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Actor Thapelo Maropefela dies on eve of birthday

Actor Thapelo Maropefela has died.

Popularly known as Karabo on the SABC1 drama series “The Kingdom”, Maropefela passed away on Sunday, October 24.

Taking to social media on Monday, the young actor’s sister Kamogelo Maropefela, expressed her heartbreak and pain at losing her brother on the eve of his 25th birthday.

She wrote: “Nana, I'm so sorry. Your story was not meant to end now. Not on the eve of your 25th birthday.

“We are hurt. Cut deep. Empty. But we will try to celebrate you in our mourning.

“So difficult for me to say Rest easy, because it wasn't your time to rest yet! Aow papa. I'm so so sorry. We think of you today, and forever.

“May your spirit find peace. I love you so much. Till we meet again, Sthape. Happy Birthday, little bro.”

Kamogelo broke the news of Thapelo’s passing on Sunday. The cause of death is yet to be announced.

“Friends and Family, unfortunately my little brother, Thapelo Maropefela, left us in the early hours of today,” said Kamogelo.

She added: “What pains me the most is, he never spends his birthday at home. This year, he assured my mom he was gonna be home for his birthday. Unfortunately, he didn't make it. He left us, on the eve of his Birthday.I just can't. I cannot!”

The family also asked for privacy during their time of mourning.

“Please give my family and I some space to process and arrange everything. Thank you,” added Kamogelo in a statement.

Message of condolences have continued to pour in on social media as fans, friends and family remember the young creative.

“Thapelo devoted himself to his craft, his friends and family. I was fortunate enough to have met him through film, but we became brothers outside of any work capacity.

“His optimism and smile were infectious, and he inspired me in ways he’ll never know. A titan. A true talent ...” shared film-maker Tebogo Malebogo.

“My sincerest condolences Kamo,” commented Onthatile Lethoko.

“Man ... is it even a happy birthday? I’m at a loss for words. Today you would’ve turned 25 and you were doing so well for yourself. I hate questioning God's will but o berekile yang this time Grootman laka? How? It doesn’t make sense. Rest easy Sthape 🕊. #OneDaySizoFika,” tweeted Lesego Africa.

Maropefela starred alongside Nambitha Mpumlwana, Rob van Vuuren, Karin van der Laag, Maurice Carpede and Anele Matoti in “The Kingdom”, which made its debut on SABC1 earlier this year.

He also featured in the award-winning short film “Heaven Reaches Down to Earth”.

Narrated and directed by Tebogo Malebogo, “Heaven Reaches Down to Earth” traces a transformative encounter between two friends, for whom a shared communion with the natural landscape catalyses sensual and spiritual awakenings.

“Heaven Reaches Down to Earth” has enjoyed screenings at international film festivals, including the Hamptons International Film Festival, Clermont-Ferrand International Short Film Festival and Chicago International Film Festival.

This story originally appeared on IOL

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