13 titles that honour the life and work of Shaleen Surtie-Richards
The sudden passing of legendary actress Shaleen Surtie-Richards (66) on Monday, 7 June 2021 was mourned across the country. To honour her trail-blazing career, the never-before-seen documentary Shaleen Surtie-Richards: I Am Who I Am aired on M-Net on Wednesday, 9 June at 19:30, and is now streaming on Showmax.
Shaleen Surtie-Richards was a beloved South African icon. In 1988, she portrayed the title role of Fiela Komoetie in the Katinka Heyns film Fiela se Kind – a ground-breaking achievement for an actress of colour during apartheid South Africa. With her portrayal of Ester “Nenna” Willemse, the spirited caregiver of Marlborough Mansions in the M-Net soapie Egoli: Place of Gold (all episodes available to stream on Showmax) she became a household name.
“The documentary was commissioned to celebrate a South African icon and was in its final stages of post-production when the news of her passing was announced. It was an honour for the team to pay tribute and spend time with Shaleen in the making of this film. Her incredible story is historically significant for the people of South Africa,” says Diana Lucas, director and executive producer of I Am Who I Am.
In this intimate documentary, we revisit Shaleen’s life from her childhood in Upington and her first baby steps on the Upington school stage to far grander stages and greater audiences.
Marc Lottering, Sandra Prinsloo, Pieter-Dirk Uys, Brümilda van Rensburg, Katinka Heyns, Patricia de Lille, Bobby Heaney, Kevin Smith and others share their memories and stories of a woman who lived her life in defiance of stereotypes.
In her own words: “And I don’t have time for pretence in my life. So, if you ask me who am I, then I will tell you, I am who am.”
Surtie-Richards was also recently interviewed by fellow Egoli: Place of Gold co-star Hannes van Wyk for a special Kwêla: Hannes Aan Huis episode, which is now streaming on DStv online.
On kykNET&kie (DStv channel 145), the team of KLOP! will also be paying tribute to the legendary icon with friends and colleagues such as South African actors Christo Davids, Zenobia Kloppers and her Arendsvlei co-stars. (The kykNET telenovela Arendsvlei was the last production Surtie-Richards filmed on.)
Shaleen Surtie-Richards will always be remembered for her outstanding craftsmanship, her moving portrayal of iconic characters and her joyful personality. She entertained and educated South African audiences for decades, and you will find her in these shows, movies and documentaries on Showmax:
- Twee Grade Van Moord
- Fiela Se Kind (1988)
- Snaaks Genoeg
- Agent 2000: Die Laksman
- Villa Rosa
- Cas Oppie Kassie