Ipi Tombi

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Iphi Ntombi
MusicBertha Egnos
LyricsGail Lakier
BookBertha Egnos
Productions1974 Johannesburg
1976 West End
1977 Broadway

Ipi Tombi (also produced as Ipi N'tombi, both corrupted transliterations of the Zulu iphi ntombi, or "where is the girl?"), is a 1974 musical by South African writers Bertha Egnos Godfrey and her daughter Gail Lakier, telling the story of a young black man leaving his village and young wife to work in the mines of Johannesburg. The show, originally called The Warrior, uses pastiches of a variety of South African indigenous musical styles.


The show, which starred Margaret Singana, enjoyed major success in South Africa and Nigeria, and toured Europe, the United States, Canada and Australia to critical acclaim. It played in the West End at Her Majesty's Theatre and on Broadway at the Harkness Theatre.[1] The latter production attracted protests from groups who believed that the show gave a false impression of life in South Africa.[2]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Original London production[edit]

Year Award Category Nominee Result
1976 Laurence Olivier Award Best New Musical Nominated


  1. ^ Ipi Tombi at Guide to Musical Theatre
  2. ^ at the Harkness Theatre in New York, African Activist, Retrieved 26 October 2016

External links[edit]