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'Sgudi ‘Snaysi' producer: Joe Mafela was an 'observer of life'

Roberta Durrant says while Mafela became a national wide sensation, he always stayed grounded.

Joe Mafela. Picture: Supplied.

JOHANNESBURG – Producer of the popular sitcom Sgudi ‘Snaysi has described Joe Mafela as an observer of life, who contrary to popular belief did not take everything as a joke.

Mafela was killed in an accident on the M1 north in Johannesburg on Saturday night.

It’s understood his car collided with a bakkie.

Mafela started his professional career in theatre in 1986 but was better known for his role as Sdumo on Sgudi ‘Snaysi.

Roberta Durrant says while Mafela became a national wide sensation, he always stayed grounded.

“Joe was a people’s person and he was actually an observer of life. He wasn’t somebody who’d crack jokes all the time, he was a quiet and contained person... and observed life and that’s why I think he was a comic genius that he was.”

At the same time, his family says while he was a legend in the entertainment industry, they never felt like they were sharing him with the nation.

Mafela has been in the South African entertainment industry for over 50 years and was popularly known for his acting and comedy.

His niece Milicent Mulalu says while Mafela took his craft very seriously, he always made time for family.

“If there’s anything that anybody can take or learn from him is that whatever you do, you do with dedication. He was a public person even with that, he gave a lot of time to family.”

She says the family would like to celebrate his life.

“He went with his wife on a boat cruise last week, so he was away from Monday until Friday and then he comes and he gets an accident, and that’s it. I think at the moment, we feel we need to deal with the pain but celebrate his life at the same time.”

Mulalu says while the details of the funeral have not been confirmed yet, friends have offered their condolences, paying tribute to Mafela.

LISTEN: Producer Roberta Durrant remembers Joe Mafela

(Edited by Leeto M Khoza)

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