Tributes have continue to pour in for two of South Africa’s art industry giants and veteran, playwright and choreographer Welcome Msomi and actress Mary Twala-Mhlongo
Msomi died awaiting sentencing following his 2019 conviction on 61 counts of theft regarding the millions of rand stolen from the Living Legends Legacy Programme.
“Mr Msomi received a lifetime achievement award for theatre on the art and culture trust in 2012. He was the chairperson of the Living Legends Programme and they also served various boards here in KwaZulu-Natal. During her distinguished career as an entertainer, Mary Twala acted in a number of productions. We want to say may their souls rest in peace.”
Msomi was 76 at the time of his passing. Fellow playwright Mbongeni Ngema has described Msomi as a close friend who contributed immensely to the creative industry.
Ngema said Msomi created a platform for many to tap into the arts industry.
“I will remember welcome Msomi for the things he did whilst still alive, for the things he did for South Africa. He took to the world stages a production called Mabatha which means Macbeth that was very profound. We will always remember him for the livelihoods of the people he saved when there were no jobs in South Africa. He offered more than 50 jobs on that production on stage. May his soul rest in peace.”
President Cyril Ramaphosa on Saturday said Twala-Mhlongo’s performances brought to life the meaning of being South African and appealed to all generations. In 2019, Ramaphosa awarded her The Order of Ikhamanga in Silver.
Veteran actress Abigail Kubeka desceibed Twala-Mhlongo as a dedicated and talented artist. She says Twala-Mhlongo always had a smile on her face and was always willing to help.
“She was gifted and she was humble; very humble. Easy to work with and always willing to help. She gave her all and always with a smile. Sizomkhumbula (We’ll miss her) and all I want to say is that I want to give her a standing ovation for the work that she did and say, thank you my sister. Thank you for the work, thank you for the love.”