There has been speculation that social media was a factor in late actor Patrick Shai’s passing. Fellow actor Hlomla Dandala has weighed in, insinuating that the toxicity of Twitter may have led to Shai taking his own life.
People close to Shai have spoken out in the press to state that the Cassper Nyovest debacle did affect him mentally.
This is after the veteran actor published a video saying he wants to fight the rapper in a boxing match, calling Cassper a “son of a b***h” and, therefore, insulting his mother.
The actor was supposedly looking forward to Cassper’s response and the tone of the video made this hard to achieve, said Thabang Sefotho the founder of a movement called Tigers Do Cry.
The River actor, Dandala shared a screenshot of one of Cassper’s songs Hypnotize featuring Nadia Nakai, highlighting the words “Look at my b***h”.
Dandala captioned his post: “#RIPPatrickShai.”
Commentators warned the actor that he was taking his argument too far and that Shai’s family asked people not to speculate about his death.
He shared on Tuesday the definition of b***h and said it wasn’t a reference to one’s family as Cassper may have thought.
Many argued that Shai already had issues before he made the video and blaming social media was a cheap shot as he should redirect his anger somewhere else.
Dandala responded: “It’s an understandable fear. They [Shai’s family] are trying to protect what little of braPat’s dignity remains. I have known the man [for] many years. I speak for his name because I no longer fear social media.
“And unless you show me otherwise, I still see that social media drove a good man to his death.”
People also said it was hypocritical and a weak argument to point out that Cassper had called women “b***hes” before because of Shai’s history of gender-based violence.
They insisted that Cassper has only rapped those lyrics in the context of “praising” the woman in his life.
Commentators added that they thought Shai used the word in anger and was aggressive to instigate a fight.
Dandala disagreed and said the reaction and behaviour of Twitter users after Shai’s apology was a “public lynching” and it wasn’t a “correction” for abusing his wife. He added that Shai used the word b***h in a joking manner and Cassper took “fake offence”.
Shai spent the latter years of his life speaking out against GBV in hopes that other men don’t follow his path.
Dandala concluded he should be allowed to mourn Shai’s death as he wishes.