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Colleagues remember Busi Lurayi as 'dedicated actor who took her craft seriously'

The late Busisiwe Lurayi
The late Busisiwe Lurayi
Image: ANTONIO MUCHAVE

TV and stage actor Busi Lurayi, who died on Sunday, will be remembered by fellow actors as a dedicated actor who took her craft seriously.

Her colleagues praised her work ethic as they paid tribute to her on Monday. Her sudden death was announced by her agency Eye Media Artists on social media on Monday. The mother of one is known for her role in Netflix comedy series How To Ruin Christmas.

Eye Media Artists said in a statement: “We are deeply saddened to notify you of the passing of our beloved Busisiwe Lurayi.

"Busisiwe passed away suddenly and was pronounced dead at her residence on Sunday by medical personnel. The reason for her death is still unknown as we await the results of the autopsy report.

"We humbly request that you allow us as family to come to terms with this tragic news. We thank you for your support that has been given so far and will provide further information as soon as it has been made available." 

Uzalo star Masoja Msiza, who worked with Lurayi in a drama series Sokhulu and Partners, said the industry has lost one of the greatest actors.

“It is a sad loss indeed. I worked with Busi in Sokhulu and Partners. She was a very dedicated person. I loved her energy. As co-actor she blew my mind with her performance in that show. In that show our roles complemented each other. We filmed the show 13 years ago but I still remember it as if it happened yesterday. What I can say is, she knew her story.”

Actor and singer Jamela Vuma, who acted alongside Lurayi in Ses' Top La, defined Lurayi as a hard-working actor who easily shared her expertise with newcomers in the game.

“I’m still shocked by Busi’s death. The last time I spoke to her was a few months ago when we were shooting the new series of Ses Top La. She was shooting a Netflix series. What a loss.

“I will remember her for professionality on set and dedication. She is funny person but serious when it comes to her work. I learned a lot from her in terms of understanding how cameras work and how to open yourself to them. She was very helpful. I believe that she was one of the best actors in the country.”

Lurayi also acted in other TV shows such as Generations, City Ses’ La and Vutha. The actress won a South African TV and Film Award (Safta) for best supporting actress in a comedy in 2006. She was nominated last year for the same award.

She made her theatre debut in Bongi Ndaba’s show Shreds and Dreams that was staged at the Market Theatre in 2006, where she acted alongside Winnie Ntshaba and Portia Gumede.

She returned to stage in 2019 doing Nina Simone Four Women musical production. Lurayi portrayed the role of American singer and songwriter Simone.

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