Monday, 24 January 2022

Johannesburg: The Commission for Gender Equality (CGE) has expressed its heartfelt condolences to the family and friends of veteran actor and gender-based violence (GBV) activist, Patrick Shai.

According to a statement released by the family, Shai passed away on Saturday morning.

Commission chairperson, Tamara Mathebula, said the news of the passing of Shai has been met with sadness by all at the CGE.

“He will be sorely missed by those who had embraced him as a human rights and gender activist. We have worked closely with him in advancing gender equality and issues of men and boys in South Africa.

“Ntate Shai was a compassionate hero of our struggle against gender-based violence, who would use his artistic skills to ensure that the message gets across to his intended audience.

“It is through men like Ntate Shai that we are seeing a shift in the mind-set amongst many men, and we shall continue in the same trajectory to eradicate the scourge of GBV. As the Commission, we mourn his passing and equally celebrate his life. He will be missed. May his soul rest in peace”, Mathebula said.

Role model par-excellence

The Presiding Officers of Parliament have also paid tribute to Shai, describing him as a role model par-excellence.

National Assembly Speaker, Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, and National Council of Provinces chairperson, Amos Masondo, said Shai was not just an artist, but a legend.

“He was a legend, an inspiring figure beyond the arts fraternity, a change maker, an exemplary leader and a true activist and advocate against gender-based violence.

“We are gutted and bitterly saddened by the loss of such a titanic and incomparable talent, an outstanding human being with a humble personality,” the Presiding Officers said.

Through his organisation, Khulumandoda, Shai partnered with Parliament in its National Men’s Parliament initiative, which brought together about 250 men and boys from across the country to engage them to become agents of change and integral partners in the prevention of, and response in tackling the spread of HIV, gender-based violence and femicide and other social ills.

“South Africa has lost an extraordinary human being whose role, unrivalled talent and outstanding service to society can never be replaced. May his soul rest peacefully.” Mapisa-Nqakula and Masondo said.