Yesterday South Africans woke up to the sad news that legendary actor and entertainer Joe Mafela died tragically in a car accident. The youngsters may have known him for his very recent role as Tebogo Moroka on "Generations — The Legacy" but some oldies know him for what we've known as his first popular role as S'dumo on "'Sgudi 'Snaysi".
He was a muVenḓa man, born in Sibasa, Limpopo who grew up in Soweto and spoke all 11 official languages in South Africa. Multilingual and multi-talented, it's no wonder tributes are pouring in his fans and from actors young and old, those who worked with him and those who didn't, who admired Mafela for his contribution to the film and television industry and to entertainment as a whole.
1. Thembi Mtshali-Jones played Sis' Thoko on "'Sgudi 'Snaysi" with Mafela.
i am deeply shocked and saddened about Joe Mafela's unexpected passing.I have been in denial the whole morning. Its just not sinking!— Thembi Mtshali (@ThembiMtshali) March 19, 2017
2. Actress Florence Masebe lauded Mafela for inspiring young vhaVenḓa people through his work.
Vho-Joe Mafela was a giant who paved the way for many of us. Rine sa vhatsila vha vhaVenda ro țuțuwedzwa nga mishumo yavho. 💔😢💔😢💔— Mme a Masakona (@FloMasebe) March 20, 2017
3. TV host Hulisani Ravele shared her favourite Mafela roles.
From his antics with Laqasha on Sgudi Snaysi to his banter with Mr. Cluver on Going Up, a legend we grew up watching & loving. #RIPJoeMafela— Hulisani Ravele (@HulisaniRavele) March 19, 2017
4. Actress Thando Thabethe worked with Mafela on "Generations — The Legacy".
When you are given the opportunity to MEET let alone WORK with someone you grew up watching as a child, THAT is a privilege. To say it was an Honor Mkhulu to work with you is down playing just how much it has meant to me. I will miss your humor, humility, kindness, patience, wisdom!!! I don't get this death thing, but ya here we are...RIP Mkhulu 💔💔 I'm sad today very sad
5. Sdumo Mtshali shared what it's like to carry the weight of Mafela's character's name.
#RIPJoeMafela When I met him for the first time, my heart couldn't stop beating.. he's been apart my life more than anyone could ever know! He even told me once that storytelling is more than gold.. I salute you sir! The name Sdumo has always been heavy to carry.. I shall take it further!! I only have love and respect for you👏🏾👏🏾✊🏾✊🏾🙏🏽🙏🏽🙏🏽❤❤❤ #joemafela #Sdumo #blackisbeautiful #blackexcellence #storyteller #filmmaker #legend #love #inspiration #proudlysouthafrican #proudlyafrican
6. Actress TKay Kaula shared a clip of Mafela as Jabulani Cebekhulu on "Going Up".
"Hello, Jabulani Cebekhulu Translater For The New South Africa And All Its Regions Yes Can I Help You?" 😂😭 Watching your work everyday at work because you are basically our entire content! Wow what a man. We can never forget you. We will keep your legacy alive. #JoeMafela #RIPJoeMafela #Comedian #Actor #Legend #Going Up #SgudiSnaysi #Mbungulu #Jabulani #Sdumo #SABCEncore #SABC #Channel156
7. Producer and actress Mmabatho Montsho broke down the reason Sdumo was such an important role to her.
He did many other notable works throughout his career, but his portrayal of S'dumo stands out for most of us. This character defined an era in so many ways. He played this character with not only humor, but with selflessness and compassion. A true storyteller understands the humor in tragedy and tragedies in humor. Every storyteller dreams of that one unforgettable piece of work that touches hearts from small child to grandparent- you achieved that. You inspire many of us. Go well ntate Joe Mafela. RIP.
8. This image shared by producer and actress Terry Pheto captured Mafela's fun personality.
9. Noluthando Nqayi was thankful to Mafela for sharing his talent with the youth.
10. Actress Nomzamo Mbatha shared a fond memory of Mafela from his birthday two years ago.
11. Like Mafela, Siyabonga Radebe is an actor and comedian. He shared this on family and Sdumo.
The character of Sdumo that Joe Mafela created for Sgudi'snice gave a suffering people a sweet moment of escaping reality. No matter what was going on outside the house, people said we will deal with it when we finish watching Sdumo. Joe Mafela made every ghetto smile at the same time. I mimicked and repeated every joke from Sgudi'snice. The Sdumo character showed a beautiful life of a man struggling to make a living, hustling to stay alive with nothing of his own. That's how he won the love of the country. We recognized him, almost every one outside, was just like him. #rip #joemafela you won the hearts of the young and the old alike and that's why you will never be forgotten.
Ri di ṱongisa nga mishumo yavho vhoMafela. Vha lale nga mulalo. Aa. 🙏🏿