John Ledwaba

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John Maolusi Ledwaba (19**-2017). Actor, director, playwright.


He acted in his first play at 15. As Soweto schoolboy in 1976 he tried unsuccessfully to escape into exile. He died in December 2017.



Contribution to SA theatre, film, media and/or performance

He worked for Soyikwa Theatre and helped to workshop and performed in Matsemela Manaka’s Egoli: City of Gold (1979), for which he developed the famous vomiting scene. Also developed and played the political leader in Simon & Co’s Black Dog-Inj'emnyama! (1984) .

The Horn, IsiThukuthuku.

Peter Se-Puma’s Hamba Dompas was directed by Nomsa Nene with the author and Ledwaba at the Laager in January 1986.

He wrote, directed, choreographed and composed Jozi Jozi Guide which was staged at the Windybrow in 1993.

Wrote the play Lona Basadi (1983), Black Dog-Inj'emnyama! (1983) with Barney Simon, in association with the Market Theatre, Township Boy (1987) - with Christo van Rensburg and Mamu Players, in association with the Market Theatre.

He performed at the Edinburgh Festival in the one-hander Vuka (1982), in Black Dog-Inj'emnyama! and in the Mamu Players' Township Fever and Street Sisters.

His play Moja Moja was performed at the 1995 Grahamstown Festival.

In 2002 his play Jouberg in the Mix was one of ten chosen and funded for further development by the NAC.

He was at the helm of the 21st edition of the Windybrow Arts Festival which also celebrated SA's 10 years of democracy, 2004.

He was appointed artistic director of the Windybrow Theatre in 2004.

Wrote and performed International Hot Talk ’87 (a political satire) with Andrew Chabeli at Funda Arts Centre.

Awards, etc

1995 Standard Bank Young Artist Award Winner for Drama.


Tucker, 1997. 442, 525.

Sunday Times, 25 June 1995.

Various entries in the NELM catalogue.

The Citizen, 23 January 2002.

The Star, 27 January 2004.

The Star, 10 March 2004.

Death of John Ledwaba a great loss to SA theatre industry – Zuma The Citizen, 29 December 2017.

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