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Iko Mash has passed on

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Celebrity stylist and artist extraordinaire, Iko Mash, has passed away, due to a terminal illness.

Iko Mash. Picture: Twitter

Celebrity stylist and artist extraordinaire, Iko Mash, has passed away, due to a terminal illness.

Social media sites have been abuzz with condolences and rest in peace messages for the popular LGBTI activist.

At this stage details regarding his death has not been made available.

Mash was a make-up celebrity to the stars and worked along the likes of Somzi, Khanyi Mbau and Lebo Mathosa whom he shared more than a decade of friendship with before her passing among others.

Mash worked at Starglow Studios before his passing.

Meanwhile, Arts and Culture Minister Nathi Mthethwa has said he is saddened to learn about the death of stylist, actor and singer Mash. 

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

Born with the name Billy Mothola Emmanuel Mashiloane, Mash 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. Hhe broke new ground, acting the part of a transgender person on television.  

Asked in an interview what gender to use when mentioning him, Mash 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,” Mthethwa said.

“We send our heartfelt condolences to the Mashiloane family.”