SOUTH Africa's most celebrated musical, Umoja, is headed for a sad death if the new show is anything to go by.

After entertaining millions of people all over the world for the past 10 years, it appears the creators - Todd Twala and Thembi Nyandeni - have run out of ideas and are hanging on for dear life.

So desperate are they to keep the cash cow, they have done the unthinkable. They have roped in fading kwaito star Mandoza.

And it gets worse. Invited guests, mainly media practitioners and thespians, were treated to a teaser at the Victory Theatre in Orange Grove, Johannesburg, on Thursday night, and when the show ended there was an air of disappointment among the audience leaving the theatre.

I suspect Nyandeni must have sensed it when she appealed for support in her speech at end of the show ended.

The truth is she and her partner have ballsed-up a reputable and admirable show, not only by including Mandoza, but by also fusing in R&B bits of singing.

Another weird introduction was some football playing on stage, with actors at times losing the ball to the audience.

They might be trying to support the 2010 World Cup, but not on our beloved show.

We also saw some skimpily dressed actors supporting Mandoza, who failed to impress even with his crotch-groping style of dancing. Everybody knows this man cannot sing, and to punish this talented bunch of young singers is a sin.

Umoja has over the years earned respect for showcasing traditional dancing and rendering classics by SA artists such as Miriam Makeba by the narrator, who battled to introduce Mandoza.

It might be time to let go of the show in a dignified manner.