Authors Ndumiso Ngcobo, Angela Makholwa and Fred Khumalo talk South African literature
3 Jul 2019 ARTS & CULTURE
By Nomali Cele
Mapholoba’s other like often gets mentioned on air. If you’ve missed these instances and do not know, Ndumiso Ngocbo, co-host of Uncaptured and Good Friday, is a writer, columnist and author. Recently on Uncaptured, he chatted to fellow authors about the state of the South African literature landscape.
In the studio, he was joined by Angela Makholwa, the author of four books including the “30th Candle” and, most recently, “The Blessed Girl“. On the line, the pair were joined by Fred Khumalo, author of books “Bitches Brew” and “Seven Steps to Heaven“, amongst others.
Both Angela Makholwa and Ndumiso Ngcobo agreed that writing manifests like an affliction. The authors then went on to share first their experiences of being readers, long before writing.
Are your favourites in South African literature full-time authors? All three authors agreed that it’s a privilege if someone is able to fully support themselves solely through their writing. The reason it’s difficult for authors to make a living from their books is that the local reading market is quite small. Books remain a luxury for many South Africans and those who can afford to buy books regularly, are impeded by the high prices. So authors earn a living through other means.
If you’ve ever wondered how authors create their magic, in this conversation Angela Makholwa shares her favourite places and times to write. “I write when everyone is asleep, […] late into the night. I write in the mornings, I write at coffee shops. I write when inspiration hits, I write when a story does not want to let go of me and I write when I’m happy. I write when my soul feels very free,” she said
For Fred Khumalo, who’s had full-time journalism and editing jobs for much of his writing career, the writing process has involved creating a dedicated writing space in his home. Said Khumalo Khumalo, “It helps a lot to have your own space where you can make your own noise and scream at yourself. There are moments when you say, “no one should approach this office!””
Listen to their conversation in full: