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President saddened by passing of theatre legend Welcome Msomi

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President Cyril Ramaphosa says South Africa’s creative community has lost a significant treasure with the passing of playwright and entrepreneur Mr Welcome Msomi.

The President has expressed his condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of Mr Msomi, who passed away on Saturday, 04 July 2020 at the age of 76.

Welcome Msomi’s creativity first came to the fore when he wrote a book at the tender age of 15.

This creation gave rise to a creative career of half a decade during which Bab’Msomi distinguished himself in radio and as a choreographer and outstanding playwright who became a force in Zulu literature and South African culture at large.

Early in his career he established the iZulu Dance Theatre (IDT) and Music in 1965 in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal.

He is best and globally remembered for uMabatha, his adaptation - in isiZulu and set against in 19th-century Zulu history - of William Shakespeare’s Macbeth.

He owned his own recording label and in the latter part of his life served on various boards and was active in the public relations industry.

President Ramaphosa said: “We have lost a cultural stalwart whose creativity gave depth, colour and lyricism to South Africa’s dramatic and complex history.

“While Welcome Msomi was exceptionally talented as an individual, he dedicated his energy, time and resources to the development of new generations of performers who would celebrate and showcase our nation’s cultural diversity.

“This investment in the future of our cultural communities is Welcome Msomi’s true legacy; one that will ensure that his inspiration lives on in his physical absence.”


Media enquiries: Spokesperson to the President, Khusela Diko on media@presidency.gov.za

Issued by: The Presidency 
Pretoria