Gibson Kente has come to life with the recent revival of his work, the Gibson Kente Music Tribute, directed by Makhaola Ndebele, staged at the Soweto Theatre and Market Theatre in April, and celebrating the legacy of the father of township theatre. At the same time his play, How Long, is being staged at the Playhouse Company in Durban, adapted and directed by Duma Ndlovu. This is Kente’s most popular work and the only play for which there is a full script. The playwright lost nearly all his work in a fire when his Soweto home was firebombed in 1989. He died in 2004. The Gibson Kente Foundation, of which Ndlovu is the custodian, faces the challenge of gathering material from students and theatre critics in order to rebuild Kente’s legacy. "My research right now on township theatre focuses on the fact that black writers did not follow a particular pattern of writing and therefore left scanty scholarship around their work, including the scripts themselves," Ndlovu says. "Our aim with t...

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