Artists called to continue documenting South African’s Black history

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The eThekwini Mayor Mxolisi Kaunda has challenged artists to continue to document South Africa’s Black history. He was speaking at the funeral service of renowned playwright and musician Mbongeni Ngema at the Durban International Convention Centre.

Mourners include various artists, film producers, politicians and ordinary people.

President Cyril Ramaphosa granted Ngema a Special Provincial Official Funeral Category Two.

Kaunda says artists should partner with government to strengthen the creative industry.

“We strongly believe that the most appropriate way of preserving his legacy will be to forge a strong partnership between government, the private sector and the creative industry to grow the sector. It is when we have a sustainable creative industry that upcoming artists will realize their potential.”

“We can say without a doubt that through their relentless efforts South Africa is now better than what it was before, while Ngema was instrumental in documenting the life experiences of black people in townships during apartheid, we want to challenge the creative center to continue to tell the story because it is the only way you will be able to preserve our history and heritage.”

Mbongeni Ngema Funeral I Minister Zizi Kodwa reflects on the late Ngema’s contributions: 

One of South Africa’s familiar faces on television, Dumisani Dlamini, has also paid tribute to Ngema. He is among members of the original Sarafina cast performing at Ngema’s funeral service.
Dlamini who has been in the arts industry for 30 years says Ngema discovered his talent.

“For me to be able to be called names as characters, all the characters I’ve portrayed is through Mbongeni, and for me to get to be able to talk here is through Mbongeni and the worst part of it we were communicating all the way. And we had a plan again to bring my daughter, Zandile, to South Africa and also we embraced her, I couldn’t hold my tears, I was crying talking over the phone, calling people, he was my father, my God father, my everything my maker.”

Meanwhile, another cast member, Nozipho Nguse, says Ngema laid a foundation for many artists and enabled them to explore the world through his various productions.

“It’s, for us, we lost the hero, the father, the mentor, I’m what I am today as a leader in creative in music because of uMbongeni, encouraging us saying I’m giving you the first step, so grow as individuals, make sure that you reach what you want, I gave you each and every channel, we were very young with Khanyo.”

Meanwhile, MEC for the Department of Public Safety and Transport Management, Sello Lehari says, they will closely monitor the progress made in this case.

“We cannot have somebody who dies like this. We will support the family with everything to make sure that we go to the end of this matter. We will leave no stone unturned. I will also visit the station where the case is opened. We will also discuss with the investigating officer and the head just to get the briefing. Lastly, I will brief the investigating officer to brief the family about the progress of this case.”

Mbongeni Ngema Funeral I Original Sarafina crew members express sorrow: