Influencer and Journalist Ayesha K. Faines Dies: 'If You Met Her You Loved Her'
“She was just good, good-hearted, good-natured, good to talk to, good to work with,” Doug Rubenstein, friend and fellow Grapevine panelist, tells PEOPLE
Faines' death happened "unexpectedly," Jacksonville TV station WJXT reported. The journalist used to work as a traffic anchor for the television outlet.
Doug Rubenstein, friend and fellow Grapevine panelist, tells PEOPLE, "She was just good — good-hearted, good-natured, good to talk to, good to work with. We're all just like, 'Why her, why Ayesha?' If you met her you loved her, and anyone who doesn't know her should."
WJXT anchor Melanie Lawson called Faines "such a bright light" in a tribute to her former co-worker.
"When she spoke it was like listening to poetry," she added.
"I was always so proud of her accomplishments after she left the station," Lawson continued. "Ayesha was also a fierce supporter of women. She never said a disparaging word about any woman so I wasn't surprised to see her use her voice for women's rights. She was a wonderful friend and journalist. This news is just devastating. My heart is broken for her family. I know she meant the world to them."
Her close friend and collaborator Uchechi Chinyere penned a heartfelt message about Faines on Instagram, writing, "I am so grateful I was able to ask you so you could share with the world in your own words. You were too big, too grand for this limited space. You are synonymous with legacy and icon. That is to be celebrated for the rest of time. The love my heart holds for you is immeasurable."
"The love my heart holds for you is immeasurable," Chinyere added. "But I am so lost in this sadness because a sister of mine is gone from this world and I can not comprehend."
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Faines founded Woman Love Power in 2015 to support female content creators.
The Yale University graduate had several professional accomplishments over the years, such as being a columnist for ZORA magazine and a reporter for My9TV/FOX, lecturing at universities, and being featured by MTV, Essence, Entertainment Tonight, Insider, Hot 97, Afropunk and The Michael Baisden radio show, according to her LinkedIn profile. The reporter was also a competitive salsa dancer.