Life and times of Lebo Mathosa - in song
Nearly six years after she was killed in a car accident, diva Lebo Mathosa's life story is to be turned into a musical by highly acclaimed actor Sello Maake ka-Ncube.
Ka-Ncube, who plays Daniel Nyathi in e.tv's Scandal, has reopened the auditions because the wannabes failed to cut it when put through their paces at the State Theatre, in Pretoria, at the weekend .
The veteran actor has been mulling over Drama Queen: Lebo Mathosa Tribute, through which he wants to relive Mathosa's prowess on stage, for over a year.
The musical is expected to hit the State Theatre in August.
Two years ago, another veteran, Jerry Mofokeng, directed Ma-Brr, a musical about controversial singer Brenda Fassie's glamorous yet turbulent life.
Speaking about his production yesterday, Ka-Ncube explained: "It was inspired by Mamma Mia [a hit by Swedish pop group Abba] and We Will Rock You [Queen] and how their music is kept alive by turning them into musicals."
Because of his initial failure to find people capable of singing, dancing and acting, Ka-Ncube has had to tweak the script and turn it into "more of a tribute than just a musical".
He said the actress who eventually landed Mathosa's role would have to be "drop-dead gorgeous".
Mathosa came into the limelight in 1994 with the popular kwaito group Boom Shaka, which also featured Thembi Seete, Junior Sokhela and Theo Nhlengethwa, when she was just a teenager.
The marriage spawned many hits, including It's About Time, Thobela and Digong Love.
Mathosa later parted company with the group to start what would become a highly successful solo career.
This gave rise to smash hits such as Ntozabantu, I Love Music, Awu Dede, Dangerous and Brand New Day.
In 2006, at the height of her solo career, Mathosa was nominated for honours in the Mobo Awards' best African act category but lost out to Ghanaian Batman Samini.
She also received four SA Music Awards honours for hits in her three solo albums.
Well-known for her blonde mane and often outlandish stage outfits, Mathosa died in a road accident in October 2006 after her driver lost control of the car they were travelling in. She was only 29.
Ka-Ncube has to perform a dauntin g juggling act for the next few weeks.
Over and above finding a suitable cast for Drama Queen and beginning rehearsals, Ka-Ncube will have to shoot for Scandal while also rehearsing for Rent, a Clare Mortimer stage production for the Grahamstown Arts Festival.
"In the arts you have to make that kind of sacrifice," said Ka-Ncube.
Rent, which also features Michael Richard, Nondumiso Tembe and Graham Hopkins, is a story about two lawyers in the US - one black, the other white, - and their young black clerk.
They debate whether their firm should defend a white billionaire accused of raping a black woman.