NATIONAL NEWS - President Cyril Ramaphosa has extended his deep condolences to the family, friends, colleagues and fans of veteran actor and esteemed member of the Order of Ikhamanga, Mary Twala-Mhlongo, who passed away on Saturday.
Aged 80, the distinguished thespian was awarded the Order of Ikhamanga in 2019 in recognition of the versatility and longevity of her creative career.
During her exceptional career, Twala-Mhlongo starred in many television and film productions, including, Sarafina, A Love in Africa and Taxi to Soweto, for which she won a Best Supporting Actress Award.
She also had leading roles in Soul Buddyz, Yizo-Yizo and Hlala Kwabafileyo, which won her a Best Comedy Performer Award.
In 2011, Twala-Mhlongo was nominated as the Best Supporting Actress at the Sixth Africa Movie Academy Awards.
“Like millions of South Africans, I am saddened by the passing of a great icon of our nation’s creative community; someone who was a household name and face to all of us and brought home the joys, the struggles and the humour under pressure that characterises our national life.
“We have lost a unique talent and an endearing human being, whose performances brought to life the meaning of being South African, and appealed to South Africans of all generations. We will miss her dearly,” President Ramaphosa said.
Also mourning the passing of Twala-Mhlongo, the Presiding Officers of Parliament, led by the Speaker of the National Assembly, Thandi Modise and the Chairperson of the National Council of Provinces, Amos Masondo, said South Africa is left poorer without such an accomplished artist, a voice of the voiceless, a defender of women's rights and remarkable patriot.
“Twala has made a remarkable contribution to South Africa in general and the performing arts in particular. Through the arts, she told a story of South Africa's society and exposed the bad, the good and the ugly of our daily lives through the various phases of our nation's history.
“Against all odds, Mama Mary persevered and pursued a remarkably successful career, despite the conditions of apartheid brutality and a highly competitive and exploitative sector.
“As a nation, your undying spirit and energy for the stage will forever be etched in our minds. We will forever be indebted to your love, dedication, sacrifice as well as the hope and determination you inspired, not only in the performing arts sector but in all of us,” the Presiding Officers said. – SAnews.gov.za