Minister Marais mourns the loss of stage and screen icon Shaleen Surtie-Richards | Western Cape Government


Minister Marais mourns the loss of stage and screen icon Shaleen Surtie-Richards

7 June 2021

It is with great sadness that we heard the news of the passing of one of our country’s biggest names in the acting industry: the legendary Shaleen Surtie-Richards.

Hailing from Upington in the Northern Cape, Shaleen was a talented actor, who won hearts country-wide for her role as Ester “Nenna” Willemse in the soapie Egoli. Her film role as Fiela Komotie in the acclaimed Fiela se Kind cemented her place in acting history. 

Shaleen also brought her versatility to the stage, and she performed in various plays, including the one-woman Shirley Valentine for which she won a Fleur de Cap award. She performed on stages locally and international and made important contributions to local arts festivals such as the Suidoosterfees, KKNK and the Grahamstown festival.

Minister Marais said, “Shaleen was the embodiment of the story of so many people in our country. She faced many difficulties as a young actor who started her career in the apartheid era, but whose love for her craft drove her to rise above all the obstacles in her path. Her talent and commitment to acting were clear in all that she did and she was beloved by the people of South Africa for the warm and endearing characters she brought to life on our screens and stages”.

We express our sincere condolences to Shaleen’s family, friends and extended performing arts families. She was a true national treasure and her legacy will live on for many years to come.

Media Enquiries: 

Stacy McLean
Spokesperson for the Minister of Cultural Affairs and Sport, Anroux Marais
083 504 1171