CityPress - - Voices -

Sandile Ntuli Gaut­eng very so of­ten, there comes an en­ter­tainer who is able to stand out from the crowd. Joe Mafela (19422017) was that kind of en­ter­tainer. Mafela was able to take a genre that for many an ac­tor is dif­fi­cult to per­fect – com­edy – and he was able to get 10 out of 10 ev­ery time.

Whether he found him­self as im­bun­gulu (the bed­bug) in his most recog­nis­able role as Sdumo in ’Sgudi ’Snaysi, or whether he was Jab­u­lani Ce­bekhulu in Go­ing Up!, Mafela proved time and again that he was a thes­pian who had a deep re­spect for his craft.

He truly dis­cov­ered the spe­cial ingredient that de­fined the lead char­ac­ter in a com­edy se­ries, the same way Ray Nt­lok­wana did as Ve­laphi in the isiXhosa sit­com of the same name.

We will never see the likes of Mafela again; he was taken too soon. Yet, that spe­cial ingredient for mak­ing a great sit­com that Mafela and his con­tem­po­raries dis­cov­ered is the in­her­i­tance that he leaves be­hind.

Present-day com­edy ac­tors and writ­ers ur­gently need to find that ingredient in the same way Mafela and his con­tem­po­raries did. Joe Mafela is gone, but not for­got­ten.

Lala ngox­olo (rest in peace), Sdumo.


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