Henry "Black Cat" Cele

Names: Cele, Henry

Born: 30 January 1949

Died: 2 November 2007

In summary: Footballer and actor

Henry “Black Cat” Cele was born on 30 January 1949 in KwaMashu, Durban, South Africa.  As a member of the Cele family he was referred to by his clan name Ndosi (Bavela KwaMthetwa), or Magaye.

Cele, nicknamed "Black Cat” for his prowess as a goalkeeper, played for Zulu Royals (AmaZulu) in Lamontville Township and coached a professional soccer club in South Africa until his death.  In the 1960s he worked at the Durban City Corporation. He played for Aces United in the old South African Soccer League (SASL) in the 1960s. On Saturdays, he played for Durity Football Club in the Commercial Football League in Durban.

In 1986, Cele played the role of Shaka Zulu in a miniseries of the same name.  Later he too the lead in a film, directed by William Faure, about the Zulu people during the reign of Zulu king Shaka kaSenzangakhona. From then Cele was known as "Shaka".  Cele also had a minor role in the 1996 film The Ghost and the Darkness, which starred Michael Douglas and Val Kilmer. He also played various minor roles in action films such as Point of Impact and The Last Samurai.

He was married to Jennifer Hollander. His son Khumbulani Cele, from a previous marriage, is also musician. After his acting career took a nosedive, Cele moved from his suburban home in Glenmore, south of Durban, and went back to Kwamashu Township.

Henry Cele passed away on 2 November 2007 at St Augustine’s Hospital, Durban, where he was admitted with a chest infection.