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Mary Twala remembered as ‘prolific actress,’ ‘gift to the arts’

The icon passed away at the age of 80 on Saturday.

Mary Twala receives the Order of Ikhamanga from President Cyril Ramaphosa. Picture: Presidency.

JOHANNESBURG - Mary Twala is being remembered as a prolific actress, a leading star and a gift to the arts.

The icon passed away at the age of 80 on Saturday.

It’s understood she had been admitted at Netcare’s Park Lane hospital for several days with an undisclosed illness.

Last year, the veteran actress was awarded with the Order of Ikhamanga in silver by President Cyril Ramaphosa.

She’s been honoured for her immense contribution to South Africa’s entertainment industry.

With a career spanning over six decades, Mam Mary, as she was affectionately known, has left an indelible mark on South Africa's film and television industry.

Her career includes international films such as Mapantsula, Sarafina!, A Love in Africa,Malunde, Dr Lucille, Nyaka-Nyaka and many more.

She had also starred in _Taxi to Soweto _for which she won a Best Supporting Actress award.

Her TV career includes performances in many South African productions, including Undenzani Melwane, Iqhawe, Die SonKriel, _Hlala Kwabafileyo _and Soul Buddyz, among many others.

In 2007 she appeared in the supernatural mini-series Ubizo: The Calling for SABC1.

She played the role of MaDolly in the SABC2 miniseries Hopeville, from March to April 2009, which earned her best supporting actress nomination at the 6th Africa Movie Academy Awards. In 2010 she starred as MaKhambu in the SABC2 sitcom Skwizas, which she reprised in later seasons.

‘WE CELEBRATE HER NAME’

The icon's grandson Wolly Twala said: “We knew it was coming. She paved the way and we appreciate what she’s done for the industry. We celebrate her name.”

Her son, Somizi Mhlongo added the veteran actress lived her life to the fullest. He's thanked South Africans for loving his mother, who he described as a phenomenal superstar.

Members of parliament, political parties and ordinary South Africans have also paid tribute to Twala.

President Cyril Ramaphosa said he's deeply saddened by the passing of legendary actress, adding the country has lost unique talent and an endearing human being.

In a statement, the EFF described the icon as an activist who used storytelling to raise awareness on issues affecting women in the country.

Parliament's portfolio Committee on Arts and Culture described her passing the end to an era.

Minister Fikile Mbalula said Twala was South Africa's greatest treasure, adding that the country is poorer following her passing.

While former public protector Thuli Madonsela has extended her deepest condolences to the family.

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