Somizi pays tribute to mom Mary Twala

Somizi Mhlongo with his mother Mary Twala and Mohale Motaung during the 2019 National Orders Awards on April 25, 2019 in Pretoria, South Africa.
Somizi Mhlongo with his mother Mary Twala and Mohale Motaung during the 2019 National Orders Awards on April 25, 2019 in Pretoria, South Africa.
Image: Gallo Images/Frennie Shivambu

TV and radio personality Somizi Mhlongo paid a moving tribute to his late mother and thespian Mary Twala.

Twala died last week and was laid to rest today in a moving virtual funeral service that was live on all social media platforms. Mhlongo who broke the news on social media about his mother’s death said in spite of her achievements having worked with international stars like Quincy Jones, Michael Jackson and Beyonce, Twala never wanted to be regarded as a celebrity.

“My mother was very successful at home and in her professional career. Her work ethic was outstanding. She was very generous and very optimistic. I am not sad that she is gone, I am sad because my umbilical cord has been cut. I’m so [at] peace with what my mother achieved because she saw me walking down the aisle, she saw her grandkids and great grandkids being born.”

“I know that my mother was appreciated and loved by South Africans and received that love while she was still alive. I thank her for instilling everything that I am today. She was the most punctual person that I know. I know that her death was in time and her time is always impeccable that she died just around by dad’s birthday and buried on her husband’s death day. That’s my mother for you.”

Granddaughter Phumzile Twala told mourners that it was surreal that Twala has gone. She thanked her grandmother for her support and for being present in their lives as grandkids. “I want to thank Ma (as she referred to her) for being present in our lives and she made sure she spent time with us. As grandchildren, we got to hear and experience her. We learn a lot from her.”

The son of the late Ndaba Mhlongo, Mazwe Mhlongo who was raided by Twala said: “Thank you Ma for raising me to be the man that I am today. I learned a lot from you and I know that you loved my father dearly.”

Family members and industry practitioners continued to praise Twala for her amazing talent and for having worked until her last days. TV actor Kenny Nkosi said in a recorded video: “Ma Twala, I want to thank you for all the talent, entertainment and the fun that you presented us on stage, film and television. I worked with you in different productions and you were a true professional.”

Businesswoman and for TV personality Carol Bouwer said: “For all of us who grew up watching a black and white television Mama Twala is our hero. We watched her and her late husband Ndaba entertaining us under difficult circumstances during apartheid era. We thank her for the legacy which lives on not only on television and the stage, TV and film. You have given everything.”

Gospel singer Rebecca Malope performed at the funeral service.

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