Daphne Hlomuka loomed large on stage, TV and in life

Edward Tsumele

Edward Tsumele

When the news reached the length and breadth of the country last week that veteran stage and television actress Daphne Hlomuka had died in a Johannesburg hospital, a dark cloud of sadness hung over many of her fans.

Hlomuka died after a long battle with cancer.

This reaction from many quarters was expected as her acting talents are widely acknowledged.

Hlomuka was one of those actresses who loomed large on the small screen and the stage. She was talented, resilient as an actress and a wonderful person.

What several people probably did not know about her is that when acting jobs were no longer coming by, like they used to do in the past, she did not sit back and complain.

She found something to do, working at the SABC call centre, just to earn an income while waiting for acting jobs.

Doing this at the age of 59 demonstrated that she was a hard worker - whether on stage, on TV and in life. Young people can learn one or two things from this actress.

Durban-born, Hlomuka started acting in the 1960s, learning from Durban playwright Welcome Msomi. She has taken part in stage productions such as Qombeni and Umabatha, a Zulu adaptation of Shakespeare's Macbeth. She was also a member of Ipi Ntombi, which toured Europe in the 1970s.

However, it is as Sis May in the popular TV comedy S'gudi S'naysi, starring alongside Joe "S'dumo" Mafela in the 1990s, that many people remember her for.

Hlomuka will be buried in her home town of Durban tomorrow.

Rest in peace sister. You have made all of us proud by contributing to the development of the entertainment sector in the country. You have added quality to our lives. We will miss you.