James Mthoba

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James Mthoba (19**-1996). Playwright, director, actor, drama teacher.


He died in a car accident in June 1996.


He got his breakthrough as an angle-shooter through a leadership course at St Peter's College. The course included religious theatre and they did a lot of nativity plays with a difference. After the course he joined Workshop '71.


He was a deputy director of Federated Union of Black Artists. He was a senior drama teacher at the FUBA Academy.

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

He worked at The Space in the 1970s, with roles in The Incredible Jungle Journey of Fenda Maria and Lysistrata S.A..

He and Mshengu devised uHlanga – The Reed for Theatre Workshop '71 in 1975, touring the country.

Also acted for Benjy Francis in Athol Fugard’s The Blood Knot (1976), Beckett’s Waiting for Godot (Upstairs at the Market, 1976), and Mda’s We Shall Sing for the Fatherland (FUBA, 1978/9), He starred in Robert Kirby’s The Bijers Sunbird together with Sean Taylor under Robert Kirby’s direction at Upstairs at the Market in April 1986.

He has appeared in Above the Wind, Black Dog-Inj'emnyama!, Crossroads, and for the Company at the Market Theatre Die Swerfjare van Poppie Nongena and Karoo Grand.

He wrote and directed members of the Transvaal Association of Black Blind Adults in Mehlondini ("Bloody eyes") at the Laager in 1987.

He starred in Athol Fugard’s Boesman and Lena in 1993.

Appearances on screen include Sarafina! (1992), Red Scorpion (1988) and City Lovers (1982).

Awards, etc

He was a finalist in the 1991 Community Builder of the Year Award spsonsored by a Johannesburg daily newspaper.

The Market Theatre Foundation's James Mthoba Rehearsal Room was named in his honour.


Astbury 1979.

Schwartz, 1988.

Tucker, 1997.

Black Dog-Inj'emnyama! theatre programme.

Various entries in the NELM catalogue.

Tribute by Z.B. Molefe, City Press, 16 June 1996.

Tribute by Elliot Makhaya, The Sowetan, 17 June 1996.

IMDb [1].

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