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Shona Ferguson: Farewell Africa’s Taylor Perry

The late South African actor, Aaron Arthur “Shona” Ferguson was born to influence change among his multitude of followers.  On the 9th of Ju...

The late South African actor, Aaron Arthur “Shona” Ferguson was born to influence change among his multitude of followers. 

On the 9th of July, the 47-year old quoted a passage from the book of Isiah 41:13. “For I am the LORD your GOD who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, DO NOT FEAR! I WILL help you.”

A few days later, on the 25th of July, the media reported that he was hospitalised, after undergoing heart surgery. 

Five days later, he passed on. However, the press statement released by the family contradicted the media reports, saying he died of COVID-19 related complications.

“It is with great sadness that we confirm the passing of Mr. Shona Ferguson. He passed away at noon today (Friday, 30 July 2021),” said the statement.

“Mr. Ferguson’s untimely passing was due to Covid-19 related complications, and not a heart operation as reported in the media. We ask that you give the family time to process this painful loss and respect their space during this time,” it added.

The death news shattered many hearts across the globe, who shared their condolences. Despite his success, Shona, which means grace, remained humble.

Through the Ferguson Film Foundation, the media moguls sought to transform the entertainment industry. 
Shona and Connie Ferguson (Image: Instagram) 
“Building a sustainable film industry is a constant vision we are working towards,” the Ferguson Foundation said, announcing the Ferguson Film School on July 1.

The tweet continued: “We are committed to raising future film industry leaders and The Ferguson Foundation intends to be the ladder that offers a step up for our communities.”

Appreciating the professionalism exhibited by the Fergusons, a film crew said, “You have shown us a lot of respect, you are our own Taylor Perry.

After years in the showbiz industry, Shona and Connie launched the television company Ferguson Films in 2010. 

Since then, the company has produced other blockbusters, including Rockville, The Queen, Igazi, and Kings of Joburg among others.

The deceased actor was also human, like all of us, he had his one fear and shortcomings, but he never gave up, even when a cloud of uncertainty surrounded him.

“17 years ago, a Hollywood producer asked me if I had a backup plan,” he tweeted. “I was obviously shattered because I had just done multiple takes of an audition. He continued to say... “You don’t have what it takes.”

Obviously, after being told such negative words, one will despair, however, Shona went on to prove to the producer that indeed, he had what it takes, and he even became better.

For the film actor, it was not all rosy at first, he went through a lot to be where he was.

“There was a time in my life I couldn’t afford toothpaste & I brushed my teeth with sunlight bar soap. Had bogobe le cabbage for years coz I couldn’t afford meat,” Shona recalled. 

“We were so broke, we couldn’t afford paraffin for the lamps. We didn’t have much but GOD was with us.”

Born in Botswana in 1974, the late producer launched his showbiz career as a club DJ in Lesotho. Back in his native country, he became an IT businessman. 

Shona graced the small screen, featuring on Generations, then Muvhango, another popular South African soap opera.

Actor Spaces summed up Shona's abilities. “The loss of great industry contributor is something that we can never get used to. An iconic man, who led the success of many locally brewed productions. May these stories live on.”

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