Former Isibaya actress Zinhle Mabena said she was still in shock over the death of talented fellow actor Andile Gumbi.
Gumbi, who played the role of Zweli Ngubane on the Mzansi Magic series, died on Friday after suffering a heart attack while working on a musical in Israel.
The 36-year-old fought for his life in ICU at the Shaare Zedek Medical Centre in Jerusalem before passing on. Andile was working on the production Daniel The Musical, in which he took on the role of King Nebuchadnezzar.
Mabena said Gumbi was the full package when it came to acting and was extremely talented.
She said Gumbi was easy to work with and made “our on-set life very easy”.
Mabena added that she and Gumbi connected so well in their roles on Isibaya that even outside work people thought the two were in a relationship.
Your passing has hit me so hard Andile… you had so much more to offer, it all just doesn’t make sense to me. Lala Ngo Xolo Somkhanda. Till we meet again❤️ pic.twitter.com/d6ctH6UrZw
— Zinhle Mabena (@MsZinhleMabena) October 25, 2019
“We had sibling love. People even thought our romantic relationship on screen was also happening in real life. That was because we got along well and respected each other.
“He was down to earth, a family man. I know how much he loved his wife and kid. It must be hard on his mother because he was her only child. He was still young and meant to achieve the best in life. The entertainment industry has lost a gem and we will miss him,” said Mabena.
Philly Kubheka, head of department, PR and publicity for local entertainment channels at Mzansi Magic, said: “As Mzansi Magic, we are saddened by the passing of our former Isibaya actor Andile Gumbi. Andile was very talented, with lots still to offer to the entertainment industry. Our deepest condolences to his family and friends. He will be greatly missed.”
Other media personalities including current Isibaya actor Abdul Khoza, The Queen actress Rami Chuene and musician DJ Zinhle took to social media to pay their tributes.
Details of the funeral and memorial services were not released at the time of going to print.
By Meta Mphahlele