Zakes Mda

Zakes Mda (* 1948 in Herschel, Cape Province; actually Zanemvula Kizito Gatyeni Mda ) is a South African author and playwright.


Childhood and education

Mda is the son of anti-apartheid activist, and the co-founder and president of the ANC Youth League, Ashby Peter Mda Solomzi. His mother was a nurse Nompumelelo Rose Mda. His full name is Kizito Zanemvula Gatyeni Mda. This means in his mother tongue isiXhosa as much as " The come with the rain " or " The rain bringer ". He spent most of his childhood and youth in Soweto near Johannesburg. At age 13, he published his first short story in isiXhosa. After the arrest of his father the family had to leave in the 1960s South Africa. In Zakes Mda Lesotho finished school and worked as a bank clerk.

Professional career

In 1983 Mda emigrated for political reasons in the United States. At Ohio University, he studied theater and mass communication studies and graduated with a MA degree from. After returning to Lesotho, he was from 1985 to 1992, among others at the local television station and as an English lecturer at the National University of Lesotho worked. There he directed the Theatre -For- Development Project. During this time he founded the Marotholi Travelling Theatre. In 1990 he received his doctorate at the University of Cape Town. In 1991 he became a professor in the Department of English at the National University of Lesotho. From 1991 to 1994 he lectured at various universities in the United States. In 1995 he returned to South Africa and worked as a professor of drama at the University of the Witwatersrand. Since then he has worked as a freelance writer.

Mda wore in the 1970s and 1980s very substantially to the development of the South African theater at, as a scientist and as a writer of plays. Only in the 1990s turned Mda more and more the form of a novel to. In addition to writing, he has also worked as a dramaturge at the Market Theatre in Johannesburg and as a painter, composer, and filmmaker and runs the Southern African Multimedia AIDS Trust in Sophiatown, Johannesburg. He commutes between Johannesburg and Ohio, where he holds a teaching as a lecturer.


Works (selection)

  • Alpheus Mosenye (ed.): Bits of debris. The poetry of Zakes Mda. Thapama Books, Maseru, Lesotho 1986
  • Broken dreams. 1995
  • Dankie auntie. A play for children. 1997
  • Dark voices ring. In: Sketch (theater magazine). Johannesburg 1979
  • Fools, bells and the habit of eating. Satires. University Press, Johannesburg, 2002, ISBN 1-86814-377-5 ( Contains:. The mother of all eating - You fool, how can the sky fall - The bells of Bunting Hall? )
  • The heart of redness. A novel. Picador Books, New York 2002, ISBN 0-312-42174-5
  • The madonna of excelsior. novel The Madonna of Excelsior. Dt. by Peter Torberg. Union Verlag, Zurich 2005, ISBN 978-3-293-20398-3
  • The Walrufer. Dt. by Peter Torberg. Union Verlag, Zurich 2006, ISBN 3-293-00364-8