Margaret Busby OBE is an award-winning writer. Editor. Criti c. Consultant and broadcaster. She edited Daughters of Africa:An International Anthology of words and writing by women of African descent (1992), and has contributed to many publications. Margaret is also an ardent campaigner for diversity in publishing, co-founding GAP (Greater Access to Publishing). She is currently patron of Independent Black Publishers (IBP) and a member of the Arts Council’s Diversity in Publishing steering group.
The rural community of Ixopo, where Lauretta Ngcobo was born and brought up, is described in her novel, And They Didn’t Die (1990). She praises the unsung heroines, the rural women, whose struggles and complexities in harsh environments were further compounded by having to deal with the hardships of apartheid. As Lauretta Ngcobo’s husband was at the heart of the struggle against the apartheid regime she consequently was ‘married’ to the political struggles of the South African people. In 1963 Lauretta Ngcobo left South Africa, escaping imminent arrest, and went into exile with her husband and children, moving from Swaziland to Zambia and finally settling in England where she worked as a teacher for 25 years. In 1994 she returned to South Africa where she served as a member of the KwaZulu-Natal Provincial legislature. Soon after she left South Africa, Lauretta started writing, but it was not until 1981 that her first book, Cross of Gold, was published. Let it be Told recounts the turbulent thoughts of black women writers in Britain in the 1980’s, told in their own words. Lauretta Ngcobo found writing for children, however, gave her the greatest challenge as a writer. She has also written and published many academic papers, attended many writers’ conferences, delivered papers in various universities and travelled extensively as a consequence. Of her book And They Didn’t Die, Prof Mazisi Kunene writes, “This is the most enlightened and balanced book written by a woman who is African and who understands clearly the circumstances of African women – their history and their personal anguish.’
Henrietta Rose-Innes is a South African novelist andshort-story writer. She has published a collection of short stories, Homing, and two novels: Shark’s Egg and The Rock Alphabet.
In 2008 she won the Caine Prize for African Writing, for which she was shortlisted in 2007. Also in 2007, she was awarded the 2007 South African PEN award for her short story, ‘Poison’.
Her short stories have appeared in various international publications, and her writing has been translated into German, Arabic and Romanian. Dream Homes: Schnappschusse und Geschichten aus Kapstadt, a collection of short pieces, appeared in German translation in 2008.
While based in Cape Town, she was a Fellow in Literature at the Akademie Schloss Solitude, Stuttgart, (2007-8) and has held residencies at the Chateau de Lavigny, Lausanne; the kunst:raum sylt quelle, Sylt; and the University of Georgetown.
Karabo Kgomotso Kgoleng joined SAfm in 2007 as a presenter of the weekly on-air programme SAfm Literature. For the past two years she has been promoting literature and language, interviewing local and international authors such as Salman Rushdie, Ben Okri and Zapiro.
On weekdays Kgoleng hosts SAfm’s Afternoon Talk. She studied science at the University of Witwatersrand and is pursuing a degree in communication science. Her radio career began in 2002 when she joined Radio Islam and Channel Islam International as a presenter.
Kgoleng is a popular public speaker and a board member of Alliance Francaise Johannesburg, which promotes art development in the city. She contributes book reviews and opinion pieces for Y-Mag, Afripolitan, Al-Huda and OneSixSeven.
Natalia Molebatsi is one of the most committed young writers and spoken word artists to come of the township South Africa. The outspoken 28 year old cultural activist usually “breaks” into song while reciting poetry, influenced by and often experimenting with jazz, dub, hip hop and reggae from all generations.
Luli Callinicos is a social historian of South Africa. She was involved from the mid-1970s in writing history for adult Black workers with little formal education. She worked first for the Metal and Allied Workers Union and then for The World newspaper in Johannesburg, which was banned in 1977. She was a founding member of the History Workshop of University of the Witwatersrand and also the Workers’ Library in Johannesburg. She wrote the three-volume People’s History of South Africa, a biography of Oliver Tambo, and other books about South African people’s history.
Arja Salafranca was born in Spain in 1971 and is a South African writer, poet and journalist. Salafranca has had fiction, poetry and essays published in a number of journals and anthologies. Her first poetry collection, A life stripped of illusions, received the 1994 Sanlam Award for poetry, while a short story, ‘Couple on the Beach’ was a winner of the same award in 1999 for short fiction. Her second collection of poetry, The fire in which we burn, was published by Dye Hard Press in 2000. An anthology of prose and poetry, Glass Jars Among Trees, which she co-edited with Alan Finlay, was published by Jacana Media in 2003. Salafranca is editor of the Sunday Life supplement in the Johannesburg-based The Sunday Independent. Her debut collection of short stories, The Thin Line, was published by Modjaji Books, in 2010.