Soon-to-be-built Ekurhuleni hospital to be named after Mbongeni Ngema

Mbongeni Ngema

Mbongeni Ngema

Published Feb 20, 2024


The soon-to-be built Daveyton hospital in Ekurhuleni will be named after the late thespian, lyricist and composer Mbongeni Ngema.

Ngema will also be honoured with an annual lecture that will recognise his contribution to the Arts.

This was announced by Gauteng premier Panyaza Lesufi in his State Of the Province Address (SOPA) at Nasrec on Monday.

Ngema, a celebrated artist of iconic musical ‘Sarafina’ fame, died at the age of 68 in a head-on collision in December while returning from a funeral in the Eastern Cape. He was given a special provincial funeral.

Lesufi said that since the delivery of the last Sopa, the country had lost a number of giants in the creative industry including Ngema.

“In recognition of his remarkable contribution to the performing arts, we will launch the annual Mbongeni Ngema Lecture in partnership with the Market Theatre, and the National Department of Sports, Arts, Culture.

“Following consultation with his family, the sector and the community, we will name the soon-to-be-built Daveyton Hospital after this icon,” Lesufi announced.

He applauded Ngema’s creative work.

During his funeral, Sello “Chicco” Twala, while speaking on behalf of the creative industry, made a passionate plea to the government to rename the Durban Playhouse after Ngema.

It remains to be seen if the government will heed the call.

Ngema’s career started as a backing guitarist in theatre productions but later discovered a love for producing.

He produced the multi-award-winning musical, ‘Sarafina’, a movie that depicted the horrors of June 16, 1976, when school children from Soweto were massacred by Apartheid police for protesting against the introduction of Afrikaans in township schools.

He produced and directed several plays in the course of his career and received numerous accolades and accolades for his work.

The Star