Playwright Gibson Kente, an originator of South Africa's black theater, died Sunday at the age of 72.

His works, including "Manana, The Jazz Prophet," "How Long" and "Sikhalo", focused on social problems and were written for poor black people in townships.

The South African government banned some of Mr. Kente's anti-apartheid plays, and he was detained for trying to film one of them in 1976.

Last year, Mr. Kente defied taboos to announce publicly that he had AIDS, earning the praise of many figures, including former President Nelson Mandela.

His musicals, which blended African gospel and jazz, are considered an inspiration for many current artists.

Some of this information provided by AP and Reuters.