‘My work will outlive me,’ says Mbongeni Ngema on longevity

Dr Mbongeni Ngema is celebrated all over the world for his work in the film and theatre industry and he reckons that his work, just like that of legendary playwright Shakespeare, will survive for centuries to come.

Speaking to Actor Spaces Mbongeni explained that it was a great feeling to know that his name would never totally vanish.

“My work will outlive me, 100 years from now people will still be performing Sarafina!. It’s fantastic to know that you’ve written work that will never die. That people can give it life beyond yourself.”

Mbongeni, whose career spans over three decades said he’s kept his creativity sharp by delving into both film and theatre. He said he strongly believes that the “death” of theatre will be the death of real acting.

He lambasted new school actors who dismiss theatre for fame that comes with television or film work.

“The downside to this is that a lot of those people don’t know how hard it is to work on a play that will have longevity, they think that if you rehearse for four weeks, that’s it! These young people who think they are actors and a lot of them are just models, they have never been trained in acting.”

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