- Noludwe Kanandawo has confirmed that her husband, Ayanda Mbatyothi, has passed away
- The 46-year-old became famous because of his striking resemblance to late former President Nelson Mandela
- According to Kanandawo, her husband succumbed to a coronavirus related illness
The coronavirus is spreading like a wildfire in South Africa and over 5 000 people have lost their lives in just a couple of months.
Amongst those are popular Eastern Cape community activist and Nelson Mandela lookalike Ayanda Mbatyothi.
The 46-year-old, who impersonated Madiba in 1994 during the ANC's election campaign, passed away after contracting Covid-19, his wife confirmed.
Noludwe Kanandawo said her husband fell ill two weeks ago and went to seek medical treatment. The Sowetan reported he was referred to Frere Hospital by a doctor.
News24 reported his widow said:
"It is not a coincidence that he died a day after Nelson Mandela's birthday. I believe Madiba called him."
Following tests it was confirmed Mbatyothi contracted the coronavirus and he had an underlying condition - which put him at an higher risk of falling seriously ill.
Mbatyothi's resemblance to Madiba opened doors for him. He was given a role in Leon Schuster's movie Mama Jack.
In 2004, the father of three toured Switzerland as part of a stage play by Duma Ndlovu and Shado Twala, where he portrayed Mandela.
News of his death has left many devastated and the Buffalo City Metro ward 8 Councillor Ayanda Mapisa said his passing was a blow for the Eastern Cape community.
Mapisa was quoted saying:
"He really impersonated Nelson Mandela in everything, he had Madiba's humility and spirit. He hosted Christmas parties for the elderly in our community and he was recently planning on distributing sanitisers in Duncan Village.”
In other news, Briefly.co.za earlier reported Kaunda Ntunja, a respected and experienced rugby commentator, has passed away. His family posted a statement on social media, sharing the sad news with the country.
He supplied Xhoza commentary for rugby matches and had an international following for his efforts.
"It is with deep sadness I confirm the passing of our beloved brother Kaunda Ntunja, earlier today in East London, Eastern Cape," Tando Ntunja wrote.
"As you can imagine, we still trying to make sense of this tragic news and we ask for your love, care and discretion as we prepare to lay my big brother to rest."
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