Remembering Ruth Cele

On 22 December 2010 South Africa and the continent bid farewell to a woman who was the embodiment of a cool Magriza. This week Ruth Cele will be on our screen on the repeat of Intersexions.

Ruth Cele, popularly known by a character she brilliantly portrayed on Hlala KwaBafileyo, Mamghobozi, suffered from diabetes, and died after a related illness and kidney failure at 71.

Though she was known for the comedic characters she played on the aforementioned drama and the hugely popular Suburban Bliss, Mama-Ruth Cele was an all round actress who tackled dramatic roles with equal flare as it is evident in Intersexions where she plays the mother of an HIV positive child who refusing to acknowledge her daughter's disease.

At her funeral speakers spoke of Cele's good heart and the love she had for the arts and her great sense of humour. Many praised her for the contribution she made to the acting industry, by helping groom a number of young up-and-coming actresses and actors.

Among them was Ntuthuko Nqwebu, the son of Roland Mkhize (Baba Mkhize on Emzini Wezinsizwa), who worked with her for 12 years. He too spoke fondly of her former partner in community work. The two staged and recorded dramas for local radio stations that promoted awareness of HIV and Aids and other social issues.

He said; 
"Though she had not been on TV for a long time, she had done a lot behind the scenes grooming artists and performing at special events. People loved her and I believe that though her path has ended here, she has gone to be with the big band of other artists who have passed on,"
MamGo's impressive resume' included credits like
  • The Piano Player
  • Family Bond
  • Growing Up
  • Mzee We Two Six 
I will always remember her as MamGo, running on running down the street anxious to deliver the latest gossip on Hlala Kwabafileyo AND as MaMoloi the meddling mother-in-law always ready to put her daughter-in-law Thoko in her place on Suburban Bliss.

Ruth Cele, born in Isipingo outside Durban, is survived by her two daughters, eight great-grandchildren and four grandchildren. She was buried at Stellawood Cemetary

Catch Ruth Cele in one of her last performances on screen in Intersexions this Friday at 21h00

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