Ayanda Mbatyothi on the opening of Parliament in 2009. (Photograph by Media24/Gallo Pictures/Getty Pictures)
“It isn’t a coincidence that he died a day after Nelson Mandela’s birthday. I consider Madiba referred to as him.”
These had been the phrases of the widow of an Japanese Cape neighborhood activist and actor well-known for being a “lookalike” of beloved late former president Nelson Mandela.
Ayanda Mbatyothi, who appeared in Leon Schuster’s 2005 movie Mama Jack, died of Covid-19 on Sunday. He was 46.
He rose to fame for bearing a hanging resemblance to South Africa’s first black president.
Like Madiba, he was a towering determine and had the previous president’s manner.
He was usually seen in public draped in a Madiba shirt with a beaming smile, waving at folks and doing Madiba’s iconic fist-lifting gesture.
The ANC harnessed Mbatyothi’s reputation and sometimes invited him to election campaigns to entertain and entice supporters.
His spouse of eight years Noludwe Kanandawo confirmed to Information24 that Mbatyothi had died at 05:00 at Frere Hospital in East London.
She stated he was admitted on three July with Covid-19 associated signs.
He shall be buried at his ancestral residence in Alice’s kwa Baba Village on Saturday, stated Kanandawo.
Mbatyothi is survived by his spouse and a son aged 23 and two daughters aged 12 and 10.
In an interview on Monday, Kanandawo stated: “Similar to Madiba, my husband beloved youngsters very a lot and the residents of this nation. He was actually Madiba. He had the spirit of Madiba.”
“I’m devastated by his demise, however I should be sturdy for my youngsters. He beloved youngsters greater than something. Yearly, he would have fun Madiba’s birthday by donating meals, garments and toys to youngsters. I’ll miss him,” Kanandawo stated.
“He died a day after Madiba’s birthday. It isn’t a coincidence. I consider Madiba referred to as him. He adored Madiba.”