Remembering Lumko ‘Johnson’ Leqela


Another light has been deemed in the entertainment industry.

 Former YoTV presenter and media personality Lumko Johnson, an eccentric personality full of life and spunk has unfortunately passed on.

Lumko Leqela Johnson was a prolific actor and producer best known for their starring role as a gay fashion designer MJ in Mzansi Magic’s first ever telenovela Inkaba, from 2012-2013.

Lumko was born on 29 October in the Eastern Cape, Mthatha to be exact – but raised in East London where their love for showbiz was established and nurtured. Lumko participated in children’s theatre and musicals professionally.

They then went on to pursue a degree in Drama & Film at Wits University, where they also got into campus radio, subsequently hosting their own weekday morning show on the campus radio station Voice of Wits Radio. As a lover of the Arts, Johnson loved painting, writing music and dabbled in poetry apart from collecting old pieces of 60’s clothing. They really were an artist, in every sense of the word.

Lumko was a trained William Shakespeare facilitator, trained by ShakeXperience; a theatre based company affiliated with the Royal Shakespeare Company, which tours schools, performing Department of Education English literature set-works.

Mzansi fell in love with Lumko Johnson when they first appeared on SABC 1‘s youth programme, YoTV. Their extroverted aura and wit won over many hearts, and the success of their work on the show spawned an impressive career, which included radio hosting on YFM and acting gigs on Inkaba, House Year Kowethu, Mzansi Love, Check Coast, Prima Donna’s Joey Comedy and Comedy Khona.

Lumko Johnson and their fellow YOTV crew made everyone’s childhood so much fun and exciting. They were a bunch of cool kids that everyone envied.

Lumko Johnson was in the process of an important gender-affirming hormone therapy when they died.

It remains unclear if this crucial journey Lumko Johnson took had anything to do with their cause of death.

Outside of their work in the entertainment industry, Lumko Johnson was a renowned LGBTQIA+ activist. They lived a life filled with purpose and authenticity. It’s imperative to remember their light in this world.

In their own words, Lumko was an ‘Accomplished TV & Radio Super Producer, Actor, Writer and Big Deal in Most Spaces.

This is a gut-wrenching loss to the Leqela family, their loved ones, the LGBTQIA+ community and ultimately to the South African broadcast and television community.

They departed on 14 September 2022 following a short hospitalization. 

Lumko, your endless and selfless contributions to the entire broadcasting world will never go unnoticed. Your legacy will live on in the many lives you touched and gracefully changed for the better. Go on, Go home oh so bubbly Angel. Heaven couldn’t wait for you!

SA POSITIVE NEWS extends the most heartfelt condolences to Lumko’s family, friends and their industry peers at large.

May Lumko ‘Johnson’ Leqela’s soul rest in eternal peace.

By Sinenzolo Mondi – Nduku