SWV‘s Cheryl “Coko” Gamble is living up to a promise she made to her cousin who left two children behind when she became ill and died.
Shortly before the tragedy, the R&B singer vowed to take care of 12-year-old twins DJ and Nevea if anything ever happened to their mother Sheila Laney, who later contracted COVID-19 and faced other complications.
“She had lupus, and we feel like she knew that she was sick already and that she wouldn’t be here much longer because she was getting things in order. We were like, ‘Of course, sure, no problem,’ and she was getting paperwork in order and everything. Shortly thereafter, she got really sick and she passed away, and so here we are today,” Coko told People.
Coko, who already raised two children who are now independent adults, welcomed twins DJ and Nevea with open arms.
“It’s family,” Coko said. “I would want somebody to do that for me. [I’m] pretty sure my mom would’ve wanted somebody to do that for her, so when she asked it was like a no-brainer, absolutely. I have the room. We were just that tight. She knew we had her back and we knew that she had ours, if anything ever happened.”
The R&B singer is also getting help from her 76-year-old mother Lady Tibba Gamble as she focuses on raising the children.
“It’s challenging,” Coko said. “But I think we needed this because I was ready to just prepare to take my mother and let’s go off into the sunset. But God had other plans for us.”
DJ and Nevea are finding comfort in their new home.
“Nevea is autistic and DJ, he’s just brilliant,” Coko said. “It’s been very loud. I’m used to it being quiet because my kids are grown. It’s been very active, and we stay busy. Because my mother, myself and Jayye, he’s here, my youngest son. My mom gets up in the morning with them. I do Nevea’s hair, Jayye picks out the clothes. It’s like teamwork.”