South African actor and producer Shona Ferguson is being remembered as an unwavering filmmaking stalwart, who played a crucial role in uplifting the film industry and being highly praised as a pioneer and innovator.
Shona, real name Aaron Arthur Ferguson, passed away at a South African hospital on Friday at the age of 47.
Tswane Malope, the Ferguson family spokesperson, told VIBEZ! yesterday the cause of death was Covid-19 related and not a heart attack as speculated on social.
The Botswana-born executive producer was the co-founder of Ferguson Films alongside his wife of 20 years, Connie Ferguson.
Ferguson Films are in charge of productions such as ‘The Queen’, ‘Rockville’, ‘Igazi’, ‘The Gift’, ‘Step up to a Start-Up’, ‘The Wild and Kings of Jo’burg’.
Local media personality, Paul Munanjala, better known as Paul da Prince, said being around Ferguson taught him a lot about the craft and being a people’s person.
“I learnt a lot from Mr Sho. He said that when you have the right partner, everything falls into place, especially if you share the same dream and pushing each other’s dreams,” shared Munanjala, who appeared on ‘The Queen’.
He further said Shona never gave up; he was not given certain roles in some productions, but went on and formed his own.
“I remember him saying, ‘If they don’t give you a seat at the table then create your table’.”
Munanjala added that Ferguson is the epitome of hard work, dedication and commitment to the film industry in terms of surviving hardship and pursuing his true love.
“From not affording toothpaste to living in a mansion; he was a Godly man, who always dropped some scriptures when he could. He loved his family so much and you could see that he made time for them. He was always encouraging,” said Munanjala.
“The South African industry lost a great man, but knowing the Fergusons personally, they will not let the dream die. I know Connie will continue the work they started together. I can’t imagine what she is going through, but I know she has the strength to pull through,” he concluded.”
Taking to social media over the weekend to pay tribute to the untimely passing of her “laaitie”, as she used to call him, Connie said the love that exists between them outlives death.
“Sho, my angel, my love, my skat, my laaitie. We share a once-in-a-lifetime kind of love, a love like no other that surpasses all understandings. A love that outlives even death! You and I will meet again when God decides it’s time,” she posted.
Connie further said: “In the meantime, you live on in our hearts. You have owned my heart from the day we met 20 years ago today (31 July), and there you will live until we meet again. Rest now, angel.”
In 2020, Ferguson made his Netflix debut, partnering with the streaming service on the six-part series, ‘Kings of Joburg’.
“As a fixture in the entertainment industry and a hero of black stories, he will be missed. Our thoughts are with his family and friends. Once a King, always a King,” posted Netflix South Africa.
Ferguson is survived by his wife Connie, daughters Alicia, Lesedi and grandson Roro.