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Inanda Writers Trail PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 19 November 2010 09:33

Mandla Langa (1950 - ) was born in Durban, grew up in KwaMashu township, and studied at the University of Fort Hare   Since returning to South Africa from exile he has worked in broadcasting while continuing to write. His published work includes Tenderness of Blood (1987), A Rainbow on a Paper Sky (1989), The Naked Song and Other Stories (1997) and The Memory of Stones (2000). His latest novel, The Lost Colours of the Chameleon, was published in 2008 to critical acclaim, winning the African section of the 2008 Commonwealth Prize.

Angelina Ntombizanele Sithebe was born and raised in Soweto, but completed her high school education at Inanda Seminary. At the end of 2004, she wrote her debut novel Holy Hill.  Set in Durban and Zululand, the novel deals with  African ancestral beliefs in a modern society.   During 2006 and 2007 five of Sithebe's short stories, under the title A Target Life Series were published by Amazon.com.

Gandhi Family

Mohandas ‘Mahatma’ Gandhi arrived in Durban in1893. During his 21 years in South Africa he engaged in peaceful struggle for equality and justice for all before the law. In 1903 he started the newspaper Indian Opinion, a paper his son Manilal stressed was for “the political, moral and social upliftment of the Indian community”, and a year later he established the Phoenix Settlement in Durban.

Manilal Mohandas Gandhi (1892 -1956) was the second son of Gandhi and was active in his father's Satyagraha movement. Although born in India, he worked for almost five decades as the editor of the Indian Opinion in Durban, with, as his daughter Sita remembers, every thing being done by “hand as we had no electricity”.

Like his father, Manilal also spent time in jail for protesting unjust laws enforced by the British colonial government.  In 1927, Manilal married Sushila Mashruwala, and had two daughters, Sita and Ela, and one son, Arun. Manilal’s granddaughter, Uma Dhupelia-Mesthrie, published a biography of Manilal titled Gandhi's Prisoner? The Life of Gandhi's Son Manilal (2004).

Sita Gandhi (1928 - 1999) was Mahatma Gandhi’s granddaughter.  She wrote a memoir of her childhood in Phoenix Settlement, entitled Sita – Memoirs of Sita Gandhi (2003). These memoirs shed light on what it meant to be related to Gandhi.  Sita shows that being Gandhi’s granddaughter was not easy.  Her book not only describes growing up at the Phoenix Settlement in the shadow of a strong man, but also discusses being an Indian woman in South Africa.

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Paton's Pietermaritzburg PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 11 November 2010 16:09

Alan Paton is most famous as the author of the world-renowned novel, Cry, the beloved country. He also wrote two other novels, poetry, short stories, biographies, autobiographies and political articles. He was torn between being an author and a politician. He was a founder member of the Liberal Party of South Africa (LPSA) in 1953, its National Chairman from 1956 to 1958, and its National President from 1958 to 1968. He is also famous as a humanitarian, educationalist, a reformer of the juvenile justice system (from his time as Principal of the Diepkloof Reformatory, 1953-1948) and as a fierce opponent of apartheid. He was born and educated in Pietermaritzburg, and he retained ties with it throughout his life, calling it "the lovely city" in his autobiography.

1. 19 Pine Street (1903-1914)

This was Alan Paton's childhood home. According to his birth certificate, he was actually born in the home of their neighbour, Mrs Ridley, in 9 Greyling Street, on 11 January 1903. Alan Paton writes about his home life in his autobiography, Towards the mountain and Peter Alexander writes about how his early upbringing influenced his character in Alan Paton: a biography. His father James, had emigrated from Glasgow, Scotland and worked as a court reporter. Although he wrote poetry and loved nature, he was a strict, domineering father. Paton's mother was Eunice James, a gentle person, who had been a schoolteacher and was born in Pietermaritzburg. He was the oldest of four children, having a younger brother, Atholl, and two younger sisters, Eunice (known as Dorrie) and Ailsa. His grandmother, Elizabeth Paton also lived with them. Consequently, there was no bedroom for the two boys, and they had to share the enclosed verandah at the back. (There is a bronze plaque on the front verandah of this house.)

 

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Cato Manor Writers Trail PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 20 April 2008 17:00
Ronnie Govender (1934 - ) was born in Cato Manor and has strong feelings about this community, as is evident in most of his 13 plays and his collection of stories, At the Edge and Other Cato Manor Stories, for which he received the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize. As a protest against bourgeois theatre he formed the Shah Theatre Academy to foster indigenous theatre. The Lahnee’s Pleasure, one of South Africa’s longest running plays, and At the Edge, both received critical and commercial acclaim. In 2000, Ronnie Govender was awarded a Medal by the English Academy of South Africa for his contribution to English literature. Govender published Song of the Atman, part of which is set in Cato Manor, in 2006.

Lewis Nkosi (1936 - ) worked for many years as a magazine editor and broadcast journalist in Durban (Ilanga lase Natal), Johannesburg (Drum), London (The New African), and the U.S. (NET). He is the author of several collections of essays; two plays, The Rhythm of Violence (1964) and The Black Psychiatrist (2001); and the novels Mating Birds (1986), Underground People (2002), and Mandela's Ego (2006). The protagonist in Mating Birds lived in Cato Manor.  His career as Professor of Literature has included positions at Universities in Africa (Zambia), the USA (Wyoming, California (Irvine)), and Europe (Warsaw). Now resident in Switzerland, Lewis Nkosi frequently travels to literary conferences as an invited guest.
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