|Oswald Joseph Mtshali|
Oswald Joseph Mtshali (1940 - ) was born in Vryheid, KwaZulu-Natal, where he matriculated. He travelled to Johannesburg at the age of eighteen intending to enrol at the University of Witwatersrand, but was refused because of the separate universities legislation. He was working as a messenger in Soweto when he published his first volume of poetry Sounds of a Cowhide Drum in 1971, considered a significant landmark in South African literature. Mtshali left for the USA to study creative writing and education at Columbia University. On his return to South Africa, he published Fireflames (1980), a collection of militant poems, which was banned by the government, then unbanned in 1986. Mtshali is now Adjunct Professor at the New York City College of Technology where he teaches African folklore and modern African history. In 1971 he was awarded the Olive Schreiner Poetry Prize and in 1973 the Poetry International Award, London.
The Birth of Shaka from Fireflames (1980):
1970. Flames of Fury: South African Poems & Glimpses. New York: Columbia University Press.
Author Map (Vryheid)