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PE Opera House stained glass window

Port Elizabeth Opera House stained glass window

The Port Elizabeth Opera House, now called the Nelson Mandela Bay Theatre Complex, was opened in December 1892 and is the oldest-running Victorian era opera house in Africa and the southern hemisphere. Significant upgrades and additions were done in 1926, 1934, 1985 and lately in 2016. As part of the latest revamp the framed mirror on the steps in the foyer were replaced with a stunning feature stained glass window by David Manning portraying the only three Africans on the continent to win the prestigious Tony Award – John Kani, Winston Ntshona and Athol Fugard. Incedently all three of them comes from Port Elizabeth.

Forty years ago, the trio were nominated for the best play Tony Award, for their co-written play The Island.  Kani and Ntshona both walked away with best actor awards for The Island and Sizwe Banzi is Dead while Fugard was later awarded a Lifetime Tony in 2011 for his contribution to theatre. John Kani has also recently played King T’Chaka in the Marvel Cinematic Universe films Captain America: Civil War and Black Panther as well as voicing Rafiki in the 2019 remake of The Lion King.