Film & Cinematography News South Africa

Shaka Ilembe and Yizo Yizo co-creator Teboho Mahlatsi passes away

The co-creator of South African drama series Yizo Yizo and Shaka Ilembe Teboho Mahlatsi has died.
Teboho Mahlatsi has been instrumental in local TV and film production. Source: Bomb Productions.
Teboho Mahlatsi has been instrumental in local TV and film production. Source: Bomb Productions.

“It is with the saddest regret that we announce the untimely passing of filmmaker and producer - Teboho Moseling Mahlatsi, on the 3 July 2023. In lieu of personal condolences, the family kindly requests prayers and that they be given privacy to mourn and come to terms with the tragic loss. Further details will be communicated in due time,” said the family in a statement.

Mahlatsi is known for producing Yizo Yizo which aired from 1999 to 2004. The show platformed stars such as Dumisani Dlamini, Meshack Mavuso and Ernest Msibi, and recently started streaming on Netflix, giving it a global platform. Currently his team is being lauded for their work on historical drama Shaka Ilembe.

“This is a legacy project and has deep meaning to the team who have been telling stories of every day South African heroes and heroines for the past 21 years," Mahlatsi said about the project in 2018.

He completed film school at the Africa Cultural Centre in 1993. In 1999 his debut short film, Portrait of a young man drowning won the Silver Lion at the Venice Film Festival.

Mahlatsi is also a giant of advertising, through his role as company director of The Bomb Shelter Film Company where he has helmed the direction of many award winning TV commercials.

Through his role at The Bomb Shelter Film Company, he was known for creating shows with strong social issue storylines such as Zone 14, Gaz’Lam’, and For Love and Broken Bones.

Department of sport, arts and culture Minister Zizi Kodwa sent out their condolences.

"Teboho Mahlatsi's work highlighted the multidimensional nature of life in democratic SA. He showed the beauty and vulnerabilities that come with the mixture of cultures in South African life. His works such as Yizo Yizo, Zone-14 and the many advertisements and films, gave an authentic, hard-hitting, yet relatable account of South African communities," he said.

Here are some of the social media tributes:

About Karabo Ledwaba

Karabo Ledwaba is a Marketing and Media Editor at Bizcommunity and award-winning journalist. Before joining the publication she worked at Sowetan as a content producer and reporter. She was also responsible for the leadership page at SMag, Sowetan's lifestyle magazine. Contact her at
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