Minister of Arts and Culture, Nathi Mthethwa said South Africa had lost one of its most precious stars, following the death of Joe Mafela in a motor vehicle accident on Saturday night.
“We are shocked and deeply saddened to learn about the news of the passing of legendary Actor, Director & Musician ubaba Joe Mafela,” said Mthethwa via his twitter feed.
“We extend our condolences to the family, friends, and fans of ubaba Joe Mafela,” added the Minister.
There are few actors in the country who have captured the imagination of South Africans more than Mafela. He was hilarious, he was dynamic and he was a pioneer.
In 1974 Mafela co-starred in the first all-black movie made in South Africa, as Peter Pleasure in Udeliwe, but it was his performances on the small screen that will likely be most remembered.
The Zulu language comedy ‘Sgudi Snaysi’, where he played the role of an unemployed lodger, was a roaring success, and much of that was due to the performance of Mafela.
That iconic role laid the platform for a career that many in the South African performing arts can only dream of, whether it be on stage, in front of the MIC or behind the camera. Mafela did it all.