Musical immortalises Lebo's short life
Nearly six years after she tragically died in a car crash, diva Lebo Mathosa's life is being turned into a musical by Sello Maake Ka-Ncube.
But Ka-Ncube, who held auditions at Pretoria's State Theatre over the past weekend, was left unconvinced with the try-outs and has decided to reopen auditions in Johannesburg.
The veteran actor, who plays Daniel Nyathi on e.tv's Scandal, has been mulling over Drama Queen: Lebo Mathosa Tribute for over a year, and seeks to bring the focus back on Mathosa's prowess on stage - despite the elapsed time.
It will hit the State Theatre stage in August. Two years ago, another veteran actor, Jerry Mofokeng, directed the musical Ma-Brr on Brenda Fassie's glamorous yet turbulent life.
On his production, Ka-Ncube explained yesterday: "It's actually inspired by Mama Mia [based on songs by Swedish pop group Abba] and We Will Rock You [Queen], and how their music is kept alive by turning them into stage musicals."
However, such was the dearth of talented hopefuls that were capable of singing, dancing and acting he has had to tweak the script into "more of a tribute than just a musical". He said the eventual Mathosa would also have to be "drop-dead gorgeous".
Mathosa came into prominence in 1994 with the popular kwaito and reggae group Boom Shaka, which also featured Thembi Seete, Junior Sokhela and Theo Nhlengethwa, when she was just a teen.
The marriage spawned many hits including It's About Time, Thobela, and Digong Love.
She then parted ways with the group and started a successful solo career with smash hits Ntozabantu, I love Music, Awu Dede, Dangerous and Brand New Day.
In 2006 Mathosa was nominated in the Best African Act category for the Mobo Awards, but lost out to Ghanian Batman Samini.
She also received four South African Music Awards from her three solo albums. She did it all with her blonde mane and oft outlandish stage outfits, before dying at the age of 29 in a car accident in the wee hours of October 23, 2006.
He driver lost control of the Toyota Prado they were in while travelling on the N3 highway on the East Rand. She died on the scene.
Meanwhile, Ka-Ncube faces a race against time to find the perfect cast (and then begin rehearsals) for Drama Queen: Lebo Mathosa Tribute, shoot for Scandal, while also rehearsing for Rent - Clare Mortimer's stage production for the Grahamstown Arts Festival.