Pete Myers: “Sizwe Bansi is dead”

Scene from 2007 London National Theatre production of “Sizwe Bansi is dead” starring the original actors Kani and Ntshona (© Wikipedia)

In this edition of the BBC’s programme “PM”, Pete Myers introduces us to a South African play that took the world by storm in the mid-1970’s. “Sizwe Bansi is dead” managed to circumvent censorship in apartheid South Africa when it premiered in Cape Town in 1972 and went on to stage award-winning performances in Europe and America. On the occasion of its London premiere in 1973, Pete Myers spoke with its creators, The Serpent Players’ artistic director Athol Fugard, then one of South Africa’s foremost playwrights and co-authors and actors John Kani and Winston Ntshona (1941-2018, whose real-life experiences inspired this memorable play.

Before joining us at Radio Netherlands in 1976, Pete Myers hosted BBC programmes like “Late Night Extra” and “PM” and spoke with some of the greatest artists in musical and theatre entertainment passing through London in the early 1970’s. This recording is from his personal collection.

Presenter: Pete Myers

Broadcast: October 13, 1973