Veteran actor Patrick Ndlovu has been described as a man who always put his family first ahead of everything. The 85-year-old was one of the most recognised faces in the South African television industry.
He died last week after being admitted to hospital for a short illness at the age of 85.
His niece Tshidi Monareng has paid tribute to Ndlovu at the funeral service underway in Mohlakeng in Randfontein, west of Johannesburg.
“He lived his life with precision. When you are wrong you are wrong, but he was a loving, great soul. We’ll never forget you and we’ll talk about you. The family was first to Malume, we must fit in the table. We, as the Ndlovu family, also inherited that, family comes first,” adds Ndlovu.
We keep losing our giants in the creative arts!
No words can not explain how sad it makes me feel when our mentors keep leaving us one by one, and we don’t have a plan in sight in terms of preserving their legacies.
— Sello Maake kaNcube -Archie Moroka ☺️ (@sellomkn) June 4, 2023
He will be remembered for his role as the ruthless principal in the SABC drama series Yizo Yizo. He also played the role of Sizwe Moloi on SABC1’s drama series Zone 14.
Bra Styles, as he was known, had an acting career that extended over four decades.
Loved ones gathered at Mohlakeng Methodist Church in Randfontein to pay their last respect.
Ndlovu has been described as a multi-faceted entertainer who mentored young black actors and loved sport.
After a short stint at soccer where he earned the name Styles, he got his acting break after being recruited by late producer Gibson Kente. His love for acting saw him touring the world in productions such as
Shaka Zulu, Skhalo and How Long? among a long list of others.
Colleagues described him as a workaholic and that he should have received his flowers while still alive.
Actor Kgomotso Ditshwene says, “As a father figure that I lacked while growing up, he welcomed me with open arms. At first, I thought he was cold but later realised he was preparing us for the harsh world. He didn’t have a fear of anything and that’s what I admired about him.
“May we please give our elders their flowers while they’re still alive from where I am standing Bra Patrick Ndlovu, Dr Ndlovu was supposed to have been honoured with a doctorate whilst he was still alive. His contribution to the industry speaks for itself.”
His wife of 41 years gave a moving farewell speech through a family member.
Reading his wife’s speech, Mamie Mekgwe says, “We just missed our 41st wedding anniversary by three days as you would not defy our father above when he called you. I completely understand. On the third of June, I was so sad looking at what I had planned as a surprise for us but also admitting that being admitted to hospital meant a postponement to our plans.”
Ndlovu is survived by his wife, three daughters and several grandchildren.