Minister Nathi Mthethwa pays tribute to Iko Mash

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22 Jul 2017

“We have learnt with sadness of the passing of the multi-talented Iko Mash, arts personality and stylist, actor and singer, ” said Minister Mthethwa.

Born with the name Billy Mothola Emmanuel Mashiloane, Iko hailed from Meadowlands, Soweto and learnt at an early age that he was different from others, embracing female dress.  

He would later became a public persona and, in so doing a trailblazer for the rights of the LGBTQ community and broke new ground, acting the part of a transgender person on our television screens.  When asked in an interview what gender to use when mentioning him, Iko did not brush this aside but said: “I invented the word "shim" and that's how I got to be known, to stop the confusion.”

“Iko was undaunted, incisive and helped to pave the way for the celebration and assertion of ‘difference’ as an integral part of the vital unity-in-diversity that has helped to shape South Africa.”

“We send our heartfelt condolences to the Mashiloane family," concluded Minister Mthethwa.

For more information, contact: Lisa Combrinck at 082 821 4886 or Lokile Molefe at 076 920 3934.