Winston’s son Lawula confirmed his father’s death on Thursday morning and said he had been ill for eight years. “Thus far we are just reeling in shock but we are coming together as a family‚” he said. Mfundi Vundla has added his voice to the outpouring of tributes that have emerged in the wake of actor and playwright Winston Ntshona’s death on Thursday.
Winston’s work with the likes of John Kani on plays such as Sizwe Banzi Is Dead and The Island has been celebrated around the world and changed the life of Mfundi as a young producer living in exile.
Mfundi told TshisaLIVE that Winston’s legacy and work was the best memory Mzansi can have of him. “I remember the first time that I saw Winston was in his play with John Kani, Sizwe Banzi Is Dead. Up until then, I had never seen a play like that before. He performed it at such a high level. It was a life-changing experience for me,” Mfundi said.
Mfundi added that he travelled from Boston to see the play and was in awe of Winston’s talent. “I was in exile and living in Boston but I remember travelling to go see the show but it really changed my life.”
Young actress Nambitha Ben-Mazwai took to social media to post a picture of herself with Winston and said he was the reason she decided to become an actress. Nambitha remembered how she promised to bring Winston an Oscar.
I actually am numb. My uncle, an absolute inspiration. The reason I changed careers to pursue my calling. I made a promise to you last year, that I will bring home the oscar to add to your wall of fame. I’ve never been more determined. RIP Nkomo
Meanwhile, social media has been flooded with tributes and messages remembering the star:
Rest in peace to one of the legends of theatre, utat'u Winston Ntshona. Few years ago I had a privilege of watching him and tat'u John Kani, "Sizwe Banzi Is Dead" at The PE Opera House. Phumla ngoxolo. pic.twitter.com/IMMKffaHgN
— Dumza Maswana (@dumzamaswana) August 2, 2018
The greatest pleasures as a theatre goer was that I once got to see John Kani and Winston Ntshona perform Sizwe Banzi is Dead. pic.twitter.com/GgjYldBe9B
— Lester Kiewit (@lesterkk) August 2, 2018
— Elroy Bell (@elroybell) August 2, 2018
A Legend has fallen his work remains Sizwe Banzi is dead & Island was one of the greatest offering, by Winston Ntshona, John Kani & Athol Furgard✊ R.I.P Winston Ntshona #TheQueenMzansi #ukhozifm58 #umhlobowenene #Uzalo #TheRiver1Magic #Muvhango #SkeemSaam #Isibaya pic.twitter.com/GKQMjV1bju
— Muzi VilakaziSA (@MuzivilakaziSA) August 2, 2018
— Jayed- Leigh Paulse (@JayedLeigh) August 2, 2018
— Xolile Gama (@xolilegama1) August 2, 2018
Source: Times Live