The Limpopo Arts Movement has described the late Patrick Shai as a memorable actor.
Shai died on Saturday at his home in Dobsonville, Soweto at the age of 66.
Its chairperson Mphoza Mashabela says Shai’s character as Nkwesheng in the 1980s Sepedi drama, Bophelo ke Semphekgo, remains timeless.
Shai who was originally from Bolobedu near Tzaneen in Limpopo also campaigned against gender-based violence in his later life.
Mashabela says they would have loved to honour Shai while he was still alive.
“We have launched the Limpopo Legends Awards. Last week, it was being launched by our MEC of Department of Sports Arts and Culture Honourable Thandi Moraka, with the aim of honouring the work done by our legendary (people) in this province. We have identified the likes of Ntate Patrick Shai, Sputla Sebogodi, Yvonne Chaka Chaka and Maxwell Mojapelo. We have planned to honour them in October.”
Shocked at the news of his passing, South African Federation of Trade Union General-Secretary Zwelinzima Vavi said Shai is an example of a person who displayed that human beings are not perfect but can be transformed.
“We are in utter shock to have learned of the untimely passing of Patrick Shai who is known in the country as an example of how human beings can never be perfect, but every human being can be transformed, can be a subject, an object of change. From somebody who himself confesses to being a woman abuser to somebody who championed the struggle against gender-based violence more than no one else has done in South Africa. And to somebody who would have committed other mistakes in life and his passing away like a typical fallible human being would have committed an error through his words, he has come out to apologise and we have accepted his apology.”
“We want to stand with his family at the moment and we want to on behalf of SAFTU send our deepest messages of our solidarity of love and we wish that family strength in the untimely of his passing,” says Vavi.
SA still reeling following Shai’s death:
Funeral on Saturday
Shai’s family has since announced that his funeral will take place on Saturday.
His son Lekgetho Shai says the family is still coming to terms with his passing.
“The family is still currently in shock and we are trying by all means to cope and we just need to be strong as a family. And with regards to funeral arrangements, we are having a memorial service on Thursday at the market theatre and the time is not confirmed yet, the funeral will be on Saturday and the time and venue are still not confirmed for the funeral.”
Shai’s family speaks to the SABC about his passing:
-Additional reporting by Sashin Naidoo & Mercedes Besent