WATCH: Leleti Khumalo on Mbongeni Ngema: ‘I owe my career to him’

Mbongeni Ngema and Leleti Khumalo (right) in their times. Picture: File.

Mbongeni Ngema and Leleti Khumalo (right) in their times. Picture: File.

Published Jan 5, 2024


Family, friends and supporters of the late Mbongeni Ngema gathered at the Durban ICC on Friday to say their final goodbyes to the South African entertainment industry icon.

Ngema passed away on December 27 in a car accident, as he was coming from a funeral in the Eastern Cape. He was 68.

His provincial special funeral was attended by his former wife, Leteti Khumalo, whom he worked with for many years.

Khumalo broke into the scene in 1992 when she played the lead role in “Sarafina”, a film written by the late Ngema.

Speaking to eNCA, Khumalo expressed her gratitude towards Ngema and how he helped her build a successful career as an actress.

“This is a very sad time. It’s sad for everyone, especially for the family. I am here to support,” she told the broadcaster.

“U Madlokovu basically introduced me to this industry. I was still very young, and I owe a lot to him. Unfortunately, he has passed, there’s nothing we can do about that, but my whole career in this industry…I owe it to him. He introduced me and put me on the global map. I am known throughout the world because he took me from Kwa-Mashu and put me in this industry.”

Meanwhile, as the committee of artists were performing the famous “Sarafina” soundtrack, “Freedom Is Coming Tomorrow”, Khumalo stood up and joined them on stage, reliving that acclaimed moment once more.

South Africans commended her for supporting the Ngema family through this difficult time and speaking profoundly of a man she once loved.