Zakes Mda

Agent:  Isobel Dixon

Biography:

Zakes Mda is a South African writer, painter, composer and film maker. He commutes between South Africa and the U.S., working as a professor of creative writing at Ohio University, beekeeper in the Eastern Cape, a patron of the Market Theatre, Johannesburg, and a director of the Southern African Multimedia AIDS Trust in Sophiatown, Johannesburg. 

Zakes on Twitter.

 
 
THE ZULUS OF NEW YORK  Literary Fiction, Umuzi, March 2019  The Great Farini would stride on to the stage and announce, ‘Ladies and gentlemen, and now for the highlight of the day, the ferocious Zulus.’  The impresario Farini introduced Em-Pee and his troupe to his kind of show business, and now they must earn their bread. In 1885 in a bustling New York City, they are the performers who know the true Zulu dances, while all around them fraudsters perform silly jigs.   Reports on the Anglo-Zulu War portrayed King Cetshwayo as infamous, and audiences in London and New York flock to see his kin. What the gawking spectators don’t know is that Em-Pee once carried nothing but his spear and shield, when he had to flee his king.   But amid the city’s squalid vaudeville acts appears a vision that leaves Em-Pee breathless: in a cage in Madison Square Park is Acol, a Dinka princess on display. For Em-Pee, it is love at first sight, though Acol is not free to love anyone back.

THE ZULUS OF NEW YORK

Literary Fiction, Umuzi, March 2019

The Great Farini would stride on to the stage and announce, ‘Ladies and gentlemen, and now for the highlight of the day, the ferocious Zulus.’

The impresario Farini introduced Em-Pee and his troupe to his kind of show business, and now they must earn their bread. In 1885 in a bustling New York City, they are the performers who know the true Zulu dances, while all around them fraudsters perform silly jigs. 

Reports on the Anglo-Zulu War portrayed King Cetshwayo as infamous, and audiences in London and New York flock to see his kin. What the gawking spectators don’t know is that Em-Pee once carried nothing but his spear and shield, when he had to flee his king. 

But amid the city’s squalid vaudeville acts appears a vision that leaves Em-Pee breathless: in a cage in Madison Square Park is Acol, a Dinka princess on display. For Em-Pee, it is love at first sight, though Acol is not free to love anyone back.

LITTLE SUNS  Literary fiction, 260 pages Umuzi, November 2015  Fresh classic from master storyteller Mda, intertwining an unusual love story with little-told history. Malangana (‘Little Suns’) searches for the woman he was parted from during The Wars of Hope – the real-life 19th Century battles between Xhosa tribes and British colonial rulers after the murder of Magistrate Hamilton Hope.

LITTLE SUNS

Literary fiction, 260 pages
Umuzi, November 2015

Fresh classic from master storyteller Mda, intertwining an unusual love story with little-told history. Malangana (‘Little Suns’) searches for the woman he was parted from during The Wars of Hope – the real-life 19th Century battles between Xhosa tribes and British colonial rulers after the murder of Magistrate Hamilton Hope.

THE SCULPTORS OF MAPUNGUBWE  Literary fiction, 304 pages  Seagull Books - June 2013  In the timeless kingdom of Mapungubwe, the royal sculptor had two sons, Chata and Rendani. As they grew, so grew their rivalry - and their extraordinary talents.  "Vivid inventiveness and acerbic iconoclasm . . . Tender humor and brutal violence vie with each other in Zakes Mda's pages, as do vibrant life and sudden death." --  New York Times Book Review

THE SCULPTORS OF MAPUNGUBWE

Literary fiction, 304 pages
Seagull Books - June 2013

In the timeless kingdom of Mapungubwe, the royal sculptor had two sons, Chata and Rendani. As they grew, so grew their rivalry - and their extraordinary talents.

"Vivid inventiveness and acerbic iconoclasm . . . Tender humor and brutal violence vie with each other in Zakes Mda's pages, as do vibrant life and sudden death." -- New York Times Book Review

SOMETIMES THERE IS A VOID  Memoir, 559 pages  Penguin (SA) - April 2011  'This is Zakes Mda's story. It must be read.' -- Maureen Isaacson,  The Sunday Independent

SOMETIMES THERE IS A VOID

Memoir, 559 pages
Penguin (SA) - April 2011

'This is Zakes Mda's story. It must be read.' -- Maureen Isaacson, The Sunday Independent