Mbongeni Ngema (born 10 May 1955) is a South African writer, lyricist, composer and director, born in Verulam, KwaZulu-Natal (near Durban). He started his career as a theatre backing guitarist.
His ex-wife is actress Leleti Khumalo. Leleti who received a 1988 Tony Award nomination for Best Actress in a Musical for Sarafina!; as well as starring as the leading role in South Africa's first Oscar-nominated film/move, Yesterday.
He co-wrote the multi-award winning Woza Albert!. In some sectors of South African society, Ngema is considered a racist because of his controversial song, "AmaNdiya" (about racism that Blacks in KwaZulu-Natal have suffered at the hands of Indians). It was banned in the country soon after it was released in 2002, and even Nelson Mandela had asked Ngema to apologize but Ngema refused.
Mbongeni Ngema has participated in a song called Take this song, recorded in featuring with the Reggae band Third World.
- Asinamali (1987)
- Sarafina! (1988)
- Magic at 4 AM (1993)
- Circle Of Life (African voices) (1995)
- Mama (1996)
- Sarafina! 2 (1997)
- Nikeziwe (2005)
- The House of Shaka (2006)
- Lion of the East (2009)
- Take this song in collaboration with the Reggae Band Third World
Honors and awards
- 1987 Tony Award - Asinamali! was nominated for Best Direction of a Play
- 1988 Tony Award - Sarafina! was nominated 3 times for Best Choreography, Best Direction of a Musical, Best Original Score
- In 2004 he was voted 92nd in the Top 100 Great South Africans.
Artslink.co.za News (press release)
Fri, 24 May 2013 00:20:49 -0700
Famed for the string of international stage block-busters he has created and produced, including Asinamali, Sarafina!, Magic at 4 AM, Mama, The House of Shaka, Lion of the East among others, Mbongeni Ngema last appeared onstage as an actor 27 years ...
Tue, 28 May 2013 03:48:11 -0700
Pictures: Val Adamson. FOR renowned theatre practitioner Mbongeni Ngema, returning to the stage after close on three decades with his new production, The Zulu, is more than a theatrical comeback. It's an opportunity for him to share stories told to him ...
Wed, 12 Jun 2013 23:35:24 -0700
With her being a former wife of Tony Award-nominated theatre icon Mbongeni Ngema, some may surmise she has hitched a ride on his famous coattails to advance in the arts. Nothing could be further from the truth. She has wrestled with arts budgets, egos ...
Tue, 04 Jun 2013 05:34:06 -0700
TO NDR Asinamali . COMEBACK: In this archive photograph the cast of Mbongeni Ngema s Asinamali are seen on stage. The play will be brought to life again at the National Arts Festival this year. Standard Bank Young Artist Award winner Prince Lamla will ...
Wed, 05 Jun 2013 23:27:23 -0700
Of the examples mentioned, the worst must be the AmaNdiya song composed and written by Mbongeni Ngema, who also composed Sarafina. The lyrics of AmaNdiya suggest that black people in KwaZulu Natal have suffered at the hands of Indian people.
Wed, 22 May 2013 07:36:04 -0700
Think of Mbongeni Ngema's AmaNdiya song of 2002, when he gave voice to black dismay over Indian dominance. After the details of the lavish Gupta wedding became public, many black South Africans gave vent to their feelings about Indians. Guptas, who ...
Mon, 20 May 2013 00:32:51 -0700
Actors (from left) Samkelo Ndlovu, Mbongeni Ngema, Vuyo Mbuli, Winnie Modise and Sophie Ndaba during the Loliwe-Durban Tourism festival on July 12, 2012 in Pretoria, South Africa. (Photo by Gallo Images / Sowetan / Antonio Muchave). South African ...
Mon, 20 May 2013 22:04:59 -0700
Taking a trip down memory lane, he reveals: “The first time I saw her, she was doing Mbongeni Ngema's Sarafina. I've liked her work since then. I have been her friend for 20 years. And it is great to work with the cast. We are like family members and ...
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