Actor Patrick Shai ‘died a broken man’

Johannesburg – Veteran actor Patrick Shai endured a tumultuous week, which culminated in him taking his life yesterday at his home in Dobsonville, Soweto.

Those close to him say he died a broken man.

His friend and colleague, Botlhale Modisane, said Shai was troubled during his last days and tried to reach out to rapper Cassper Nyovest to personally apologise for the profanities he hurled at him and his mother in a video clip that went viral this week.

Speaking to Sunday World outside Shai’s home, Modisane, who worked with the thespian at Tshegofatso Pule Foundation, said after contacting Cassper’s management, a remorseful Shai still wanted to meet  the muso and extend an olive branch to him.

Modisane said Shai had wanted to explain to the artist the rationale behind the controversial message in the video clip.

Modisane said she and Shai, together with other colleagues, had gone to the Joburg High Court to march ahead of the trial of Ntutuko Shoba, who is accused of hiring Muzikayise Malepane to murder Pule, who was pregnant with his child.

After the march, Shai suggested that he challenges Nyovest to a boxing match to raise funds for  anti-GBV organisations.

“As an ex-GBV perpetrator, he wanted men to talk about their issues, which is why he had formed the Khuluma Ndoda Foundation.  He said should Cassper answer to the challenge, he would then have a proper meeting with him and explain the context of the
video that he shot to promote the boxing match,” she said.

Modisane said when people misconstrued the message and its theme, he immediately apologised.

Former Generations actor Sello Maake Ka-Ncube, who was the first person to arrive at the scene, expressed his shock over Shai’s untimely death.

“I was called by his son to come to their house quickly and when I got there I could not believe what I saw. Molefe Shai is no more.

Motlogolo, as I used to fondly call him, and he would respond by saying, Rakgolo, is but now a memory,” he said.

Ka-Ncube said he will remember Shai as one of the greatest actors he has ever met.

“Motlogolo is one great thespian this country has produced.

My memory of him is his performance in the play Sophiatown. I was inspired by it to strive to be in his league.”

Shai burst into the acting scene through his breakout role of Nkosheng in the 1980s Sepedi drama series Bophelo ke Semphego, in which he played the role of a casanova.

He went on to enjoy a stellar career, featuring in productions such as Soul City, Generations and Zone 14, to name but a few.

He was 57 years old.

World-renowned producer Anant Singh said Shai was one of South Africa’s most talented actors and  had delivered powerful performances in the roles he took on.

“His passing leaves a deep void in the industry,” he said.

Also read: ‘Patrick Shai became a mentor to all of us!’ – Celebs pays tribute to fallen legend

Shai’s family battling to cope with renowned actor’s death

Gender Commission sends condolences to Patrick Shai’s family

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