Joe Mafela: His five best TV shows

We honour him today by giving five shows that we would best remember Joe Mafela by.

Joe Mafela, known to most people as “Sdumo”, born in the year, 1942, passed away this weekend, 18 March, 2017. Joe was a South African actor, writer, producer, director, singer and businessman. We honour him today by giving five shows that we would best remember him by.

First show that we can remember the legend from is Sgudi ‘Snaysi, which means It’s Good It’s Nice. This was a South African television sitcom created by Roberta Durrant and produced by Penguin Films, which chronicles the misadventures of an unemployed man who is taken in by a family as a lodger and who, despite numerous money-making schemes, somehow never manages to pay his rent, getting by on his ability to charm the ladies.

The series originally aired on the SABC’s old CCV TV channel, from 1986 to 1993. There are 78 half-hour episodes in six seasons. Starring renowned comedian Joe Mafela in his breakout role as S’dumo, a sloppy but lovable lodger, ‘Sgudi ‘Snaysi’ consistently achieved SABC’s highest viewing figures, becoming the most popular television series in South Africa.


And 20 years later, the Madam & Eve series is still South Africa’s best reminder that we need to laugh at ourselves as a society. Our beloved Joe Mafela played the character of Sol, the gardener.

This incredibly hilarious crew of Madam, Eve, Thandi and Mother Anderson are like old friends to most South Africans. Their dysfunctional, chaotic and totally recognisable South African household is an unfailingly satirical reflection of everyday life in this country.

Mafela also featured in a South African Series called Khululeka. It has been over 20 years since the first series of the show was broadcast on South African television screens.

Khululeka was launched in 1994 to coincide with our country’s introduction to democracy. The original series of Khululeka was an initiative of the Matla Trust, which was set up by President Nelson Mandela to educate first-time voters.

The series became so popular that it eventually led to subsequent series, which covered a wide range of educational topics including democracy, human rights issues and the need to inform communities about local government. Sponsors of previous series have included the Mott Foundation, the department of constitutional development, SABC Education and the Independent Electoral Commission.


Mafela was not just an actor but a director. He assisted James Ngcobo and Vusi Dibakwane, who largely directed Stokvel


Stokvel is a comedy series set in the vibrant and exciting world of stokvels. The stokvel has been a part of African culture for decades – a place where friends meet for companionship, good times and a social way of saving money. This much loved institution is the dynamic backdrop for the continuing activities of two stokvels in Diepkloof, Soweto.

Stokvel is an award-winning show, having received several awards, most recently in 2010 for the best comedy director, best comedy ensemble cast and best comedy actor, Tshamano Sebe (Biza). This is the 3rd award received by Tshamano for Stokvel. Stokvel has on several occasions won at least seven Safta awards in the best comedy category.

The show features James Ngcobo, who played the role of Mojo Khumalo, who, along with his beautiful wife, Lerata Manaka Ranaka. The show became popular very quickly, as it reflected something that all South Africans could relate to.

Joe Mafela was truly a legend, and we will forever remember. Rest in peace to a great legend.

( Image: File Image)

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