The Select Committee on Education and Technology, Sports and Arts and Culture is saddened by the news of the passing of the three legends in the South African arts industry, Mr Charles Maja, Ms Vinolia Mashego and music icon Samson Mthombeni.
Mr Maja was well known for his role as “Big Boy” Mabitsela in the popular South African television soapie, Skeem Saam.
The Chairperson of the committee, Mr Elleck Nchabeleng described the actor’s death as a great loss to the South African arts industry. He said: “His passion and dedication could be seen through his work; he was an amazing actor who captured the hearts of many South Africans through his effortless portrayal of his roles.”
On Monday, 6 April, South Africans also mourned the death of another TV personality, Ms Vinolia Mashego (V-Mash). V-mash was well-known for the vibrant and fierce attitude she brought to the South African music show, Jam Alley and for portraying the role of Hilda Letlalo in the popular tv soapie, Generations.
“V-mash was a pioneer who paved the way for many young black presenters back then. She continued to pave the way and enhance the prospects of especially black females in the arts industry,” added Mr Nchabiseng.
The committee would further like to commemorate and pay tribute to the music icon, Samson Mthombeni who passed away on Sunday, 05 April 2020. “Mr Mthombeni was a legend, a pioneer of Xitsonga music,” said Mr Nchabeleng who described the icon’s vibrant and colourful signature styled doeks as something that will not be forgotten easily.
Mr Mthombeni was awarded Living Legend status at the 3rd annual Xitsonga Music Awards in 2005. “He was amazing, a man of culture, of resistance and an icon to so many South Africans and many around the world,” said Mr Nchabeleng.
Mr Nchabiseng continued: “The Arts Industry and South Africa as a country feel much poorer without the amazing talent, dedication and hard work of these icons who will always be remembered for their big personalities.”. Mr Maja and Mr Sampson will be laid to rest today.
The committee sends its condolences to the families of Charles Maja, MS Vinolia Mashego and Mr Samson Mthombeni, their friends, colleagues and the entire arts industry which has suffered immense losses.