In a solemn announcement, the Department of Sport, Arts and Culture Minister Zizi Kodwa expressed his deep sorrow over the passing of the esteemed traditional dancer, Ms Nomalungelo Bonga. Minister Kodwa extended his heartfelt condolences to Ms Bonga’s family, friends, the Sivuyile Nonzame Traditional Dance Group, and all those who had the privilege of working closely with her.
Ms Nomalungelo Bonga, who established the Sivuyile Nonzame Traditional Dance Group in 1976, dedicated her life to the promotion of arts and culture through the captivating medium of traditional dance. Today, the group stands as a testament to her vision, continuing to grace various platforms and embody the richness of isiXhosa culture.
Minister Kodwa, deeply moved by Ms Bonga’s unwavering commitment, stated, “Nomalungelo Bonga devoted the majority of her life to the promotion of arts and culture through the art of traditional dance. Her contributions were not only pivotal in showcasing our heritage but also served as a profound source of inspiration for generations to follow.”
Throughout its existence, the Sivuyile Nonzame Traditional Dance Group had the privilege of participating in some of South Africa’s most historic moments in the era of democracy. They played an integral role in events such as the momentous release from prison and the inauguration of President Nelson Mandela, as well as the inaugurations of President Thabo Mbeki and Mr Raymond Mhlaba, the Eastern Cape’s first Premier.
The passing of Ms Nomalungelo Bonga has left a deep void in the hearts of many across South Africa and around the world. Her lifelong dedication to celebrating culture through the arts resonated with audiences, showcasing the power of artistic expression in preserving South African traditions.
Minister Kodwa concluded, “We stand united with countless individuals who mourn the loss of Ms Bonga. Her work with the Sivuyile Nonzame Traditional Dance Group stands as an enduring testament to the indomitable spirit of South African culture, inspiring generations to cherish and preserve our diverse heritage through the arts.”
Ms Nomalungelo Bonga’s legacy as a trailblazer in the realm of traditional dance will forever be cherished by those who were fortunate enough to witness her profound talent and witness the cultural narratives brought to life by the Sivuyile Nonzame Traditional Dance Group.
As South Africa mourns the loss of an icon, Ms Bonga’s legacy will undoubtedly continue to inspire future generations to honor and celebrate their cultural heritage through the awe-inspiring art form of traditional dance.