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Joined: Oct 2008
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Ngqwele
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Ngqwele
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Zimbabwe writer Mhlanga honoured

Cont Mhlanga has written several plays and books
Zimbabwean playwright Cont Mhlanga, an outspoken opponent of Robert Mugabe's regime, has been honoured with an international award.

Mhlanga has won the inaugural $50,000 (?33,000) Artventure Freedom to Create Prize for his politically-charged satirical play The Good President.

The prize was created to honour artists who defend their freedom of expression at great personal sacrifice.

Mhlanga was one of several people and groups honoured at the London ceremony.

He was described by the philanthropic organisation as a "fierce opponent" of the Mugabe regime.

Mhlanga said he wished the world would stop talking to Robert Mugabe. He wants the world to listen to the voices of the people, the people whose lives he writes about.

Razia Iqbal, BBC Arts correspondent


Read Razia's blog


The Good President depicts an African dictator who has ruled Zimbabwe for 27 years since the country gained independence in 1980.

The play is presented as a fictional account, but closely mirrors recent and current events in Zimbabwe.

Speaking from Zimbabwe, Mhlanga said: "I am extremely humbled by the recognition of my work. This award is not just for me, it is for those artists who are victimised for working with me, and it is an award for theatre in this country.

"Theatre is the only tool that amplifies the people's voice in Zimbabwe."

Wider audience

A statement from Artventure said Mhlanga had been "challenging and questioning state ideologies, policies, corruption, nepotism and leadership" for more than 25 years.

Mhlanga will dedicate ?16,000 of his prize towards making his work available to a wider audience and to the southern Africa region.

Second place went to the Belarus Free Theatre, an underground project founded in 2005 as an artistic means of resisting censorship.

Pakistani-Norwegian singer and human rights activist Deeyah, nicknamed "The Muslim Madonna", was third.

Burmese satirist Zarganar, who was recently imprisoned for 45 years, was awarded the Imprisoned Artist Prize.

The ?16,000 Youth Prize went to City of Rhyme, a 14-strong hip-hop group from northern Brazil, whose lyrics condemn violence.
Kutsho i BBC NEWS 26/11/2008

Ngithanda ukuhalalisela leliqhawe likaMthwakazi nge international award ayiphiweyo kuphakanyiswa ikhono lakhe kanye lesibindi sokumela incindezelo lokuhlukunyezwa ngumgabe. Kunengi esimazi ngakho ikakhulu ku theatre, music,TV dramas kanye lezamasiko. Ngikhumbula i Ndebele "cultural village" yakhe duze leMakhokhoba.Ngake ngayidla inyama yokoswa laphayana kanye lebhobola eliphekwe ngolaza.Lezivakatshi zami ezazivela ekudeni zadla zancinda li recipe yesiNdebele ezazingayazi. Ngazizwa ngizigqaja ngobuntu bami.

Ngithi kuCont; sifunda okunengi kuwe kaMhlanga. U Nkulunkulu akunike amandla uqhubekele phambili ngomsebenzi omuhle.Lathi sithola i inspiration, sizozama ukwenza ama "cultural villages" lapho esikhona, ukuze siziqakise ngenvelaphi yethu.

Uyibambe ungayeki. Singabayini ngaphandle kwakho!






There is no Darkness but Ignorance! Siku Information Age Mthwakazi.
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Ngqwele
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foward with the artistic cont mhlanga may GOD bless him, down with therural village politician cont mhlanga, how can a man of such stature enter rural village politiks whilst real politiks is calling him!!!!!!!!!


those who don't use their freedom to fight for their freedom will lose their freedom!!
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Nduna
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Originally Posted by mpumelelo101
down with therural village politician cont mhlanga, how can a man of such stature enter rural village politiks whilst real politiks is calling him!!!!!!!!!

SabonaMpume
What is real politics and village politics,if I may ask?


HLABA-1-AT A TIME
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Ngqwele
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REAL POLITICS refers to national politics ie being an MP/SENATOR whilst village politics refers to rural council politics, in this case the byo based cont mhlanga is a rural concillor in lupane.
a man of his stature should try his luck as an independent kwaBulawayo


those who don't use their freedom to fight for their freedom will lose their freedom!!
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Thanks Mpume
So is Lupani not a constituent or part of? Are they not part of the electorate? Is there not an MP responsible for Lupani?
Salakuhle


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Mpumelelo,
UCont is one of the few Mthwakazians who have raised the bar despite obvious adversity they face from a repressive regime. Unlike you and me, Cont did not elope from Zim, he is still there facing all the evil machinery of the enermy. Mpumelelo, before you beliitle him, just take into account that this artist could have gone down south like other artists for greener pastures but he chose not. Think of what he has done for the Ndebele culture and language despite being shunned by ZTV & employment he is providing in the arts for kids in Makhokhoba who would otherwise be ogubuzela or competing with you eThekwini for jobs.
Mpumelelo I do not mean ukuthethisa, but uCont is an artist not a politician. If he chooses to take part in rural politics as a Mthwakazian thats his right. Remember Cont tried to buy ZBC Byo Montrose studios as way of resolving what people in Matabeleland see as censorship from national media. Is that not national politics? The list is endless.
Cont, we can't thank you enough you are a true hero! Umkhulu lo msebenzi!!


True North Strong & Free
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Cont Mhlanga is just brilliant period. And by the way, Cont targeted Lupane for obvious reasons that he has communicated to some of us. It is a strategic move that you may not be aware of. Recall that Lupane is Cont's home area and has vast untapped methane gas and coal reserves estimated to last 100years. Besides, Lupane is a source of several hardwoods that are in demand in Europe and Asia. There are also hunting safaris there. O Chombo have been sending wood poachers from Mashland to exploit that precious wood and export it overseas. If you recall, the past honourable governor of Matland North, ubaba u Mabhena "chased away" those exploiters of wood from Matland. Siyababonga oMabhena ngobuqhawe babo. After he "left office", they returned and have been doing intando yabo ngenxa yezinja lezi oMpofu...makungajatshulwa koMpofu abanhliziyo mbi.

Cont's objective is simple: to ensure that the natural rural resources of Lupane district benefit the ordinary people. He once was part of a group that tried to revive ZAPU and some of us thought he had lost it. Now we see effort being made to revive that once great party. Was he ahead of time? Maybe.

I realise that you do not mean anything bad about him since you want to encourage him to aspire for national office. Cont has that gift. His intelligence will turn you on. Now dont get turned on the wrong side. Let us give him time and support him if he makes a move for national office. I did encourage him one day to consider that and many people have said that to him too...it actually baffles him since he is a humble man. His previous works of theatre back in 1998 with Workshop Negative only show how ahead of time he was in predicting the failures of Mugabe.

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Sakhamuzi
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I agree with you Ntombankala i could not have said it any better. Umfoka Dladla is a great asset to our people and i hope people support his projects by visiting Amakhosi Center to watch his plays, like i used to before i left that God forsaken country. My all time favorite play was Dabulap. I admire his courage njalo ngimfisela impilo ende. Ungani amadlozi esizwe angaba nawe kuzekube naphakade...


Okungapheliyo kuya hlola. Don't give-up on King Lobhengula's Bulawayo.
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Nduna
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Originally Posted by mpumelelo101
REAL POLITICS refers to national politics ie being an MP/SENATOR whilst village politics refers to rural council politics, in this case the byo based cont mhlanga is a rural concillor in lupane.
a man of his stature should try his luck as an independent kwaBulawayo

This boy is very dull, he does not understand strategic thinking nor does he understand strategic ideas and moves. Cont is smart and very strategic in his movements, everybody knows that if Cont could join either of the two MDC and contest for a parliamentary seat, that he could win hands down due to his popularity, but he does not sell out his for a penny. He stands firm on his principles.He is a man who has a long term view of the struggle.


Ngingumthakathi wezigodo, umkhunkuli, angibhenyelwa nsangu mina, lizowukhomba olotshwala.
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Bafowethu.

I personally would like to extend my gratitude to Champions like Cont Mhlanga for consistency.

Besengicela abakithi ukuthi singembelani phansi zihlobo. Yonke imizamo eyenziwa ngabantu bakithi asiyincomeni. Ukuhloniphana lokwethembana emizameni yethu yikho okuzaletha ukubambana lokunqoba.

Singashayi indiva ngalolu daba.

Asimbongeleni siphinde simthandazele. Ngake ngathi ngisithi asimthandazeleni abanye baphuma ku TOPIC which is what our adversaries are hoping we always do.

Ngizacela abaphansi bangixolele ngoba kuthiwa umuntu ubongwa esefile. Kodwa u Cont okwamanje uyiphethe eka Mthwakazi without fear.

Li Zwangendaba.

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