Durban Living Legend – Welcome Msomi

A writer, director and choreographer, born in Chesterville, Durban in 1943. Welcome Themba Msomi  started writing at the age of 15.

He founded the Zulu Dance Theatre and Music, which was established in 1965 in Durban, South Africa. In 1979 Msomi established the extension of the Theatre in New York City.

His many works include “Mntanami Nomhlangano mntanami”, “Qondeni”, “Charrie Ntimbane”, productions performed in South Africa and Swaziland; “Phezulu”, a music and dance production for the International Youth Festival in Aberdeen, Scotland; “Black and White is beautiful”, which toured Europe; “Makhoba and Thembi”, a screenplay inspired by Carl Foreman.

Msomi’s significant success, “UMabatha” (a Zulu adaptation of Shakespeare’s Macbeth) staged at the Aldwych in 1972 and 1973 in Sir Peter Daubeny’s World Theatre Season, became an instant hit.

Msomi has written and acted in radio plays; hosted his own radio show; composed and produced songs for all his musicals under his record label in association with EMI-South Africa.

He directed “Buya Africa”, a one-woman production featuring Thuli Dumakude. He also created music and movement for “Tamburlaine the Great”, a Royal Shakespeare Company production. He was the Chairman of Welcome Msomi Gateway Communications. He received a great honour by being involved with Nelson Mandela’s 75th, 77th, 78th and 80th birthday celebrations. He passed away on  July 2020, at the age of 76.


  • Cultural Award | Borough of Brooklyn
  • Nomination | Sir Lawrence Olivier for Best Theatre Choreographer
  • Hansi Pollack Prize for Drama | Durban Eisteddfod

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