Meshack Masondo (? - 2013) was born and raised in the small, rural village of Nqutu in KwaZulu Natal. He went to high school in the township of Umlazi at Swelihle Senior Secondary. After completing his matric he relocated to Johannesburg to seek employment.
He was an established publishing manager at Macmillan Publishers and was recognised as the country’s most prominent writer of Zulu crime novels. During his life, Masondo was, in fact, one of only two authors of detective novelists that wrote in the Zulu language. Passionate about the differences of cultural meaning specific to each language, he wrote in Zulu, English, Afrikaans and spoke five additional languages.
Masondo’s extensive work of literature which comprises of novels, a collection of short stories and plays won him numerous awards, including the Nasionale Boekhandel Award of African Language Literature for Inkunzi Isematholeni in 1998, the Magema Fuze Lectio Folklore Award for Inkunzi Isematholeni in 1999 and the N.N. Ndebele Heinemann Drama Award for Sixolele in 2005.
Masondo resided in Johannesburg. He was an established publishing manager at the Macmillan Publishers Company and his creative work is an invaluable feature in the country’s high school curriculum.
Extract from the award winning play book ‘Sixolele’ (2004: 34-36)
KaZungu’s abusive behaviour escalates as she draws the attention of neighbours using defamatory statements, with the intent to hurt and embarrass her teenage stepson.
(ukaZungu uyaphuma endlini uma ngaphandle. Uyamemeza)
Kazungu: Yehheni we bantu! Nansi imihlola…lapha endlini. Kanti kunjani lapha eMlazi? Nakhu ngithola izingane ezincane kangaka zenza into engingakaze ngiyibone selokhu ngazalwa! We-e-e-e-ebantu! Ngiyakweshwama engikubone kwenzeka endlini yami! Kanti umhlaba sewaba njani! Nithule nithini webantu! Sazalwa nabanye siyofa nabanye!
(Uvelaphi kanye nabangani bakhe baqoqa izincwadi zabo bayaphuma dedangele)
Velaphi: (ekhuluma yedwa). Nkosi yami. Nguwe owaziyo ukuthi ngenzani kumama lena eyenza ukuba angiphathe kanje-na. Nabafowethu imbala nabo abangithandi. Inhlalo kayisenhle neze ekhaya. Umama nobaba bayalwa ngenxa yami kanti ngenzani lena engaka. Abangani bami sebezongizonda okukanye bahambe bekhuluma kabi ngami kwabanye abantwana. Nkosi yami. Uze ube nami ngelinye ilanga. (Uyakhala).
1990 Iphisi Nezinyoka
1990 Isigcawu Senkantolo
1994 Ingalo Yomthetho
1994 Ingwe Nengonyama
1994 Kanti Kawe?
1994 Ngaze Ngazenza
1995 Kunjalo ke Emhlabeni
1996 Kungenxa Yakho Mama
1997 Inkunzi Isematholeni