Interviews and Reviews

Can Themba: South Africa’s rebel journalist was a teacher at heart

Siphiwo Mahala is well known as a South African short story writer, novelist, playwright and literary organiser. He is also an academic. In fact, his most recent book is a product of his PhD thesis, titled Can Themba: The Making and Breaking of the Intellectual Tsotsi. Can Themba was a journalist and short story writer who challenged the apartheid state by foregrounding the pain and the joy of black life. We asked Mahala to tell us more.

 


‘Can Themba’ - the sage of Sophiatown

The history of the black intellectual tradition is a record of the tenacity as well as the devastation of a people. The black intellectual seldom expresses views as an individual, but as part of a community; even if he or she may write in singular form. Hence, the black intellectual often expresses views about the community, with him or her also forming part of the story or analysis.

 


Can Themba: South Africa’s rebel journalist was a teacher at heart

Dr Siphiwo Mahala is a short story writer, novelist, playwright and literary critic playing his trade in English and isiXhosa. He is the founder and editor of Imbiza Journal for African Writing. His latest play, Bloke and His American Bantu, will be staged at the 2022 National Arts Festival in Makhanda. Can Themba: The Making and Breaking of the Intellectual Tsotsi, is a product of his Doctoral thesis.

 


Yes, we Can!

Although Siphiwo Mahala’s Can Themba – The Making and Breaking of the Intellectual Tsotsi (Wits University Press, 2022) principally seeks to draw attention to the timeless metaphysics of the writer’s stubborn texts, the early chapters of the book are replete with much sadness and brokenness.

 


Interview With 2018 9 mobile Literature Prize Judge, Siphiwo Mahala

Siphiwo Mahala, one of the judges of the 2018 9 mobile Literature Prize answered a few questions about his expectations as a prize judge and his thoughts on African literature.

1. What are you looking forward to as a judge?


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