After Shaleen Surtie-Richards was confirmed to have passed away in early June 2021, tributes started pouring in for the actress from various people who met her.

Surtie-Richards is probably best known for her lead roles in the 1988 film. Fiela se Kind and the long series Egoli: Golden Place. The actress, who performed in both Afrikaans and English, was born in Upington on May 7, 1955 and died at the age of 66 in Cape Town.

Over 30 years of television for Shaleen Surtie-Richards

She is said to have graduated as a kindergarten teacher between 1974 and 1984 before taking on various roles in several amateur theatrical productions. She was also active in the productions of the Théâtre-en-Éducation of the Ministry of Education from 1982 to 1984.

In 2017, Surtie-Richards met the hosts of Espresso show to talk about 30 years in the theater industry and how to play Fiela Komoetie changed her life. That same year, Surtie-Richards reprized his role as Fiela in a theatrical remake of the production under Lefra Productions and director Frans Swart.

The 1988 film – based on the bestselling Afrikaans author Dalene Matthee novel of the same name – is set in the forests of Knysna and is about a Cape Colored woman who discovers an abandoned white child on her doorstep. She decides to raise him like hers.

After Fiela she embraced her role as Ester “Nenna” Willemse on Egoli for a record eight years.

According to IOL, Nenna has seen international stars such as Joan Collins and Samantha Fox. Soap lovers will also remember her as the talkative Mattie in Generations, SA’s oldest soap.

The actress has also starred in films such as Two degrees of murder, Vaselinetjie and Charmaine in Broken wishes.

Her most recent role is that of Muriel Foster in Arendsvlei.


Surtie-Richards is said to have over 40 accolades, including three Lifetime Achievement Awards. A rose named in her honor by Ludwig’s Roses also underscores her status as a national treasure. In 2020, it will be inaugurated at the Suid-Afrikaanse Legendes Museum.

The museum said they will remember her for her laughter and jokes.

Health problems

In 2019, the actress became candid about her ongoing health issues, saying she had been diabetic most of her life. She spoke of having a near-death experience after suffering a mini-stroke years ago.

“The stroke came like a thief in the night,” she said in a 2013 interview.

“It was the very last thing I expected. It was late April; I was on stage, Polyfilla-ed and opgedollie, do my thing for a group of women at a networking function. I tried to deliver the line: “the hand that cradles the cradle is the hand that rules the world”. All I could get out was the first part. When it came to “is this the hand that rules the world,” that part came out in gibberish. “

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This notice was published: 2021-06-07 10:48:54


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