Mbongeni Ngema, a South African Writer, Director, and Theater Producer, Died in a Crash

Last Updated on December 28, 2023, 7:00 am

Mbongeni Ngema, the Sarafina! scriptwriter passed away in an accident

Mbongeni Ngema Dead
Mbongeni Ngema (Image via Facebook)

Mbongeni Ngema, a South African writer, composer, lyricist, director, choreographer, and theatre producer, passed away in a fatal accident on Wednesday, December 27, 2023. He was 68 years old at the time of his tragic demise. He was best known for his work on the musical Sarafina, which is about student riots in apartheid Soweto.

What happened to Mbongeni Ngema?

Mbongeni Ngema was involved in a deadly crash which claimed his life. The emergency personnel responding to the scene said they found a man trapped inside a damaged vehicle. He was later identified as Mbongeni Ngema. He was pronounced dead from his injuries. His family released a statement regarding his tragic passing that said,

“it is with heavy hearts that we announce the sudden passing of our beloved brother, father, husband, and patriot, Mbongeni Ngema. Ngema was killed in a head-on car accident while returning from attending a funeral in Lusikiski in the Eastern Cape this evening. He was a passenger in the vehicle.”

Who was Mbongeni Ngema?

Mbongeni Ngema was a South African writer, lyricist, composer, director, choreographer, and theatre producer. He was born on May 10, 1955, in Verulam, KwaZulu-Natal. He is best known for writing the multi-award-winning musical Sarafina! He also co-wrote multi-award-winning Woza Albert. He is known for plays that portray the courage of black South Africans under apartheid.

His project Sarafina! was an internationally acclaimed musical that was nominated for five Tony Awards and later nominated for the Grammy Awards. It won 11 NAACP Image Awards. It was played on Broadway for two years, touring the US, Europe, Australia, and Japan. It was adopted for a feature film starring Whoopi Goldberg, Leleti Khumalo, and Miriam Makeba.

His other noteworthy works include award-winning and internationally revered Woza Albert, Township Fever (1990), mama (1995), Asinamali (1996), Maria Maria (1997), the Zulu- the Musical (1999), !906 Bhambada The Freedom Fighter, The House of Shake (2005), and the Lion of the East (2006). In 1995, he created Sarafina II, a musical addressing the AIDS epidemic in South Africa.

In 1998, Ngema was inducted into the New York “Walk of Fame” in front of the Lucille Lortel Theatre in Manhattan, New York. In 2001, during the African Renaissance festival, his name was engraved on the entrance of the City Hall in Durban alongside those of Nelson Mandela, Oliver Tambo, Miriam Makeba, and other heroes of the liberation movements.

Source: uptospeedjournalism.com

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