<Mountain View

 

Authors 2016

Angela Makholwa

 Angela Makholwa

Angela Makholwa lives and works in Johannesburg. Her debut novel, Red Ink (2007), is a gripping psychological thriller. This was followed by the entertaining escapades and sexual misadventures of modern women in The 30th Candle (2009). Black Widow Society (2013) marked a return to a thrilling, crime-ridden world.

Bhekizizwe Peterson

 Bhekizizwe Peterson

Bhekizizwe Peterson is Professor of African Literature at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa. He has served on various editorial, statutory and artistic committees, juries and boards across the continent. He has held invited Fellowships at Yale University and Birmingham University (U.K). He has published extensively on African Literature, Performance and Cultural Studies as well as Black Intellectual Traditions in South Africa. His books include Fragments in the Sun, Monarchs, Missionaries and African Intellectuals: African Theatre and the Unmaking of Colonial Marginality, Zulu Love Letter: A Screenplay and Sol Plaatje’s Native Life in South Africa: Past and Present (co-edited with Janet Remmington and Brian Willan). He is the writer and / or producer of internationally acclaimed films including Fools, Zulu Love Letter and Zwelidumile (all directed by Ramadan Suleman) and Born into Struggle, The Battle for Johannesburg and Miners Shot Down (all directed by Rehad Desai).

Bongani Madondo

 Bongani Madondo

Bongani Madondo is an essayist, biographer and writer of short futurist fiction. His books include Hot Type (2007) and I’m Not Your Weekend Special: Portraits on the Life+Style & Politics of Brenda Fassie (2014). Madondo has contributed monographs and lectures on the politics of style, film & the African innovations of modernist expressions such as Jazz to Punk Rock at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMa)Warsaw, and Haus Kulturen der Welt in Berlin. His work has appeared in among others, publications such as The New York Times, The Economist's Rome based policy periodical Internazionale, Transition, Mail& Guardian, Sunday Times, Readers Digest and Rolling Stone. 'Sigh, the Beloved Country' is his most recent book. He directs Giant Steps, an independent Public Arts & Social Discourse platform that aims to bridge the gaps and explore new storytelling innovations between the Streets, Visual arts, Urban Spaces and Rural Roots, Performance and Critical Theory.

Bontle Senne

 Bontle Senne

Bontle Senne is a South African writer, literacy and literary advocate. As a writer of fiction for children and teenagers, she was the shortlisted for the 2014 Golden Baobab Children's Literature Prize – Africa’s largest children’s literature award. Her forthcoming novel - Lake of Memories - is the second book in an Afrocentric adventure/fantasy trilogy for 9 - 12 year olds called Shadow Chasers. Bontle is currently a Board member at READ Educational Trust, one of South Africa’s oldest and largest education NGOs, and the innovative Puku Children’s Literature Foundation, working to bridge the digital and literary divide throughout South Africa. Bontle is also a part-owner of feminist trade publishing house Modjaji Books.

Chika Unigwe
Picture: Dilibe Omesuh Edgydomephoto

 Chika Unigwe

Chika Unigwe was born in Enugu, Enugu State, Nigeria. She is the author of four novels, including On Black Sisters Street (2009, 2011 Jonathan Cape, UK and Random House NY) and Night Dancer (Jonathan Cape, 2012). Her short stories and essays have appeared in the New York Times, the Guardian, Guernica, Aeon and many other journals. Her works have been translated into several languages. A recipient of several awards and fellowships, she lives and works in the USA.

Dikeledi Sibanda

 Dikeledi Sibanda

Dikeledi Deekay Sibanda has been working as a human rights defender since 2004. She is passionate about working for a just society and influencing change, so that marginalized women can be free to enjoy their rights. In 2008, she joined the Forum for the Empowerment of Women (FEW). Initially working as an Administrative Assistant and later as a Projects Coordinator/Community Liaison Officer. She developed her passion for the media while she was working at FEW; conducting interviews, public speaking, writing articles, managing social media and the website. Through her activism, she has travelled to other countries, learning and experiencing various cultures. She was the LGBTI young activist of the year in 2012 and featured in the Mail & Guardian Book of South African Women in 2013. She is currently studying for a media practices diploma at Boston Media House and is currently working at the One in Nine Campaign a black feminist organisation as a Projects Officer.

Don Mattera

 Don Mattera

To be updated...

Duduzile Mabaso

 Duduzile Mabaso

Duduzile Zamantungwa Mabaso is a poet, scriptwriter, editor and publisher. She is the founder of Black Letter Media where she is working to publish new voices out of Africa in print and online platforms such as the online and print poetry journal Poetry Potion. She has written scripts, storylined, edited for South African television shows such as The Queen, Uzalo, Muvhango, Soul City, Tempy Pushas, Mamello and It’s Complicated to mention a few. She is an alumni of Durban Talent campus, a top 60 SAB Kickstarter, a Mzansi 100 Young Independent and an urban recluse.

 

Elinor Sisulu

 Elinor Sisulu

Zimbabwean-born South Africa writer and human rights activist Elinor Sisulu combines training in history, English literature, development studies and feminist theory from institutions in Zimbabwe, Senegal and the Netherlands. She is the author of the award-winning children's book The Day Gogo Went to Vote. Her biography on her parents-in-law, Walter and Albertina Sisulu: In Our Lifetime secured her the prestigious 2003 Noma Award for publishing in Africa. Elinor’s involvement in book promotion and literary development efforts for many years has culminated in her work with the Puku Children’s Literature Foundation. She has been a judge for the Commonwealth Writer’s Prize, the Sanlam Youth Literature Prize, the Penguin Africa Writer’s Competition and currently, the Etisalat Prize for Literature.

Eusebius McKaiser
Picture: Mark Pettipher

 Eusebius McKaiser

Eusebius McKaiser is a political analyst, broadcaster, philosophy lecturer and writer, based in Johannesburg. His academic background is in moral philosophy, having studied and lectured in the philosophy department at Rhodes University, before doing research in moral philosophy as a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University. He remains an associate of the Wits Centre for Ethics. As a broadcaster, Eusebius has previously presented Interface on SABC3 before hosting radio shows. He anchored Talk At Nine on Talk Radio 702 and Power Talk With Eusebius McKaiser on Power 98.7 and is currently back on Radio 702 and hosts and presents Meet the Media with Eusebius McKaiser on eNCA. He has written extensive social and political comment in the local and international print media, including previously carrying a column in the New York Times, and currently a column syndicated across Independent Media. He also appeared on many international broadcast platforms including the BBC, Sky, CNN, including Amanpour. Eusebius is a former national and World Masters Debate Champion. He coaches debate and public speaking, and is also a regular MC, facilitator and keynote speaker on the conference circuit. He has two best-selling books out, A Bantu In My Bathroom & Could I Vote DA? His third book has recently been released to immediate critical acclaim - Run, Racist, Run: Journeys into the heart of racism

Florence Masebe

 Florence Masebe

To be updated...

Fred Khumalo

 Fred Khumalo

Fred Khumalo is the author of Bitches’ Brew (co-winner of the European Union Literary Prize 2006) and Seven Steps to Heaven, now a setwork at Unisa. His autobiography Touch My Blood was shortlisted for the Alan Paton Prize for Non-fiction 2007. He holds an MA Creative Writing from Wits University, and was a Fellow at the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard University (2011 – 2012). He has held residencies at the Maison des Ecrivains Etrangers et des Traducteurs in St. Nazaire, France; the Academy of the Arts of the World in Cologne, Germany; the Johannesburg Institute for Advanced Study and the Stellenbosch Institute for Advanced Study. His book #ZuptasMustFall and Other Rants was released by Penguin in August 2016. His novel Dancing the Death Drill, inspired by and based upon the sinking of the SS Mendi, is due for simultaneous release in South Africa and the UK in February 2017, to coincide with the centenary commemoration of the historic sinking.

Gcina Mhlope

 Gcina Mhlope

To be updated...

Hawa Golakai

 Hawa Golakai

Born in Frankfurt, Germany, Hawa Jande Golakai spent a vibrant childhood in Liberia until 1990. After the civil war, she bounced around the continent, and having lived in several countries considers herself a modern-day nomad and cultural sponge. Her 2011 debut The Lazarus Effect was thrice nominated for literary prizes, and her highly acclaimed essay Fugee on the Ebola crisis in Liberia was published in Granta and Commonwealth's Safe House anthology. Her second novel The Score was released in 2015. Hawa is currently a laureate of the Africa39 Project, celebrating 39 of the most promising contemporary authors under the age of 40 on the continent. In addition to writing, she works as a medical immunologist and health consultant. She lives between Monrovia and anywhere else she finds herself.

James Murua

 James Murua

Nairobi based James Murua is a blogger, journalist and editor who has written for a variety of media outlets in the last decade of his career spanning print, web and TV. He was an editor for The Star newspaper in Kenya for five years and a columnist for eight. While here he was voted “Columnist of the year” in 2009. He has also contributed to Management Magazine (Kenya), DigifyAfrica.com (South Africa) and Africa Independent (South Africa). Nairobiliving.com, a pioneering Kenyan lifestyle blog he set up in 2006, was nominated for best lifestyle blog in 2015. His blog JamesMurua.com, which focuses on news and reviews from the African literature scene, was born in 2013 and has quickly established itself as the go to resource in that field. He has conducted workshops on blogging and social media in Kenya, Uganda and Malawi.

Khadija Patel

 Khadija Patel

Khadija Patel pushes words on street corners. As a journalist she has been published in South Africa by the Daily Maverick, the Mail & Guardian, Eyewitness News and City Press, among others. Her work has also been carried internationally by the likes of Quartz, The Guardian and Al Jazeera. She has also offered political commentary on Al Jazeera English, Sky News and BBC World. She is the co-founder and executive editor of one of the fastest growing news websites in South Africa, The Daily Vox. In 2014, Khadija was a Wiser-Duke University writing fellow. She is writing a history of the suburb of Mayfair in Johannesburg, where she grew up. Home these days to Somalis, Ethiopians, Turks, and Indian and Coloured South Africans, Mayfair is both negotiating newly Afropolitan identities and battling legacies of segregation.

Khaya Dlanga
Picture: Victor Dlamini

 Khaya Dlanga

Khaya Dlanga is a highly regarded author, blogger and Marketing Manager at Heineken for Amstel. His memoir, To Quote Myself, was shortlisted for the Alan Paton Non-Fiction Award. Khaya has also been awarded many advertising accolades, including several Loeries, a Loerie Grand Prix, multiple Gold Cannes Lions, a Black Eagle and honorary membership in the University of the Witwatersrand Chapter’s Golden Key Award. In 2012 Khaya published In My Arrogant Opinion as part of Picador Africa’s The Youngsters series.

Makhosazana Xaba

 Makhosazana Xaba

Makhosazana Xaba (Khosi) is the author of two poetry collections: these hands (2005) and, Tongues of their Mothers (2008). Her poetry has been anthologized extensively and translated into Italian, Mandarin and Turkish. Her poetry is available at the Cambridge Poetry Archive and her third collection will be published shortly. She is also the author of, Running and other stories (2013), which won the SALA Nadine Gordimer Short Story Award in 2014. She is the co-editor of an anthology of short stories, Queer Africa: New and Collected Fiction (2013) which won the 26th Lambda Literary Award for the fiction anthology category in 2014. Khosi’s long term project is a biography of Helen Nontando (Noni) Jabavu. Her personal and political essays as well as biographical fragments on the Noni project have been anthologized widely. She holds an MA in Writing (with distinction) from Wits University. She is a feminist activist at heart with years of experience the NGO sector working in local and international organizations on women’s health and philanthropy. She is a former anti-apartheid activist and spent some time in exile.

Koleka Putuma

 Koleka Putuma

Koleka Putuma is a Theatre Director, Writer, and Performance Poet based in Cape Town. Her plays include UHM (2014), Mbuzeni (2015/2016), plays for young audiences which include Ekhaya for 2-7 year olds and SCOOP, the first South African play for 2 weeks-12month old babies. She was nominated for the Rosalie van der Gucht Prize for Best New Directors at the annual Fleur Du Cap Theatre Awards (2015). She has been named one of the young pioneers who took South Africa by storm in 2015 by The Sunday Times. She has recently been awarded the Pen Student Writing Prize for her poem: Water. She is a resident poet and creative director of spoken word collective Lingua Franca and Co-Founder of a theatre company called The Papercut Collective.

Lebo Mashile

 Lebo Mashile

An award-winning writer, presenter, actress and activist, Lebo Mashile is a South African household name who is most recognizable for her lyrical and gutsy poetry which has captivated audiences in 24 countries worldwide. Mashile is a much sought after social commentator, speaker, performer and master of ceremonies whose infectious enthusiasm is infused into every platform she has touched over the last 16 years. For the past 12 years, Mashile has graced South African television screens as a presenter of shows such as L’atitude (SABC1), Drawing The Line (SABC2), and Great Expectations (Etv). She is also a stage and screen actress who appeared in the Academy Award nominated film, Hotel Rwanda. To date, the poet has authored two books. Her poetry collection In A Ribbon of Rhythm (2005) won the 2006 NOMA Award for Publishing in Africa. In 2008, Mashile published her second collection Flying Above the Sky.

Lesego Rampolokeng
Picture: Sally Shorkend

 Lesego Rampolokeng

Born in Orlando West, Soweto, in Johannesburg, Lesego Rampolokeng is a poet, novelist and playwright. His first poetry collection, Horns for Hondo, was published in 1990. This was followed by End Beginnings in 1993, Talking Rain (1993), Rap Master Supreme–Word Bomber in the Extreme (1997), The Bavino Sermons (1999) and more recently, Head on Fire (2012) and A Half Century Thing (2015). He is also the author of the novels Blackheart (2004) and Whiteheart: Prologue to Hysteria (2005). His play, Fanon’s Children, was performed at Cape Town’s Baxter Theater in 2002, and his poetry was incorporated into the Handspring Puppet Company production of Faustus in Africa. He has also written screenplays and released two audio recordings, including a collaboration with the Kalahari Surfers. A practitioner of multimedia arts, His documentary film Word Down the Line debuted in 2014 in co-production with Bobby Rodwell and Mehlo-Maya. He regularly participates in conferences and literary festivals around the world and teaches in Rhodes University’s MA in Creative Writing Programme.

Lidudumalingani Mqombothi

 Lidudumalingani Mqombothi

Lidudumalingani Mqombothi is a writer, filmmaker and photographer. He is the winner of the 2016 Caine Prize Winner for African writing.

 

Malaika Wa Azania

 Malaika Wa Azania

Malaika Wa Azania is the author of bestselling Memoirs of a Born Free: Reflections on the Rainbow Nation, which is published both locally and internationally in the United States of America and Europe. The book has been translated into German and is used as a prescribed reading in various local and international institutions of higher learning. In 2016 she was a co-host of a youth television talk-show, YOLO. She is currently completing her final year of a Geography degree at Rhodes University, where she is engaged in student activism, in various movements including #RhodesMustFall and #FeesMustFall.

Mbali Matandela

 Mbali Matandela

Mbali Matandela is a black feminist activist, researcher and writer. Mbali received her Bachelor of Social Sciences honours degree in Gender and Transformation from the University of Cape Town, where she did research on black women’s experiences in black liberation movements such as the Rhodes Must Fall Movement. Mbali is currently the Right to Protest Coordinator for the Right to Protest Project, which is housed at the Centre for Applied Legal Studies at the University of the Witwatersrand. In this position, Mbali assists activists across South Africa attain justice by using mechanisms such as the law to advance, rather than stifle, their activism. In addition to this, she is involved in research, advocacy and awareness-raising about racism, gender-based violence and hate crimes for the Anti-Racist Network South Africa. As a black feminist writer, she seeks to centre marginalised identities and address issues of consent, agency, self and collective love in the black community and sexual and reproductive health rights. Thus far, she has written and edited various news publications on student protest and was a contributing writer and poet for the Rhodes Must Fall publication.

Mongane Serote

 Mongane Serote

Mongane Wally Serote was born in Sophia Town, Johannesburg in 1944. He was drawn to poetry and writing towards the end of his high-school career following his connection to the ‘Township’ or ‘Soweto Poets’, a literary group involved in the development of Black Consciousness and who produced creative works which centred around themes of political activism, and featured images or revolt and resistance. He was arrested by the apartheid government in 1969 under the Terrorism Act, following which he spent 9 months within solitary confinement. He was later released without charge, and went on to obtain a fine arts degree in New York at Columbia University in 1979. For a time he was unable to return to South Africa due to exile, and so he began living in Botswana and London, where he became involved with the Medu Arts Ensemble. He is the recipient of the 1993 Noma Award for Publishing in Africa, and was also given the Pablo Neruda Award from the Chilean government in 2004.

Natalia Molebatsi

 Natalia Molebatsi

Natalia Molebatsi is a writer, poet and singer (often experimenting with jazz and hip hop). She is also an events coordinator, programme director and the Marketing Coordinator at Unisa Libraries. Natalia is the author of Sardo Dance published in 2009 by Ge’ko and editor of We Are: a Poetry Anthology, published by Penguin in 2008. Her CD Natalia Molebatsi & The Soul Making was born in 2015, while Come as you are: Poems for four String was released in 2013. Both CDs are available on iTunes. She is the co-founder (together with Myesha Jenkins) of the Out There Sessions: Poetry and Jazz in Orbit. Her academic writing appears in Scrutiny2, Rhodes Journalism Review and Muziki. Natalia has performed poetry and facilitated creative writing workshops in among other countries, Nigeria, Senegal, Zimbabwe, England, Italy, Azerbaijan, Argentina, Palestine, USA, Kenya and Germany.

Ndumiso Ngcobo

 Ndumiso Ngcobo

Ndumiso Ngcobo is a creative phenomenon of the new South Africa. A one-time corporate lackey who used to write amusing emails for fun, he decided a change in career was in order and authored the bestsellers Some Of My Best Friends Are White, Is It Coz I’m Black?, and Eat, Drink and Blame the Ancestors, then secured a columnist’s gig with the Sunday Times. He is also a radio presenter and writes for television.

Niq Mhlongo

 Niq Mhlongo

Niq Mhlongo is a Sowetan-born writer and journalist known and loved for the piercing way in which he tackles current affairs and the madness of contemporary South Africa. He has written three novels Dog Eat Dog (2004), After Tears (2007) and Way Back Home (2013) and a collection of short stories, Affluenza (2016). His recent work grapples with issues such as crime, xenophobia, racism, homophobia, the new black elite, and land redistribution. Niq has also written for comic magazines, television and various other media platforms with numerous magazine articles under his belt. He lives in Johannesburg.

NoViolet Bulawayo

 NoViolet Bulawayo

NoViolet Bulawayo is the author of We Need New Names (May 2013) which has been recognized with the LA Times Book Prize Art Seidenbaum Award for First Fiction, the Pen/Hemingway Award, the Etisalat Prize for Literature, the Barnes and Noble Discover Award (second place), and the National Book Foundation “5 Under 35” Fiction Selection. We Need New Names was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize and the Guardian First Book Award, and selected to the New York Times Notable Books of 2013 list, the Barnes and Noble Discover Great New Writers list, and others. NoViolet’s story “Hitting Budapest” won the 2011 Caine Prize for African Writing.

Nozizwe Jele

 Nozizwe Jele

Nozizwe Cynthia Jele is a South African novelist. Her debut novel, Happiness is a Four-Letter Word (Kwela Books, 2010) was adapted into film and released at the box office countrywide in February 2016. Nozizwe also writes shorts stories, and contributes to magazines and other literature platforms. She is one of the ambassadors for The FunDza Literacy Trust, a nonprofit organisation dedicated to improving literacy among teens and young adults. She is currently working on her long overdue second novel.

Percy Mabandu
Picture: Victor Dlamini

 Percy Mabandu

Percy Mabandu is a journalist and author of the recently published book Yakhal'inkomo: Portrait of Jazz Classic. A book about the classic 1968 jazz record by the late composer and saxophonist, Winston Mankunku Ngozi. Mabandu has been writing about jazz music, the arts and the black experience for the last ten years. His work has appeared in newspapers and magazines that include the City Press, Blaque Magazine, Sunday Times, Mail & Guardian, Rolling Stone Magazine, Chimurenga Chronic, and many others. He is a regular television and radio commentator on art and culture issues. Mabandu also serves on the Friends of IFAS, The Consultative Committee of The French Institute of South Africa. He has recently joined the board of the SAMRO Foundation.

Phillippa Yaa De Villiers

 Phillippa Yaa De Villiers

Writer-performer Phillippa Yaa de Villiers studied theatre at the Lecoq School in Paris, wrote for television and taught mime at the Market Theatre Laboratory. She is the author of two collections of poetry. She co-edited No Serenity Here: an anthology of African poetry, which was translated into Mandarin. Her prose and poetry are published in a number of local and international journals and anthologies. In 2014 she was the Commonwealth Poet. Original Skin, her autobiographical play toured South Africa and Germany between 2008-2012. Since 2007 she has read at poetry festivals in Germany, Denmark, UK, Cuba, Sweden, Zimbabwe and Ghana. She won the 2010 SALA award for poetry and 2009 the Writing beyond the Fringe award for her short story The day that Jesus dropped the ball. After graduating from the Lancaster University Distance Learning Masters in Creative Writing with a first class, she was appointed as lecturer at Wits University.

Pumla Gqola

 Pumla Gqola

Pumla Dineo Gqola is the author of What is Slavery to Me? Postcolonial/Slave memory in Post-apartheid South Africa (2010) and A Renegade Called Simphiwe (2013) and editor of Regarding Winnie: Feminism, race and nation in global representations of Winnie Madikizela Mandela. She has written non-fiction and opinion pieces for Pambazuka, Mail & Guardian, The Weekender and City Press as well as the British publications BBC Focus on Africa, SABLE and Drum (UK) and short stories in literary journals and books published in South Africa, USA and UK. Her latest book, Rape: A South African Nightmare was published in 2015 and won the Alan Paton Award 2016.

Redi Tlhabi

 Redi Tlhabi

Redi Tlhabi is a South African Journalist, Producer, Radio and Television Presenter and writer. She currently hosts an interactive show that gives listeners an opportunity to select topics they wish to discuss on Talk Radio 702 and CapeTalk. The Redi Tlhabi Show is a platform to debate current affairs issues of the day. Redi has also hosted television news and actuality programmes on SABC, ENCA SKY and the BBC, Mzansi Magic and South 2 North on Al-Jazeera. Redi is a columnist and has written for leading publications like the Sowetan, Sunday Times and Fair Lady. Her proudest moment was winning the coveted Alan Paton Literature award for her memoir, Endings and Beginnings. She graduated from the University of Johannesburg with a BA in Political Economy and English Literature. She holds an Honours degree in English Literature and is currently reading for a Masters degree in Politics and Gender Studies.

Rehana Rossouw

 Rehana Rossouw

Rehana Rossouw has been a journalist for three decades and has also taught journalism and creative writing. She was a Master's in Creative Writing from Wits University. What Will People Say? is her first novel.

Sabata Mokae

 Sabata Mokae

Sabata-Mpho Mokae is the author of a biography The Story of Sol T Plaatje, a youth novella Dikeledi [Tears] and a poetry collection Escaping Trauma. His first novel, Ga Ke Modisa [I’m Not My Brother’s Keeper] won the M-Net Literary Award for Best Novel in Setswana as well as the M-Net Film Award in 2013. He won the South African Literary Award in 2011. His short story Down Sol Plaatje Drive was performed on theatre stage during the Global Express in Iowa City in 2014. His latest book Kanakotsame: In My Times, a collection of short English stories, was launched in 2015. In September/October 2015 he was a Writer of the Month in Ghana. In 2014 Mokae was a writer-in-residence at the University of Iowa. He translated Gcina Mhlophe’s two children’s books, Semaka sa Dinaane (Our Story Magic) and Dinaane tsa Aforika (Stories of Africa) from English to Setswana.

Sandy Ndelu

 Sandy Ndelu

Sandy Ndelu describes herself as a raging black, poor, queer transradical feminist. She is invested in what has become known as decolonisation generally and the ‘fallist’ student movements specifically. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Media Studies from the University of Cape Town and was completing her postgraduate LLB degree at the same institution, when she was unfairly suspended. When she is not stressing out the white supremacist, capitalist, cishetero patriarchy, she is reading literature from the subaltern or daydreaming about what she plans to do with the land.

Sihle Khumalo

 Sihle Khumalo

Sihle Khumalo is the author of Almost Sleeping My Way to Timbuktu, Heart of Africa and the best-selling Dark Continent, My Black Arse. Shorter pieces by him appeared in uMama and Cheesecutters and Gymslips, and he has contributed to a number of travel magazines. In 2011, Sihle was selected as one of Destiny magazine’s Top 40 South Africans under the age of 40 who are destined for greatness. Born in Nqutu in rural KwaZulu-Natal, he was educated at Natal Technikon (now Durban University of Technology) and the Wits Business School. He is married and has two children. He currently lives in Johannesburg.

Simamkele Dlakavu
Picture: Zahra Haider

 Simamkele Dlakavu

Simamkele Dlakavu is a Fallist and a Masters student in African Literature at Wits. She has been an active participant in student movements calling for an intersectional decolonial reality in South Africa. She is the former Media and Communications Manager for Oxfam South Africa. She has also worked as a human rights television producer on one of South Africa’s most popular current affairs show: The Big Debate. In 2013, she was one of the producers for BBC’s Question Time for a special episode on Nelson Mandela. She has co-created and participated in organizations that centre Black rural and township youth like Sakha Ulutsha Lwethu. Simamkele shares her views on current affairs and politics on platforms such as: City Press, The Daily Maverick and Independent Newspapers. In 2015, she was a part of the 22 young women selected to attend the African Women's Development Fund's Writing for Social Change Workshop in Uganda. In 2014 the Mail and Guardian recognized Simamkele as one of South Africa’s Top 200 Young South Africans.

Siphiwe Mpye

 Siphiwe Mpye

Siphiwe Mpye is an editor, writer and entrepreneur, with a career in the media, communications and arts industries spanning nearly two decades. He is the founder and editor of notedman.com - an online voice for African men committed to an alternative dialogue about identity, gender, style, design, politics, art and life. In 2014 he founded Imbawula, a monthly storytelling platform designed to unlock our common humanity through stories. He was the Associate Editor of GQ South Africa for 5 years and his written work has appeared in among others the Sunday Times, Elle, Mail & Guardian, City Press, Marie Claire, The Star and Sunday Independent. In the early 2000s he founded Bl!nk Magazine, Africa’s first - and often emulated - independent men’s lifestyle magazine. Prior to that, he broke through as a writer and editor with the now defunct youth cult title YMag. He is a member of the board and Business Director: Agency, at youth development NPO Livity Africa and a partner in The Matte Project, a beauty consultancy premised on affirming and celebrating women of colour.

Siphiwo Mahala

 Siphiwo Mahala

Siphiwo Mahala is a novelist, short story writer and playwright. He obtained a BA Honours degree from Fort Hare, Creative Writing certificate from Rhodes University and an MA degree in African Literature from Wits University. His books include the novel When A Man Cries, which he translated into his native Xhosa language as Yakhal’ Indoda, and a short story collection, African Delights. In January 2016 The Guardian selected African Delights one of the top ten must-read books in the world. His debut play, The House of Truth, starring Sello Maake kaNcube, premiered to sold-out audiences at the Grahamstown National Arts Festival in June 2016.

Thabiso Mahlape

 Thabiso Mahlape

Thabiso Mahlape is the head of Blackbird Books. She also founded and runs a custom publishing boutique, Evera Publishing, through which she assists self-publishing authors. Mahlape spent several years honing her skills at Jacana Media, publishing taboo-busting bestsellers, which has made her the most sought after publisher in South Africa. She is a feminist and mother to the gorgeous two year old, Lesedi.

Thandiswa Mazwai

 Thandiswa Mazwai

To be updated...

Thato Magano

 Thato Magano

Thato Magano is an MA in African Literature Candidate at Wits University, is a fallist and one half of Vanguard Magazine. His academic interests range the scope of queer literatures, queer representations, gender and sexuality, African nationalisms, popular culture, race and post-colonial/ coloniality studies, affect and intersectional inquiries. In a previous life, he was a junior lecturer in Strategic Marketing and Communication Management at the University of Pretoria and preceded to work as a creator of popular culture, working in brand management at Cadbury South Africa, working on the brands Stimorol, Dentyne, Clorets and Chappies. He writes fiction and is interested in writing about bodies that ARE TOLD they shouldn't or mustn't want to love other bodies. His short stories, A What? appears in Queer Africa II (forthcoming, Nov 2016) and The Parallels of Yesterday was shortlisted for Best Short Story Prize in the Long Live the Short Story, The Short Story is Dead, Vol.2 Anthology (forthcoming, Nov 2016), and is co-curator of the student activism publication, Publica[c]tion (forthcoming, Feb 2017). He was recently announced as part of the South African art practitioner’s cohort attending the Southern Summer School residency in Utrecht, Netherlands in February 2017. @ThatoMagano

Unathi Kondile

 Unathi Kondile

Unathi Kondile is the editor of South Africa’s first daily Xhosa newspaper, I’solezwe lesiXhosa at Independent Newspapers. He holds an MA in Media Studies from the University of Cape Town where he also worked for 8 years. He is the co-founder of Science Stars magazine as well the re-founding editor of 1880s monthly Isigidimi SamaXhosa / Kaffir Express newspaper. Kondile’s research interests are vested in transforming South Africa’s print and digital media through vernacular languages. He has dedicated the past 5 years to assisting and publishing material that is exclusively written in isiXhosa, in the hope that language as an empowering tool for creatives will one day be recognised for what it is – an emancipator.

 

Unathi Magubeni

 Unathi Magubeni

Unathi Magubeni is an Eastern Cape-based writer, a sangoma and a trainee herbalist. He left the corporate world in December 2009 to pursue his love of writing. His book first book, a collection of poetry called Food for Thought was published in 2003. Nwelezelanga, The Star Child is his debut novel, published in April 2016.

Vangi Gantsho

 Vangi Gantsho

Vangi Gantsho is a poet and constant student. A graduate of the Thabo Mbeki African Leadership Institute, she has performed in and conducted workshops at poetry events and festivals around the world, including: Gabon, Malawi, the USA, the Czech Republic and all over South Africa. Her work has been published in a number literary publications and most recently, released her début collection: Undressing in front of the window. Vangi is currently studying towards the MA in Creative Writing at Rhodes University.

Xolisa Guzula

 Xolisa Guzula

Xolisa Guzula is an early literacy specialist with interest in biliteracy development, emergent literacy, bi/multilingual education, language and literacy as social practice, multiliteracies; multimodality, third spaces and bilingual children’s literature. She has experience in early literacy and biliteracy teacher training and community literacy training. She is a storyteller, author and translator of children's literature and develops bilingual teacher professional materials. She is one of the founders of a network of community reading and writing clubs emerging across South Africa and currently is a full time doctoral student researching bilingual children's translanguaging and multiliteracies practices.

Yewande Omotoso

 Yewande Omotoso

Yewande Omotoso is an architect with a Masters in Creative Writing from the University of Cape Town. Her debut novel, Bomboy (Modjaji Books, 2011), was shortlisted for the 2012 Sunday Times Fiction Prize. Yewande was a 2013 Norman Mailer Fellow and a 2014 Etisalat Fellow. She was a 2015 Miles Morland Scholar. The Woman Next Door (Chatto and Windus, 2016) is Yewande’s second novel.

Zukiswa Wanner

 Zukiswa Wanner

Zukiswa Wanner is the 2015 winner of South African Literary Award’s K.Sello Duiker Award for her fourth novel, London Cape Town Joburg. Her other novels have been shortlisted for Commonwealth Best Book (Africa region) and the Herman Charles Bosman Awards. She has judged the 2015 Etisalat Prize for Fiction and is the Africa judge for the Commonwealth Short Story Prize 2015. A founding member of the ReadSA initiative, until recently Wanner was on the board of the pan-African literary initiative Writivism and is on the Advisory Board of the Ake Literary Festival. She has facilitated writing workshops in Ghana, Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, South Africa, Zimbabwe and Germany. She is a columnist for the continental publication New African, and Saturday Nation in Kenya and has been a guest-host for the monthly BBC Africa Book Club with Audrey Brown. Wanner was the 2016 Danish International Visiting Artist (DIVA).




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