Anti-apartheid writer, Es'kia Mphahlele, dies





The prominent South African academic and writer, Es'kia Mphahlele, died on October 27th, aged 88. He was particularly famous for his autobiography Down Second Avenue (1959) about his life as a herdsman, teacher and journalist for the magazine Drum.

He became a teacher, but was banned from teaching in the early 1950s as a result of his opposition to the 1953 Bantu Education Act, which notably enforced the separation of races in all educational institutions.
In 1957, Mphahlele went into exile from apartheid South Africa. During his twenty years of exile he spent time in France, Nigeria, Zambia and Kenya. In 1968 he gained a doctoral degree in the United States from the University of Denver in 1968 and became a professor at the University of Pennsylvania. In 1969 he was nominated for the Nobel Prize for Literature.

Upon his return to South Africa in 1977, he became the first black professor at the University of Witwatersrand and founded the school’s African Literature Department.


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