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“My strongest ancestor”


South African media personality Somizi has delivered an emotional tribute to his late mother, thespian Mary Twala, calling her his strongest ancestor. 

Dressed in all black, with a sequin beret and black sunglasses, Somizi delivered his ardent words filled with love and anguish during his mother’s funeral service in Soweto, attended by close family and friends. 

“I’ve lost a mother on earth but I’ve gained the strongest ancestor,” he said.


Somizi thanked South Africans, friends and family as he spoke on the loss of his mother, saying that he had always dreaded the day that he would have to stand at the podium on the day of his mother’s funeral. 

Supported by his husband Mohale Motaung, Somizi spoke of his pride for his mother’s career and the pride that he had that she was always able to “smell the roses while she was still alive”. 

Mhlongo spoke somberly about his mother and her last days, remarking on what she had requested for her own funeral while she was admitted in hospital. “My mother said that she wanted a lot of flowers. She had actually told the doctor this past Saturday that she wanted a lot of flowers at her funeral and that she wanted to be dressed in the dress that she wore to my wedding”, he said. 

“My mother was very successful at home and in her professional career. Her work ethic was outstanding. She was very generous, very cheeky and very optimistic. I am not sad that she is gone, I’m just sad because my umbilical cord has been cut. I’m so at peace with what my mother achieved because she saw me walking down the aisle, she saw her grandkids and great grandkids being born.”

“I would like to thank South Africa as well for really loving my mother. I’d be lying if I said that my mother was not appreciated. South Africa, the presidency, the president, you have really given my mother flowers while she could still smell them. You have loved my mother. I would like to thank her for instilling everything that I am today. She was the most punctual person that I know. I know that her death was on time and her time is always impeccable to the point that she leaves on my dad’s birthday and buried on my husband’s birthday. That’s my mother for you.”

Twala’s grandniece Phumzile also took to the podium to share her love and tribute to her late grandmother. Phumzile told mourners at the funeral service of how surreal it was that her Ma (her affectionate term for Mary Twala) was gone and thanked her grandmother for being a present figure in her and her grandchildren’s lives. 

“I want to thank Ma for being present in our lives and she made sure she spent time with us. As grandchildren, we got to hear and experience her. We learn a lot from her.”

Members from the Twala and Mhlongo families also paid tribute and praise to the 2019 Order of Ikhamanga silver recipient, including Mazwe Mhlongo, son of the late Ndaba Mhlongo, Somizi’s dad, who was raised by Twala. 

Mhlongo said, “Thank you Ma for raising me to be the man that I am today. I learned a lot from you and I know that you loved my father dearly.”

By The African Mirror