Mbongeni Ngema

Mbongeni Ngema died Wednesday, 27 December 2023. Image via Instagaram @mbongeningema_/ via X @zizikodwa

RIP: Zizi Kodwa pays tribute to the late Mbongeni Ngema

Minister of Sport, Art, and Culture Zizi Kodwa paid tribute to veteran playwright Mbongeni Ngema who died in a car accident on Wednesday.

Mbongeni Ngema

Mbongeni Ngema died Wednesday, 27 December 2023. Image via Instagaram @mbongeningema_/ via X @zizikodwa

Award-winning South African playwright, Mbongeni Ngema has died – he is best known for his work in the iconic and award-winning movie Sarafina! He is said to have passed away on Wednesday evening in a fatal car crash on his way back from attending a funeral service in Mbizana in the Eastern Cape, Sunday World reported.


“It is with heavy hearts that we announce the sudden passing of our beloved brother, father, husband, and patriot Mbongeni Ngema… Ngema was killed in a head-on car accident while returning from attending a funeral in Lusikisiki in the Eastern Cape this evening. He was a passenger in the vehicle,” a family statement read.

According to the publication, Ngema’s nephew Sabelo said although his uncle was not the driver of the vehicle, he unfortunately sustained severe injuries that led to his death. 

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Minister of Sports, Arts, and Culture, Zizi Kodwa has since paid his respect to the late veteran. Taking to his timelines, he said: “I’m saddened to hear of the passing of Dr Mbongeni Ngema, one of South Africa’s great playwrights, directors, lyricists and composers. Dr Ngema’s internationally acclaimed work, from Sarafina! to Stimela sase Zola, told distinctly South African stories and experiences.”

BREAKING: Veteran playwright Mbongeni Ngema killed in car accident
BREAKING: Veteran playwright Mbongeni Ngema killed in car accident Photos” X/DA/@zizikodwa


The late Mboingeni Ngema was reportedly bred in the village of eNhlwathi which is located near the rural town of KwaHlabisa in northern KwaZulu-Natal. He made a name for himself as one of South Africa’s most celebrated theatre producers, directors, composers and playwrights.

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The 365 Men’s Awards were held last month hosted by the Gauteng Department of Social Development. The event is held each year to honour men who promoted transformation in society and brought about change in the areas of Community Development, Education, and more. After attending the ceremony, Mbongeni Ngema walked away with a Lifetime Achievement Award.

“Little did I know that I was going to be honoured with the Lifetime Achievement Award. It is very humbling when your contribution to the South African liberation through the arts is recognised while you are still alive. Thank you so much,” Ngema said.

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