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An Interview with Nape `a Motana PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 07 March 2008 01:34

Nape `a Motanaauthor of Fanie Fourie's Lobola.

1. Fanie Fourie's Lobola is a book about a young white Afrikaans man wanting to marry a black woman. Did you draw on your own experience? Have you had a multi-racial relationship? 

I had multi-racial friendships and platonic and intellectual multi-racial attractions and relationships but never romantic multi-racial relationships, no. I'm particularly referring to the days of the Immorality Act, which was repealed in 1986.

During the mid-1990s, though, I was twice part of the lobola negotiating teams, and that's what planted the seed of the idea for this book.

2. When did you first start writing? 

I first started writing poetry in the 1970's (Eish, I'm giving away my age!) later to dabble with playwriting. I tried my hand at novel-writing between 1994 and 1996 while I continued with playwriting; I resumed novel-writing seriously, with Fanie Fourie's Lobola in 1999. 

3. Do you prefer writing in English or Sepedi? 

I intend to write in both languages. I've written a play in Sepedi for the purpose of entering a competition. I'm in the process of being commissioned to write a youth novel in Sepedi during 2008. And I continue to write in English.

4. Are there any particular social issues you want to deal with in your writing? 

Yes, I'm a resident playwright-poet for my youth drama NPO, exploring issues such as drug abuse (my sketch 'Drugs don't pay' has performed for some schools in Mamelodi - a township in the east of Pretoria), HIV/ Aids, and women's and children's rights.  

5. How does place influence your writing?

Each different place influences me because if I'm somewhere new I see new things and I happen to have new thoughts when I wake up.

6. Is writing a routine part of your day, or do you have months of writing and months of normal life?

Writing is definitely part of my every day.  

7. Do you particularly admire any South African authors?

Es'kia Mphahlele, Nadine Gordimer, André Brink, and Zakes Mda, to name a few. Es'kia Mphahlele inspired me most as I wrote the novel. I was learning from his novel Chirundu. Further, I don't want to be accused of practicing ageism by not mentioning talented young writers such as Zukiswa Wanner, Niq Mhlongo, and Kgebetli Moele.

8. What books are sitting on your bedside table at the moment?

Because I am now at UCT studying a Masters in Creative Writing, I am reading two craft books about novel writing: Hollywood Bible and The Writer's Journey. I'm also reading John Steinbeck's The Moon is Falling.

9. If you could offer one piece of advice to aspiring South African authors, what would it be?

Read and write / write and read - read everything you can in the genres you are interested in.