Msomi donates prize to the Stable Theatre

2010-05-08 00:00

PLAYWRIGHT, producer and acclaimed director and choreographer, Welcome Msomi, has won the arts category in the Johnnie Walker Celebrating Strides Awards — and he intends sinking his R125 000 prize into resuscitating the Stable Theatre and community art centre in Durban.

The non-profit theatre, which dates back to the height of apartheid, was created to draw together the community and continued to thrive, despite a lack of funding and neglect by officials.

The funding windfall from Msomi will help rejuvenate the centre, which offers perfor­mance and rehearsal space as well as an easily accessible venue for workshops or seminars.

The venue serves as a home for all arts and allows artists to present exhibitions, writers to host book launches, filmmakers to premiere their films and poets to recite their work to audiences.

Commenting on the news, Stable Theatre chairperson Madoda Mtshali said: “We are absolutely delighted to hear this news. It will make such a difference to our plans to upgrade this valuable arts centre, and we are extremely indebted to Welcome Msomi for identifying the Stable Theatre as the recipient of these funds.

“Thanks are also due to board members Thuli Dumakude and Caroline Smart, who motivated for what is an exciting, multifaceted development project to benefit from the funding.”

Msomi, a passionate advocate for the arts, wrote his first book at the age of 15 and went on to become an accomplished author whose name has become synonymous with Zulu literature. He is also the founder of the iZulu Dance Theatre and Music. He was responsible for launching the Zulu version of The Lion King and for his Zulu adaptation of Shakespeare’s Macbeth.

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