Press release: Brand South Africa saddened at passing of actor Joe Mafela

South African actor Joe Mafela’s contribution to the arts has effectively improved the country’s image says Brand South Africa. (Youtube: Expresso Show)

Johannesburg, Wednesday 22 March 2017 – “Joe Mafela will always be remembered as a legendary actor, songwriter, and producer who made momentous contributions to the nations arts and culture sector, and thereby effectively improving a country’s image,” said Brand South Africa’s CEO, Dr Kingsley Makhubela on the passing of Mafela.

Renowned actor Joe Mafela died in a car accident on Saturday night. The death of the beloved entertainer in a car crash on Saturday night has continued to prompt great reaction from the nation.

Born in 1942 in Sibasa, Limpopo Province Mafela made his acting debut in 1964, when he starred in the feature film “Real News” directed by Peter Hunt, but he is well known for playing the role of Sdumo on SABC 1’s Sgudi ‘Snaysi.

Popularly known for his acting and comedy – Mafela has been in the South African entertainment industry for over 50 years. In 1974 Mafela co-starred in South Africa’s first black feature film, “Udeliwe”.

With the advent of television in South Africa in 1976, Mafela worked almost continuously in that medium, and 1986 he was cast as the unemployed lodger S’dumo in the Zulu language comedy series ‘Sgudi ‘Snaysi. The success of ‘Sgudi ‘Snaysi (“Is Good, Is Nice”) – which ran to 78 episodes on SABC – led to roles in other series, often produced by Mafela’s own production company Penguin Films.

Mafela’s career in the entertainment industry included the release of his debut music album Shebeleza Fela in 1996 with the popular hit “Shebeleza (Congo Mama)”, which became the theme song during the Africa Cup of Nations in 1996.

Dr Makhubela concluded: “His presence in the entertainment industry will be sorely missed. We express our deepest condolences to the family and loved ones of Mr Mafela. We share in your mourning.”