HUNDREDS of friends, fans and family members gathered at the Joburg Theatre in Johannesburg on Thursday to pay tribute to acting veteran Joe Mafela.
For over four hours mourners watched as Joe’s life was celebrated in song and speeches from those closest him.
Tributes from Mfundi Vundla to Patrick Shai were given, recounting some of the most memorable moments they shared with Joe.
Here are five moments from the memorial that took our breath away…
My father, the drummer
Mourners could hardly believe their eyes when Joe’s son Jimmy started off his tribute by rushing to a drum on stage and playing it enthusiastically for the crowd. “My father was not an actor, he was a drummer,” Jimmy proudly declared as he made his way back from the instrument.
Not a dry eye in the place
Jimmy’s tribute to his father left many in tears, but the tissues were first brought out much earlier in the proceedings. The ceremony started with a video tribute to Joe that included not only some of the actor’s best on-screen moments but also several tributes from his closest friends. It was too much for many of Joe’s family members who were in tears and later held each other for comfort.
That epic fist bump!
They still got it! Several of the industries most celebrated veterans were called on to stage at the memorial to pay tribute to Joe. As the veterans made their way to the podium, one of the most “rockstar” moments of the entire ceremony took place. One of the veterans reached out to greet another not with a handshake but with an epic fist bump.
Tony preaches fire from the pulpit
Veteran actor and president of Creative and Cultural Industries Federation of South Africa (CCIFSA) Tony Kgoroge took to the pulpit to deliver a stinging rebuke to the entertainment industry. In his address he lambasted the industry for exploiting actors. He then turned his attention to the SABC and asked that the broadcaster pay artists the royalties owed to them,
Cynthia’s brutally honest moment
Another actor who used the occasion to lambaste the industry was veteran Cynthia Shange. The Muvhango actress gave an emotionally-charged address where she shared some of the challenges that creatives’ face in the industry. By the time she was done most of the mourners in the theatre were on their feet applauding her.