She was a lithe and willowy figure, endowed with beauty that could only be matched by her incomparable talent.
Her voice could not only give you goose bumps, but could transport you to the greatest heights of emotion as she held a note so pure and strong and long that one would be forgiven for wondering if she would not faint when she finally inhaled.
With a long train of flawless performances behind her and a wholesome, attainable glamour Whitney Houstons good girl image was one that every mother would have wanted for her daughter.
She came from a church choir background, was as yet unscathed by nasty rumours and simply failed to attract the kind of negativity that might go with her phenomenal success.
And then she married Bobby Brown. This years Valentines Day has come and gone. Florists are trying to figure out how to get rid of the excess stock of red roses and fluffy teddy bears while popular prospects are still attempting to work out who sent them that last, unusual arrangement that they cant quite place.
I imagine that those who sent Valentines that are as yet unacknowledged are wondering whether to drop a hint or to wait patiently, whether to make a bold declaration or to cut their losses and move on.
And then of course there are those who were hoping to receive something, probably from a very specific someone and yet received nothing, and so are wondering where to take their lovelorn hearts for healing.
There is never a Valentines Day without a heartbreak of one sort or another. The day can be fraught with tensions, from non-deliveries to deliveries to unmet expectations, to those in relationships fighting over their loved ones receiving attentions from other sources, the day which is intended to be a celebration of love often becomes a collection of conflicts.
Its a real tragedy when something that was meant to be glorious turns nightmarish.
And that brings me back to Whitney Houston and her doomed marriage to Bobby Brown. The multiple-award-winning singer died this weekend under what is being called mysterious circumstances in her hotel room at the age of 48.
By this time her wholesome image had long been overtaken by stories of drug addictions which wrecked both her life, her finances and her once impossibly pure voice.
That lady sure could lift the roof with her voice and though she has been compared to other artists like Mariah Carey, Alicia Keyes and Jennifer Hudson, in my view there was no one who could match her incredible talent.
Although she accumulated awards for many hits such as I Wanna Dance With Somebody and The Greatest Love, the most popular being her rendition of I Will Always Love You, the song that comes to mind when I think of Whitney Houston is not one of hers, but a number by Anita Baker in which she croons, Baby you cant do right coz youre the wrong man!
I am not the only person in the world who thinks Bobby Brown was the axis around which Whitneys downfall revolved and of course one cant then help thinking of other women whose careers or lives seem to have been derailed by falling in love with the wrong man.
Of course it can also happen to men, and I guess thats where the local saying imba mukadzi (the woman is the backbone of the home) rings true. If you make the wrong choice, you may live to wonder whether you could have been more of a success story with a different woman by your side.
Whitney is quoted as saying, He (Bobby Brown) was my drug . . . I didnt do anything without him. I wasnt getting high by myself. It was me and him together, and we were partners, and thats what my high was him. (MTV.com) Well I guess that explains that.
It almost seems as if Whitney felt she had to compete with Bobby Browns wicked image to get some street cred. She is reported to have said that she too could get down and raunchy! Seriously? Thats like Mother Theresa claiming she too could be saucy. Maybe at gunpoint, baby!
So the sad story of the rise and fall of Whitney Houston has finally ended. But the story of heartbreak hasnt. The real answer to the question, Where do broken hearts go? doesnt lie with Ms Houston or her songwriter or producer. It lies with you and I.
Thembe Sachikonye writes in her personal capacity. Readers comments can be sent to email@example.com.
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