Bra Boikie s death leaves a huge void
THE spear has fallen, signalling the end of an era as the South African TV, film and theatre industry bids farewell to the doyen of black performing arts, Boikie Mohlamme.
Tributes and condolences are pouring in after the death of the 84-year-old TV and film actor and producer this week, eight days before his birthday. He died of heart failure at Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital.
Mohlamme and his wife, Roseline Morapedi, were the faces of local TV dramas during the dark days of apartheid in the 1970s and 80s. She died in a car crash in 1997.
Mohlamme was famous for singlehandedly challenging the SABC to pay royalties to the families of dead actors for reruns of programmes they appeared in.
executive producer Duma kaNdlovu, said he met Mohlamme when he was staging his theatre production in the 1970s.
KaNdlovu said there were three top township protest theatre producers in the country Mohlamme, Sam Mahangwane and the late Gibson Kente.
I was a youngster then, but created a personal relationship with him. He was the first person I invited to work with when I got the contract.
A man with a big heart, who put everybody first. He always fought for the decent treatment of actors.”
His colleague and good friend Kid Mabutho Sithole said: He was a stalwart. We are poor without him. He fought for artists when it was unfashionable to do so. His passion for the rights of performers led him to confront the bosses… he became unpopular for doing the right thing.
Bra Boikie had been at the forefront of the fight for actors’ rights. He was a gallant fighter and got no rewards.
Producer and director Neo Matsunyane said he was Mohlamme’s neighbour in Meadowlands, Soweto.
The relationship was professional, but he was also like a dad to me. He devoted his time to fighting for members of the performing arts and created enemies for himself in the process. He was a selfless man who never wanted to hog the headlines or be in the limelight.”
Actress Mary Makgatho of said she called him papa
He was a father figure to many, a mentor. He took advice and never acted as a know-all.”
Mohlamme was a founding member of the Performing Arts Workers’ Equity, which merged with the Musicians Union of South Africa to form the Creative Workers Union of South Africa. He acted in TV dramas such as
and and directed others, including in which his wife appeared. He also appeared in the films
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and Born in Lefurutshane village near Groot Marico in North West, Mohlamme leaves two sons, a daughter and grandchildren. A memorial service will be held at the SABC Auditorium at 11am tomorrow and the funeral will be on Tuesday.
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