Fatal crash claims veteran SA actor #RIPJoeMafela

TRIBUTES are pouring in for veteran South African TV star, film producer and songwriter Joe Mafela who died in a car crash last night (Saturday, 18 March).

The 75-year-old was one of South Africa’s most well-known faces in acting and music.

The accident reportedly occurred at about 10pm on the M1 North between the Oxford and Houghton road off-ramps in Johannesburg, where a bakkie is believed to have collided with Mafela’s vehicle. Mafela was declared deceased at the scene.

His storied career in theater, film and TV included receiving a lifetime mabagement theatre achievement award in 2005. This was followed by numerous others, including the Duku Duku award sponsored by a local magazine television show. He also scooped the best actor in comedy award at the South African Film and Television Awards (SAFTA).

Mafela’s illustrious career in film, television and stage began when he made his acting debut in 1964, in the feature movie “Real News” directed by Peter Hunt.

This was the beginning of a career that would span 40 years, making him one of the most celebrated personalities in the entertainment industry, according to SA History Online website. “Real News” was followed a decade later by “Shout at the Devil”.

In 1974 Mafela co-starred in SA’s first black feature film, “Udeliwe” with Cynthia Shange.

In the 1980s his television career took off. Joe Mafela starred in a Zulu Language sitcom “Sgudi ‘Snaysi” which translates to “it is good”¦ it is nice” in English, in which he portrayed the character of “Sdumo.” Mafela did a lot of work producing, voice-overs, radio materials and advertising.

In 1996 Mafela released his first music album with the record company, Gallo Records. The album, Shebeleza, became a huge success. The title track, Shebeleza, was used as a theme song during the Africa Cup of Nations in 1996. He released three more albums in his musical career with lyrics that incorporated a combination of South Africa’s official languages.

 

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Michelle Izatt
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