South Africa: Renowned South African Artist Mbongeni Ngema Passes Away in Tragic Accident

South Africa mourns the loss of cultural icon Mbongeni Ngema, who passed away tragically on Wednesday evening at the age of 68.

Ngema, a multifaceted artist who excelled as a musician, composer, choreographer, and playwright, died in a head-on collision while returning from a funeral in Lusikisiki, Eastern Cape.

Ngema’s artistic legacy is undeniable. He wrote and directed the iconic musical “Sarafina!”, a powerful portrayal of the Soweto uprising and the struggles of young black students during apartheid. The play later adapted into a 1992 film starring Whoopi Goldberg and Leleti Khumalo, garnered international acclaim and solidified Ngema’s place as a voice for resistance and social justice.

Beyond “Sarafina!”, Ngema’s creative genius spanned genres. He co-wrote the award-winning play “Woza Albert!”, penned countless hit songs like “Stimela sa se Zola”, and captivated audiences with his captivating choreography.

Ngema’s personal life was also intertwined with his artistic pursuits. He was married to Leleti Khumalo, the lead actress in “Sarafina!”, for 14 years before their separation in 2005.

His family, colleagues, and fans are deeply devastated by his sudden passing. “He was a beloved brother, father, husband, and patriot,” the Ngema family statement stated.


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