Friday, July 30, 2021

CORONAVIRUS. Ferguson Films owner, producer and actor Shona Ferguson (47) has died from Covid-19 complications.

by Thinus Ferreira

The filmmaker, producer, actor and owner of Ferguson Films in South Africa, Shona Ferguson, has reportedly died from Covid-19 coronavirus complications. He was 47.

See INDUSTRY REACTION lower down in the article.

Shona Ferguson, who was married to co-producer and actress Connie Ferguson, died on Friday afternoon at the Milpark private hospital in Johannesburg after he was admitted a week ago suffering from chest pains and struggling to breathe.

Sunday World reported that Shona Ferguson died on Friday afternoon, citing uncited sources, after he was in ICU.

This report couldn't independently be verified by other sources that TVwithThinus called, messaged and asked for several hours on Friday, hence the lack of any other reporting whilst seeking confirmation of the single-source story.

On Friday afternoon News24 cited Conrad Mwanza, a Ferguson Foundation spokesperson, confirmed the news of the death of Shona Ferguson.

"Shona Ferguson passed away at noon today and all the family is asking for at the moment is just to mourn in private," Conrad Mwanza said. 

He said that Shona Ferguson died from Covid-19 related complications.

In a statement issued later on Friday afternoon by the Ferguson Foundation, the Ferguson family said that Shona Ferguson died from Covid-19 related complications.

"It is with great sadness that we confirm the passing of Shona Ferguson. He passed away at noon today (Friday, 30 July 2021). Shona Ferguson’s untimely passing was due to Covid-19 related complications, and not a heart operation as reported in the media. We ask that you give the family time to process this painful loss and respect their space during this time."

Born as Aaron Arthur Ferguson in Botswana on 30 April 1974, he started his entertainment career in Lesotho as a club DJ at The Palace Hotel Night Club in 1992. 

After moving back to Botswana his focus shifted to the corporate world and he ended up in the IT business after which he got a role and started his acting career in SABC1's Generations, produced by Mfundi Vundla.

In 2006 he joined SABC2's Muvhango in the role of Dr Leabua and went on to portray the role of Itumeleng on The Wild on M-Net (DStv 101) and also appeared in SABC3's Isidingo, as well as Scandal! on

Along with Connie Ferguson they started Ferguson Films and appeared together on screen in their first locally-produced series Rockville on Mzansi Magic (DStv 161). 

The couple has two daughter, Alicia Angel Ferguson and Lesedi, as well as a grandson Rori.

Connie Ferguson on Saturday night on her Instagram account wrote: "This day, 20 years ago (31 July 2001), was the day God brought you into my life, and we haven't looked back since!"

"Ours is a once in a lifetime kind of love. We joked about how we were going to be in our old age. How we would take turns supporting each other and being strong for each other. The irony is we have already been doing that for the past 20 years!"

"Oh how God has loved me to give me you! We were already planning our 20th wedding anniversary in November, assuming that we had time. You and I were joined at the hip, now I feel completely off balance, incomplete, without my other half! My soulmate!"

His daughter Alicia Angel Ferguson wrote on Instagram: "Words can not express how I'm feeling right now. My worst fear became a reality. You fought your fight dad, and I'm so proud of you for making it this far".

"You've not only touched our lives as your family, but you've touched many others as well. You've left a legacy behind that I will carry on, as I did make this promise when I was little to you. Thank you for everything that you've done for me my doppelgänger."

"You made a promise to me that you'll always be there when I need you, so I believe you will always be there even in spirit. I'm going to miss being your personal photographer. I'm going to miss tickling your feet and you shouting at me for it. I'm going to miss smelling your perfume around the house."

"I'm going to miss a lot of things, but most importantly, your hugs. You gave the best hugs on this earth Fa, and I cherish each hug you've given me. I know you are protecting us from up there in heaven. I miss you and words can not express how much I love you Fa. Rest In Peace My Twin."

Shona Ferguson also made an appearance in 2014's The Gift, another series produced by Ferguson Films. 

Other series from Ferguson Films produced for MultiChoice and M-Net's DStv channels like Mzansi Magic and 1Magic (DStv 103) included The Queen, The Throne, IgaziThe Herd, The River and The Imposter, and Unmarried and Step Up to a Start-Up on which he was an executive producer.

Shona Ferguson received the Golden Horn award at the South African Film and Television Awards (SAFTAs) in the Best Actor in a TV soap category, and won another one for Best Achievement by a Lead Actor in a made-for-TV movie.

The 6-episode drama series Kings of Joburg was produced for Netflix by Ferguson Films in 2020.

Ferguson Films recently announced plans to open The Ferguson Film School for aspiring filmmakers.

In June this year Shona Ferguson shared on social media how he also went to Hollywood looking for fame and a career, as well as many doors in South Africa's TV and film industry that were shut in his face - and that he was so poor once that he couldn't afford toothpaste.

"An agent told me it wasn’t going to be easy to get me jobs because I didn't have the right “look”. A veteran actor, loved and respected by millions told me I am not memorable and so did a lot of producers. Many actors criticized me and made bets I would never make it in this industry," Shona Ferguson said.

"I've given most of these folks, agents and naysayers work opportunities regardless. Some are on my payroll and some would rather starve than work for me and that's okay. I'm not for everyone and not everyone is for me."

"There was a time in my life I couldn't afford toothpaste and I brushed my teeth with sunlight bar soap. Had bogobe le cabbage for years because I couldn't afford meat. We were so broke we couldn't afford paraffin for the lamps. We didn't have much but God was with us."


MultiChoice and M-Net in a statement in response to a media enquiry on Friday afternoon told TVwitThinus that "M-Net is deeply saddened by the news of the passing of actor, film producer and philanthropist, Shona Ferguson".

"Together with his wife Connie Ferguson, he founded Ferguson Films, and they both starred in the production company’s M-Net first series, Rockville, in 2013."

"This was followed by other successful productions, such as The Throne and The Queen, in which Shona played the role of Jerry Maake. His latest appearance was on Rockville Season 5, which aired on Mzansi Magic in June 2021, where he took on the role of JB."

"Shona previously starred in a number of popular local TV series, including Generations, Muvhango and M-Net's The Wild. Recently, Shona and his wife Connie launched the Ferguson Foundation, an independent programme dedicated to supporting and empowering disadvantaged individuals in navigating the film industry."

Nomsa Philiso, director of local entertainment channels at M-Net, says "Shona has left an indelible mark on the South African television and production industry. He will be greatly missed by the M-Net family and his fans."

"M-Net extends its heartfelt condolences to the Ferguson family and Shona’s friends and colleagues. May his loved ones find strength and peace during this difficult time."

Netflix South Africa, where Shona Ferguson produced Kings of Joburgsays "We are saddened to hear the news of the passing of Shona Fergurson. As a fixture in the entertainment industry and a hero of black stories he will be missed. Our thoughts are with his family and friends. Once a King, always a King".

Roberta Durrant of Penguin Films in a statement says, "It is with great shock and sadness that we have learnt today of the passing of Shonda Ferguson. We wish Connie and other members of his family and close friends deep condolences and prayers over this time of loss".

The SABC in a statement said that it is "deeply saddened by the passing of Shona Ferguson "and sends heartfelt condolences to the Ferguson family, his colleagues and his friends". 

Merlin Naicker, SABC group executive of SABC video entertainment, says "The industry has lost a great filmmaker and actor. He has left an indelible mark and his work will remain part of the South African film and television's rich archives, and will serve as a great well of knowledge for aspiring filmmakers and actors".

Duma Ndlovu, executive producer at the Word of Mouth Pictures production company, in a statement says "Our thoughts and prayers are with the Ferguson family and fans during this difficult time, we are deeply saddened by the passing of our dear brother",

"We have lost a dedicated contributor in the film and television industry, who has been doing remarkable work. We remember him for his unmistakable dedication and passion."