It is impossible to discuss the South African movie industry as it is today without referencing someone like Candy Moloi, who helped shape the industry and built it up to what it is today. According to several people in the industry, Candy broke down many walls and created opportunities for others in the industry. She was a renowned actress, radio producer, and smart businesswoman.
The talented actress was best known for her role as Vho-Makhadzi on the SABC2 soap opera “Muvhango” from 1997 to 2008. Her death was a great loss to her family as well as the South African entertainment industry.
Candy Moloi Rose to Fame On South African Soapies
Born Cecilia “Candy” Mukondeleli Moloi in Thohoyandou, Limpopo, South Africa, on the 10th of February 1953. Candy, as she was mostly referred to, played major roles in several South African soap operas. Despite this, she didn’t become popular until she began to play the role of Vho-Makhadzi in the SABC2 soapie titled Muvhango. Her performance was well-received, which gave her the popularity she needed to grow her career to the desired height.
Moreover, through her eleven years of performance and involvement in the Soapie (Muvhango), Candy managed to endear herself to South Africans and also dispel some of the tribalistic perceptions people had about productions whose primary languages were not Xhosa, Sotho, or Zulu.
The Veteran actress was one of the show’s original cast members when it first premiered in April 1997. She played the character of Vho-Makhadzi with such finesse that several years after she left the show, her fans and even family still called her by that name. For her role on the show, she won a Best Supporting Actress SAFTA award in 2009.
In 2008, Candy also played the role of MaModumedi in the mini-drama series titled “Death of a Queen,” which aired on SABC1 as part of the channel’s Shakespeare in Mzansi.
She had a recurring role in the second season of the Mzansi Magic telenovela- Ring of Lies and in the SABC2 telenovela Giyani – Land of Blood.
In the SABC2 thriller series titled Thola, Candy featured as Fhatu Neluvhola; another mother to Dibuseng and an unofficial ‘grandmother’ to Dibuseng’s 2 children. She also starred as Makhadzi in the 4th season of the channel’s comedy series Stokvel. To date, her most significant biggest accomplishment is undoubtedly winning the South African Film and Television Awards (SAFTA) for Best Supporting Actress after her exit from Muvhango in 2009.
She Had A Robust Career That Went Beyond Acting
Despite spending the best part of her career being an actress, it is easy to assume that Candy Moloi was just an actress, but that is far from the truth. Asides from her very successful acting career, she also had a very successful career in the broadcasting and marketing industry. After she founded her own production company- Candy Moloi Productions, she became one of the top producers in the industry, especially for African languages. Candy was also trained as a teacher and worked as a radio announcer.
From what was said about her, especially since her passing, she was involved in several community projects that helped rural regions in South Africa gain access to better health care and education. Mama Candy as she was fondly called, impacted many people and helped build several careers in the industry.
Candy Moloi Successfully Kept Important Details About Her Family From The Media
Despite having a fulfilling career entertaining millions of fans on TV for more than two decades, Candy Moloi kept several aspects of her personal life away from the media. The veteran actress was married to a man with whom she shared two children, but the identity of her husband and what he does for a living remains a mystery even to this day.
It wasn’t until her passing that her daughter- Lerato Zah shared a picture of both of her parents celebrating their heavenly birthdays. From the post, it can de be deduced that Candy had lost her husband in 2009. She also has a son named Tshepo Moloi, who is not known most likely because he is not in the entertainment sphere. On the other hand, her daughter- Lerato Zah, is well known for following in her footstep.
The Actress Shared A Special Bond With Her Daughter- Lerato Zah Moloi
While much isn’t known about Candy Moloi’s family, it is a known fact that she had 2 children- Tshepo (son) and Lerato (daughter) Moloi. Even though it’s natural for a daughter to look up to her mother as a role model, when one studies the dynamics of Candy Moloi and her daughter’s relationship, it’s plain to see that they had something special. From their appearance together on several shows to their public display of affection, these two had the quintessential mother-daughter relationship. It’s no wonder Lerato Zah was so devastated by the loss of her mother.
They appeared together in Muvhango, where Lerato starred as Refiloe, and Thola, where she featured as Lufuno Ndou. After her mother’s passing, Lerato Zah, in an emotional tribute, shared how desolate she felt after she was told that her mother has finally passed. She had apparently visited her in the hospital earlier that same day, begging her not to abandon her because she still needed her and couldn’t imagine her life without her. Sadly, she passed on that same day.
After her mother’s passing, Lerato Zah cut her hair in her honor as she claims that she looks more like her mother with her haircut. She says she chooses to remember her mother in a happy way.
Candy Moloi Died At Age 67 After A Long Battle With Cancer
In the midst of the pandemic and lockdown of 2020, Candy Moloi lost her long battle with brain cancer. Her death came as a rude shock to several of her fans who weren’t even aware that she was battling any ailment. Her daughter- Lerato Zah, in shedding light on the cause of her death, shared that she had been in and out of the hospital for some time now, and they really thought she was going to continue to fight cancer to stay alive. She finally lost the battle on the 28th of July 2020 in a hospital in Pretoria.
Candy Moloi was well-loved by people. Her talent, charisma, and no-nonsense attitude endeared her to many people in and outside her working circle. According to her daughter, Candy fought through life and gave to everyone but never received anything in return. This made her death more painful as Lerato had plans of making her rest so she could enjoy her retirement, but they never had that chance.
According to the family spokesperson – Nthabiseng Moloi, they were all devastated by her death as she meant everything to them. She reiterated that Candy had a larger-than-life personality, and they were all just trying to make sense of the terrible loss. Fans, friends, and colleagues of the late actress all had sweet things to say about her, with tributes trooping in from every angle.