Themba Ndaba strikes a nerve by claiming Shaka Ilembe was stolen from Mbongeni Ngema

The memorial service for Mbongeni Ngema was a poignant event, with Themba Ndaba shedding light on some shocking allegations, including the claim that the iconic production ‘Shaka Ilembe’ was stolen from Ngema.

Held at the Playhouse in Durban, the service was a gathering of friends, family, and admirers who came together to celebrate the life and legacy of the late playwright and musician.

During his speech, Ndaba revealed the challenges they faced in their artistic projects, primarily due to a lack of funding.

However, the most alarming revelation was the alleged theft of their work, with ‘Shaka Ilembe’ being a prime example.

According to Ndaba, he, Ngema, and a friend produced the original play, titled ‘Inkosi Ilembe,’ in New York in 2015. However, Bomb Pictures purportedly appropriated the script and changed the name to ‘ShakaZulu.’

Ndaba expressed his frustration and disappointment over what he believed to be stolen creative endeavors.

He also highlighted the various projects they had been working on, including a documentary for Oliver Tambo and another for Jacob Zuma.

“Mbongeni Ngema was a spirit—a gift to many South Africans and the youth of that time,” said Ndaba.

Ndaba emphasized Ngema’s immense talent and impact, describing him as a “spirit” and a “gift” to many South Africans and the youth of his time.

These allegations of sabotage and theft have sparked outrage and concern within the artistic community.

Many are calling for a thorough investigation into the matter to determine the truth and hold those responsible accountable.

The legacy of Ngema, known for his groundbreaking contributions to the arts, deserves to be protected and honoured.

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