Mariam Akabor (1984 -) was born in Merebank, Durban. She is a graduate of the University of KwaZulu-Natal's creative writing program.
Akabor began writing at a very young age. After being selected as a finalist in the KTV Short Story Competition at the age of 12, she became determined to pursue a career in creative writing. She wrote Flat 9 from her own experiences of living in Grey Street in a dilapidated block of flats. The sense of community amongst the inhabitants of this block echoes the sense of community that Aziz Hassim evokes in his novel Lotus People showing that the ‘old’ Grey Street still exists in small pockets in the area.
Flat 9 has been approved as a high school reader in South Africa.
Extract from Flat 9.
"Remember the ole days? When Ma used to send us to Victoria Street market early in the morning to buy the freshest vegetables and fruit?"
"How Ossie always used to eat something on the way home! Especially fruit!"
"And how we used to watch movies in Shah Jehan every week? Do you know how your father used to like Dimple Kapadia? Everyone knew he watched Bobby more than ten times at the movies!"
At seventeen years old, Firoz could tell those stories off by heart. What happened to his father and his brothers when they were younger. When being poor was the norm and when the horrors of apartheid pervaded every aspect of their lives.
2006. Flat 9. Durban: UmSinsi Press.
2009. The Muezzin's Daughter. Master of Arts Dissertation. It can be read here: http://bit.ly/2bpfM6m