Veteran actor and retired broadcaster Bhekinkosi Shadrack Ngema has died at the age of 65. He died on Saturday, 05 December 2015, at Mshiyeni Hospital in Umlazi from a heart-related illness.
In a telephone interview with Ukhozi FM, Ngema’s brother Mandla said Shadrack started feeling sick in 2011. In the early stages of his sickness he complained of muscle spasms and cramps in his lower legs. Later he started having heart problems. On Saturday he complained of severe heart pain and dizziness. He was then rushed to hospital. As the doctors tried to figure out what was wrong with him, he passed away.
The Public News Hub staff had the honour of meeting Ngema on the 7th of November. He was doing shopping at Shoprite in Game City, Durban and appeared to be in good health, with no sign of illness. We were excited to see him. Little did we know that four weeks later he would be no more.
Ngema worked for the SABC for over 30 years. He worked mostly as a broadcaster on Ukhozi FM but also had acting roles on TV and in radio dramas. On TV, he is best known for his role as Magubane in the popular SABC1 sitcom Emzini Wezinsizwa, which aired originally between 1994 and 2004. However, his acting career started in the 80s when he appeared as Joko in one episode of the series Shaka Zulu (1986).
Ukhozi FM dedicated this Sunday’s edition of Ezemidlalo to paying tribute to this legend. Station manager Bonga Mpanza and Ngema’s former colleagues Joe Hudla, Thanda Ndlovu and Irvin Sihlophe are among those who had the chance to express their condolences. Mpanza said Ngema’s death was a huge loss to the station, adding that although he had retired as a broadcaster, he was still a member of Ukhozi FM and continued to work with them especially in the radio drama department. Ngema was described as a funny and humble man who showed great commitment to his work.
More details and funeral arrangements will be communicated in due course.