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Author Soga heading for Rhodes

Date Released: Mon, 15 July 2013 09:59 +0200

By day Soga Mlandu oversees municipal administration but by night he writes short stories.

Now, the King Sabata Dalindyebo (KSD) councillor has been invited by Rhodes University’s Institute for the Study of English in Africa (ISEA) to be Mellon Writer-in-residence for three months. Mlandu, who is a member of the mayoral committee and chairs the public safety portfolio committee, last year published his eighth book titled Tell Me Again Stories.

He said yesterday that as part of the agreement with Rhodes, the institute will edit his four manuscripts. Two will be in Xhosa and two in English.

His four manuscripts include a collection of English essays titled A Brave Woman and other Essays and a collection of poems called The Loud Whispers . The Xhosa manuscripts feature a collection of short stories like Ezingekabaliswa (Stories that have not been told) and an anthology Izwi Leembongi (the voice of poets), which he coauthored and edited.

“I can’t describe how happy I am. It’s been a long road. From 1977 writing in isiXhosa and English in 1987,” said Mlandu.

He said during his stay at Rhodes, which starts on August 1, he will help masters students with theses and conduct writing workshops.

“[The] African languages [department at Rhodes] asked me to assist in upgrading their library. They also said they will buy all my books.”

The Dispatch earlier this year wrote that Mlandu quietly published his eighth book. He said yesterday the university then contacted him to submit all his work before they informed him he had been chosen.

ISEA’s research director Jaine Roberts had not replied to an email sent to her on Thursday.

Mlandu said he was passionate about African literature, but: “My problem is that Africans do not want to read their own languages.” His books are mainly used in schools.

Asked about his work at the KSD council, Mlandu said he had applied for study leave. However, he will still be attending some of the council and other important meetings.

Picture: LULAMILE FENISTORYTELLER: Mussolini Soga Mlandu with his new book.


Article Source: The Herald