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Minister: Joe Mafela was a generous man

The Department of Arts and Culture has paid tribute to entertainer Joe Mafela, who died in a car accident in Johannesburg on Saturday night.

Joe Mafela

According to the department's spokesperson, Lisa Combrinck, Minister Nathi Mthethwa has described Mafela as a generous man.


"The nation has lost an extraordinary son of the soil. He was multi-talented and multi-skilled, much-loved and much-revered. We salute his lifelong contribution to South African arts and culture," the department says.


Combrinck also conveyed strength and heartfelt condolences to the Mafela family, his friends and fans.


"Joe Mafela is a household name to all of us, as he spent decades on the big and small screens acting out a countless number of roles which showed his versatility as an actor. His role as the character, S'dumo, in Sgudi Snaysi remains in the consciousness and cultural imagination of the nation as a whole," Minister Mthethwa says.

ALSO READ: Jerry Mofokeng: "Joe Mafela was truly loved"


Mafela was not only a loved actor, but also a producer, director, advertising director as well as a musician whose hit songs, including 'Shebeleza', came to dominate the air waves.


He was born in Sibasa in Limpopo, and raised in Kliptown and Tshiawelo, Soweto, where he began his career in 1965.


That is the year when he made his acting debut in the film "Real News", where he played an editor.


In 1974 he starred in South Africa's first black feature film "Udeliwe", which gained him a new following among movie-goers. During the 1980s his television career blossomed with "Sgudi Snaysi". 


Mafela also became a creative director in the advertising industry, where he focused on producing. 


He won numerous awards including a Loerie award for his advertising work and Best Actor in Comedy at the South African Film and Television Awards. 


He also received an Emmy nomination.

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