Hospital stay as good as a holiday

Edward Tsumele

Edward Tsumele

Mbongeni Ngema's week long hospitalisation which triggered off something approaching panic within the show business industry provided the theatre icon with a much needed break.

Ngema who was admitted to the St Augustine Hospital in Durban for a stress-related illness on Tuesday last week, was discharged from the hospital on Tuesday this week.

Ngema who spoke to Sowetan yesterday played down the effect of his hospital stay.

"At least the rand did not lose value because of my admission," the award- winning playwright quipped.

"The fact is I went to see my doctor for a general check up. My doctor said 'Ngema you write important plays and drive good cars that you regularly service, but you forget to service yourself. So I will book you in for a rest'.

"I actually enjoyed my stay in hospital for this was a well-deserved rest after working hard for most of the time producing two albums by up-and-coming artists through my new recording label," the artist-cum-businessman said.

Ngema, whose production Sarafina conquered theatre stages on Broadway and was adapted into a movie featuring Woopi Goldberg, is also well known to the South African theatre-going public for such hits as Asinamali that he most often staged at the historic Market Theatre in Johannesburg.

Ngema has also mentored several youngsters in the theatre, including his former wife Leleti Khumalo, who is currently appearing in the country's leading soapie Generations.