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Dog Eat Dog

3.48  ·  Rating details ·  132 ratings  ·  31 reviews
Dingz is an average Wits student who spends his time partying with his friends, picking up girls, skipping lectures, making up elaborate excuses for missing exams, and struggling to make ends meet. Dingz -- a bright, articulate student -- and his circle of friends like to sit around drinking and discussing AIDS, racism, history and South African politics.They also have som ...more
Paperback, 222 pages
Published May 1st 2006 by Kwela Books (first published September 1st 2005)
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3.48  · 
Rating details
 ·  132 ratings  ·  31 reviews

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Jun 20, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: south-africa
This book was a chance find in a charity shop ('thrift shop'), and is worth far more than 5 stars!

This is a wonderful, witty, incisive, amusing story. It is set in and around Johannesburg in post-apartheid South Africa. It was, as the author Niq Mhlongo wrote, “the season of change when everyone was everyone was trying to disown apartheid.

Dingz has attitude and chutzpah, but this won’t help him get a bursary to help pay for his studies at Wits (the University of Witwatersrand) despite coming f
Jan 21, 2018 rated it liked it
I first came across "Dog Eat Dog" 6 years ago and wasn't very taken by it. The story of Dingz was not unique and was a lived experience for most black tertiary students. We've had his struggles. Countless times many of us, my generation, stood in snaking queues with a begging bowl at the student aid offices desperate for money to study while our white counterparts were not only attending lectures already, but had driven to campus in cars their parents had gifted them. My first year at tech, I ph ...more
Diane Brown
Feb 19, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: african-books

I identified with Niq Mhlongo's book because I attended the same university and understood the idea of 'scrape around' and 'hustling it' to make it work. I identified with getting an extension from a lecturer and know how often students use this - particularly because many of the lecturers were white and didn't understand our culture or circumstances. I laughed a few times while reading this book with a sense of knowing

It is a book about life in the townships and what people have to do to surviv
Sarah Key
May 14, 2017 rated it liked it
It's 1994 and the first democratic election takes place in South Africa. Dingamanzi Njomane has plenty on his mind. As a first year student at Wits University, he is trying to sort our accommodation and bursary issues, and find money to drink with his friends, Thembs, Dworkin, Babes and Theks.
Dings is a colourful character. He is feisty and not afraid to challenge authority and work the system. Mhlongo does a good job of allowing the reader insight into many aspects of the 19 year old's life. T
Feb 17, 2010 rated it it was ok
Shelves: african-fiction
A humorous and raucous story about a black college student in post apartheid South Africa trying to make his way through college during a very turbulent time in South Africa's history. Dog Eat Dog similar to Urban Lit in the USA in that it follows an impoverished youth through the underbelly of society (the townships in this case), but different because it follows the student as he tries to get ahead at school in anyway possible.

Though I felt the book was good, though not great, I will note tha
Aug 07, 2013 rated it really liked it
If this were a jury id be disqualified because im biased, i relate to the events in this book,the frustrations experienced by Dingz,the trials and tribualtions he goes through, the risks he takes,the poverty he is faced with. I recemmend this book to anyone who wants to cultivate a habit of reading,to anyone who wants to know what its like in the township,to anyone who thinks the whole thing about unequal distribution of wealth and opportunities is a thing township folk make up to get attention ...more
Apr 06, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: african-lit
This is another take on post-apartheid South Africa. The main protagonist is an early black student at Wits in the post-apartheid years. It gives a sense of the travails and life of these students. The themes of township life, STDs, and race relations in the new democracy are present. It's well written and readable and a more accessible first intro to black South African writers than Mpe.
Vani Khoosial
Sep 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
I loved Dingz. The things he does - you don't know whether to laugh, be amazed at his daring or wonder if people actually do this in the real world(shaking my head) e.g. putting tipex on a birthday card - like really - who does that??? This book leaves you thirsting for more......that's why I have now started on After Tears......
Susan Ndebele
Feb 08, 2018 rated it liked it
Very interesting, because I have so many friends who went through similar experiences. Nice writing. Interesting characters.
Sep 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is a character driven book which really was different for me but I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Deanna Martin
Dec 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Quick read! I really enjoyed the authors style as it they were able to provide a clear lense throughout the story.
David Kenvyn
Mar 24, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you wish to have an idea about what life is like in a South African township, this is the book for you. Dog Eats Dog is set in 1994, the year that the first democratic elections took place in South Africa, and is the story of Dingz and his friends, as they come to grips with the new reality. Many of the issues raise in the book are timeless and world-wide - friendships, family, sexual encounters and making your way in the world. Others are very South African - racism, apartheid, AIDs, buildin ...more
Nov 13, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This has thus far been my least favorite book that we've read for my SA post-apartheid literature class. Dingz, the main character, shows little, if any growth as a character. In fact, his evolution, or lack thereof, might be considered a decline in character from the starting point of the novel. I liked the story well enough, but I feel that the author didn't give us time to really get attached to any of the characters except for Dingz. Even then, his personality is frustrating to digest. I lik ...more
Jayne Bauling
May 16, 2014 rated it really liked it
This was published in 2004, but it is set in 1994, year of South Africa's first democratic election - and here I was reading it in 2014, twenty years on, just after our fifth democratic election. Soweto, Braamfontein, Wits University campus, that first election, a taxi ride, a train journey, parties and pick-ups, lectures and exams - an unpretentious reflection of the everyday life of a 19-year-old first year student.

That student is Dingz, finding creative ways around obstacles, dealing with an
Apr 07, 2009 rated it really liked it
This book was great - a fresh kwaito voice written in a very colloquial, multilingual style, using modern South African township slang. It's a glimpse into life in modern Soweto and Jo'berg, through the eyes of a young man trying to go to college against the back drop of the 1994 elections. Africa's bizarre and ubiquitous bumper stickers (i.e "I like your perm, just not on my window") punctuate the book in an almost Greek chorus like fashion. The book is deceptively easy to read, but the author' ...more
Themba Bhekizulu
May 30, 2016 rated it liked it
I found this interesting because I recognise the scene where it takes place. Not too long ago, now, since I was on the same campus that he describes. I wonder how bra Niq would re-write this today, given the turmoil of South African university campuses. Only problem is that to get really interested in a character I need to identify with them. This guy is just lower than anything I would want to associate with. Racism works two ways, and its not all one way traffic. Some people just need to get c ...more
Mar 26, 2012 rated it it was ok
Didn't know whether to give this book 1 or 2 stars. Ended up with 2 stars because it offers a realistic glimpse into a community that I otherwise would not have been able to enter. Have not come across many other novels that make the kwaito world accessible to a Northern European. And that's one of the things I love about literature; being transferred to other worlds and being able to view this world through someone else's eyes.
Jeremiah Dube
May 26, 2016 rated it liked it
Nice. Kwaito and college life. I remember it well, though at a different time. Realistic look at the life of a student. But this is not a nice character to follow. Would be better if there was something one could admire in the character. But he's just a bit of a slime-ball, really. Hard to identify with. Nevertheless, a good insight into an important part of life in post-democracy South Africa.

Not great writing. Filled with stylistic problems, grammar weaknesses, etc.
Apr 25, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: aфрика
For those willing to look past stylistic and grammatical errors, this is a startlingly honest and vivid look at post-apartheid South Africa. The narrator, Dingz, is witty but ultimately unlikable. He is completely a product of his environment; of both the historical South Africa and the contemporary one. The strength of this novel is not in its story, or even in its characters, but in its setting and descriptions of place.
May 10, 2014 rated it really liked it
A great read by Niq. A relevant read that raises key issues our country faced post apartheid. 20 years into Democracy, black students from all universities are always protesting for extra funding, many are still excluded due to financial reasons and the institutions have not transformed much. 20 years later, we have not produced black academics, and white males still dominates the industry. I just love how Niq describes his charecters.
Mongezi Mtati
Apr 20, 2013 rated it really liked it
This is an insanely funny book set in Johannesburg and takes you into the underbelly of student life for some - arguably most - South African township youth.

Niq Mhlongo, lays out township life without making it frilly and romanticizing it, just as it is. I read this too late and by mere chance, but glad I'm glad caught onto it.
Mar 24, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: africa
It was hard for me to enjoy this window into the new South Africa,set at the univ of Witwatersrand in 1994. The narrator drinks, lies, skips exams, cheats his family and does a variety of other unsavory things in the dog eat dog world he lives in. I enjoyed some of the descriptions, esp his train ride to Soweto where hawkers compete with preachers for the commuters' attention.
Sibo Majola
May 29, 2016 rated it liked it
Nice. Reminded me of my own experiences at Wits. Clever dialogue and lots of fun. Not a great character to become interested in, but lovely descriptions that ring true. Lots of life and energy and great urban lingo.
Diya Vij
Jun 23, 2007 rated it liked it
It's an angsty, purely South African book from that oh so cool Kwaito generation. It takes place in Soweto, outside of Jo'berg. If you want to learn about township life in South Africa, read this. I'm a fan, but I can't really get enough Kwaito in my life!
Dec 11, 2016 marked it as to-read
Shelves: world-extra
South Africa
Sam Beckbessinger
Sep 27, 2015 rated it it was ok
Interesting look at contemporary Joburg, but it's still a very badly written book.
I rated and reviewed this book on LibraryThing:
Prince Themba
Aug 29, 2015 rated it really liked it
Good, interesting and witty
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Mhlongo was born in Midway-Chiawelo, Soweto, the seventh of nine children, and raised in Soweto. His father, who died when Mhlongo was a teenager, worked as a post-office sweeper. Mhlongo was sent to Limpopo Province, the province his mother came from, to finish high school. Initially failing his matriculation exam in October 1990,[1] Mhlongo completed his matric at Malenga High School in 1991. He ...more
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