Mbongeni Ngema, writer of the acclaimed musical Sarafina about student riots in apartheid Soweto, is no more. Ngema was 68. As per Deadline, Mbongeni Ngema died in a car accident. The news of his demise was announced by his family in a statement.
The family shared that he was killed in a head-on collision while returning from a funeral he had attended in Lusikisiki, South Africa. He was a passenger in the vehicle.
Ngema is best known for creating the musical Sarafina, which premiered on Broadway in 1988 and was later adapted into a vehicle for Goldberg in 1992.
Ngema was a writer, lyricist, composer, director, choreographer, and theatre producer. His other major credits include vocal arranging for The Lion King.
Sarafina producer Anant Singh reacted to the unfortunate news.
"We have lost a trailblazing creative talent who fearlessly brought awareness of South Africa under apartheid to a global audience using the theatre as a platform. He has left an indelible mark on South African theatre and the creative industries as a whole. This is clearly demonstrated by the timelessness of Sarafina! the film. Mbongeni was an inspiration and mentored many young artists who are now household names. His passing leaves a deep void but he leaves a rich legacy that will endure for posterity," Anant Singh said.