“I HAVE learnt with shock of the sudden passing of Shadrack Ngema. We join his family, his many friends and fans, and former colleagues at Ukhozi FM, in mourning his passing,” these were the words of Minister Nathi Mthethwa.
Ngema (65) died at Prince Mshiyeni in Umlazi from a heart attack on Saturday.
“We shall forever remember this outstanding actor and veteran broadcaster for his role as Magubane in the popular sitcom, Emzini Wezinsizwa and as a presenter and commentator on Ukhozi FM,” said Mthethwa in a press release on Monday.
The minister said Emzini Wezinsizwa’s story of life in hostels told the truth and demonstrated how residents of Room 8, despite coming from diverse backgrounds and speaking different languages, could interact and live together in harmony.
Alongside other characters, including Mkhize (late Ronald Mqwebu), Mofokeng, Tshawe, Chirwali and Magubane, played by Ngema, viewers experienced the realities of life that are humorous and revealing.
Magubane was a post office messenger by day and an inyanga (resident traditional healer) when off duty.
Ngema played the role of Magubane so convincingly that he quipped in an interview: “I guess the part was tailor-made for me because people truly believe I’m an inyanga. They consult me for all sorts of ailments.”
Ngema came from Maphumelelo, KwaZulu-Natal and started his acting career in the series about Shaka Zulu where he played one of the king’s generals.
He worked for the SABC for more than 30 years, initially as an administrator, then as a broadcaster, a sports announcer and presenter on Ukhozi FM and in radio dramas for which he won many awards over the years.
He also appeared in many stage plays. Although he later retired, Ngema remained linked to broadcasting.
He was a seasoned performer, whose acting showed great commitment to his work and insight into the characters he portrayed. He was a true all-rounder as an artist who embraced a range of art disciplines and excelled at all.
“His death comes a few months after we paid our last respects to Roland Mqwebu, another legendary actor, with whom Ngema acted in Emzini Wezinsizwa.
“We shall remember Ngema’s contribution to the arts as that of a leading light who broke new ground, paved the road ahead and provided us with greater insights into ourselves.
“Our condolences go to his family, friends and many fans. Lala ngokuthula Shadrack Ngema,” said Mthethwa.
Ngema will be buried on Saturday. – Supplied.