SWV’s Coko Gamble Shares How ‘Challenging’ It Is After Taking In Her Late Cousin’s Twins

SWV’s Cheryl “Coko” Gamble stepped up to the plate after losing her cousin Sheila Laney to Lupus. In the wake of Laney’s passing, Coko has become the guardian of her late cousin’s 12-year-old twins.

Coko was just starting to relax after raising her adult sons Jayye Michael, 27, and Lil’ Tracy, 20. But the R&B singer made a promise to Laney that if anything ever happened, she would care for her children.

When Laney lost her battle with Lupus after contracting COVID-19, she left behind her 12-year-old twins, son DJ and daughter Nevea. Since Laney’s passing, Coko and her 76-year-old mother Lady Tibba Gamble have been maintaining the village it takes to raise a child.

“She was sick,” Coko told People. “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.”

In January, Coko moved the twins from New York City to her residence in Virginia and doesn’t regret the big life change.

“It’s family,” Coko says. “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 “So Into You” singer explained the “teamwork” involved with caring for the twins and handling Nevea’s special needs.

“Nevea is autistic and DJ, he’s just brilliant,” Coko explains. “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 continued.

The new family dynamics aren’t easy, but it’s a situation Coko wouldn’t have any other way.

“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,” she said. “But God had other plans for us.”