From Amakhosi to the world: Continueloving Mhlanga

07 Aug, 2022 - 00:08 0 Views
From Amakhosi  to the world: Continueloving Mhlanga Dr Misheck Sibanda

The Sunday News

GRAMSCI (1967) classifies intellectuals either as traditional intellectuals or as organic intellectuals.

Traditional intellectuals are those intellectuals linked to tradition and to past intellectuals; those who are not so directly linked to the economic structure of their particular society and, in fact, conceive of themselves as having no basis in any social class and adhering to no particular class discourse or political discourse.

Organic intellectuals, on the other hand, are more directly related to the economic structure of their society simply because of the fact that “every social group that originates in the fulfilment of an essential task of economic production” creates its own organic intellectual.

Thus, the organic intellectual “gives his class homogeneity and awareness of its own function, in the economic field and on the social and political levels.”

Cont Mhlanga

Continueloving Mhlanga, better known as Cont, born on 16 March 1958 and elevated to glory on 1 August 2022, was a colossal figure in the revolution of the arts sector in the country.

A playwright, historian, teacher, businessman, culturalist and politician all rolled into one.

But what the world will remember mostly is his footprint in the arts sector, that went international and opened doors for many young people who sought to use their God-given talents to earn a living.

He also ventured into broadcasting, and left a lasting legacy.

In short, Mhlanga was an affable organic intellectual who has left a void in the arts sector in the country. And upon his death, many went on social media to share their emotions.

“Now it has finally sunk in that he has indeed gone.

The big baobab tree has fallen and in its space there will be emptiness for years.

It will be a space too difficult to fill and many will always remember it as the space where the big baobab tree stood and protected us from the wind and hot sun. Malume, Mdala or Khulu as he preferred to be called was no ordinary artiste.

He was a multi- tasker.

Many will always remember him for his creative work — the plays with Amakhosi and the television work with ZBCtv. But he was more than that. He was a leader.

A visionary. A dreamer. A pioneer.

He is one of the people who changed the arts landscape, not just in Bulawayo but nationally.  Cont Mhlanga was a hero.

He needs to be remembered as nothing but that,” said arts practitioner Raisedon Baya.

His business partner in the broadcasting industry, Qhubani Moyo said: “Malume uCont Mhlanga, distinguished playwright and filmmaker, a legend in the arts industry.

Skyz Metro FM

Founder of Amakhosi Theatre, founder of Skyz Metro FM, founder of Breeze FM, founder of KeYona TV, my business partner today promoted to greater glory.

I am devastated! We have lost and heavens have gained. Hamba kuhle Malume, lala ngoxolo. Sohlangana kwelizayo.”

The Minister of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services, Monica Mutsvangwa said Mhlanga’s death was a blow to the arts sector in Zimbabwe.

“He was an extremely gifted person in the arts and media sector.

This is a man who touched a lot of people’s hearts in this country,” she said.

President Mnangagwa

Because of his work, President Mnangagwa accorded Mhlanga a State Assisted Funeral, with his family getting $2,5 million for funeral expenses.

President Mnangagwa mourned Mhlanga saying the country has lost an internationally acclaimed playwright, filmmaker and creative director who came as a trailblazer in the country’s creative and cultural industries.

In a statement, the Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet Dr Misheck Sibanda said Mhlanga was recently appointed as a member of the national team for the creation of a strategy for the Zimbabwe Film sector.

“On behalf of the Office of the President and Cabinet and indeed on my behalf, I wish foremost, to express my deepest condolences to the Mhlanga family who have lost a beloved father and breadwinner and to the cultural and creative arts community in general, who are poorer with the demise of one of Zimbabwe’s most respected icons the arts sector has ever produced.

May his departed soul rest in eternal peace.”


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