The entertainment industry and nation large has been plunged into mourning following the death of renowned playwright, actor and theatre director, Cont Mdladla Mhlanga.
Mhlanga died this morning.
In a death notice, National Arts Council of Zimbabwe executive director Nicholas Moyo said Mhlanga’s death was hard to fathom.
“It is with a heavy heart and intense sadness that the National Arts Council of Zimbabwe board and management announces to the nation and the Cultural and Creative Sectors in Zimbabwe and internationally the sad passing on of the legendary Cont Mhlanga,” reads the statement.
He said Mhlanga was admitted in hospital 10 days ago, whilst his situation seemed to stabilise, it took a different turn in the last three days.
Mhlanga’s career in the cultural and creative industries began in 1982 when he formed Amakhosi which started as a youth karate club but switched to professional theatre in 1988.
It created the first pilot centre, the Amakhosi Performing Arts Workshop (APAW), which produced and toured with theatre plays written and directed by Mhlanga.
In 1995 Amakhosi established the country’s first privately owned cultural centre located within the boundaries of the townships, now popularly known as the Township Square Cultural Centre.
Mhlanga wrote more than 20 plays among them The Good President, The End, Sinjalo, Children on Fire, Games and Bombs, The Members and Vikela. He has three books to his name.
He also adapted the popular play Stitsha to a TV series. It featured late Beatar Mangethe.
He has directed Bamqgibela Ephila and Omunye Umngcwabo
Funeral arrangements will be announced in due course. – Herald