The Ngema family from eMfana, eNhlwathi, Hlabisa has openly expressed their dissatisfaction with the handling of the late Dr Mbongeni Ngema’s funeral arrangements.
Mbongeni Ngema family lashes out over ‘unapproved’ funeral
PLEASE NOTE: The third-party content below is shared on our platform for journalistic purposes. Swisher Post, its parent company, partners and affiliates shall not be held liable for any consequence that arises from the journalistic duties performed in sharing this content.
In a candid and impassioned statement released on Thursday, the family rebuked the lack of formal communication regarding the memorial service, initially planned to be held at the KwaNgema eMfana Homestead.
In their statement, the Ngema family lamented the absence of promised government-provided services, including a tent, catering, and other facilities for the memorial service at eMfana.
Instead, the legendary playwright’s life was celebrated at Durban’s Playhouse Theatre on Wednesday, 3 January 2023.
“To this date the family knows nothing formally about the memorial service which was supposed to be held at KwaNgema eMfana Homestead (04/01/2024) as discussed in a brief meeting that was held on Sunday (31/12/2023),” the family exclaimed.
The family and community members were left in distress as these arrangements failed to materialise, leaving mourners without adequate shelter or amenities.
Moreover, Ngema’s family explained elders from eMfana are, at this juncture, unaware of key aspects of Ngema’s burial, including traditional cultural practices expected to be observed.
They also contested the claim made by the spokesperson regarding the unanimous agreement on the burial site.
“[The] Ngema family is a big family with elders remaining in eMfana, they themselves do not know anything about the burial of Dr Mbongeni Ngema to this day, including the cultural practice that is supposed to be done where the family elders should do ‘Ukumlanda ngehlahla’ from where he passed away, and come back home, there supposed to be ‘Ukugezwa’, and ‘ukugezwa inxeba, nokuvalwa kwengozi’.
“We are very much concerned with who and how were decisions taken in a place that we do not even know because Dr. Mbongeni Ngema has not declared to the family that he had another home in Durban, Queensburg,” the statement read.
Mbongeni Ngema’s funeral service was held at the Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre in eThekwini, Kwazulu-Natal, on Friday.
The acclaimed playwright and musician, known for his works like Woza Albert and Sarafina, and his songs such as Stimela SaseZola, was honoured with a Special Provincial Official Funeral Category Two.
This grand send-off, however, stands in stark contrast to the discontent expressed by his immediate family.
When this article was published, the funeral service of the late Mbongeni Ngema was ongoing. You can tune in to the live stream below: