Zakes Mda





Zakes Mda

Author profile


born
in Herschel, South Africa
January 01, 1948

gender
male

twitter username

genre


About this author

Zakes Mda is the pen name of Zanemvula Kizito Gatyeni Mda, a novelist, poet and playwright.

Although he spent his early childhood in Soweto (where he knew political figures such as Walter and Albertina Sisulu, Oliver Tambo and Nelson Mandela) he had to finish his education in Lesotho where his father went into exile since 1963. This change of setting also meant a change of language for Mda: from isiXhosa to Sesotho. Consequently Mda preferred to write his first plays in English.

His first play, We Shall Sing for the Fatherland, won the first Amstel Playwright of the Year Award in 1978, a feat he repeated the following year. He worked as a bank clerk, a teacher and in marketing before the publication of We Shall Sing for the Fatherland and O...more


Average rating: 3.75 · 2,217 ratings · 239 reviews · 25 distinct works · Similar authors
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We Shall Sing For The Fathe...
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“Our elders say that an elephant does not find its own trunk heavy.”
Zakes Mda

“If you are truly telling a South African story then it will be political — because you are dealing with people who lead political lives in an environment which is highly politically charged.”
Zakes Mda

“The girls cannot contain their joy. They must start rehearsing immediately. They teach Saluni a new song that they have composed at the swamps. It is about croaking frogs in their green and brown colours and how the girls caught them and pierced their eyes with sharp sticks and set them free to hop about in wonderful blindness. It is a haunting melody. They tell Saluni that the song is all about the fun they had at the swamps today. The blinded frogs will live peacefully because now they won't be bothered by the bright rays of the sun. They won't have to run from danger, because they won't see it. They will therefore be safe since danger only catches those who run away from it.”
Zakes Mda, The Whale Caller: A Novel

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