Shoki Mokgapa had her sights on an international career

In expressing her desires for her own career, Mokgapa seemed to have her sights on an international film career. (ZACelebs.co.za)

In expressing her desires for her own career, Mokgapa seemed to have her sights on an international film career. (ZACelebs.co.za)

Actress Shoki Mokgapa who has starred in films such as Sew The Winter To My Skin, SINK and can currently be seen in the TV drama The Docket, died on Tuesday after allegedly taking her own life.

The 34-year-old actress is understood to have been dealing with clinical depression and anxiety, according to a statement released by MLA, the agency that represented Mokgapa.

In 2017, Mokgapa was awarded a South African Film and Television Award (SAFTA) Award for her performance in the film SINK.

Mokgapa had made her television debut in 2008, in the SABC3 drama The Lab.

Fellow actress Mandisa Duna, who co-starred with Mokgapa in the film Sew The Winter to My Skin, South Africa’s submission in the Oscars foreign film category, expressed sadness at the fact that celebrations of the film’s advances would have to take place without Mokgapa.

In expressing her desires for her own career, Mokgapa seemed to have her sights on an international film career. She told the TV show Expresso that “To be on an international platform would be absolutely amazing, and I am hoping to just do films because I find that platform so truthful and intimate, in a sense.
I will go where I am wanted and where I am needed.” She had also appeared on the international TV shows Silent Witness (BBC) and The Looming Tower, on Amazon Prime Video.

While her colleagues describe Mokgapa as a generally happy “ball of energy”, her posts at times hinted at her deep grief, especially when recalling the loss of loved ones. A tweet posted on August 4, accompanied by a picture of a relative, states: “My life has been entirely defined by loss and grief, a pain so deep it cannot be spoken. Grief is a pain that goes on and on and on. I have loved you your whole life. I will miss you for the rest of mine.”

Two days later, Mokgapa posted in verse: 

I’m sorry for the friends that I’ve lost
For the ones who watched me fall again, I want to be a role model, but I’m human
I don’t know know why
I do it, I do it every time
Just hold me I’m lonely
To the ones who never left me
We’ve been this road before
And I’m sorry
To the ones who never left me
We’ve been this road before
And I’m sorry

A memorial service is due to take place on October 2 at the Market Theatre. 

Kwanele Sosibo

Kwanele Sosibo

Kwanele Sosibo studied journalism at Durban's ML Sultan Technikon before working at Independent Newspapers from 2000 to 2003. In 2005, he joined the Mail & Guardian's internship programme and later worked as a reporter at the paper between 2006 and 2008, before working as a researcher. He was the inaugural Eugene Saldanha Fellow in 2011. Read more from Kwanele Sosibo

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