SWV’s Coko Opens Up About Caring For Late Cousin’s Children

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Singer Coko opens up about keeping her promise to her late cousin by taking in her children.

Coko’s cousin, Sheila Laney, passed away after her battle with lupus, however, she revealed that they were getting things in order just in case something was to happen. “She had lupus, and we feel like she knew that she was sick already and wouldn’t be here much longer because she was getting things in order,” the singer said. “We were like, ‘Of course, sure, no problem,’ and she was getting paperwork in order and everything. Shortly thereafter, she got really sick and passed away, so here we are today.”

Shortly before her death, Laney contracted COVID-19 leaving behind her 12-year-old twins, a son, DJ, and a daughter, Nevea. Coko said, “It’s family. I would want somebody to do that for me.” 

She continued, “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 singer’s mother, Lady Tibba Gamble is also helping out with raising the twins. Coko also spoke about the challenges that she has faced since the twins moved in with her in January. “Nevea is autistic, and DJ, he’s just brilliant.” 

She added, “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.

She went on to say, “It’s challenging. 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.”