Popular Mozambican actress, producer and director, Hermelinda Simela, has died while giving birth in hospital.
The 38-year-old was being treated for complications caused by the delivery, but her newborn daughter is in good health.
Several artists in the country have also expressed shock at the news of Simela’s death.
Alvim Cossa, a long-time colleague and friend told the BBC that Mozambique was mourning a great actress and a notable producer, responsible for many successes.
“The country has lost a strong, resilient woman, an exemplary mother and, above all, an engine of our dreams,” he said.
“Hermelinda encouraged theatre people and created opportunities for actors to succeed.”
In the capital, Maputo, Simela helped found an important theatre group.
She worked across the country sometimes training other performers.
She also travelled and worked abroad, including in Brazil, the Netherlands, Germany, India and Spain.
She won Best Supporting Actress at the Africa Movie Academy Awards for her role in Virgin Margarida.