SWV singer Cheryl “Coko” Gamble is facing a new challenge after losing her cousin Sheila Laney to lupus. Laney left behind her twins, DJ and Nevea, who are now being raised by Gamble.
In an interview with Essence, Gamble revealed that she promised her cousin she would take care of her twins if something happened to her.
“We were like, ‘Of course, sure, no problem,’ and she was getting paperwork in order and everything,” Gamble explained. “Shortly thereafter, she got really sick and passed away, so here we are today.”
Gamble is not parenting alone, however. She has the support of her 76-year-old mother, Lady Tibba Gamble, and her youngest son Jayye. The family recently moved DJ and Nevea from New York to Virginia, where they’re based, to care for them.
“Nevea is autistic, and DJ, he’s just brilliant,” Coko shared. “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.”
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Despite the challenges of taking on a new parenting role, Coko is embracing the experience. “It’s challenging,” she admitted. “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.”
Coko, who has two children of her own, Lil Tracy and Jalen Clemons, is also learning how to adapt to parenting again after having an empty nest. She’s even taken on the task of braiding Nevea’s hair for school, despite her long nails and back pain.
“It’s challenging,” Coko adds. “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.”