It was a sombre Wednesday morning as the family of the late Shona Ferguson laid him to rest.
He died on 30 July 2021 due to Covid-19 related complications. He is survived by his wife Connie Ferguson and his two daughters, Lesedi Matsunyane Ferguson and Alicia Angel Ferguson.
His funeral, which was streamed live for fans of the actor to join in, was filled with heartfelt messages and moments of laughter as he was remembered as a man who loved fiercely.
The MC opened the ceremony with a quote by Mr Ferguson “If you want to know how rich you are, find out what you have that money cannot buy”.
He described Shona as a family man with a relentless spirit.
Read more | Country in shock as actor Shona Ferguson dies
Connie Ferguson’s tribute was played via a recording she had made before the funeral.
“My love, my skat pie, Sho Fede, my Laaitie. Never in a million years did I think I’d be in this position that I am in today, speaking as I am without your physical presence,” she said.
“I thought we were going to grow old together, that’s what I saw for us, that has always been the dream. I never anticipated where we are today.
“God brought you into my life 20 years ago and I anticipated another 20 years with you. We would look at elderly people holding hands and say ‘look at us in a couple of years'.
“I have never seen anyone as strong as you when I saw how you fought at the hospital. I want you to know that I am so proud of you. My heart is a lesion. I wasn’t ready for you to go.
“When you got sick we prayed for your healing, and we believed God for your healing.
“God heals differently, he may not do it the way we think, I can’t imagine my life without you. The past few days have been like a dream. I hoped that this will be a bad dream.
“I know you’re walking with the Lord, everything you did, you did with passion. You have taught me so much. You’ve taught me, unconditional love, you were not one for half measures at all,” she said.
“Everyone knows that you loved hard, cared hard and worked hard.
“Baby here’s what you did for me, you’ve touched a lot of lives, you’ve changed the narrative. In our 20 years, we experienced a love that most people don’t get to experience in their lifetime. You loved me in a way I didn’t know was possible to love. You had the God kind of love.
“This is going to be a journey for me, a journey different from what I envisioned. I have to trust that God sees my pain and our children’s pain. What I do know is that I’m happy to have you as an angel.
“I know with God and Jesus on my side and you walking with Jesus I will be okay eventually. I know God loves me, God loved me enough to give me you for 20 years.”
Speaking about their children she added, “Our children have been so strong and the way they believe is everything that you’ve taught us.
“Even though your race on earth may have come to an end know that you fought a good fight. I have to find it in me to continue until I’m ready to join you.
“This is not goodbye because our love does not die but you continue in our hearts. Thank you, thank you for everything.
“I love you, I will always love you. This is not goodbye but until we meet again, sleep now.”
His daughters Lesedi Matsunyane Ferguson and Alicia Angel Ferguson spoke deeply about his love
“My father and I had a weird relationship, some people would swear we hated each other,” Alicia said.
“He and I are so alike, we are duplicates. A lot of people say whenever they look at me they see him. My Dad has done a lot for me, he has motivated me to take bigger steps in life, he encourages me and I’m very thankful.
“In the past, I was in my shell, he opened that shell. Whenever I had a performance, I would stress and be would say ‘you’re going to kill it’ it meant a lot to me.
“He did not doubt that I would succeed. He made me a promise to always be by my side, and I promise to always carry on his legacy and make him proud.”
Speaking of Connie and Shona’s relationship, she said they’ve been inseparable from the day they met.
“On the 31st of July 2001, he was dropping off my aunt and her friends at the house. That man met my mom they’ve been inseparable ever since. He became my dad.
“You always knew when he was around, he smelled good. My dad loved loudly. The louder he loved the stronger he became. He was always our fighter; we went to bed knowing whatever problems we had were taken care of. A lot of this feels like a bad dream, she said.
“I miss his hugs, they made me feel like everything is going to be okay, and to know that he won’t be here for any milestone we may have in the future is heartbreaking. He is a lot stronger in heaven than he was here.”
An emotional Lesedi also shared.
“This doesn’t feel real.
“I will never doubt and have never doubted the love you have for us. It’s going to be a very weird time. We lost a special piece of our hearts.
“To the original King of Joburg, you can rest now. Your love will transcend bodies and forever be in our spirits. I still feel your love around us. Thank you for teaching me to never be afraid. I miss you already. We love you, Dad, we love you Fah,” she said.WATCH | Connie and Shona Ferguson's 10th anniversary vow renewal
Taking to the mic to share the events that led to the actor’s death, was Connie Ferguson’s sister, Lerato Magdelene Philani.
“He wasn’t my brother, he was my father,” she shared.
“My brother was diagnosed with Covid-19 on 16 of June 2021. His symptoms worsened as time went on. After being admitted to the hospital, he was moved to the high care unit, he was a fighter.
“He seemed to be getting better and he was discharged. He went home on 10 July but his health deteriorated on the 11th and on the 12th, Connie called to tell me Mr Sho is not well.”
“I came over and helped as a caregiver for him. On the 15th his symptoms worsened and it resulted in him being airlifted to Netcare Milpark Hospital in Johannesburg. He spent two weeks in ICU.
“We received many calls during this time, he fought a very hard battle. We prayed so much, and we believed that he would be coming back to us.
“He gave us hope that he would be coming back home, and I know he prayed too because he was a man of massive faith. He was our leader in faith as a family,” she shared.
She added that after spending the previous night with him at the hospital, on 30 July the family received a call from the doctor that they should rush to the hospital.
“Unfortunately we got there a bit late and the doctor told us that my brother has left us,” she said.
“In the 20 years I have known you I have learnt a lot from you, I will do my best to take care of the family. I promise you that and thank you very much. I love you so much, RIP,” she said.
Shona’s elder brother, Dominique Ferguson, also spoke passionately about his late brother – giving us a glimpse into who he was as a child.
“He was a lot of things to the family, he was a pillar,” he said.
“He was the fifth child, he was spoilt a lot, we took the responsibility of looking after him.
“He was a bubbly and chubby toddler. It took a while to lose the baby fat when he got into physical fitness as a teen,” he laughed.
“He started to straighten out after he met Connie, he had a strong love for music, especially Hip-Hop he used to DJ when he was in Lesotho,” he shared.
“It hurts now that he's not here, there’s no one there to hold me up.
“Our father raised us to be independent and to love our family – and Shona took up after our dad. He was a carbon copy of our dad. I’ve always had a soft spot for him. He can’t leave before me; he has some explaining to do when we see each other.
“It hurts so bad that you are gone. I keep waking up in the middle of the night wondering if this is a dream.
“I know you’re not in pain anymore and that you are safe. I know you’re smiling down on your wife and kids. You are the blueprint; you shut down the whole city today.”
Speaking to Connie and their kids, he said, “Please know that Sho loved you and always, remember he stood for love and family.
“Rest easy Sho and we will look after our family.”
Connie’s elder brother Anthony Masello spoke about his relationship with Shona.
From the time they met and how hard it was for him to first accept Shona and Connie dating – he shared how they grew in love with each other as brothers.
“Since Shona came into our lives his always been one of us,” he shared,
“One thing I learnt from my journey with my brother is that you can assume to know a person until you know them.
“Before he met my sister, we were working at the same company, he was a manager.
When he met and fell in love with my sister, my first reaction was to not allow them to date.
“Connie was afraid of me, I thought to myself there’s no way Shona is going to date, my sister.
“After three or four months she told me they were getting married, and they got married a month after I got married. I’m happy that it went that way. These two became the personification of love. He loved my sister and everyone could see.
That brought me closer to him. We became brothers we would laugh for no reason at all. I called him Sho, and he called me Takssomaan.”
“Shona taught me it’s okay to show affection to your brothers, and in his hug, we would hold on for a few seconds. You could feel the affection oozing through him. When it came to his family, he never made excuses.”
“Sho go well in peace, I don’t know how to deal with this. I know that my brothers have got my back and I’ve got theirs.”