The late actress and business woman Candy Moloi has been described as one of the pioneers who contributed greatly in promoting the TshiVenda language in the broadcast industry. Moloi, who was commonly known as Makhadzi on the SABC 2 soapie Muvhango, has been laid to rest in Thohoyandou on Sunday.

The 67-year-old actress succumbed to cancer last week.

Friends and family pay tribute to veteran actress Candy Moloi:

It was a songful send-off for a woman who has been described as a natural actress. Moloi portrayed Makhadzi for 16 years, ending in 2008. She also portrayed the role of Phophi on the first Xitsonga telenovela, Giyani Land of Blood.

Speaker after speaker told stories of how she inspired many to be their best selves.

She leaves behind two children, Tshepo and Lerato Moloi.

In bidding farewell, Lerato said her mother had been in in pain for the past five months as she battled cancer, adding her passing was brought an end to her suffering.

“Mama, I’m going to bid farewell with a smile my love. I know you are at peace; I release you 100%. You did your best in everything that you could. You were the best mother in the whole wide world not just to me, but kha tshitshava tshothe (to everyone). I’m so grateful for everything you did. Famba zakanaka. Good night love, good night mogirl.”

Renowned television writer and producer Phathutshedzo Makwerela described Moloi as a hard-worker who was instrumental in shaping the careers of many in the industry.

“Sa muVenda (As a Venda), television was a world far out of reach for me. So to dream that I would ever one day own prime time television, who was I to dream that? And I know when exactly that changed; it was on a Sunday this new magazine programme came in. It was called Swahombe Zwanthesa, produced and presented by vho Candy na MC waa namusi. That single moment in my village of watching Mawe speak in a language that affirmed me as that nne as Phathutshedzo my dreams are valid, I can be whatever I want to be.”

EFF leader Julius Malema also spoke fondly of Moloi, reciting stories of how she would regularly send traditional meals to his home. Malema also called on Moloi’s children and children to continue her legacy.

“Mama and I have never discussed politics; I went to her when I needed a breather from politics. So Tshepo and Lerato today, we are here to close her chapter, we are opening a new chapter in your lives. Mama is nowhere, when you said your mother succeeded without the help of anyone, that’s you now, you must stand on your own and follow in her footsteps.”

South African artist and actress Maduvha Madima serenaded mourners.

Mourners included vhaVenda king, Tony Mphephu Ramabulana, Transport deputy minister, Dikeledi Magadzi, some members of the Limpopo government, including MEC Mavhungu Lerule-Ramakhanya as well as family and friends.