December 28, 2023

Sarafina creator Mbongeni Ngema dies

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Musician, composer, choreographer and playwright Mbongeni Ngema has died.

A statement shared by his family confirmed Ngema died on Wednesday evening in a head-on collision while returning from attending a funeral in Lusikisiki, Eastern Cape.

Ngema was 68.

“It is with heavy hearts that we announce the sudden passing of our beloved brother, father, husband and patriot, Mbongeni Ngema. He was a passenger in the vehicle,” read the statement from the family.

Born in 1955 in Verulam, KwaZulu-Natal, Ngema started his career as a theatre backing guitarist. He wrote the musical Sarafina! and co-wrote Woza Albert!, both of which won numerous awards.

Ngema also became a household name for writing hit songs, including Stimela sa se Zola. 




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