Ngema to play polyg­a­mous miner

CityPress - - News - NTOMBIZODWA MAKHOBA ntombizodwa@city­press.co.za

Art will im­i­tate life if ru­mours that vet­eran ac­tor and theatre mas­ter Mbongeni Ngema will be re­turn­ing to the small screen are true. Af­ter a long hia­tus, it is now be­lieved that he will take on the role of a po­lyg­a­mist in e.tv’s new te­len­ov­ela Gold Dig­gers.

The 60-year-old lyri­cist, direc­tor and com­poser is mar­ried to four women – Ukhozi FM’s Nonhlanhla “Mroza” Buthelezi, Nom­pumelelo Gumede, Saleha Nxumalo and Cat Mpanza – in real life.

In Gold Dig­gers, Ngema is ex­pected to por­tray an il­le­gal gold miner who is mar­ried to two women, played by vet­eran ac­tresses Clemen­tine Mosi­mane and Tina Jaxa, who live next to each other.

Rap­per and SABC 1 Fan Base pre­sen­ter Mx­olisi “Zu­luboy” Ma­jozi will play Ngema’s son, ac­cord­ing to in­sid­ers.

Gold Dig­gers will re­place e.tv’s te­len­ov­ela Ashes to Ashes in Au­gust.

Ngema’s pub­li­cist, Lawran­cia Mqwebu, re­fused to con­firm or deny that Ngema would be join­ing the new show. “We are not at lib­erty to com­ment at this stage,” she said.

Ma­jozi and Jaxa also re­fused to com­ment, with Ma­jozi re­fer­ring City Press to e.tv. The gen­eral manager of com­mu­ni­ca­tions at e.tv, Mat­la­pu­lana Ragoasha, con­firmed that Gold Dig­gers would start on Au­gust 10, but re­fused to re­veal the cast.

“We are not ready to re­veal the names of cast mem­bers at this stage. In­for­ma­tion will be re­vealed closer to the time. Gold Dig­gers taps into the re­al­i­ties of our coun­try be­cause it has a com­pelling story line, which in­volves strong so­cial is­sues that will cap­ti­vate view­ers’ at­ten­tion.” Gold Dig­gers por­trays il­le­gal min­ing and the chal­lenges faced by min­ers. “Ngema and his son are work­ing in a mine. They both visit home at least twice a year,” said an in­dus­try source about the te­len­ov­ela.

The source re­vealed that the story line ex­posed how min­ers in­volved in il­le­gal gold min­ing worked with­out proper equip­ment. Ngema was for­merly mar­ried to Pre­to­ria State Theatre chief ex­ec­u­tive Xoliswa Ngema, actress Ce­bisile Mpun­gose and for­mer Gen­er­a­tions actress Leleti Khu­malo. Late last year, Khu­malo opened up to e.tv’s Nicky Green­wall on The Close Up, de­scrib­ing her mar­riage to the play­wright as “dis­gust­ing”.

She said: “I would por­tray that I’m happy, living hap­pily, and yet I’m living a dis­gust­ing and strange life.” Ngema has never com­mented on her in­ter­view.

Ngema is well known for be­ing a play­wright, screen­writer and li­bret­tist.

He is best known as the writer of the in­ter­na­tion­ally ac­claimed and award-win­ning – al­beit con­tro­ver­sial – Aids ed­u­ca­tion mu­si­cal Sara­fina.

Tina Jaxa (inset) and Mbongeni Ngema

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