Ngema to play polygamous miner
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