DURBAN’S Tiki Nxumalo, a stage and television actor perhaps most loved for his role as Sompisi, Ruby’s father, on the original Generations television series, died at his Lamontville home on. He was 65.
It is understood Nxumalo had been found on the ground outside his house. Medicine for asthma was found on his bed and family members assume he might have collapsed while trying to seek assistance.
Nxumalo was unmarried, had no children, and was thought to have been alone in the house.
Also noted for his role in a popular screen advert for fried chicken, Nxumalo had had a long association with Durban theatre veteran Themi Venturas, who expressed shock and sadness at the actor’s death. “Tiki and I had had a long and deep association since 1988. I first encountered this huge talent when I was running the Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre workshop group and he was a main figure in Lamontville, spending time training the youth,” said Venturas.
Nxumalo had already toured internationally as part of the hit musical Ipi Tombi before he and Venturas met, and they created many shows together in Durban, including the award-winning Taxi Jam.
“Tiki worked as a freelance actor, choreographer and musician for many of the companies in Durban, including Themi Venturas Productions, the Playhouse Company, Catalina UnLtd, the Committed Artists, the Patricia McIntosh School of Ballet, and the drama departments of UKZN and the DUT,” said Venturas.
“It saddens me that life for Tiki at the end was very difficult, and he constantly struggled to keep financially sound. It is tragic that, once again, an artist who served the industry so well over a lifetime had no security, no unemployment benefits, no medical aid, and no recognition as a labourer in South Africa.”
The KwaZulu-Natal Arts and Culture Department conveyed its condolences.
Details for Nxumalo’s funeral have not yet been finalised.