Port Elizabeth – South African actors, artists, government officials and the public on Wednesday described the late legendary actress Nomhle Nkonyeni as humble, disciplined but yet a straight talker, who brought smile and laughter to many people’s faces for decades.
Nkonyeni was being honoured in an emotional and jubilant memorial services at Nangoza Jebe hall in Port Elizabeth and at the Market Theatre in Johannesburg, following her death after a short illness on Wednesday of the July 10.
Among the speakers, John Kani reminisced about Nkonyeni and said they grew up together in New Brighton. “Today, I am not here to cry, but to pay tribute to one of the greatest actor that the world has produced,” Kani said.
“Nomhle did not have an abundance of talent. She was talent itself, and was very clever. I always enjoyed working with her, since we were young,” Kani said.
Nelson Mandela Bay mayor, Mongameli Bobani said they were devastated by Nomhle’s passing. “The Nelson Mandela Bay will never be the same without mam’ uNkonyeni,” he said especially the arts department.
“We have lost a legend, a daughter, mother and a teacher. As the municipality, we will make sure, that Nkonyeni’s legacy lives and grows,” Bobani said.
A family member, Zandile Nkonyeni said Nomhle was a mother, grandmother, aunt and a friend to many.
“our hearts are overcome with grief and desolate loss. She was a veteran actress, her astounding contribution in the areas of film, television, theatre and arts in general has touched millions and as the family we have observed with gratitude the heartwarming messages of condolences and support from all whose lives she touched through her work and personally, from the lengths and breadths of country to rest of the world,” Zandile said.
Nomhle’s burial service will be held on Friday, at Nangoza Jebe Hall.