Sindiwe Magona tells Thembi Mtshali-Jones' remarkable life story in new book

A new book has revealed the remarkable life story of one of South Africa's most acclaimed and admired musicians and actors, Thembi Mtshali-Jones.

The inspiring biography is authored by one of the country's best storytellers - poet, activist and author Dr Sindiwe Magona.

The friends and collaborators worked together over several years to create Theatre Road: My Story, a book published by Karavan Press.

Mtshali-Jones says the pair started on the book in 2011 but had to hit pause on a few occasions because of other work commitments.

It was late in 2018 that they decided to put all their energy towards completing the book so that it could be released to coincide with Mtshali-Jones' 70th birthday this month.

Earlier this year, Mtshali-Jones received the Living Legend Award from the National Black Theater Festival in North Carolina, United States.

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But way before the veteran actress took the theatre scene by storm, she worked as a domestic worker during apartheid.

She says touring on stages across the world exposed her to expressions of black pride and black excellence that she had never seen before.

From the very first production that I did overseas, I was still working as a domestic worker then. I went to London and came back to my work as a domestic.

Thembi Mtshali-Jones, Legendary actress and musician

I've had a very long and interesting life... The world has led me to different places.

Thembi Mtshali-Jones, Legendary actress and musician

The book looks back on her childhood, her days working as a domestic worker, when she got her big break as the start of the musical revue, Ipi Tombi meeting the late Mam' Miriam Makeba, staying in New York and many other chapters of her life.

Magona describes her friendship with the acting legend as "a gift that keeps on giving" after years of working together on various projects.

The book launch for Theatre Road: My Story takes place in Cape Town on Thursday, 28 November from 17:30 PM at the Book Lounge.

Listen to the conversation On The Yellow Couch with Pippa Hudson or watch the video below:


This article first appeared on CapeTalk : Sindiwe Magona tells Thembi Mtshali-Jones' remarkable life story in new book


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