Expresso Remembers Joe Mafela and Ahmed Kathrada
(31 Mar 2017)

R.I.P. Ahmed Kathrada

Expresso Remembers Joe Mafela and Ahmed Kathrada


This was a sad week for South Africans, as we lost two living legends, former ANC struggle stalwart Ahmed Kathrada and veteran actor and producer Joe Mafela.

Ahmed Kathrada, or as he was known around the country, Uncle Kathy, was a struggle hero during apartheid times. He was imprisoned after the Rivonia Trail, he was charged for sabotage and attempting to overthrow the government and then sent to Robben Island then Pollsmoor Prison, for fighting the ruling party and for his anti-apartheid views. He was elected as a ANC member of parliament in the first ever democratic elections of South Africa in 1994. In 2004, he was voted ranked 46th of the 100 greatest South Africans. He was 87 years old when he passed.


Vetran actor Joe Mafela had been on our screens for over five decades, since 1964, when he starred feature film ‘Real News’. He became a household name as the character S’dumo in the Zulu sitcom S’gud ‘Snaysi, the name Sdumo would stick with him throughout his career. Mafela was truly an inspiration for all aspiring actors as he starred in South Africa’s first black feature film, “Udeliwe” with Cynthia Shange. In 1996, Mafela debuted a music album under Gallo Records and would go on to release many more successful albums. Mafela achieved many awards during his life time including a Loerie Award an Emmy nomination and a Life time achievement award at the SAFTAs. He was 75 when he passed.



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