Teboho Mahlatsi

Teboho Mahlatsi of Bomb Productions. Image via Twitter @davidkau1

RIP: ‘Shaka ILembe’ and ‘Yizo Yizo’ co-creator Teboho Mahlatsi dies

‘Mr Bomb Productions. Angikho grand jo’: Legendary filmmaker and director of #ShakaiLembeMzansi Teboho Mahlatsi has sadly passed away.

Teboho Mahlatsi

Teboho Mahlatsi of Bomb Productions. Image via Twitter @davidkau1

Teboho Mahlatsi – one of the great minds behind MultiChoice’s most-watched TV series, Shaka ILembe – has passed away age 51.

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News of Mahlatsi’s passing were announced in a statement by his family on Monday, 3 July.

“It is with the saddest regret that we announce the untimely passing of Filmmaker & Producer – Teboho Moseling Mahlatsi, on the 3rd of July 2023.

“In lieu of personal condolences, the family kindly requests prayers & that they be given privacy to mourn and come to terms with this tragic loss,” read the statement which was shared on Twitter by comedian and producer, David Kau.

Mahlatsi’s cause of death is currently not known as the family said further details will be communicated in due time.

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According to The Bomb Shelter, where Mahlatsi worked as a company director, he completed film school at the Africa Cultural Centre in 1993. Six years later, he won the Silver Lion at the Venice Film Festival for his debut short film, Portrait of A Young Man Drowning.

Mahlatsi is best known for being the co-creator and a director on the three seasons of the South African television phenomenon, Yizo Yizo – currently streaming on Netflix. Other shows he has co-cteated and directed include Bomb Production’s Jacob’s Cross, Isibaya, Ayeye and most recently, Shaka ILembe.

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Dstv's Shaka iLembe
Dstv’s Shaka iLembe rated as the best in history. Image via Twitter @PhilMphela


In response to the sad news, South Africans have been paying tribute to Mahlatsi.

“I consider him the greatest Filmmaker we have ever had. Changed television in South Africa. YizoYizo, Gaz Lam, Zone 14, Jacob’s Cross, etc. A true Legend,” @OnkeBlavk wrote.

“Horrific news. This guy led a whole generation in film making,” @Qebenga15 said.

Actress and screenwriter, Mmabatho Montsho said: “Devastating. Teboho gave us some of the most iconic moments in South African TV. A storytelling signature that marked a time… emulated to this day. You leave an undeniable mark. RIP. Ubegrand jo.”

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