ProKid, and Gigi Lamayne, who he discovered.
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Prior to Pro’s death, the brothers were working on releasing their first song together. “Pro never wanted me to take advantage of his fame, that’s why it took us longer to make a song together,” Citi Lyts explained. He wanted to build on the legacy left by Pro, but still struggles to accept that his brother is no more.
“I’m still going through a lot,” he said.
“I shared so many special moments with my brother and we had so many plans. I’m trying to accept it, but the pain won’t go away.
Pro died of a bleeding pancreas, the family later revealed. The rumor mill accelerated in the weeks following his passing, adding to the grief of his loved ones.
“People said he overdosed on drugs and got drunk,” Citi Lyts said.
“They said I inherited his money and spent it recklessly and he died in the arms of his girlfriend, Mandisa Mbanjwa, but I don’t know any of that. My brother wasn’t a very open guy – he was very protective of me and there were a lot of things he didn’t share with me. All I knew was that he and Mandisa were friends. When she talked about their relationship, I was shocked.
Mandisa was initially barred from attending Pro’s funeral and the drama made national headlines. City Lyts, said: “Mandisa has been left out out of respect for Pro’s baby mum, Ayanda Dlamini. He says everything is fine now.
“Mandisa had a smudging ceremony like everyone else and she meets my dad sometimes.”
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When ProKid died, Citi Lyts hadn’t seen him for a month.
“We both had busy schedules and I was about to leave Ambitiouz Entertainment to become a freelance artist. I’m sad that I couldn’t spend time with him in the last month of his life,” a- he declared.
He was at home when he got a call from one of ProKid’s friends asking him to come to Mandisa’s apartment urgently. Initially, he thought Pro had been arrested. “I thought about a lot of things, but I didn’t think he was dead,” he says.
Upon arrival, Citi Lyts found her brother on a bed in the three-bedroom apartment, covered with a duvet.
“There was vomit all around the bed,” he recalls.
“I was too late – he was already gone. According to his friends, ProKid hadn’t been feeling well the night before.
“He kept having seizures and needed them to massage him and stretch his arms,” says Citi Lyts, “but they didn’t think about it and went out clubbing when he broke down. sleeping.” When they got home, they found that Pro had gotten worse. He was unable to speak and had vomited green stuff. They called the paramedics, but it was too late to save him,” he said, his voice shaking.
“I couldn’t believe my brother died like this. I just broke down.
A grief-stricken Citi Lyts blamed ProKid’s friends for her untimely death.
“I was upset that his friends were relaxing with him, and they knew he was sick but didn’t take him to the doctor. They just went out and didn’t check on him,” he says shaking the head.
The first person he called that night was ProKid’s best friend, Orlando Pirates footballer Thabo Qalinge. Then Citi Lyts phoned her father, Zwelakhe Mkhize.
“I told my dad something had happened to Pro and he had to come,” he says.
“I didn’t want to tell him over the phone.” Ayanda saw the news on social media and called Citi Lyts to confirm it. “My mother was the last person to know,” he adds.
“I knew she wouldn’t take the news well and I didn’t know how to tell her. She had a thing for Pro.
The death of rapper Dankie San has taken a toll on his family. Her mother, Fezile Vilakazi, had been in and out of hospital since the tragedy and a great responsibility fell on Citi Lyts’ shoulders.
“Pro was the one who supported everyone’s dreams in the family and now he’s gone,” Citi Lyts said. As one of the administrators of his brother’s estate, he now has to take care of Pro’s daughter, Nonkanyezi (6).
“Nonkanyezi is growing up so fast,” he says, “but I avoid talking to him on the phone. It kills me because my voice sounds like Pro and she thinks it’s daddy. Citi Lyts says he also needs to make sure his parents and siblings, Paul (43), Nhlanhla (40) and Nonkululeko (25), receive royalties from Pro’s music.
“I have to stay strong for everyone.”
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His new responsibilities weighed on his relationship with singer Gigi Lamayne (27), whom he had been dating for almost two years. He was so overwhelmed with grief and pain that he failed to notice that Gigi had slipped into a downward spiral of depression.
“I wasn’t there for her. I just pulled myself into a corner,” he said.
“When she contacted me, I was cold and unresponsive. Sometimes when she was feeling down, I would tell her to go to the gym, read more, get up and go for a walk. It took a while. time to realize that depression is a serious thing that requires professional help.
In a way, Pro’s death brought Citi Lyts and Gigi closer together, and they rekindled their romance.
“I had to feel pain to understand depression. Now our relationship has improved. We are happier and I am more sensitive to his needs,” he says.
Citi Lyts, who sought professional help after her brother’s death, says he will continue to seek therapy to help him cope with his loss. He also intends to work on his emotions with music, he adds.
“I know my big brother will smile down on me,” he says.