Durban – Local veteran actor Patrick Shai who acted in 7de Laan, Soul City, Generations and Yizo Yizo died yesterday.
IOL reported that his death was announced in a statement by his family who asked for time to process his passing.
South African film producer Anant Singh said he was deeply saddened by the sudden passing of Shai.
Singh said his association with Shai went back 35 years starting when he co-starred with Gcina Mhlophe, in his first film, Place of Weeping, and later starred in Cry, The Beloved Country.
“Patrick, whose acting career straddled film and television, was a role model to people starting out in the industry,” he said.
Singh said he was well-known for his work with young talent and often conducted workshops to share his expertise and experience.
“He was a staunch activist against gender-based violence (GBV), and founded the Khuluma Ndoda Men’s Social Movement Against Violence in an effort to have men participate in the fight against this scourge,” he said.
According to Singh, Shai was one of South Africa’s most talented actors and delivered powerful performances in the roles he took on.
“His passing leaves a deep void in the industry. My heartfelt condolences go to his wife Mmasechaba and his family and friends. May his soul rest in peace,” said Singh.
The Commission for Gender Equality (CGE) said the organisation was saddened to learn about the passing of the veteran actor and gender-based violence activist.
CGE chairperson Tamara Mathebula sent her heartfelt condolences to the family, friends, and those that Shai worked with in the arts and GBV fraternity.
“The news of the passing of Ntate Shai has been met with sadness by all of us at the commission,” she said.
Mathebula said he will be sorely missed by those who had embraced him as a human rights and gender activist.
She said the CGE had worked closely with Shai in advancing gender equality and issues of men and boys in South Africa.
“Ntate Shai was a compassionate hero of our struggle against gender-based violence who would use his artistic skills to ensure that the message gets across to his intended audience. It is through men like Ntate Shai that we are seeing a shift in the mindset among many men, and we shall continue in the same trajectory to eradicate the scourge of GBV.
“As the commission, we mourn his passing and equally celebrate his life. He will be missed, may his soul rest in peace,” said Mathebula.