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‘SA has lost a legend’: ANC mourns passing of Welcome Msomi

Msomi, aged 76, died on Saturday following a brief illness.

FILE: Welcome Msomi. Picture: facebook.com

CAPE TOWN – The African National Congress (ANC) has paid tribute to veteran playwright Welcome Msomi, describing his passing as a loss to the nation.

According to a statement, Msomi, aged 76, died on Saturday following a brief illness.

The ANC said the performing arts industry in South Africa had lost a legend.

“He belongs to the class of great South Africans who never allowed apartheid segregation laws to suppress black excellence.”

It also extended its deepest condolences to Msomi’s family.

“May his family and friends find solace in knowing their loss is the nation's loss.”

The 76-year-old wrote his first book at the age of 15 and made a name for himself in isiZulu literature, as well as South African theatre.

He later founded the iZulu Dance Theatre and Music in 1965, in Durban.

Msomi also received a Lifetime Achievement Award for Theatre from the Arts & Culture Trust in 2012.

In 2019, however, the acclaimed director was found guilty of theft of R8 million that was meant for the Living Legends Legacy Programme trust fund, an initiative established in 2015 to honour legends in the arts industry.

Msomi’s sentencing was delayed in November last year when he suffered a stroke. The matter was postponed to February this year, but lawyers said he was too ill to attend court proceedings.

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