ACTRESS, dancer and Theatre for Community Development enthusiast, Sitshengisiwe Olinda Siziba, has been found dead at her Glen Lorne apartment.
The ever-bubbly Sitshengisiwe was epileptic but the family is still to ascertain the cause of her death.
She was 43.
In an interview with H-Metro Entertainment & Lifestyle, family spokesperson and sister to the late actress Belinda Cele described Sitshengisiwe’s death as a shock to the family.
“Sitshengisiwe was fit and ever bubbly from what I know best.
“I last spoke to her on Sunday when she said she was preparing for her exams at Women’s University in Africa where she was studying Sociology.
“On Monday, her phone went unanswered and we felt maybe she was writing her examinations.
“She stayed alone in her apartment behind in Glen Lorne but we became suspicious on Tuesday,” she said.
Belinda said they had to call the police when they found her apartment locked and had to break in.
“We were surprised to find her lying on her bed, dead. We are yet to ascertain the cause of her death.
“Her body has been taken for post mortem and we will only know the cause of her death afterwards.
“She was epileptic but we can’t say that was the cause of her death,” she said.
Belinda also described the late Patsime Trust progrmmes officer as an influencer who was dedicated to her work.
“She was a jovial character who always wanted to see people happy and laughing.
“It’s a huge loss to the family and life will never be the same again.
“She is survived by her daughter who is in Poland and we are waiting for her arrival in time for burial.
“Burial arrangements will only be announced once her daughter arrives as well as the results of post-mortem are out,” she added.
Fellow actress and producer Enisia Mashusha, who worked with Sitshengisiwe, was at a loss for words.
“I worked with her since 2003 at Mopani Junction, a radio drama.
“She was one of the first Mambokadzi dancers. We did several films together, I’, in pain,” she said.
The UK based theatre and film guru said Sitshengisiwe was dedicated.
“She was a go getter, did all her arts work with passion and excellence, versatile.
“There is nothing that she couldn’t do in arts. A writer, an actress, a dancer and of course she did mentor a lot of people including her own daughter.
“Words cannot describe the loss I feel, I’m devastated,” she added.
Fellow theatre practitioner and mentor Daniel Maposa said:
“She was a very talented actress who did her job whole-heartedly.
“She was always bubbly and jovial whenever she was given a task to perform.
“Sitshengisiwe played a big role in promoting theatre for child protection rights as well as championing sexual reproductive health education,” he said.
Sitshengisiwe’s close friend and fellow actress Eunice Tava shared her shock on social media handles.
“Shocking it will forever be. I am still waiting to wake up from the dream then I tell you ‘ndarota uchinzi wafa’ seems it’s a dream that’s not a dream.
“Recently we were burying Jiggaz and you entertained mourners with your dance moves playing Jata Jata like there was no tomorrow, like we knew you were next and just a few days ago we were in the studio doing what we know best, after the recording you shared how you hustled for your daughter to be at Uni. You also shared a bit on ‘a few more things’…. Your departure has just reminded me that tomorrow is not guaranteed.
“Tisavarairwe let just love one another, resolve any disputes, forgive each other where we wronged each other, celebrate each other and use today to do our best to inspire others for tomorrow is not guaranteed. May the Holy Spirit strengthen your daughter Kelly and family. Sitshengisiwe Olinda Siziba. We need closure, sahwira hauna kubirira game here iwe? Tirikurwadziwa ufunge. Rest Easy Mai Kelly our multi-talented artist.”
Sitshengisiwe starred in multiple film and theatre plays and later ventured into other art forms like dancing.