Joe Mafela — a Mzansi legend gone too soon

2017-03-29 06:03 Mafela, beloved TV character, producer and director, died in a car accident last weekend. Mafela, beloved TV character, producer and director, died in a car accident last weekend.

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ACTOR, writer, producer, director, singer and businessman Joe Mafela died at the age of 75 on Saturday.

According to Johannesburg Metro police spokesperson Edna Mamonyane, Mafela died following a car accident. His nephew Anthony Mafela broke the news of his death on Twitter on Sunday.

Joe “Sdumo” Mafela was born 1942 in Sibasa, Transvaal, and was brought up in Kliptown and White City Jabavu, in Soweto, near Johannesburg.

He started acting in movies at the age of 22, playing the role of an editor in the movie Real News.

Mafela went on to join the South African film company SA Films and worked as producer, director and film actor for 20 years.

He also managed the multi-ethnic dance troupes Mzumba, Sangoma, and the Gold Reef Dancers, which performed in feature films, theatres and hotels.

The actor co-starred in the first all-black movie made in South Africa, as Peter Pleasure in Udeliwe in 1974. He went on to work with director Peter R. Hunt in the 1976 film Shout at the Devil.

In 1986 he was cast as the unemployed lodger S’dumo in the Zulu language comedy series Sgudi ’Snaysi, which ran for 78 episodes on SABC.

Mafela co-owned the production company Penguin Films, where he worked as creative producer.

Mafela conceptualised and starred in early Chicken Licken TV ads, and authored the company’s “It’s good, good, good, it’s good it’s nice” jingle during the making of the commercial in 1986.

In 1996, Gallo Records released the album Shebeleza Felas, with the hit Shebeleza­ (Okongo Mame). It was a huge success, and Shebeleza was a theme song during the Africa Cup of Nations in 1996. He went on to record and release several other Zulu language albums.

— News24.


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