Celebrated theatre giant Wintson Ntshona has been laid to rest in Port Elizabeth. Earlier on Friday his funeral was held at Nangoza Jebe hall in New Brighton in the Eastern Cape.

The 76-year-old legend has been buried at Heroes’ Acre at the Zwide cemetery.

 

Described by many as a warm hearted and selfless individual who gave back to the community and empowered many. He put his home town on the map and encouraged locals to travel and develop their talents.

Minister of Arts and Culture Nathi Mthethwa paid his respects to the drama and film industry legend saying his name will go down in the history of South Africa.

Eastern Cape Premier, Phumulo Masualle, has described the late playwright and actor as a patriot and a shining example to current and future generations of artists.

“You can’t mention tata Ntshona without mentioning Athol Fugard and John Kani. These are the people we are still looking up to. Because they have contributed a lot, meaning that art is understood and the history of our struggle.”

Mourners came in their numbers to pay their last respects to a man regarded by many as one of South Africa’s best actors.

Speaker after speaker mentioned the role Ntshona and his long-time friend and fellow actor, John Kani, played during the fight against apartheid.

Ntshona always rose above party politics, although he was a member of the Pan African Congress. Cunningham Ngcukana, who represented the PAC, says the fact that the funeral was held in New Brighton speaks volumes about the man.

ANC provincial chairman, Oscar Mabuyane, added his tribute.

“It’s indeed a sad moment, but a life to be celebrated. We will forever be grateful to the family, to him in particular, because he was a revolutionary of par excellence. As young people, we have a lesson to learn from these giants that are leaving us.”

In his younger days, Ntshona played for the Spring Rose Rugby Football Club. The club’s president, Zola Yeye, is one of his products. According to Yeye, Ntshona highlighted the importance of education.

To add to his accolades, a street in the PE city centre was renamed after him. Ntshona was buried at the Heores Acre in Zwide alongside struggle stalwarts like Govan Mbeki and Raymond Mhlaba. John Kani, who is in Europe, sent a video message to pay tribute to his long-time friend.