Friends and relatives of the famous Botswana Television Itshireletse actor Kenneth Nkomo, who passed on the 7th of August 2014, have retold his life.
Speaking at his memorial service this Monday at the Special Support Group (SSG) in Gaborone, his co-actor Inspector Oankgoga Coaster Oitsile said, “Nkomsasa wasn’t a comedian, he was comedy.
He wasn’t an actor, he was action. He wasn’t a musician, he was music.”
Nkomo who died aged 43 was laid in state at the SSG hall where hundreds of mourners viewed his body.
Despite seeing him in a casket, it was hard for mourners to believe that he is indeed gone as most laughed at the jokes and funny exploits he used to make.
His uncle Jarabane said even at home in Ramokgwebana, Nkomo was well known and loved.
He recalled that in 2012 someone remarked that the ugly guy on Itshireletse can act and that it did not bother him because his looks worked for him.
A while ago Nkomo had granted an interview to The Voice about his role on Itshireletse since it was started in 2007.
“In August 2007 when the drama started we brainstormed and came up with scripts based on prominent cases and figured out how to give messages to the public to protect them from criminals,” he had said as we sat in front of the same hall where his remains were laid in state.
Back then he had featured in more than 100 episodes of the popular show. “Everywhere I go people recognize me and are happy to see me and we are happy for the feedback,” he had said.
Though some were happy to see him, there were others who mistook him for a thief because of the role he played.
He had said, “Once we went into Choppies in Village and a woman broke out crying when she saw us saying we are the ones who raped her.
We got lucky when she identified the person our colleague saying he is the one who drove the car yet he is not a driver.”
Nkomo has been involved in drama since he was at the Police College in 1994 until in 2006 when he was approached by the police public relations to start a TV programme.
“They thought of having choirs and messages but in the end we thought of simulating crimes when Near Bagali and Morokane came back from school.
There were just eight of us then; four actors and a crew of four. My character, conman Jutas Jutas became an instant hit overnight.”
Nkomo had a dream of one day going to school to learn more and do acting professionally because he had realized his acting talent. He came from a family of musicians.
He had said his brother Joe Nkomo was a base guitarist for Okavango band. He said, “When I grew up there were musical instruments in the house and I’m told mom was one hell of a singer in her days.
My father had stayed in Jo’burg and understood artists.
When I joined the police band I started as a rhythm guitarist then became a base guitarist then dance band leader.”
Nkomo has also worked with Machesa, Magolegwa a Squbu, HT, Vee, Bojo Mojo, Stream Jazz band, Letsema la Maruapula drama group, Johnnie Mokgali, Thabile Mazolwane and Bana Bana ba Ntogwa.
He is survived by his wife and a two-year-old son.
Nkomsasa, as he was well known by his friends and colleagues will be laid to rest on Saturday in his home village Ramokgwebana.
May his soul rest in peace!