(1941-) Actor, writer and theatrical producer. Best known in South Africa as the author of the innovative and internationally successful Zulu version of Macbeth (uMabatha). Originally created for the Natal Workshop Theatre, and directed by Pieter Scholtz in 1970. In 1972 it opened the World Theatre Season in London, and then travelled on to New York. In 1979 Msomi settled in New York, to found the Zulu Dance Theatre in the Bedford-Stuyvesant area. Returning to South Africa in 1992, he choreographed the presidential inauguration for Nelson Mandela in 1994. In the same year he directed the musical Buya Africa. He also helped set up a black marketing company and became the CEO of Sasani, the first black controlled entertainment group listed on the JSE. [Appointed director of NAPAC/PACT??**** in 2000??**]. He was appointed chairman of the new State Theatre board in July 2000. The other members of the board were Walter Chakela (chief of the Windybrow complex in Johannesburg), Doreen Nteta (CEO of the National Arts Council), Christopher Seabrooke (a board member of Business and Arts South Africa (Basa)), Edmund Radebe (chief of the Playhouse Company in Durban), Bongani Tembe (head of the orchestra at the Playhouse), Mike van Graan (Artscape consultant and well-known arts commentator), Jay Pather (lecturer in the Arts), Mannie Manim (founder member of the Market Theatre), Themba Wakashe (from DACST), Carol Steinberg (advisor to Dr Ben Ngubane) and Sikkie Kajee (administrator of the State Theatre). This was clearly an effort to be representative and to include a variety of applicable skills. MSOMI, Welcome. He was the founder and director of the Zulu Dance Theatre, which he’d established in 1965 in Durban. He wrote a free adaptation into Zulu of Macbeth called Umabatha. It was first produced in Natal by Professor Elizabeth Sneddon in 1971. Together with Thuli Dumakude, his future wife, he starred in this play in January 1974 at the Colosseum Theatre, and directed his new version of it at the Civic in 1995 and the Playhouse in Durban in 1996.
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