The Chronicle

Mthabisi Tshuma, Showbiz Correspondent

VETERAN author, playwright, actor and director Cont Mhlanga has penned a book titled Izimpi ZikaMthwakazi: Mthwakazi Wars from the period 1890 to 1983.

Having called it quits in 2016 after a 36-year amazing arts career, Mhlanga seems to be slowly retracing his steps back to the arts sector after making a comeback early this year with a plan of resuscitating Amakhosi Theatre.

Without divulging much about the new book which is targeted at young readers searching for cultural identity and Mthwakazi Wars, Mhlanga said it will be launched on Saturday from 11AM at Bulawayo City Hall Gardens under the Imbali Yethu History Series.

Known by many in the arts field as Khulu Cont Mhlanga, the Godfather of arts said he hopes Zimbabwean culture lovers will come in their numbers and support his work.

“We hope cultural identity lovers from across Bulawayo will come and be a part of this experience, buy a Christmas book present for a loved one and meet the author for a one-on-one conversation.

“Let me thank those across the world that have supported the launch of Imbali Yethu History Series, the hosts of this book launch party with whom it could have been impossible to hold this event. To my publisher, thank you for trusting in my knowledge and finding time and energy to extract it from my inner self for generations to come,” said Khulu Cont in a statement. 

Those who will attend the launch, Cont said he will personally give them a heritage tour of the Bulawayo City Hall Gardens, sign their book copies and take selfies with them before giving them lectures on the city’s history.

“Did you know that Bulawayo had street lights before London and they still work today? Do you know why George Silundika Street does not pass through the City Hall? 

“Do you know why the Izinduna Indaba Portrait at the City Hall under the Clock was banned and closed to the public until recently? Come to the event and let me share this reason with you,” teased Khulu Cont.

He added: “Do you know why the fountain at the City Hall Gardens was donated and by whom? It may turn out that the landmark that you see everyday the City Hall has so much that you are not aware of for you and for generations to come.”

Mhlanga who wrote more than 20 plays among them The Good President, The End, Sinjalo, Children on Fire, and Vikela has three books to his name. He also adapted the popular play Stitsha to a TV series.

He is one of the people who made ZBCtv worth watching back in the day with his “Umkhlu Lomsebenzi” productions. He also made Fridays worth looking forward to in Bulawayo as the cultural centre hosted a Friday Live at Amakhosi where live music bands would perform.  Alick Macheso and late Tongai Moyo are some of the artistes who performed there. – @mthabisi_mthire