Legendary South African actor Patrick Shai has passed away, after a long week of fiery backlash.
Patrick Shai dies: What’s the cause of death?
Shai’s family confirmed the tragic news in a statement released on Saturday.
“It is with great sadness to announce the passing of veteran actor Ntate Patrick Shai. He passed away this morning (22nd January 2022),” the family revealed.
Further details were not furnished and the family, understandably so, asked for privacy and time to process this untimely death.
Shai’s passing comes after a turbulent week on social media. The soapie veteran surfaced with a fiery challenge to rapper-slash-boxer Cassper Nyovest, calling him out a friendly bout.
Things Shai said, that he came to regret and subsequently apologise for, pierced the skins of Nyovest factionalists.
The backlash that followed was, for lack of a better word, immense.
Who the fuck is that old man and why is he calling my mom a bitch? Why does my family have to be disrespected like this yo? Fuck this is too much now!!! Modimo nna ha ke sa kgona, ke kopa thuso.— Don Billiato (@casspernyovest) January 17, 2022
Before Nyovest’s tweet, where he lambasted Shai for disrespecting his family, Shai’s video pitch was a laughable moment in a legendary actor’s career.
However, the hint of pudency was enough to spur the bashing Shai received.
Patrick Shai who recently insulted Cassper Nyovest but apologised later has passed on. It's unbelievable. May his soul rest in peace pic.twitter.com/Hippo9BkuW— 𝔖𝔧𝔞𝔟𝔲𝔩𝔬 ❝▁🖊 (@Sjabulo) January 22, 2022
Patrick Shai biography: His career highlights
Shai is one of South Africa’s Crown Jewels in the film industry. For millennials, Shai is part of South African soapie memorabilia, a man renowned for his fatherly roles in classic TV shows like Soul City and Generations.
Shai was a dancer before his on-screen debut. It was in 1994, on his national debut, where he laid the groundworks of a long-spanning career as the leading cast member of Soul City.
Six years later, Shai was the recipient of a NTVA Avanti Award for Best Actor – Drama Series, and this career highlight would be the first of many great performances for the veteran actor.
Some of his most iconic roles are:
- Jacob Moloi on 7de Laan
- Khubeka on Zulu Love Letter
- Richard on Taxi To Soweto
- Edwin Thapelo on Yizo Yizo
South Africa bids farewell to legendary actor
Funeral arrangements will be communicated in due course. Fans, peers and proteges of the actor came out in droves to pay tribute to a SA TV staple following confirmation of the the tragic news.
Here are some of the reactions we picked out:
Terrible news flying all over today. Jabu Mahlangu in hospital after being involved in car accident, colleague Poloko Tau and Patrick Shai reported to have passed on.— Mathews_mpete (@MathewsMpete) January 22, 2022
Rest in peace Patrick Shai Grootman pic.twitter.com/YxzISN10Sq— Dr Daniel Marven (PhD) (@danielmarven) January 22, 2022
For very long, mental health activists have been telling journalists to stop using the phrase "commits suicide". Please. The are many reasons to be sensitive to how you use language here.— Suntosh Pillay (@suntoshpillay) January 22, 2022
Patrick Shai has died by suicide. Deepest condolences to his family.
Many seem calm and unbothered but are going through a storm inside. Be kind and gentle and pray for one another. You never know what may trigger someone, and what the final straw for them may be. RIP Patrick Shai.— Khaya Dlanga (@khayadlanga) January 22, 2022
Saddened by the news of legendary thespian Mr Patrick Shai 's passing. Condolences to all your loved ones, family, friends, colleagues and fans.— #CryptoDJ (@djsbu) January 22, 2022
Thank you for the inspiration.
May your soul rest in eternal peace sir, orobale kaKgotso🙏🏿 pic.twitter.com/DwYf5tYfuj