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Lebo M's outburst

By unknown | Mar 05, 2008 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Edward Tsumele

Edward Tsumele

There was drama at the fifth Naledi Theatre Awards at Gold Reef City on Monday night when Lion King producer Lebo M threw a huge tantrum.

Lebo M, whose real name is Lebogang Morake, threw a tantrum about his seat.

Morake stopped short of accusing the awards' organisers of racism when it comes to awarding excellence to black talent. He said they had insulted him by not offering him a seat befitting someone of his stature.

Morake, who was seated at the back, stood up and went on stage when the Lion King was declared the winner of a Naledi award in the category for Best Production of a musical.

Without any warning, Morake declared: "I am a very, very proud South African and I am a very, very angry South African. This is one of the reasons why one feels like going back to exile. This country has to be welcoming," he announced to a stunned audience.

And then he added: "I Lebo M, a Sowetan who has brought the biggest musical to the African continent, which has won every single award of excellence throughout the world, feels very insulted. I was actually thinking very hard whether to accept this award or not."

At this stage there was grumbling and uncertain laughter in the audience.

"l feel insulted that I should be seated at the back when throughout the world I am used to seating at the front. If you do not understand, there are some people among you who understand what I am talking about. How come that in these awards there is no single black person who has won any award for excellence," he said and left the stage without picking up his statuette.

This outburst angered organiser Des Lindberg, who said Lebo M had not even had the courtesy to acknowledge his Lion King co-producer Pieter Toerien. Lindberg then walked off the stage, leaving his wife Dawn to explain that Lebo M had been seated at the back of the auditorium only because he had arrived late.

A seat had apparently been reserved for him at the front of the auditorium.

Contacted by Sowetan yesterday, Lebo M said he stood by every word he had uttered, and called Dawn Lindberg a liar for saying she had a seat reserved for him at the front.


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