Mzwandile Maqina

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Rev. Mzwandile Maqina (born 1937). Activist, playwright and preacher from New Brighton, near Port Elizabeth.


Born in Port Elizabeth's New Brighton township on October 2, 1937, Maqina is recognised as one of the South African pioneers of political theatre to come from Port Elizabeth.

It is the same area from where John Kani, Winston Ntshona and Nomhle Nkonyeni hail.

Maqina was put under house arrest for five years after he wrote The Crack. The house arrest was only lifted in 1983.


Maqina never studied formally to become a playwright and theatre director.


Since democracy, Maqina has been involved in helping establish youth theatre around the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro, and setting up his own production company. New Generation. In 2005 he retired from running the company. and it became defunct.

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

His first musical, Give Us This Day (written and performed 1974-1976, published 1975, banned May 1976), became the first theatrical production to be banned under the laws of apartheid.

Other plays - virtually all banned or leading to his detention, are The Trial (1977), The Crack (198*), and Dry Those Tears (1983), Face to Face.

Awards, etc


Article by Thabo Jijana published in The New Age, 2 October 2015. Page: 27.

Various entries in the NELM catalogue.

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