The Son of Adam: A Friend’s Tribute

Terry Fortune’s regular column

Artist Terry Fortune writes a regular Facebook column called Faces of Fortune. This week he paid tribute to Zayn Adam, a friend he has known for half a century.

It was the overture for Music alla Kaap and the Zayn Adam 50 years in show-biz celebration. As the band broke into Give A Little Love a rumbling, roaring excitement broke from the capacity crowd at the Grand West Arena. The show had started.

I walked to the star dressing room to accompany Zayn to the awaiting car backstage. He was like a pedigree horse. Prancing, nervous, anxious, excited. This was his night. Cape Town had come out in their thousands to celebrate the Man, the Music and the nostalgia that goes with memories that he had created for them.

I thought about the first time I met Zayn (before the show biz spelling of his name had changed). I was walking home from Retreat Station through Allenby Estate when a voice called out:

“Excuse me. Excuse me, are you the guy who sang at the Princess Bioscope in Retreat Road last night in the Plascon Talent Contest?”

Wow he recognised me. I was so chuffed.

“I’m Scotty Adams, Zayn Adam’s dad. Come in and meet my family.”

It Was December 1971. I’m living at home in Allenby Drive, Retreat.

From the first time we met we got on like ‘kop tjommies’. We spoke about anything and everything. We agreed to disagree on many things and worked on a million shows and projects together. You know with family you share blood but with good friends you share a lifetime of memories.

Zane on the 50th celebration sat on top of an open vehicle and as the car drove into the auditorium, hundreds of thousands of bubbles descended around him. For a moment he paused, overwhelmed. His eyes misted at the reception he received. He was alive and this was his moment. It is moments like this that enriches us more than money.

He caught his breath and in a whisper that will remain with me always sang…

Yesterday when I was young
The taste of life was sweet as rain upon my tongue
I teased with life as if it were a foolish game
The way the evening breeze may tease a candle flame

Rest in peace my friend.

  • Crowds gathered outside the house
  • Observatory Cemetry
  • Salatul Janazah at Tennyson St Mosque
  • Salatul Janazah at Tennyson St Mosque
  • Salatul Janazah at Tennyson St Mosque
  • Singer Richard Jon Smith
BACK TO TOP

Discussion