Iconic South African musician, playwright Mbongeni Ngema dies in car crash

By Showbiz Reporter

South African musician and arts icon, Mbongeni Ngema died in a horrific car accident Wednesday, plunging the neighbouring country’s music industry in mourning again. He was 68.

A statement by the family confirmed the renowned composer and playwright’s death in a head-on-collision as he was returning from a funeral in Lusikisiki, Eastern Cape.

“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,” said the family.

Born in 1955 in KwaZulu-Natal, Ngema launched what would later become a successful career as a theatre backing guitarist.

He wrote the award-winning musical to the hit movie, Sarafina.

The film was a musical drama which addressed the struggles of black South Africans during apartheid.

It was co-written by Ngema and starred Hollywood actress Whoopi Goldberg and Leleti Khumalo.

Ngema was also renowned for writing hit songs, including Stimela sa se Zola.

His shock passing follows that of songstress Zahara, another top South African musician, who succumbed to chronic ailment while admitted in hospital this month. #RIPMbongeniNgema

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