Zimbabwe

Veteran playwright, producer Cont Mhlanga laid to rest

Veteran playwright, producer, or arts guru par excellence, Cont Mhlanga, has been laid to rest at his rural home in Mqoqi Village, Lupane.

Mhlanga succumbed to pneumonia on the 1st of August at United Bulawayo Hospitals.

“Umkhulu lumsebenzi (we have a huge task at hand), was the mantra for the late Cont Mhlanga, when he was describing the commitment needed in refining the arts industry.

The signature tune, was the same buzz word as friends and family paid their last respects in Umqoqi village this Saturday.

“Mhlanga was a person whom we relied on for our cultural values, he used to guide us accordingly and we have lost an advisor,” said a villager.

“Cont left this place as a young man going to Bulawayo. he was a man that had a strong cultural background and showcased it to the whole world. We are really proud of our son for his works,” added another.

For some villagers, Mhlanga was an advocate for community development.

“Most projects in this area were brought into our area by Cont. We relied on him to defend us as a community. He stood for the truth and represented the community very well.”

Apparently, Mhlanga has a number of accolades to his name and was the founder of the Amakhosi Theatre Productions Company in 1982.

In 1995, Mhlanga went on to establish the country’s first privately-owned cultural centre located within the boundaries of the townships, now popularly known as the Township Square Cultural Centre.

Many will remember the late Mhlanga for his plays among them Sinjalo, Children on Fire, Games as well as Bombs and The Members.

-ZBC

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