Gugu Sibiya

Gugu Sibiya

Daphney Hlomuka, 59, one of the country's leading and pioneer television actresses, has died.

Hlomuka, who passed away at the Johannesburg General Hospital yesterday, succumbed to cancer.

Taking Sowetan back to events that culminated in yesterday's sad news, her sister-in-law, Nana Mdlalose, said: "Daphney got sick in June. She complained of blinding headaches.

"Doctors discovered the cancer in her kidneys had spread all over her body and was going to her brain, causing the headaches."

Hlomuka was born and bred in KwaMashu, Durban, KwaZulu-Natal.

She cut her teeth in acting on the highly acclaimed uMabatha, Welcome Msomi's masterpiece that unpacked Shakespeare's Macbeth to the masses.

After a stint in Britain and Europe, Hlomuka and her husband, Elliot Ngubane, returned to South Africa. She lived in Johannesburg to pursue her acting career, while her husband kept the home fires burning in their home in Durban.

Hlomuka acted in a number of stage plays, including Ipi Ntombi. When television finally arrived in the country, she joined a magazine programme called Sizungeza Izwe, which she co-presented with Lunga Williams.

Meaty roles, such as in the S'gud Snays comedy, Hlala Kwabafileyo drama and soapie Generations, followed.

She recently appeared on uGugu noAndile on SABC1 and Rhythm City on etv.

Mdlalose said Hlomuka put other people's lives ahead of hers and "was always running around to solve problems and help others".

She is survived by her husband Elliot, three daughters and a son, six grandchildren, three sisters and a brother.