Ndaba Mhlongo has passed away. Nadaba Mhlongo died two years ago. His cause of death was never disclosed to the public.
Mhlongo was a multi-talented performer who wore many hats. He was an actor, comedian, assistant director and choreographer. His work spanned over many decades and is testimony to the notion that hard work pays off because he managed to leave behind an unwavering legacy.
Reacting to his death, Somizi wrote on his Instagram page that today is his father’s birthday but his Mom decided to join him today. Somizi’s mother Actress Mary Twala died today.
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Today’s my late father’s birthday…..and my mom decided to respond to his call to join him in heaven…..THE TREE HAS FALLEN… I’m shattered to the core…..but I’d be very selfish if I dont release her….my mom lived to the fullest….achieved beyond her dreams….its hurts like hell…..I wont lie…..a day without her calling to either say I love u or give me money…….thank u south africa for loving the phenomenal super star that is my mother…….she left us peacefully around 11am at parklane pvt hospital as I was on my way to drop off her gown and a few minutes earlier the dr called to say come shes up and jolly now…..I arrived a few mon late……LALA MA……
Mhlongo was adored by many around him, family and colleagues. His passion and love for acting can be seen through his work, where he strived to give his best at all costs and this can be seen through the work that he was a part of and the reception he received from both the viewers as well as fellow industry practitioners. Some of Mhlongo’s work comprised of; Isivumelwano (1978), Upondo no Nkinsela (1984) Bad Company (1985) and Strike Force (1986). As if that wasn’t enough he went on and got nominated for a Tony Award as Best Choreographer alongside Mbongeni Ngema for the Broadway run of Sarafina in 1988. However, it was his role in the film Inyakanyaka, Mshefane, that saw him steal the hearts of many South Africans. His portrayal of Mshefane not only earned him immortality but has a multi-generational reach and is by far his most known and revered performance.
Mshefane was such a spectacle to watch by virtue of the over dramatized embodiment of the character, which is reminiscent of the theatre. The character offered viewers an escape from their daily lives while entertaining them at the same time. What Ndaba did, was bring theatre to television and it was refreshing to watch and I reckon that’s how he managed to keep the viewers coming for more. One can go as far as to argue that the character, Mshefane, paved a way for comedic actors today. Ndaba through Mshefane, normalized over the top character embodiment in comedy for film and television, which is why it is still a characterization technique that still works in this day and age.