Renowned Actress Mary Twala Dead at 80

A baobab tree in the film and arts industry has fallen. Mary Twala is dead at 80. The legendary actor and a household name in the arts and film industry passed away at a private hospital on July 4.

The death of Mary was confirmed on social media by her son, Somizi Mhlongo, a popular entertainer. In a tweet, Somizi said, “his tree had fallen.”

In an Instagram post, Somizi said his mother’s passing coincided with the birthday of his late father. Despite being shattered, Somizi said he was releasing his mother because she lived life to the fullest and achieved beyond her dreams.

“Today is my late father’s birthday …. and my mom decided to respond to his call to join him in heaven. THE TREE HAS FALLEN. I am shattered to the call but I’d be very selfish if I don’t release her. My mom lived to the fullest… achieved beyond her wildest dreams. It hurts like hell. I won’t lie. A day without her calling either to say I love you or give me money,” wrote Somizi.

In the same post, Somizi pointed out that her mother passed away peacefully at around 11 AM on 4 July at Parklane Private Hospital.

Mary featured in several movies and dramas including Sarafina (with her son Somizi), Generations, Ubizo: The Calling, Hopeville, Mapantsula, and many more.

Her career spanned over six decades and won the Best Supporting Actress Award for her role in Taxi to Soweto.

Mary Twala Dead: President Ramaphosa sends his condolences

South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa extended his condolences to the Twala and Mholongo family, friends, and supporters.

“Like millions of South Africans, I am saddened by the passing of a great icon of our nation’s creative community; someone who was a household name and face to all of us and brought home the joys, the struggles and the humour under pressure that characterises our national life,” said Ramaphosa.

“We have lost a unique talent and an endearing human being whose performances brought to life the meaning of being South African and appealed to South Africans of all generations. We will miss her dearly,” the President added.

Mary was an esteemed member of the Order of Ikhamanga. She was awarded the Order of Ikhamanga (Silver) by President Ramphosa in 2019. The Order of Ikhamanga is an honour awarded to South African citizens who excel in the fields of arts, culture, music, journalism, or sport.

South Africa’s Minister of Transport Fikile Mbulala called the late Mary Twala a legend and the country’s “greatest treasure” in a Twitter post.

Mary Mhlongo was born on 3 September 1939. She married actor Ndaba Mhlongo with whom she gave birth to Somizi.

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