The Joburg Theatre in Braamfontein commemorates 60 years of continuance by honoring 20 marvelous artists in music, the performing arts, theatre, and literature on Saturday night.
Thread The Diamond Jubilee Evening of Celebration, the night started with an announcing of a walk of fame at the main entrance of the theatre of people such as Thembi Mtshali-Jones, Prof Mzilikazi Khumalo, Brenda Fassie, Desmond Dube, Don Mattera, Gibson Kente, Trevor Noah, Gregory Maqoma, Johnny Clegg, Hugh Masekela, Sibongile Khumalo, Tobie Cronje, John Kani, Miriam Makeba, Pieter Dirk-Uys, Patrick Mynhard, Mimi Coetzee, Des/Dawn Lindberg, Joan Brickhill, and Janice Honeyman.
Those who were held in great respect subsequently had their family members accepting the honor on their behalf.
The event saw young and old gather at the auditorium for the diamond jubilee. It was the biggest party in the entertainment industry since the pandemic began. It enchanted TV stars, comedians, businessmen, politicians, artists, and ordinary people. There was music, food, and drinks galore.
Newly appointed director James Ngcobo, who took up his duty on July 1, has not wasted any time getting some work done.
Ngcobo produced a celebration show that mixed acting, music performances, and dance.
The event featured music from Gershwin, Le Cage aux Folles, and The Colour Purple.
It also featured acts from Athol Fugard’s Waiting for Godot, Zakes Mda’s Mother of Eating, The Suit, and King Kong.
The performing act also paid tribute to Kente by singing the popular song “How Long” from the musical How Long.
“Our focus was on honoring the people who have become huge creatives interwoven with this space, you have all this beautiful space, all the infrastructure but you have to have content,” Ngcobo said.
“This production not only paid homage to the creatives of the past but aimed to speak to a younger audience and members of the contemporary landscape who may have not been privy to what has been and remind them of the big shoulders they stand on in what is to come. This theatre is not 60 years old, it’s 60 years young and it’s just galloping ahead,” he said.
CEO Xoliswa Nduneni-Ngema of Joburg City Theatres said it has been thrilling and a privilege to be able to honor “these leading lights in the theatre community”.
“The role they have played in the success of the arts industry in Joburg and the country can never be overstated. Their influence and inspiration can be felt in tonight’s performances, in the 60th celebrations programming, and in the Joburg Theatre itself as we look to the next 60 years,” she said.