Budding South African actor Siyabonga Zubane, who played Sdumo on Gomora, has passed away, reports confirm.
Siyabonga Zubane dies: What’s the cause of death?
The tragic news was confirmed by the telenovela’s production team and fellow cast members who took to social media to pay tribute to the 23-year-old.
While speculation remains rife, at this time, on the cause of death, there is a strong belief that Zubane may have taken his own life.
Connie Chiume, who stars as Sonto on Gomora, reacted to Zubane’s tragic passing in a statement to Tshisa Live, calling for something to be done about the sudden rise in suicides, in South Africa’s entertainment industry.
“We are so devastated on why do we keep losing our young kids, our future leaders, talented people like this. What’s going on, especially in our industry? We don’t know what to say, what to do, something needs to be done,” Chiume said.
Siyabonga Zubane biography
Born in Alexandra at the turn of the millennium, Zubane always knew his life’s work was in front of the camera.
“I loved the arts from a young age. I went deep and I studied dramatic art in high school before going to university. However, with my love, talent, and gift, I still have to go through the same route as all actors and performers go and I have to audition for every role like it’s my first,” he said in an interview with Drum Magazine in February 2022.
His humble beginnings, moving between family in Alex and Tembisa, shaped his adulthood but Zubane learned very quickly how difficult it was to break into the industry, let alone make it out of tertiary.
The rising actor dropped out of a Dance Studies course at Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) after losing financial assistance from NSFAS and scored his first acting gig on the discontinued Isibaya in 2017.
“Isibaya featured me in 2017 where I played the role of Bhungezi. It was a one-day character, but I did it for experience,” he told Drum.
Zubane admitted he was shorted by his agent in the role and never received his remuneration but, for the budding actor, “that did not matter much to me because it was all about getting the experience.”
His second and most recent role was on Gomora, where he played a hoodlum-turned-gangster.
Social media reactions to Zubane’s death
News of the actor’s tragic death sent shockwaves across social media. Here are some of the reaction to Zubane’s death:
Heartbreaking Siyabonga Zubane suffered from Depression and financial problems— IG:Joy-Zelda (@joy_zelda) May 7, 2022
Depression is real guys can we pls get Therapist to help daily many are going through it
Rest In Peace Sdumo 🕊🕊 pic.twitter.com/xrJS7OopvU
I remember the shoot of this mus’ video so vividly now, I wanted to pull out but he convinced me to stay on. #Siya was a vibrant guy, a friend and colleague. You will always be missed #SiyabongaZubane 😭😭😭 #Gomora pic.twitter.com/6qIrHt42ee— Bubbles ♓️ (@veejay224) May 7, 2022
Rest in peace Siyabonga Zubane *Sdumo* from Gomora… You were so young while killing your character. ..no one blames you for what happened bcoz they don't know what you were feeling inside yourself….#RIPSiyabongaZubane#GomoraMzansi#sdumo pic.twitter.com/K7NFfdurNC— : (@ThabisaniPhakat) May 7, 2022
Heartbreaking 😭😭😭 having to hear of The Passing of such a Talent Sdumo from real name Siyabonga Zubane #GomoraMzansi due to suicide— IG:Joy-Zelda (@joy_zelda) May 7, 2022
Rest In Peace Bro 💔😭🕊#HillaryGardee
RIP Gomora actor Siyabonga Zubane— AllThatsBBW. (@BbwMaturity) May 7, 2022
Reportedly suicide. Depression and mental well-being issues is real guys pic.twitter.com/iBi8iU2n5u