Sandy Mokwena's 'pillar of the community' tombstone cost around R100k
A tombstone to represent Scandal! actor Sandy Mokwena's contribution to the community was unveiled shortly after his death late last month, with its creators claiming it cost around R100,000.
Sitting alongside elaborate tombstones like those of Joe Mafela and Gugu Zulu, Sandy Mokwena's tombstone cuts a simpler structure.
A large granite slab rises from the ground to meet a oval tombstone with the actor's face on it. The granite slab bears two massive initials and the oval stone is surrounded by three pillars holding up a banner bearing his surname. A sotho clan praise poem is also engraved on the stone.
When TshisaLIVE visited the site this week, there was a handmade letter from a small child on the stone. The letter was simple yet emotional: " To our special friend, Sandy Mokwena. Goodbye and good luck", it read with a set of crying faces.
Speaking to TshisaLIVE, the tombstone's creator Nthato Nkwabi of Khaabo Tombstones said it was built and assembled in two days, and reflected the way Sandy's family wanted to remember the acting giant.
"The pillars are because his family told us that he was a pillar of the community. They said they wanted the letters on the stone and we enlarged them because his impact was large on those he met. For us, it wasn't about celebrating him as a celebrity but rather as a man. We wanted to show what he meant to those around him."
He said that such an elaborate structure would cost around R100,000 to build but refused to confirm how much the Mokwena family had paid to have it built.
"Everything about the tombstone is expensive. There is a lot of detail and we had a very short time frame to work with," he added.
The company has worked on several other celebrity tombstones, including a DJ-inspired design to celebrate Mandla Hlatshwayo.