The memorial service for the late playwright Mbongeni Ngema was held at the Playhouse in Durban. The service took place on a Wednesday, following Ngema’s tragic death in a car crash on December 27. Among the dignitaries in attendance was former president Jacob Zuma. Zuma Reveals Mbongeni Ngema’s Aim to Narrate His Life Story.
Zuma’s Tribute to Ngema
Zuma took the opportunity to deliver a heartfelt tribute to the late veteran. He spoke fondly of Ngema’s enduring legacy and the deep friendship they had built over the years. Zuma expressed his disbelief and shock upon hearing of Ngema’s passing, stating, “When I was told that he had passed, I thought it was a joke. I thought he’d never die. I thought he’d live forever because of the way he was.”
Zuma went on to praise Ngema as a “man amongst men” and acknowledged the great talent that had been lost. He highlighted Ngema’s unique ability to tell stories through song in such a way that they would be remembered word for word. Zuma felt fortunate to have known Ngema from an early stage and admired his fight for freedom and his ability to convey the message of oppression.
The Unfinished Project
Zuma revealed that he and Ngema were planning to work on a project about his life as a man from Nkandla. Initially, Zuma was not keen on the idea, but he was later convinced after Ngema spoke to his sister about it. They eventually agreed that Ngema could tell Zuma’s story, with plans to meet after Christmas to discuss it further.
Zuma described Ngema as more than just a friend and a comrade who fought for freedom with all his might. He praised Ngema’s prominence worldwide and his ability to educate the youth through storytelling and song. Zuma expressed his deep sorrow that Ngema left without a proper goodbye, as they were yet to meet soon to discuss their project. He concluded by saying, “We’ll never forget this man. He fought for freedom in many ways.”