Dr Mazibuko Msimang is a writer, academic, producer and broadcaster who holds degrees from the University of Cape Town (UCT), the University of the Western Cape (UWC) and has a PhD in African Literature from the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits). She possesses the requisite knowledge, capacity, expertise and experience to satisfy the expectations of the fellowship, and will become an artist-in-residence from 1 August 2021 for a two-year period.

Dr Mazibuko Msimang has been creating values-based content for young people on multiple platforms for the past 25 years, and is part of the Puku Children’s Literature network where she works on Special Projects. Her six published books for young readers are In the Fast Lane (2003, New Africa Books, translated into isiXhosa by Dr Xolisa Guzula); A Mozambican Summer (2005, New Africa Books); Spring Offensive (2006, Timbila); Love Songs for Nheti (2006, Vivlia); Freedom Song (2008, Pearson); and Qhawe! Mokgadi Caster Semenya (2021, New Africa Books), which celebrates the life of the champion gold medallist.

Her books for young readers celebrate positive cultural and social values, and encourage self-love, confidence, courage and resilience. In 2003, she was awarded the Bessie Head writing fellowship, which enabled her to complete and publish the collective biography Spring Offensive.

Dr Mazibuko Msimang’s films have covered issues related to women’s empowerment, popular culture, politics and music. She has written and directed the following films for local and African channels: Lady was a Mshoza (1999), The Gift of Song (2000), The Spirit of No Surrender (2006) and Mantswe a Bonono (2005). Her TV writing credits include the award-winning shows Soul City, Takalani Sesame and Molo Fish II, and several educational television and radio shows. The Soul City IV series she wrote for was nominated for an Avanti Award.

She has worked for the South African Broadcasting Corporation and British Broadcasting Corporation, and lectured for the Academic Support Programme at UCT, the Wits School of Performing Arts and African Literature. She currently lectures part-time and supervises master’s students at AFDA, the South African School of Motion Picture Medium and Live Performance. Dr Mazibuko Msimang has presented her work at various conferences nationally and internationally, and is interested in narratives of peace, healing, courage, music and motherhood.

  • The Daughters of Nandi

    As she took her dying breath, Nandi Mhlongo, mother of Shaka kaSenzangakhona, cursed the house of Zulu and her family, the Mhlongos, for the disrespect she endured at their hands. In the ancestral realm, Nandi worries that her malediction may have been rash and too dangerous for the descendants of the two houses. The curse can be undone but it will need a human medium to convey the message to the progeny.

    Through three historical periods, three women who are extraordinary in their different ways will seek to get restitution for Nani. Gentle Keeya, a Motswana woman of the House of Moagi who marries one of Nandi’s descendants as the English, the Boers and the Zulu go to the war in the 19th century; Uju, a spirited married woman who carves a space for herself in history during the forced removals of Sophiatown in the 20th century; and in the 21st century Amangwe, who reluctantly joins her fellow students as they speak up against a meaningless freedom during the #FeesMustFall protests.

    Will any of these three women manage to ensure Nandi Mhlongo is appeased and if not, what shall be the consequences to the Houses of Mhlongo and Zulu and to the three Daughters of Nandi themselves?

    An engaging debut which seamlessly weaves fact, fiction and spiritualities while subverting the way the reader perceives history.

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