Port Elizabeth Opera House staged a tribute to the legend and veteran actress of Nelson Mandela Bay Nomhle Nkonyeni at the Barn on Wednesday 28 August 2013 to mark the end of the Women’s Months celebrated throughout South Africa.
The tribute was part of the Opera House interactive programme called YiYo (This is it). YiYo takes place every Wednesday from 18:00 until 20:30 at The Barn Theatre of The Opera House. The audience is treated to a varied programme of improvisations and renditions by artists. The regular programme includes drama or dance, poetry and music solo performances. Over the months the stage has been graced by such luminaries like John Edward, Phumlani Mtiti, etc. YiYo is produced by Thobela Fibi, the Music Producer of The Opera House.
The audience at the Barn on Wednesday was entertained by great stories as it listened to the conversation of Nomhle Nkonyeni and Poeticsoul Lelethu Mahambehlala. Nomhle was sharing with Lelethu stories of what she went through in her life as a performer to be where she is today after 50 years as a stage performer, actress and director. Nomhle shared some words of advice to the younger generation saying that they should never tell themselves that they have arrived the journey is longer than they think. She said she has not even finished it herself.
National Arts Festival Director Ismail Mahomed also took to the stage to pay his tribute to the veteran actress sharing the audience how Nomhle contributed to his life as a young writer and director. Mr Mahomed said the National Arts Festival will pay a token of appreciation to the Nomhle to thank her for her role and contribution to the arts of the Eastern Cape and South Africa. During the 2013 National Arts Festival Nomhle received a Standard Bank Ovation Award when the Opera House took six productions to the NAF in a partnership between the two organizations started early this year.
To keep the crowd entertained during event, there were performances dedicated to Nomhle Nkonyeni and to women from Mongezi Ncwadi (1 hander) imitating Nomhle, Umle (Music), a collaboration of Poetry, Music, Dance and Drama from Poeticsoul Lelethu Mahambehlala, Olwethu Mdala, Namaxabiso Rhala, Asanda Mqiki.
The PE Opera House has started a very important step towards the recognition of legends in this sector and General Manager Monde Ngonyama said they will continue to do so to honour the roles played by the likes of Nomhle Nkonyeni, Winston Ntshona and others in the performing arts of Eastern Cape, Nelson Mandela Bay and South Africa at large.