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East London's popular Mandela lookalike loses Covid-19 fight

Nelson Mandela lookalike Ayanda Mbatyhothi has died.
Nelson Mandela lookalike Ayanda Mbatyhothi has died.

Prominent Eastern Cape community activist and Nelson Mandela lookalike Ayanda Mbatyothi, 46, has succumbed to a Covid-19 related illness, his wife Noludwe Kanandawo confirmed.

He was popularly known as the “Young Madiba” across the country.

She said: “He was sick two weeks ago and was sent to a doctor who referred him to Frere Hospital. He had also tested positive for the coronavirus and also had an underlying condition.”

Mbatyothi started impersonating Mandela in 1994 during the ANC's election campaign. He had also starred in Leon Schuster’s blockbuster Mama Jack, and also played the role of Madiba in Duma Ndlovu and Shado Twala's stage play about SA's democracy, which toured Switzerland in 2004.

Buffalo City Metro ward 8 councillor Ayanda Mapisa said Mbatyothi's death was a blow to the community. “He really impersonated Nelson Mandela in everything, he had Madiba's humility and spirit. He hosted Christmas parties for the elderly in our community and he was recently planning on distributing sanitisers in Duncan Village.”

Mbathyothi leaves behind three children aged 21, 12 and 10. He will be buried in Alice.


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