Tributes pour in for veteran actress Nomhle Nkonyeni

Nomhle Nkonyeni. File picture
Nomhle Nkonyeni. File picture
Image: Brian Witbooi

Tributes have started flowing in following the death on Wednesday morning of veteran actress Nomhle Nkonyeni.

Nkonyeni, 77, whose career spanned five decades, had been in hospital since Friday, her nephew Vusi Manapha confirmed on Wednesday morning.

Veteran actress John Kani, who landed in the US earlier this week ahead of the global release of The Lion King on July 19, was among the first to pay tribute to Nkonyeni.

“I am deeply saddened by the passing of a great friend Nomhle Nkonyeni. I have just received the news from Minister Nathi Mthethwa. I have no words to express my pain,” he tweeted.

Former public protector Thuli Madonsela tweeted: “Time to say good bye to Mam Nomhle Nkonyeni. Thank you for the laughs at the height of apartheid pain. Heartfelt condolences to family.”

DA leader Mmusi Maimane tweeted that South Africa had lost another legend.

“I would like to send my heartfelt condolences to the family and loved ones of Mam'Nomhle Nkonyeni. Her contribution to the entertainment industry will forever live on and inspire generations to come,” he tweeted.

Nelson Mandela Bay mayor Mongameli Bobani said the city was mourning the passing of a freedom fighter and renowned actress.

“She has used her talent to contribute to South Africa’s struggle for freedom in her 50 years in the industry. She was still actively practising her craft with her wealth of experience to empower young actors and encouraging them to get involved in arts and culture in the city,” he said in a statement.

“Mama Nomhle Nkonyeni hails from New Brighton, a township that is also home to Winston Ntshona and John Kani. Even with such a remarkable career spanning the apartheid period, she still longed for development and transformation in Nelson Mandela Bay, a city named after the great icon, Tat’Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela.

“We reap and enjoy the benefits of freedom through the legacy you’ve left behind.”