By STAFF REPORTER
Larger-than-life radio legend Jeremy Mansfield, 59, died on Monday, 31 October, after battling stage four liver cancer.
Mansfield was born in Grahamstown/Makhanda, educated at Kingswood College and then Rhodes University, where he majored in Speech and Drama, and Journalism and Media Studies, in 1985. He cut his broadcasting teeth at Rhodes Music Radio (RMR).
Mansfield began his radio career on Capital Radio 604 in 1985 while still a student and earned his big break in 1995 when he took up the reins of the Radio 702 afternoon show. He moved to the newly-owned, new-look independent Highveld Stereo in January 1997 to host the breakfast show The Rude Awakening.
Mansfield is survived by his wife, Jacqui, and his daughter, Gabriella. His mother died on 15 August this year, which was also his 59th birthday.
He announced in January that he was diagnosed with liver cancer and revealed in August on Facebook that his diagnosis was terminal, vowing to “have as much fun in the time I have left and fulfil as many dreams, big and small, I have in my bucket list”.
Former colleague and close friend Samantha Cowen posted on Facebook on Monday morning that “a light had gone out in the world” with Mansfield’s death just before dawn.
“Jeremy died peacefully at home surrounded by family and friends and boundless love. Jeremy lived large, he didn’t know how to do small. He loved hard, laughed loud and managed to combine mischief and mayhem with heart and soul. The city was brighter and lighter with him on the airwaves, he changed lives every day. When he wasn’t raising millions for charity, he was raising fresh hell! Under a naughty exterior Jeremy had a huge soft heart. A lot of people got to see and hear that over the radio but he saved his vulnerability for a select few. He was determined that the world be a better and shinier and funnier place and he drove the road to that destination at 1000 miles an hour with no rear view mirror, all of the rest of us clinging on for dear life!”Tribute to Mansfield by long-time friend and colleague, Samantha Cowen
Television and film career
- The mid-1990s: Features contributor and guest presenter on M-Net for Front Row and SuperSport.
- 1998: A Word or 2 on SABC 2.
- 2005: Co-presenter M-Net comedy show Laugh Out Loud.
- 2010: Disney’s Toy Story 3 as the voice of Lifer.
- 2010: Mansfield’s Moneysense on CNBC Africa.
Mansfield also authored several joke books, including co-authoring the multi-award-winning contemporary cookbook Zhoozsh!
During his career, he received numerous awards and accolades, the most recent in 2020, when he won both Breakfast Show Presenter and Best Breakfast Show.