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RIP: Tributes pour in for veteran SA actor Patrick Shai

Veteran South African actor Patrick Shai died on Saturday morning, 22 January, his family confirmed in a statement.

South African actor Patrick Shai passed away on Saturday, 22 January.
South African actor Patrick Shai passed away on Saturday, 22 January.

Shai graced theatres and screens in numerous plays, feature films and TV productions including Cry, the Beloved Country, Soul City, Generations, 7de Laan, Yizo Yizo and most recently The River.

News24 notes that Shai was nominated for a 2014 Safta in the category Best Supporting Actor for his role in Skeem Saam, and again in 2018 for his portrayal of Jacob Moloi in 7de Laan.

“We sincerely ask you to give the family time to process this painful loss. More details will be shared in due course,” his family said in the statement.

Shai is survived by his wife and two children.

While the cause of death was not revealed by the family after the actor's passing, new reports state that Shai allegedly committed suicide in the garage of his home in Soweto.

Shai had made headlines recently for using inappropriate language in a video posted on social media, when he challenged rapper Cassper Nyovest to a boxing match. The actor then shared an apology to Nyovest for using vulgar language that involved the rapper's mother following backlash from social media and gender-based violence organisations.

Since Shai's passing, tributes from fans and colleagues of the acclaimed actor have been shared on social media. Some of the posts and conversations have also highlighted the negative impact that toxic social media culture can have on mental health.

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