Media personality Somizi Mhlongo has confirmed that his mother, legendary actress Mary Twala, has died, aged 80.
Mam’ Mary died at Netcare Park Lane Private Hospital in Johannesburg on Saturday at about 11am.
Somizi confirmed the death of his mother on social media, expressing his overwhelming sadness that his mother died on his late father’s birthday.
“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 don’t release her.
“My mom lived to the fullest, achieved beyond her dreams. It hurts like hell, I won’t lie. A day without her calling to either say I love you or give me money,” Somizi said in his caption.
Twala had an extensive career as an actress, performing in film, television and theatre for six decades.
Her silver-screen career included such international films as Sarafina!, Deliwe and Taxi to Soweto — for which she won a best supporting actress award. She also performed in major TV productions including Undenzani Melwane, Iqhawe, Hlala Kwabafileyo, Soul Buddyz, Child of Soweto, Khululeka, Yizo-Yizo, SOS and Muvhango.
South Africans gave her due recognition for her work in 2019, when she received the Order of Ikhamanga for her decades-long work in the performing arts.
The order also honoured Twala for raising awareness of women’s health through her work.
On Saturday, Somizi thanked South Africans for the love and support they had given his mother and his talented family over the years.
“Thank you, SA, for loving the phenomenal superstar that is my mother. She left us peacefully about 11am at Parklane private hospital as I was on my way to drop off her gown and a few minutes earlier the doctor called to say come she’s up and jolly now. I arrived a few minutes late. Lala ma…” TimesLIVE