Industry colleagues, friends and family of Gomora actor Siyabonga Zubane who died last week Sunday, 1 May gathered today at the Johannesburg Theatre in Braamfontein to remember and honour his life at his memorial service. His mother Thobile Zubane spoke in true pain, and colleague and actor Gabriel Mnisi ran the program, sang and gave a short sermon and the Urban Gospel group Hush performed. The 23-year-old fresh face in the television industry died on Saturday, and the family has not declared his cause of death but many reports are speculating it was suicide. He will be laid to rest on Sunday, 15 May with his funeral service taking place at Klipfontein Community Hall.
Read more: Gomora Actor Siyabonga Zubane Passes On
His memorial service was streamed live on Joburg Theatre’s YouTube channel where we saw Gabriel Mnisi welcome the family and friends, and invited Rev. Xolile Bhacela to the podium to give an opening prayer.His mother, Thobile spoke sadly and well of her son. She remains unclued about his son’s cause of death and in hopes to find closure after the ongoing investigation of his death comes to an end. She remembered the young thespian as a humble family-oriented person. “It is painful, Siyabonga was a respectful person, family-oriented and supportive. We will forever remember him,” she said. She also revealed that Siyabonga was the second born to two brothers and a sister.Veteran actress and producer of Gomora Lulu Hela also spoke about Siyabonga weeping on behalf of the whole cast of the show. “To know Siyabonga was to love Siyabonga. He was just one of those people. Anyone who knew him loved him. It is still very strange to speak about him in the past tense,” she said. Lulu added that the casting directors and producers of Gomora met the actor in 2015 when he auditioned to be on the show, and although he did not match the suitable character in the subject, he made enough impression that they still wanted him to be part of the show, and thankfully, his character, Sdumo was conceived. It was a short-term character but he breathed life into it and had the writers had to expand its storyline.
Season Mam Connie Chiume who’s also cast on Gomora spoke at the memorial service. The actress said, “It’s difficult to stand here and speak about a young talent, a young creative… a child we were all still looking forward to watching.” She comforted the Zubane family with heartfelt words, encouraging them to remain stronger as she cited verses from the bible. She highlighted a lot of other youth in the entertainment industry losing their lives early, alluding to a possible evil spirit taking over.
His uncle also spoke well of Siya. He described him as a jolly young man who never wore sad expressions and was always happy. He also comforted his family and thanked all guests that came to the service.
Viewers of Gomora, fans and industry friends continue to share their well wishes and celebrate the memory and life of Siya with condolence messages online.