Minister Nathi Mthethwa pays tribute to the late Nyembezi Kunene


We join the people of South Africa in mourning the passing of the much loved and admired actor, Nyembezi Kunene,” said Minister Nathi Mthethwa.

Nyembezi Kunene rose to fame and became a household name in Emzini Wezinsizwa and through the character, ‘Jabulani Dlomo’ in Generations. More recently he also played a part in Scandal. He had roles in the drama, Vicious Circle, Ubambo Lwami, Muvhango, and Phamokate. His work in Family Bonds also earned him a SAFTA nomination.

For more than 30 years, he took on a variety of roles in film and television productions. Nyembezi Kunene acted in Knock Out (1989), Ransom (1989), Amazing Grace (1982) and Soweto Green: This Is a ‘Tree’ Story (1995), among other films. He also produced films for Mzansi Magic. His knowledge, experience, insight and versatility meant that over many years he expanded his repertoire and was a champion of community theatre, a playwright, a scriptwriter, a director, actor, producer and performance coach. He also mentored a soccer team and initiated a community organization to address social issues and fight the scourge of HIV/AIDS.

He ran the Dramatic Zone in Sebokeng, an acting school and casting agency for young people. Their productions were released under ‘Vaalywood’. In an interview, he stated that he instilled seriousness in the craft: “I discuss scenes with my actors a day before we do them and they go home knowing what I expect of them. When we translate the scene on screen it looks credible and viewers believe it.”

“Bab’ Kunene immersed himself in the creative industry as a way of inspiring society to greater heights. He threw himself into his work with devotion. He dreamt big dreams and was generous in his assistance of others. We shall remember him as a legend of our times and one whose enthusiasm for the performing arts knew no bounds.

His dedication must inspire all of us in South Africa as we intensify our efforts to produce high quality local content. We are richer through our interactions with legends like him. Our heartfelt condolences go to his family, his friends and his legions of fans,” said Minister Mthethwa.

For more info: contact Lisa Combrinck at 082 821 4886.


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