Zakes Mokae
ZAKES MOKAE Zakes Mokae, 75, an actor and director, of Las Vegas and South Africa, passed away Friday, Sept. 11, 2009. He was born in Johannesburg, South Africa, and later trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts, in London, England. Zakes was considered one of the most distinguished thespians in South Africa for over two decades. Mokae was one of the few actors capable of crossing the racial barriers in South Africa. He and his collaborating friend, playwright, Athol Fugard, together, founded the Rehearsal Room Theatre Company, in South Africa, during the 1950's. Their productions dealt with their country's injustices. Zakes came to the United States with his American-born wife, Madelyn, whom he met and married in London, England. He later became an American Citizen. He has appeared in numerous critically acclaimed U.S. productions, including "The Blood Knot," "Boesman and Lena," along with James Earl Jones and Ruby Dee, for which they won the Obie's Awards, "A Lesson From Aloes," "Master Harold and the Boys," for which he received the 1982 Tony Award on Broadway, and again Tony nominated for "The Song of Jacob Zulu," in 1994. Television productions have included "A Different World," "Roots, Part II," "West Wing" and "Monk." Zakes was an actor with the Royal Shakespeare Company and the British National Theatre. Films included "A Dry White Season," "Cry Freedom," "Outbreak," "Serpent and the Rainbow," "A Rage in Harlem" and "Waterworld." He and Danny Glover founded The Black Actors Theater in San Francisco, in 1980. He was directing theatre productions in Las Vegas before retiring. Zakes was a directing Fellow with the American Film Institute. As an adjunct professor, at the University of Las Vegas, during his tenure, he produced and directed five plays, including "The Last Being" and "A Road to Mecca." Mokae is survived by his wife, of 43 years, Madelyn J. Mokae. Memorial services will be at 1 p.m. Friday, Sept. 18, at Palm Mortuary, 1600 S. Jones Blvd., Las Vegas, NV 89146.

Published by Las Vegas Review-Journal on Sep. 13, 2009.
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55 Entries
For Zakes...


Do not weep for me when I no longer dwell among the wonders of the earth; for my larger self is free, and my soul rejoices on the other side of pain...on the other side of darkness.

Do not weep for me, for I am a ray of sunshine that touches your skin, a tropical breeze upon your face, the hush of joy within your heart and the innocence of babes in mothers arms.

I am the hope in a darkened night. And, in your hour of need, I will be there to comfort you. I will share your tears, your joys, your fears, your disappointments and your triumphs.

Do not weep for me, for I am cradled
in the arms of God. I walk with the angels, and hear the music beyond the stars.

Do not weep for me, for I am within you;
I am peace, love, I am a soft wind that caresses the flowers. I am the calm that follows a raging storm. I am an autumns leaf that floats among the garden of God, and I am pure white snow that softly falls upon your hand.

Do not weep for me, for I shall never die, as long as you remember me...
with a smile and a sigh.

© Joe Fazio
[email protected] /Joe Fazio,
Beverly Hills, California
March 9, 2010
Aunt Mandy, sorry it took me so long to write this. It is so hard to believe that Uncle Zakes is gone. When Jessica called me that night i didnt want to believe her. I love you Aunt Mandy and everything will be ok. You have anthor ANGEL WATCHING DOWN ON YOU. I love you and my Uncle Zakes rest in peace
Hillary Woods
November 25, 2009
It was wonderful to see you after so
many, many, years. So happy I, received
word of Zakes, memorial service in Los
Angeles. Zakes, was truly loved and
respected by people from all over. We
had many wonderful times, in London,
together. Thank you both for all of
wonder meals and laugther, during those
early days of many of us coming into exile, a very painful time for so many of us leaving South Africa. You and Zakes, turned our misery into joy.

May Bra Zakes, forever rest in peace.

God Bless You Mandy! You will always have a special place in many of our hearts.

Harriet Moloi
October 24, 2009
Dearest Mad.

My deepest sympathy, you are not alone.
I, and Norm, share your grief. We often smile with joy thinking of the
wonderful time spent with you and Zakes, last year in Capetown.
Joy Ruffen Oake
October 14, 2009
Girlfriend Mandy Mokae,
Our thoughts and prayers, are with you. Zakes, was a very wonderful person. We will truly miss his kindness and humour. May God Bless
you and your family!!

GF's Rita Coleman & Hillaire Harris

Las Vegas, Nevada
Las Vegas
Rita Coleman
October 14, 2009
Dearest Mandy,
I,was so very, very sorry to hear from Blossom, that Zakes passed away on the Sept.11th. My deepest sympathy.

Marijke McKalvey

October 14, 2009
I was so sorry to hear of your loss. Please let me know if there is anything I can do to help at this time.
Marla Gibbs
October 14, 2009
Starr, Amanda and I just had word of Zake's passing. Our deepest sympathy to you and your extended family. We will always think of him with fond memories as he shared his kindness, goodness, laughter, talent, his family, and his warm smile with us. He will remain forever in our hearts.

Leslie Bunch
Leslie Bunch
October 11, 2009
God Bless you, Mrs. Mokae,
Now that you are alone, please remember
and think of all the good you have done
for so many over the years. You and Uncle Zakes, gave us a home until our
Mother, was able to get us back. Please
remember you will always have us to pray and remember you. We now live in
Provo. Trevor,is finishing college. I,
am to be a Teacher, next year.

Clovis,Josh,Trevor,and Sissy.

October 10, 2009
Dear Madelyn and Fam;
Rick and I were so sadden to hear of the passing of Zakes. What a gentleman he was, a great talent! I remember the old days of you and I working together at Caesars Palace,(a memory from the past) I vividly remember the day you and Zakes got married, a elegant Hollywood style costume reception. I will never forget the look on your faces as you stared at each other, as you entered the room, the love was igniting. Madelyn my heart goes out to you, Trust in God, He will give you the strength to pull through your loss and to carry on as your family will need you more than ever now.
As Always, A friend,
Rose Crocetti
Rose Crocetti
October 3, 2009
My deepest sympathy to Mandy and family.This is a journey that we must take,and each must go alone.Its all in the Lords plan.A step on the road to go Home.Lots of love from Aunt Mary [Christ the King- Soup Kitchen Sophiatown].We hope to see you soon.My daughter Hazel, sends her deepest sympathy.
May God bless you.
Alice Marshall
Montgomery Park
October 1, 2009
Dear Mandy,

My friend Esther Ramusi told me of the death of your husband and I wanted to extend my deepest condolences to you and your family. May your memories of Zakes be a source of strength to you in the coming days and weeks.

I stayed at your condominum when I visited the Cape in April of 2008 and enjoyed the accommodations very much. I hope I will have an opportunity to meet you in the not too distance future.
Marvaleen Atlas
September 29, 2009

It was very sad to learn of the passing of our friend and distinguished actor who blazed a trail for all aspiring artistes in South Africa and elsewhere. Zakes scaled the heights of his profession and made all those who saw his work proud. He was a true hero in the struggle against apartheid in the arts and therefore in the entire society.
We'll keep you in our prayers always.
Zine & Cap Zungu
September 23, 2009
Dearest Mandy:

May you experience the joy of fond memories that you both shared through the years.
You no longer have to seek for him along the Atlantic Seaboard in the night. He really is in a better place watching us with his broad smile, I want to believe that.

I thank you both for the memories.

robala ka khutso(rest in peace)

Esther Ramusi,
Cape Town, South Africa,
and The women of "Sister Circle"

South Africa.
September 22, 2009
The National Office: The National Council Of African Women South Africa, wish to extend our Deepest Sympathy to you and family because we care.
We are hoping that the love of friends and our organization will help to see you through, and that time will bring you brighter days again because we care for you.

May God Bless you indeed.

Life President: Mrs. M. Mokgata
President: Mrs. G Teme
South Africa.
September 22, 2009
Our warmest thoughts go out to you today with more concern and sympathy than we could ever say.

Mandy, may Zakes rest in peace and one day,god's will, may he rise in glory.
Your Cape Town sisters of The National Council of African Women.

Ramusi, Mulu, Sofia,Monica,Elizabeth, Debbie,Notombi,Cheryl,Helvi,Janet,Zodwa,Katheryn,Margaret,Nombongo, Raisibe,Gwen and others.
We love you and await your arrival in South Africa.
Monica and hopefully Cheryl Ayogu, will accompany you and Zakes to his final journey home to Sofia Town.

Elizabeth Darkwa,
Western Cape Chapter Pres. NCAW.
September 22, 2009
The National Office: The National Council Of African Women South Africa, wish to extend our Deepest Sympathy to you and family because we care.
We are hoping that the love of friends and our organization will help to see you through, and that time will bring you brighter days again because we care for you.

May God Bless you indeed.

Life President: Mrs. M. Mokgata
President: Mrs. G Teme
South Africa.
September 22, 2009
Aunt Mandy, I think I attempted to write this about three times, and this is when I began to cry. It was someting about writing this that made this so final. I deal with talking to families about letting their loved ones go on a daily basis, but it's hard when its personal. I did not want to see Uncle Zakes suffer, and I am glad he is now resting watching over us smiling. One thing I know he would want you to do is now and then smile back. I'll be smiling back too.
Jeneen McLaurin
September 21, 2009

I was so saddened when I read about Zakes passing. You both gave so much to the youth of Las Vegas and I know all at DCFS appreciated it. Please accept my prayers for you and your family. Love
Joan Lindsey
September 19, 2009

I have just learned of Zake's passing, as I am in Canton, Ohio visiting my family. We are so very sorry. He was certainly a class act, as are you, and we are so happy and lucky to have known him. You will be in our thoughts and prayers.


Cathy & Bobby G. Gronauer
Las Vegas, NV
September 19, 2009
Aunt Mandy

God has given and God has taken. To our uncle whom we shared with the world He was the greatest uncle. Your love and teachings will be valued forever.

Be strong Auntie.

Hope to see you soon.

Lots of love

Mpumi Mokae
Masana Mokae
Phaano Mothae
Lesedi Mothae
Katleho Mothae

Johannesburg SA
September 18, 2009
Hi Mandy

I very much would have loved to be there with you during this trying time. Unfortunately I could not make it.

You are in my prayers.

Makgoana my brother may your soul rest in peace.

"Let not your heart be troubled neither let it be afraid". John 14vs27
Mantloana Elizabeth Mokae
September 18, 2009
Uncle Zakes it's as though you knew you were not going to be here for the '09 December holidays that's why you took us for an early holiday. we will always cherish the memories of all the holidays with you.

Auntie Mandy be strong we love you and hope to see you soon.
Keke and Kgaugelo Mokae
September 18, 2009
The love we shared over the years will continue to blossom. The childhood memories we have will not fade away for as long as GOD spares us.

You will forever live on in our memories. Rest in Peace my Brother.

Thabo and Teis Mokae
September 18, 2009
I have fond memories of the time I spent with my uncle Zakes, which I will always treasure. I remember the times we used to drive around town singing out to the song - "If it had not been for the Lord where would I be"...and he'd be singing from the depth of his lungs and I'd tease Him and say just as well you chose acting as a career and he'd give me that silly giggle

Rest in Peace my loving Uncle

Your Niece
Morwadi Mokae
September 18, 2009
Aunt Mandy

we are all with you in our thoughts and prayers. Thank you for being part of the memories we shared with him. we love you

Revelation 3:8

When God leads you to the edge of the cliff, trust Him fully and let go, only 1 of 2 things will happen, either He'll catch you when you fall, or He'll teach you how to fly!

Uncle Zakes will be sorely be missed. He brought such joy to all of us. May his soul rest in peace, you have fulfilled your task.

love always
your nieces and nephews

Morwadi Mokae,Keneilwe Mokae, Khumo Mokae, Kgosi Mokae, Motlhatlhedi Mokae, Herbert Mokae, Masana Mokae Kekeletso Mokae, Siamisang Mokae,and Kgaugelo Mokae
Morwadi Mokae
September 18, 2009
Mandy my dearest sister - I'm with you in prayers. Thank you for looking after my brother for the family - for loving him caring for him and being patient with him.

I hope you find solace in GOD during this trying time."Do not worry about anything; instead PRAY ABOUT EVERYTHING."
Philippians 4:6

Mokgoane your passing away is still a shock to me -Just the other day i was talking to you and now you are no longer here. I will cherish the love we shared the fun we had when we were together - the laughters - and gee did we have a lot of those. "I rember how we used to sing "Modimo wa boikanyo re ikanya go wena"

I loved you in life and in death, and will sorely miss you. Tsamaya ka kagiso Mokubung ba go letile bo Seantlo le Levy.

Your loving sister

Obeta Mokae
Obeta Mokae
September 18, 2009
Makgoana Zacharia Mokae, my cousin brother youR death came as a shock to me. I will always remeber you. Robala ka kgotso mokubung. Mandy my sister be strong let the good LORD be with you - I love you.
September 18, 2009
Our thoughts are with you at this time. May God bless you for being the wonderful person that you are. We are sorry that we cannot be with you at this time, but we are with you in spirit. Zakes was an amazing person and he will be missed by all.
Beauty, Lorraine, Winnie, Didintle (Mokae family)
September 18, 2009
Hello Auntie Mandy
I recently did my first radio interview in Johannesburg with a well-known radio station and I was so proud to let the listeners know about how my uncle Zakes had inspired me into embarking in a career in showbizz - I as a musician. My fondest memories re as follows:
1. The day both of you came back to SA and we spent a lot of time with you in Gauteng.
2. The day I graduated as a doctor my uncle wore his best suite and spent the whole day with us, sitting next to the Dj listening to jazz.
3. Most of all how you always keep me in stitches with your crazy jokes and wonderful stories.

This is how I remember him. Always by your side
Shala Winnie Motlalekgomo Mokae
September 18, 2009
Hi Mandy,

May the universe bring you peace and acceptance and remind you of all the wonderful times you spent with Zakes. It is an honour knowing Zakes and I trust that he is carrying on with his amazing journey wherever he is. Bye Zakes.Take care Mandy.
September 17, 2009

It was most regretable to hear of the passing of Zakes, I immediately thought of all the good times we have had over the years, in Cleveland, New York and Las Vegas. I will always remember Zakes joyful and creative personality. Although I cannot be with you at this time, you are in our prayers.

Love Always
Mary Cunningham-Hopkins
September 17, 2009
Madelyn,hold on to your memories, and let them guide you during this time of sadness.May you and your family find comfort in knowing you were a special part of a well-lived life. you're on our prayers. Maurice & Gloria Hines
September 17, 2009
Dear Madelyn,
I was so sorry to learn of the death of Zakes.
I regret that I cannot be with you at this time, but I have a fight scheduled in Poland.
Please accept my deepest sympathy and I hope to see you soon.
Don King
September 17, 2009
Dear Mandy and family,
My thoughts and prayers are with you.
I am glad that I had the opportunity to get to know Zakes. I remember when you first introduced him to me when we were all living in New York. He brought so much joy to us all with his talented performances.
Sorry I can't be with you, but know that you are in my thoughts and prayers.
Love Connie Harper
Connie Harper
September 17, 2009
My thoughts and prayers are with you in your time of grief. May your memories bring you comfort.
sandra palmer
September 17, 2009
sandra palmer
September 17, 2009
Dear Mandy,
We are so sorry for your loss. Zakes was a wonderful human being. We are so proud we met him. We extend our love and heartfelt sympathy. We pray God's richest blessings for you.
Herb and Everlena Brown North Las Vegas, nv.
September 16, 2009
Mandi and I were reunited in the Fall after she an Zakes were married. Mandy returned to Cleveland with Zakes and we met for some social time. There Zakes displayed some of his humor. "He could not understand why someone sending drinks and never came to verbally say hello". Years after that I saw him in Master Harold and the Boys on stage in New York, which I enjoyed superbly. I also watched the play several times on PBSTV. I understand he was a great husband and she a loving wife.

Praying that Mandi will be blessed with many years of peace and grace.
Jennie Lynd Jones
September 16, 2009
We send our deepest condolences.Zakes did us proud with his acting talent helping the world to understand the awfulness of apartheid.We give great thanks to God for this stalwart of our struggle for freedom.May he rest in peace and rise in glory
Desmond Tutu
September 16, 2009
I worked with Zakes in a movie called The Comedians. It was not a comedy. He was my assassin. But in the south of France we shared many laughs with Mandy and Alex Haley. Then more profoundly he was my mentor in learning how to do the Fugaard plays. Mostly I miss his laugh.
James Earl Jones
September 16, 2009
I'm miss you Uncle Zakes. I enjoyed my time that i was able to spend with you. I have great memoreys of you. I love you and i know you are watching down on us. You will always be rememberd. May you rest in peace.
Jessica Woods
September 16, 2009
Aunt Mandy,

Thank You, for your years of love and attention, you gave our uncle.
We are really fortunate he brought you into our lives.

John & Gomolemo Mokae
John & Gomolemo Mokae
September 16, 2009
Dearest Mandy, the Maimane family will be thinking of you on Friday, and remembering the many happy times we spent together. You were such a great support to Zakes over so many years, may he now rest in peace. With our love, Jenny, Refilwe and Eleanor.
Jenny Maimane
September 16, 2009
Twelve years ago,Rudy and I saw Zakes shopping at Sam's Club. We were so excited because we knew and enjoyed his films. We introduced ourselves and he gave us that broad smile and welcomed us to Las Vegas. Since that time, it has been our pleasure to meet his wife "Mandy" and share so many of their great experiences. We last saw Zakes two weeks ago and the last time we saw him he was laughing.He was a wonderful new friend and we will miss him.Our prayers are with Mandy, family members and his South African Family.
Rudy/Yvonne Sagers
September 15, 2009
Zakes and Madelyn provided resoures to children in foster care here in Las Vegas in the late 90's early 2000's. Some may remember the annual benifits for teens in foster care at the Mirage, Monte Carlo and Treasure Island Hotels. Those benifits were developed and hosted by Zakes and Madelyn. Friends like Bill Cobb, Danny Glover, Hardy Brown, Walter Mason and many local business and civic leaders lent their support. They partnered with foster care providers Fred and Nancy Gillis at the Center for Independent Living, Dee Schafer and Gail Mathews with the Business Connection, David Mereaux founder of Street Teens, Frank Mitchell education consultant and joined the Nevada Youth Care Providers. Zakes sought to support the state foster care agency Division of Child and Family Services under leadership of Stewart Fredlund and members of the Family Division of the District Court like Judge Gerald Hardcastle in their meaningful work to build a better outcome for teens aging out of foster care.

Thank you Zakes
September 15, 2009
I was thrilled to learn that Zakes Mokae was living in Las Vegas. I invited him to my classes at CSN when we were studying "Master Harold" . . .and the boys. He visited a number of times and always gave wonderful presentations on his life and work and brought a passion and joy to those classes that anyone in them will never forget. Zakes was directing the play at the same time at the Las Vegas Little Theater, and our college president invited my entire class to attend. Mr. Mokae also directed for CSN, notably August Wilson's play Fences. Zakes was warm, funny, and deeply caring about sharing his talent with my students, and I will always feel most privileged to have known him. To his family, I extend my sincere condolences on your loss.
Robert Fuhrel
September 15, 2009
I remember Zakes as not just an award-winning actor and director, but as a great man as well. He had a terrific sense of humor and a wonderful attitude toward life. He will be greatly missed.
Kenneth White
September 15, 2009
My dad will be missed. To have him as a dad was a blessing and for that I will always love him.
Santlo Chontay Mokae
September 14, 2009
A great actor on stage and on the screen. He will be missed.
Iain Fisher
September 14, 2009
I remember Mr. Mokae as raising the level in any production in which he was a member of the cast. My sympathy in your time of loss.
Diane Thompson
September 14, 2009
I want to extend my heartfelt symathies to Madelyn, her family & friends. I have heard many great things about Zakes for years, but unfortunately never had the pleasure of meeting him. Sounds like he had a wonderful, accomplished life & will be missed by all who knew him.
Karen George (Sister-in-law of Madelyn's brother Dick) Ohio
September 14, 2009
My thoughts and prayers are with you in your time of grief. May your memories bring you comfort.
September 14, 2009
Goodbye Mr.Mikae. Thanks for the memories.

Charlie Di Pinto Las Vegas
September 14, 2009
Will remember Mr. Mikae as a wonderfull accomplished actor. Rest in Peace and my condolences to his family and friends.
Kimberly Guerrero
September 13, 2009
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