Family and friends paid tribute to the life and times of actress Candy Moloi. She has been described as a resilient thespian, telling the South African story.

Moloi, known for her role as Makhadzi on SABC 2 soapie Muvhango, succumbed to cancer on Tuesday night.

A memorial service was held in Bryanston, Sandton, on Thursday.

Born in Limpopo to a family of artists, Moloi worked in many forms of entertainment from radio host to presenting television shows in xiTsonga and tshiVenda for the public broadcaster.

She became one of the most loved characters in Muvhango, driven by her passion for the African language. But for those around her, she was more than just a celebrity.

Musician Yvonne Chaka Chaka says she knows the family for a very long time, saying they were loving and giving.

“She was proud of her language. She made us want to know xiTsonga. She was amazing.”

The veteran actress had a long battle with cancer. Her daughter Lerato Zah Moloi says the last three years were hard as she suffered from many different types of cancer.

“One in the brain. Then there was cancer behind the eyes, and also in the stomach. For the family, it’s a huge loss.”

Moloi’s brother Berry Ramunenyiwa says this is a difficult moment. “Our pillar has fallen. Our spear has fallen.”

The family ensured COVID-19 protocols were adhered to.

Moloi will be laid to rest in her home town in Limpopo on Sunday.

SABC’s Hasina Moloi reports: