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3.93  ·  Rating details ·  61 ratings  ·  18 reviews
Affluenza is a new collection of short stories by well-known author Niq Mhlongo. In his characteristically humorous and piercing style Mhlongo writes about the span of our democracy and the madness of the last twenty years after apartheid: his short stories address issues such as crime, xenophobia, racism, homophobia, the new black elite, and land redistribution. The stori ...more
Paperback, 192 pages
Published 2016 by Kwela
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Average rating 3.93  · 
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Zozo Mogoera
Read in 1 sitting. The book covers mostly different but popular stories of death we have become accustomed to hearing in our country.

Through crime, farm killings, suicide, disease, mauled by wild animals (only in Africa) car accidents, witchcraft

as well as covering topical issues like lobola, Foreigners especially Zimbabweans coming through Beitbridge, land grabs, HIV AIDS, men leaving their wives in rural South Africa to come to Jozi for work & pretending to be hip & single, issues of child ma
Mar 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Of the 11 stories, the first and last two were absolutely brilliant.

Niq has this unique way of telling stories without camouflaging them. The stories retain their roots without it being about colour, gender or religion. The first story, "The Warning Sign", at first glance I thought that it was about the ill-treatment of farm workers. And I was rooting for those who'd sauntered and disappeared into the night, only to find that their disappearance was totally unrelated to their working conditions.
Charles Siboto
Jun 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Wow, this is such a great read for anyone interested in satirical stories about all the crazy and weird things that make up South Africa. Niq Mhlongo tackles issues like racism, xenophobia, homophobia, crime, land redistribution and economic equality with a flair that is just magical. They stories really speak to me and I relate on so many levels with the South African (but especially Jozi) culture of continuous hussle to attain wealth and status to impress people you don't know. The stories are ...more
Mar 16, 2016 added it
- You can't separate peace from land. - 'The Warning Sign'

- Real men support their children. - 'Goliwood Drama'

- The other day, as I came out of Pen Station in New York I tossed a dollar into one of the homeless people's hats...I told him I was from Zim, he returned my dollar, saying that Africa probably needed the money more than he did. - 'Four Blocks Away'

–You had never heard of my nation. - 'My Name is Peaches'

- We must allow people to be real and honest about who they are. - 'The Gumboot
Karina Szczurek
Mar 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I have read every other book Mhlongo has published and this latest collection of short stories only reaffirms for me the importance of his voice among contemporary South African writers. Wonderful, insightful read.
Penny de Vries
Jun 17, 2016 rated it really liked it
The currency of these short stories is money and status as depicted by the fifty rand note that graces the cover; an inspired choice. Dip your toe into the psyche of South Africa today where the pull of glamour and glitz allure the characters into bad decisions. The settings range from urban to rural, covering themes such as land grabs, corruption of tradition and cheating men, all served with fat dollops of Niq Mhlongo’s characteristic wit and cynicism.

The Warning Sign is a stark and violent st
Mpho Mokhoro
Apr 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is my first Niq book...and it has evoked a desire in me to rummage every bookstore in sight to find more of his work!

This collection of short stories details exaggerated yet conceivable, bizarre yet truthful, heartbreaking yet realistic events that on any given day may very well befall you, or someone you know.

Issues such as land reform, Zimbabwean migrants, infidelity, paternity doubts, the effects of youthful recklessness, black magic, the pressure of being a "good wife" (even in THIS da
Ste Babur
Feb 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: literary
This is my first Niq Mhlongo book and am glad I read it. This is an easy 4 for me. iT COULD HAVE BEEN A 5 HAD the author not been so lugubrious. I understand the main theme of the stories was death but one light-hearted one [if there is such a thing] would have been welcome. It would have been less a stodgy main, and stodgy desert kind of thing. My favourite were Call me peaches and the one of the husband being deceived by the wife about the baby. I didn't like the ending of the first story beca ...more
Jake Goretzki
Sep 13, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2017
Eclectic mix of dark set pieces (part thriller, part crime, part cultural clash) and a good eyeopener for outsiders. I give you: the marriage ceremony; the Zimbabwe border; inter-ethnic tensions and cosmology, etc.

At times though, some of the stories felt rather shoehorned and rushed (the Victoria Falls story is probably the most obvious case, signing off with a rather hasty, clumsy reveal). I also found the prose a little flat and matter-of-fact at times....that sense of reading a news story.
Jeremiah Dube
Feb 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
Very nice, NIq. This was a collection of great things to read. The whole picture is laid out nicely without any sentimental politics. The politics speak for themselves, and that makes all of this much better. All the issues are here. Man, what is going to happen to our universities? Life like this should be opened up by more of our young writers. The language is great and the characters are real (even if they don't appear to be, sometimes. ...more
Harold Nixon
Mar 04, 2017 rated it liked it
This was in general a good series of characters and actions and descriptions - it gave me a good sense of the country and the attitudes and norms of people struggling to deal with the peculiarities of that country's history and race relations. I found the writing in general to be very pleasing and I was thoroughly entertained. ...more
Tshiamo Motiang
Jan 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Amazing read

Great read. Loved every single story in the book. Beauty read, it kept me on the edge of my seat
Alain Sibenaler
Nov 09, 2020 rated it really liked it
Delightful surprise!
Tilly Ngope
May 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Short stories that leaving wanting more
Siyamthanda Skota
Jun 27, 2016 rated it really liked it
Lesley Stones recently reviewed 6 Characters in Search of an Author which is currently running at The Market Theatre and she says that she “didn’t leave with any sense that the drama unfolding within the play has a great relevance in our society today”. Niq Mhlongo’s latest book, Affluenza, a collection of short stories, is the complete opposite of the sentiment above. It left me longing for more because the stories in the book are short, sharp and enormously relevant to South Africa today. The ...more
Goldie Dickson
May 31, 2016 rated it really liked it
I liked this a lot. Lovely stories about what is happening in that once-great country (i.e. when Mandela ruled). It's terrible. The way in which the dreams of democracy fade under the weight of people who are just thinking of themselves. You know, Fanon warned about this. Good on you, Niq, for telling it as it is. Nice writing. Nice stories. Nice plots. Good read. ...more
Seyi Onabanjo
Mar 26, 2016 rated it liked it
Nice bite sized stories, some great and some phoned in but all will appeal to anyone who lives in Jozi or environs.
Nhlanhla Dube
May 29, 2016 rated it liked it
Read this a couple of months ago and enjoyed it. The stories are wide-ranging and stylistically very original. Cover lots of subject matters dealing with the homeland. Most enjoyable.
Thulani Mkhonto
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Oct 01, 2020
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May 12, 2018
rated it it was ok
Mar 29, 2020
Alick Chingapi
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Feb 20, 2017
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Apr 27, 2016
Dorcas Mogoera
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Dec 07, 2020
Rozz Dlamini
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Feb 01, 2021
rated it it was ok
Nov 24, 2016
Zaynab Ali Bazzi
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Nov 27, 2017
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May 29, 2016
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Aug 30, 2017
Susanne Kippersund
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Jun 02, 2016
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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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