Dlamini is played by Andile Gumbi, who had the role of Simba in “The Lion King” on Broadway and elsewhere.
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The rise and fall of flamboyant, ferocious Ezekiel Dlamini, a black South African boxer known as "King Kong" who was jailed for murder, inspired a 1959 musical whose black cast performed for multiracial audiences, testing the apartheid system of that era. Now the musical that helped to propel the careers of singer Miriam Makeba and trumpeter Hugh Masekela is back on the stage in South Africa."King Kong: Legend of a Boxer" highlights the jazz infused with indigenous influences that flourished in some black urban areas, particularly Johannesburg's Sophiatown, in racially segregated South Africa in the 1950s, as well as the underworld of gangsters and bars known as shebeens accompanying the creative ferment. In the original show in South Africa, Makeba played Joyce, Dlamini's lover, but was soon bound for bigger success in the United States.The original show, a huge success in South Africa that also toured Britain, featured composer Todd Matshikiza and a mostly white management and production team.
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