Shape 8


Zur DEUTSCHEN SEITE geht es hier:
Click above to visit the German site.



Social Media


Enter your email address:

Shafinaaz Hassim PDF Print E-mail

Shafinaaz Hassim is a sociologist based in Johannesburg. She is the author of 'Daughters are Diamonds: Honour, Shame & Seclusion -- A South African Perspective' (2007), 'Memoirs for Kimya' (2009), and the critically acclaimed novel on domestic violence 'SoPhia' (2012). Her work has been shortlisted for the University of Johannesburg Creative Writing Prize and the prestigious K Sello Duiker Award 2013, and she has been awarded in Hay Festival's category of top 39 authors under the age of 40 in Africa during the London Book Fair 2014. Her award-winning crime short story, The Pink Oysters was subsequently published by Bloomsbury UK as part of the Africa39 collective.

She is also the editor of the Belly of Fire anthologies for social change series, which was launched in 2011. Her anthology, 'Soul Seeds for Shade and Solitude' was published in 2014. In 2014, SoPhia, was adapted for stage by an all-female cast directed by Firdoze Bulbulia. The production, entitled SoPhiaTwenty20, ended a successful run in the Intimate Theatre at the State Theatre in Pretoria on 24 August 2014.

Her research focuses on biographical narrative in the interplay between personal and political spaces and she writes both fiction and non-fiction. She has lectured and presented seminars at the University of KwaZulu-Natal in Durban, Humboldt University in Berlin and at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg.

Hassim's new series of young adult fiction was launched in October 2016, with the first book titled 'Nisa Qamar and the Master of Jinniaville.'


Faces, spaces, reflections

Often, dreams are severed in the hopes of a happy family. Sacrifice accentuates self-worth. It takes a lot of stepping away from the mirror, and then returning to face it square in the eye before a selfish decision can be made to live the life you're meant to live.
These days, the face in the rear-view mirror seems nervous, at all that is being left behind, perhaps filled with fear at what lies ahead. Sometimes it feels like every step forward, takes you further away from where you belong.
Soon, we'll find that the face in the compact mirror is haggard. Not the same, filled with the memory of yesterday's hopes and dreams, the forgotten songs on the playground that echo to this day; the taste of candy still fresh on the tongue. Alas. They just don't make things quite like they used to.
Faces in the mirror do just one thing: they only focus on what's right in front of them, and sometimes omit to see the full picture. This is the conundrum we're caught up in. We fixate on self-reference. My identity, my race, my beliefs. We make value judgments and decisions based on this form of reference. We choose to imprison ourselves in these frozen boxes of history. And we do very little to bridge gaps.
When I look in the mirror, I want to see transformation. Not just growth, don't get me wrong, there is always growth, change, dimensions of newness. What I want to see is a shift in consciousness, and evolution of spirit. That's the only turn of face that will take this rainbow nation forward. And in order for that to happen, South Africans need active citizen participation. Face to face with a democracy that's very much alive.


2007.  Daughters are Diamonds.  Wandsbeck: Reach Publishers

2009.  Memoirs For Kimya.  Johannesburg: Wordfire Press

2011. Belly of Fire. (Anthology Editor)

2012.  SoPhia.  Johannesburg: WordFlute

2014. Soul Seeds for Shade and Solitude (Anthology). Johannesburg: WordFlute Press.

2016. Nisa Qamar and the Master of Jinniaville. Johannesburg: WordFlute Press.