BY WINSTONE ANTONIO
THE family of hospitalised veteran playwright, actor and theatre director Cont Mhlanga has appealed to Zimbabweans to remain hopeful and pray for the celebrated cultural icon.
Founder of Amakhosi Theatre Productions, Mhlanga was admitted to a private clinic in Bulawayo on Friday last week.
The international award-winning theatre doyen was yesterday said to be stable and responding well to treatment.
“Doctors are still assessing our brother Cont Mhlanga to ascertain the cause of the illness,” said a family friend, who preferred to remain anonymous.
“At the moment, the family says it cannot disclose the hospital where he is admitted to so as to reduce the number of people visiting him.”
National Arts Council of Zimbabwe spokesperson Rodney Ruwende said: “While, understandably, as an international art and cultural icon, Cont Mhlanga’s health condition raises a lot of interest, however, members of the public are encouraged to resist the temptation of raising unwarranted alarm over his health condition.”
Ruwende added that the arts council, family spokesperson Gcina Mhlanga and Fairtalk Communications were responsible for communicating any information related to Mhlanga’s illness.
“The National Arts Council of Zimbabwe implores practitioners not to abuse the social media space to communicate false and unverified information following the events of the past two days where players have been communicating about the health of National Arts Merit Award legend Cont Mhlanga,” he said.
“All other statements emanating from sources other than the ones mentioned should not be regarded as the official position of the family or his (Mhlanga) close associates.”
He said members of the public should disregard any messages circulating on social media purporting to be from Mhlanga’s family and seeking financial assistance for his medical treatment.
“The Mhlanga family is grateful for the words of encouragement and prayers and appreciates the love that has been shown by practitioners in the Cultural and Creative Industries and members of the public during this period.”
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