Vet­eran ac­tress com­mit­ted to craft

Mak­gatho keen on learn­ing other lan­guages

The Star Early Edition - - NEWS - MATLHATSI DIBAKWANE

SHE breathed life into every­thing; she had an amaz­ing smile; the most joy­ous, bril­liant of laughs that filled the room; and a per­son­al­ity that spilled over into your spirit.

This is what speak­ers at the memo­rial ser­vice of Mary Mak­gatho, who died on Mon­day morn­ing af­ter com­pli­ca­tions from a fall in July, said of the ac­tress when they re­mem­bered her at the Breyten­bach Theatre in Sun­ny­side yes­ter­day.

The day was her birth­day; the Soshanguve-born ac­tress would have turned 53.

The mood at the ser­vice was som­bre as in­dus­try giants such as Mot­shabi Tyelele, Molefi Mon­aisa, Peter Mashigo and Boikie Pholo mourned the pass­ing of the vet­eran ac­tress.

Close friend and col­league Tyelele broke out in song as she said that her late friend loved life and “was al­ways in song”.

She said she could not bear the pain and tears started rolling down her face as she re­called the mem­o­ries made with Mak­gatho.

She de­scribed the woman who had fea­tured on the small screen for years, as an ac­tress of a high cal­i­bre and was pained by her pass­ing. “The pain is so deep now.

“She is ir­re­place­able as she rep­re­sented all the voice­less women in the con­ti­nent. She was re­spect­ful, hum­ble and pas­sion­ate and not ar­ro­gant,” Tyelele said.

She said she would miss her and told other mourn­ers to go with an open heart to the fu­neral so that Mak­gatho could rest in peace.

Leg­endary di­rec­tor Neo Mat­sun­yane told the mourn­ers that he was thrown by the death, of what he de­scribed as a bril­liant woman when it came to her craft. She was al­ways pro­fes­sional, he said.

“It was one hell of a sur­prise… the one thing I re­mem­ber about her is the pro­fes­sion­al­ism she car­ried and the com­mit­ment she had for her craft,” he said.

Mot­sun­yane re­called how Mak­gatho al­ways gave her all to every­thing that she did and re­mem­bered her dur­ing the time they worked to­gether on an SABC2 drama se­ries Kele­bone, in 1998.

He re­mem­bered how the the ac­tress, while on chil­dren’s show Sesame Street, was keen on learn­ing other lan­guages.

Mak­gatho was well known for roles played in Rhythm City, Duma, Ga Re Dumele and Yizo Yizo, among oth­ers.

In­dus­try col­league Tony Kgoroge said it had been a dif­fi­cult two years in the arts in­dus­try as they lost peo­ple they still needed within the in­dus­try. “It has been dif­fi­cult, we have lost very prom­i­nent and very tal­ented peo­ple,” he said.

Kgoroge re­mem­bered how, when he was first elected chair­per­son of the Cre­ative and Cul­tural In­dus­tries Fed­er­a­tion of South Africa, Mak­gatho was happy for him and said he should be head strong.

“She was happy I was given the role and said ex­actly this: ‘Stay there be­cause you un­der­stand the in­dus­try’,” he said.

Fam­ily rep­re­sen­ta­tive Lazarus Moloi said her mem­ory would live in their hearts and they were proud of the per­son she was.

Mak­gatho was not mar­ried and had no chil­dren, and yes­ter­day her siblings were at the ser­vice to re­mem­ber her.

Moloi told mourn­ers that she would be buried in Soshanguve on Sun­day.


RE­SPECTED: Mary Mak­gatho, who died on Mon­day morn­ing af­ter com­pli­ca­tions from a fall in July.

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