Shona Ferguson might be gone but his presence within the South African film industry continues to be felt. These are the life and times of Shona Ferguson.
Shona whose real name is Aaron Arthur Ferguson was born on April 30, 1972, in Gaborone Botswana. He evolved from being a DJ to an actor, director, producer, businessman, philanthropist and speaker.
Shona Ferguson was responsible for some of the best television that South Africa has seen. He captured our screens with his outstanding performances in shows like ‘Isidingo’, ‘Muvhango’, ‘Scandal!’ and ‘Generations’.
Shona also dipped his toes in business and was very successful at it.
Shona Ferguson was diagnosed with COVID-19 a few weeks before his death. His treatment began at home before he was admitted to Pinehaven hospital. In mid-July, when his condition deteriorated further, Shona was airlifted to Milpark Hospital. He breathed his last on July 30 2021.
An official statement posted by Ferguson Films Instagram account confirmed that the deceased succumbed to “COVID-19 related complications, and not a heart operation as reported in the media.” the statement read in part.
A private funeral service for the late Shona Ferguson was held on August 4. He was buried at Fourways Memorial Park, Randburg, South Africa.
Shona Ferguson is survived by his wife, Connie Ferguson, two daughters, Lesedi and Alicia, grandson Ronewa, mother, sister and three brothers.
Shona Ferguson was 47.
Shona Ferguson schooled in Botswana where he completed his primary and junior secondary education. He moved to Lesotho where he did his high school senior years in Maseru. He got trained in business practices which came in handy later on in his life.
The entertainment world first heard of Shona Ferguson when he was a club DJ at The Palace Hotel Night Club, in Lesotho, in 1992. He then moved back to Botswana and took up a corporate job. Shona Ferguson started as a salesman in the IT business and worked his way up to become a valued businessman.
Far from the world of glitz and glamour, Shona Ferguson did not even fathom he would be the famous actor he was. Shona raked in several achievement awards, including the Top Sales Manager Award in 1998-99 at EDUTECH.
With interest in the film industry, Shona Ferguson took up several behind-the-scenes jobs. His stepdaughter Lesedi was behind Shona’s decision to pick up acting. He successfully attended the ‘Generations’ auditions and got the role on Ace.
Shona Ferguson’s calling
After his breakthrough performance in ‘Generations’, Shona Ferguson auditioned for the soap opera ‘Muvhango’ in which he played the role of Dr Lebua. Unfortunately, he left the show in 2007.
Later on, Shona Ferguson joined the cast of ‘The Wild’. He took up the role of Itumeleng Tladi, an influential and charming leader who sheltered his community from all tribulations. The show aired from 2011 to 2013.
As his acting career progressed, Shona Ferguson took on several television roles like Tyson in Season One of ‘Isidingo’, J.B. Bogatsu in ‘Rockville’, Alex in ‘Scandal!’ and Jerry Maake in ‘The Queen’.
Shona Ferguson also forayed into movies and featured in several films, including Mrs Mandela in 2010.
With his wife Connie Ferguson, Shona Ferguson launched the television company Ferguson Films in 2010. The husband-and-wife duo starred in their film production’s first series ‘Rockville’. Shona Ferguson played the role of JB in ‘Rockville’ from 2013 to its final episode in 2016.
Besides Rockville, they have produced ‘iGazi’, ‘The Gift’, ‘The Throne’, ‘The Herd’, ‘The Queen’, ‘The River’ and ‘The Imposter’. Shona Ferguson starred in ‘The Gift’, a production of his company Ferguson Films made in 2014.
In 2020, Ferguson Films produced ‘Kings of Joburg’, a Netflix six-part series.
One of Shona Ferguson’s most outstanding performances was in ‘The Queen’ where he played the character of Jerry Maake. The audience found Jerry Maake relatable because he highlighted the social challenges of present-day South Africa.
Shona Ferguson’s productions pushed the limits of what is expected of television shows. The viewers’ were receptive to the shows, ‘The Throne’ and ‘The Queen’. Both trended on Shona Ferguson’s Twitter every weeknight whenever they aired.
Shona Ferguson’s off-screen performances
Besides TV, Shona Ferguson appeared in many publications like Destiny, City Press, Drum etc. When he was not on screen and magazine covers with his tattoos and suave personality, he hosted events like the Chivas 18’s Modern Gentlemen campaign.
Shona’s demeanour, along with his experience and status, endeared him to people of different ages. Whether he donned a leather jacket or bespoke suits, Shona always had eyes on him.
Shona Ferguson’s father was Peter Harry Ferguson and his mother was Boitshwarelo Mercy Ferguson. He had three brothers and a sister.
Wife and Children
Shona and his wife Connie first met in Johannesburg while he was in the city studying for a business course. Theirs was love at first sight. Shona Ferguson married Connie in a traditional wedding ceremony in 2001. Connie and Shona Ferguson’s age difference was always a topic of interest. Connie, born on 10 June 1970, is four years older than her departed husband Shona.
Together they have a daughter, Alicia Angel Ferguson, born in 2002. They also have another daughter – Lesedi Matsunyane-Ferguson, who was from Connie’s first marriage to Neo Matsunyane.
Towards the end of 2019, Ferguson Films was on the receiving end of social media hate after one of their disgruntled employees, Vatiswa Ndara, allegedly revealed that the Fergusons were slave drivers. This came after they fired several actors from their Mzansi Magic telenovela, ‘The Queen’.
In a six-page open letter to the Minister of Sports, Arts & Culture, the disgruntled employee accused the Fergusons of exploiting actors while they made millions. After Ndara’s exposé, several actors, like Keke Mphuthi and Mara Louw, blasted the Fergusons with similar complaints.
Shona and Connie described the accusations as inaccurate and misleading. They said that the characters who no longer served the purpose of the show were axed.
They sought legal representation on the matter.
Why did Shona Ferguson leave the queen?
Shona Ferguson left ‘The Queen’ when he found it difficult to portray his character, Jerry Maake, after the death of his father. He also thought that it was time they retired the character as the narrative of the show no longer justified his presence.
The Ferguson’s acquired a couple of luxurious cars, including a BMW and a Mercedes-Benz G-Wagon.
Shona Ferguson lived with his wife Connie in their luxurious mansion. It’s evident that they went all out with the décor that includes premium leather couches and chandeliers. The multi-story home has an indoor spiral staircase that leads to the entrance room, which features a piano. It also has a balcony that overlooks a spacious backyard and a lush-green manicured lawn.
Shona Ferguson had an illustrious career in film. Together with the businesses he built, Shona Ferguson’s net worth was estimated to be $1.5 million.
Awards & Recognition
Shona Ferguson was a force to reckon with. He coloured the South African entertainment scene with an aura that no one else had. Even in his death, he continues to be celebrated.
In 2021, he won the African Hollywood and African Prestigious Awards (HAPA) for the film ‘Kings of Joburg’.
Other awards Shona Ferguson has won include:
Two Golden Horn Awards for Best Actor in a TV Soap and Best Achievement by a Lead Actor in a Made for TV Movie.
Shona was listed as a BET A-List Game Changer alongside his wife, Connie Ferguson.
Shona Ferguson’s fan-following
Shona’s popularity was undeniable. Even in his death, he still maintains a big social media following. An upward of 900,000 Twitter users have followed Shona Ferguson’s Twitter account. On Instagram, his fans followed him via Ferguson’s Film page which now has more than 1.5 million followers.
Shona Ferguson’s Twitter: @Shona_Ferguson
What nationality was Shona Ferguson?
Born and brought up in Gaborone, Botswana, Shona Ferguson was a Motswana!
When was Shona Ferguson born?
Shona Ferguson was born on 30 April 1972.
How old was Shona Ferguson?
At the time of his death, Shona Ferguson’s age was 47.
Is Connie older than Shona?
Yes, Connie Ferguson is older than Shona Ferguson by two years. Connie was born in June 1970 and Shona in April 1974.
Who was Shona Ferguson’s father?
Shona Ferguson’s father was Peter Harry Ferguson. He died on 29 April 2019.
Why did Shona Ferguson leave The Queen?
Shona Ferguson left The Queen Mzansi as he found it difficult to portray his character, Jerry Maake, after the death of his father.
How much was Shona Ferguson worth?
From his acting career and business, Shona Ferguson’s net worth was estimated to be $1.5 million