JOHANNESBURG, August 5 – The South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) is yet to deal with a request to name Studio 5 after the late veteran actor, Joe Mafela, four months after his death.
The request to have Studio 5 renamed was made by Mfundi Vundla, the creator of “Generations-The Legacy”, during Mafela’s memorial service in a bid to honour his legacy and memory.
Mafela was involved in a car accident on the M1 North between the Oxford and Houghton Road off-ramps in Johannesburg on March 18. He was 74 when he died and was also acting a role in Vundla’s “Generations-The Legacy” at the time of his death.
He was best known for his role as the unemployed lodger “S’dumo” in the IsiZulu language comedy series “Sgudi ‘Snaysi”, which ran for 78 episodes on SABC in the 1980s.
During his memorial service on March 23, Vundla made a plea for the SABC to rename the studio where “Generations-The Legacy” is shot, after the veteran actor.
“Joe Mafela built the SABC. He brought audiences to the SABC. Federico Fellini had a studio where he worked all the time and after he passed on the studio was renamed after him. So Studio 5 must be called Joe Mafela Studio,” Vundla said at the time.
But SABC spokesperson, Kaizer Kganyago, in response to ANA on Friday, said the public broadcaster was yet to honour Vundla’s request as it was dealing with “other matters”.
“The SABC can confirm that a suggestion was made by Mr Vundla for one of the SABC studios of be renamed after the late Mr Mafela,” Kganyago said.
“The SABC at this stage has not as yet engaged on this request, as the organisation is currently dealing with other matters.”
Mafela was an actor, songwriter, film director, and producer,and had been in the entertainment industry for years. His title track ‘Shebeleza’ was used as a theme song for the 1996 Africa Cup of Nations in which South Africa were crowned champions.
He was a pioneer and veteran in the entertainment industry, having received numerous awards including, but not limited to, the best actor in comedy at the South African film and television awards.