One of the most influential figures in the South African entertainment industry, actor and producer Shona Ferguson died last Friday at Milpark Hospital due to Covid complications.
Born Aaron Arthur Ferguson in Gaborone, Botswana in 1974, Shona relocated to South Africa in 2001 when he married Generations actress Connie Masilo. He acted in many different productions before establishing Ferguson Films with his wife in 2010. Ferguson Films’ many notable projects include The Queen, Unmarried, The Throne, Igazi and Rockville; Kings of Joburg.
Shona was laid to rest yesterday at Fourways Cemetery. At his funeral family, friends and colleagues spoke of him as a family man who dearly loved his wife and children, a man of God who — as his wife described him, in a recorded tribute message — was unashamedly vocal about his love for God.
It is this love for the Father, in an industry that seeks to demonise anything to do with Jesus, that made him stand out as a beacon and a shining light for God. In a recent Instagram post he shared with his million followers: “It is simple Jesus is my Lord and Saviour.”
Aaron Arthur was the fifth born in a family of seven children. He comes from a devout Christian family where his parents Pastor Peter Harry Ferguson and Boitshwarelo Mercy Ferguson, raised their children to honour the ways of the Lord. One of the values the Fergusons taught all their children is to love family. Shona never departed from the teachings of his parents. His motto was God First. His colleagues spoke of a man who shared Scripture with the staff at the start of every work day at Ferguson Films. In the entertainment industry which is known for its high divorce rate Shona and Connie’s love stood the test of time and served as a beacon of hope to other couples in the industry.
In videos he shared via social media he posted special family moments and tender, funny moments with his wife, children and grandchild. Many have been inspired by the Fergusons’ love story. They met in July 2001 and four months later they were married.
In Black society where there is often a lack of affection in marriage and where many children are raised by single mothers, the Fergusons showed that there can be love in a marriage; that a man can love and cherish his wife and enjoy spending time with his family rather than going out to drink alcohol.These are the lessons that many took from Shona Ferguson’s life.
Shona’s motto was God first. God blessed the Fergusons with material wealth, a good name and a loving family. In all these Shona often testified that all he had was because of the grace of God. He reminded his followers of the goodness of the Lord even in the midst of challenges.
Many were shocked at his death last Friday. His wife spoke of a man who loved like God loved, who showed the God kind of love. She said that she was blessed by God to experience such love.
Shona Ferguson’s legacy is seen through his many films and television productions. It is through these that many will continue to learn his pearls of wisdom wisely woven in his story lines. His greater legacy, however, are the seeds that he has planted in the many lives that he has touched throughout South Africa; Africa and the world. Seeds of love. His daughter Lesedi said her dad “loved hard and loudly.”
One Instagram user asked in her post; “What is the greatest lesson that you have taken from Shona Ferguson?” A number of people shared that it was to put God first and to love your family. This is the motto that he lived by. God, family, work.