We Remember Ayanda Mbatyothi
President Cyril Ramaphosa has declared three days of mourning, from November 25 to 29, for victims of Covid-19 and gender-based violence.
Through our We Remember campaign, we too will pay tribute to some of the more than 20 000 people who have died due to the coronavirus pandemic and commemorate women who have died violently at the hands of men.
One such victim is Eastern Cape community activist and Nelson Mandela lookalike Ayanda Mbatyothi, who died from Covid-19 related illness on 28 July - one day after Mandela Day. He was 46 years old.
Mbatyothi became well known in South Africa because of his likeness to the former anti-apartheid icon, and wanted people to see him as a living reminder of Mandela after the latter’s death in 2013. He also starred in Leon Schuster's 2005 comedy Mama Jack.
Buffalo City councillor Ayanda Mapisa said that Mbatyothi's personality and community spirit echoed the former president's.
When he met Mandela for the first time at a rally in the mid-1990s Mbatyothi, in the same voice that became well-known across the world after Madiba’s release, told the statesman: "Ah, you are my twin".
To the families of those who have died from Covid-19 or gender-based violence this year, we share your pain, we know their names and most of all, we remember.