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The South African audio visual industry losses veteran entertainer, Joe Mafela

By 28 June 2021No Comments

The South African audio visual industry losses veteran entertainer, Joe Mafela


The National Film and Video Foundation (NFVF) is saddened by the passing of award winning actor Joe Mafela. The legendary and phenomenal actor, songwriter, film director and producer passed away unexpectedly on Saturday evening.

Joe Mafela’s illustrious career began over 5 decades ago. He made history when he co-starred in South Africa’s first black film, Udeliwe in 1974. His television career cemented his contribution to the audio visual industry and his iconic roles in popular sitcoms such as Going UpMadam and Eve and Sgudi Snaysi gave audiences memorable characters. In the latter sitcom, Joe Mafela portrayed “Sdumo” a character that would capture the audiences’ hearts, and be the source of many laughs throughout the late 80s and 90s.


In 2005, his immeasurable contribution to the audio visual industry was recognised, he was awarded the Lifetime Achiever Award by the South African Film and Television Awards (SAFTAs). Joe Mafela’s comedic genius inspired many and his willingness to mentor young actors and aspirant comedians made him a truly special individual. His excellence was recognised both internationally and locally.

“Bab Joe’s contribution to the South African audio visual industry is incomparable and the news of his passing has saddened us. He will forever be remembered not only for his impeccable work ethic, mentorship of young actors, and passion for his craft but also for his warmth and humour. His memory will live on through the iconic characters he portrayed and the laughs he provided to South Africans audiences for decades. We send our deepest condolences to the Mafela family and wish them strength during this difficult time. Their loss is shared and felt by the industry as a whole,” says Zama Mkosi, CEO of the National Film and Video Foundation.

May his soul rest in eternal peace, we will treasure the characters he gave us for decades to come.


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