Thembi Mtshali-Jones to be honoured with a Living Legend Award in North Carolina

South African actress, singer and playwright Thembi Mtshali-Jones is in line to be honoured with a Living Legend Award at the 2019 National Theatre Festival, taking place in North Carolina (United States of America) from the 29th of July to the 3rd of August. This historic event which is universally recognised illuminates the powerful theatrical spirit and extraordinary talent of performers, designers, directors, producers and technicians from across the country and abroad.


The founder of the National Black Theatre Festival® (NBTF), Larry Leon Hamlin, coined the word “Marvtastic” which means there is nothing greater or better than. “Marvtastic” describes the 2019 NBTF.

“Marvtastic” is also how MamThembi’s trip to North Carolina can be described as it will be nothing short of magical. She will be honoured for her contribution towards the performing arts as well as thrill festival attendees with a magnificent 1 woman show called Mother to Mother written by Sindiwe Magona and directed by Janice Honeyman.

MamThembi has lent her talent to South African screens for over 3 decades and currently plays the role of MaNdlovu, who is the matriarch of the Bhengu clan on’s late-night daily drama IMBEWU. The drama, which airs Mondays – Fridays at 9.30PM has managed to gain a solid viewership of over 3.5 million since its launch in April 2018.

“I feel very humbled to be asked to return to the national black festival in North Carolina and to be receiving a living legend award. This came as a wonderful surprise as I always give my all to the roles I’ve played. I feel very honoured and so excited to be recognised abroad and not only at home. I have presented my work at that festival for many years and to be finally getting recognition while I’m still alive is a huge privilege. This comes as a pre 70th birthday present.” Says Thembi Mtshali-Jones.

During her stay in Carolina, Mam Thembi will experience electrifying performances, riveting films and insightful spoken word poetry that speaks to the beauty and depth of African American artistic endeavours. The star-studded Opening Night Gala will get underway with a vibrant parade of powerful African drummers and dancers followed by a grand and royal procession of more than 40 celebrities celebrating stage, television and film productions.

Image Courtesy: Supplied 

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