Vice President Chiwenga mourns arts icon Cont Mhlanga

By Abigirl Tembo

The late veteran filmmaker and playwright, Cont Mhlanga has been described as a selfless creative director, who was passionate about the growth of the country’s arts industry.

This was said by Vice President General (Rtd) Dr Constantino Chiwenga when he paid condolences to the Mhlanga family in Bulawayo this Friday.

With a career spanning over four decades in the arts sector, Cont Mhlanga was a well-respected doyen in the arts industry, hence the Vice President Chiwenga accompanied by his wife, Colonel Miniyothabo Chiwenga, paid their condolences to the Mhlanga family in Nguboyenja suburb, Bulawayo this Friday morning.

“The most important thing we should always bear in mind is the legacy we leave on this earth for generations to remember us. We all knew Cont for his passion of uplifting the Ndebele culture. When he established his Amakhosi Theatre, it brought out his talents. He wrote many plays and books some of which were used in schools to teach people about the Ndebele culture. Through Cont, Amakhosi Theatre moulded many artists who have managed to also create names for themselves,” he said.

Brother to the late playwright, Stix Mhlanga commended the government for according his brother a state assisted funeral.

“As a family we are humbled by the government’s support through this difficult time and we really appreciate the state assisted funeral. It shows that the government appreciates the work done by Cont.”

Cont, whose full name was Continue-loving, established Amakhosi Theatre in 1981 where a number of artists like Sandra Ndebele became household names in Zimbabwe after passing through his hands.

A playwright with more than 20 productions to his name, Mhlanga also produced “Amakorokoza” and “Sinjalo,” among a host of other productions for ZBC TV.

He was also the founding vice-chairperson of Fairtalk Communications the parent company of Skyz Metro, Breeze FM and KeYona TV.