HE MADE people laugh, love, dance and cry!
But now, Bra Joe is no longer with us.
THE CURTAIN HAS FALLEN ON THE CAREER OF ONE OF MZANSI’S MOST LOVED ARTISTS.
Legendary actor and musician Joe Mafela died in a car crash on Saturday night on the M1 North, Joburg, not far from his home.
Mafela, who had a great career in film, television and stage, made his acting debut in 1964. He was 75 years old.
Family, friends, fans, relatives, colleagues and neighbours gathered at his house in Kew, near Alexandra, Joburg to pay their respects to the man they described as humble and professional.
Originally from Sibasa in Limpopo, Mafela made his acting debut in 1964, when he appeared in the feature film Real News, where the name Sdumo was born.
Family spokeswoman Millicent Mulelu said the family was torn apart by the loss of the man who was everything to them.
Millicent said cops told the family about his death. She said the family would miss his love and smiles.
“He was always happy and went the extra mile to help the next person.” Millicent said her uncle would crack jokes that would leave them laughing for days.
Whenever he had time off work, he would spend it with his family.
On Friday he had just come back from a holiday with his wife. He died the following day.
Metro police spokeswoman Edna Mamonyane confirmed that Mafela was involved in an accident at about 10pm on the M1 North between the Oxford Road and Houghton off ramps in Joburg.
She said there was an accident between a Ford Figo and a bakkie.
“The bakkie hit the Ford driven by Mafela.
“His fatal condition may have been the result of a medical condition brought on during the accident, but an investigation is underway,” said Mamonyane.
In 1974 Mafela co-starred in South Africa’s first black feature film, Udeliwe, with Cynthia Shange.
Mafela released his debut music album in 1996 with Gallo Records.
His latest acting work was as Tebogo Moroka in Generations: The Legacy .
Among the celebrities who went to the family house were Veteran actress Lillian Dube, popular actor Patrick Shai , Actor Israel Makoe.
Actor Israel Makoe said he was shattered with the death of Sdumo. “It is a great loss for South Africa as a nation,” he said.
Israel Makoe said his great moment with Sdumo was when he visited the Sun City prison while Israel was in jail and he was given a chance to perform on stage with the legend artist. “He was more than a father, brother and a friend to me. He was my all time hero,” he said.
Lillian Dube said the nation is mourning a great legend.
Social Media went abuzz with messages of condolences to Sdumo’s family who described him as a lifetime hero in his loved industry.