The Edinburgh International Book Festival.
Winner of the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize, Zakes Mda is regarded as one of the most important novelists to have emerged on South Africa’s literary scene since the end of apartheid. The author of more than 20 novels and plays, Mda is now resident in the USA, where he is a professor at Ohio University. He joined us today to discuss his output, including his new mystic-realist epic, The Sculptors of Mapungubwe.
An hour’s audience with an inspiring man who had, as a Black South African, experienced the horror of Apartheid first hand. Zakes Mda cut his craft as a story teller and script writer when white South Africa enforced ridiculous ignorance and brutality upon its own people. Art drawn from a survivor of such extremes displays survival tactics drawn from a humanitarian heart, born from the most inhumane of conditions. Becoming a refugee as Apartheid crumbled in his native South Africa, Mr Mda found solstice in Ohio and discovered that his self-taught skill as playwright could be advanced to a degree standard.
We discovered how this man started his first novel Black Diamond, with the words; ‘There are many ways of dyng.’ Zakes Mda inspired this reviewer with the notion, that if a an unjust system fails you and academia is the least of your problems. A true talent will shine and speak the truth that needs to be heard.Zakes Mda inspired this reviewer with the notion that if a an unjust system fails you, then academia is the least of your problems… but a true talent will shine and speak the truth that needs to be heard.
Zakes Mda touched his audience very deeply today,with an awe inspiring and comforting tale of an artist who became a professor out of folk law.
Awsome! Thankyou,Thankyou, Thankyou.
Mark ‘Divine’ Calvert