Beloved radio personality bravely battles cancer


Elma Visagie, operational manager of Radio Namakwaland, died of cancer on Wednesday at the age of 46.

“Her death is a great loss for the community. She was a beloved radio personality and made an indispensable contribution as a spiritual leader on the West Coast,” Egbert Brink, manager of Radio Namakwaland, told RNews on Friday.

Elma had aggressive melanoma cancer. She had been healthy for the past eight years before cancer suddenly spread through her body again last year.

According to Egbert, Elma fought a severe battle against this disease in the last few months, but she remained positive all the time and finally fought against the disease.

“Few people knew that she was sick. Elma chose to keep it private and really only share it with her inner circle.

“Her fighting spirit and will to get well stood out to me. Every day she got up courageously and went on with her life, and there was no need for her to stop working.”

Elma was surrounded by family and friends at the time of her death. She is survived by her husband, Pieter, and 11-year-old son, Drico. Pastor Nelis van Rooyen of the Life Church Vredendal, where the Visagies were parishioners, was also present when Elma breathed her last.

“Her passing is a tremendous loss, because she had such a special need to be with people connect. But, Elma was ready to go and she said so several times in the last days before her death.

“Although Elma had hope and faith that she would recover, she was also very honest about her struggle. She also said when things go bad. Her walk and relationship with the Lord were extremely important, and she knew that this was where her strength came from,” says Nelis.

Before Elma was appointed operations manager at the radio station in 2019, she was also an announcer who was best known for her well-prepared and touching religious programs.

“Elma will be remembered as a loving servant for Jesus Christ. She made an effort to understand other people’s challenges and hardships and to encourage them.”

Behind the scenes, she made a big contribution to the success of the station, adds Egbert.

“Elma was a meticulous and dedicated worker and she was a pillar of support in many ways. She made sure that we achieved our goal of serving the community, and she had a very strong administrative mindset that helped keep things organized.”

When the news of her passing was shared with Radio Namakwaland’s community on Facebook, many listeners were shocked and surprised. Since then, many people have expressed their condolences and paid tribute.

“Elma was a very talented person with an exceptional flair for radio. May you find comfort in the fact that, with her calm, calm manner, she made a lasting difference in the lives of many Radio Namaqualand listeners. She will surely be missed (sic),” wrote Annet Smit.

Sylvia Tredoux believes Visagie’s work testified to someone who has a deep relationship with God, and Amanda Beets says she will be remembered as a “loving and caring person with a soft smile”.