State funeral for arts icon Mhlanga

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Harare (New Ziana) – Legendary playwright and filmmaker Cont Mhlanga, who died on Monday, has been accorded a state-assisted funeral.

In a statement, chief secretary to the office of the President and Cabinet Dr Misheck Sibanda said President Mnangagwa had granted the honour to the late National Arts Merit Awards winner.

“This is in recognition of his great achievements as an internationally acclaimed playwright, filmmaker and creative director who came as a trail blazer in our country’s creative and cultural industries,” he said.

“Only recently the late departed had been appointed as a member of the National Team for the Creation of a Strategy for the Zimbabwe Film Sector. On behalf of the Office of the President and Cabinet, and indeed on my behalf, I wish foremost, to express my deepest condolences to the Mhlanga family who have lost a beloved father and breadwinner, and to the cultural and creative arts community in general, who are the poorer with the demise of one of Zimbabwe’s most respected icons the arts sector has ever produced.”

Mhlanga’s career in the cultural and creative industries began in 1982 when he formed Amakhosi, which started as a youth karate club, before turning to professional theatre in 1988.

He wrote more than 20 plays among them Sinjalo, Amakorokoza, Children on Fire, Games and Bombs, The Members and Vikela.

Mhlanga and partners also founded Skyz Metro FM, one of the first independent radio stations in Zimbabwe.

New Ziana

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