Introducing Amagalelo, a Collection of Winning isiZulu Short Stories, Poetry and Essays
UKZN Press is pleased to announce the release of Amagalelo, edited by Nakanjani G Sibiya:
Take a walk on any of the South African university campuses and you will hear the air resonating with the sounds of different languages seamlessly interweaving with each other as students engage in academic work, talk, laughter and play.
In 2012 this inspired the University of KwaZulu-Natal Language Board, in partnership with Independent Newspapers, to hold a first-of-its-kind isiZulu-English writing competition. By issuing an invitation to write in an African Language in a way that captures our changing world, it hoped to stimulate ‘border crossings’ and by so doing, encourage reading and writing in African languages.
The panel of expert judges comprised internationally renowned storyteller Dr Gcina Mhlophe, Dr Nakanjani Sibiya, Prof Otty Nxumalo and Dr Gugu Mazibuko. They were overwhelmed by the high standard of the entries, which highlighted the value and power of indigenous languages as a source and expression of identity and pride.
The purpose of the competition and of this book is thus to promote bilingualism and, in particular, the development of isiZulu, with the aim of contributing to literature in that language. This collection of short stories, essays and poetry is the result. We hope that readers will read it with the same degree of interest and enjoyment that the judges found in it – and that it will highlight the importance of creating spaces for people to express themselves creatively in their mother tongue, rather than in English alone.
About the editor
Dr Nakanjani G. Sibiya has published a number of isiZulu books across various genres. It is in the category of short stories that he has contributed the most to South African literature; to date he has published five volumes of short stories, four dramas and seven anthologies of short stories that he co-authored or edited. His debut collection of short stories, titled Ikusasa Eliqhakazile, won the JL Dube Award for Prose.
In 2003 he was awarded the M-Net Book Prize for his debut novel Kuxolelwa Abanjani? In 2004 this novel also received the BW Vilakazi Prize, the most prestigious award for isiZulu literature.
Sibiya has a PhD from the University of Zululand and works as an editor for a publisher in Pietermaritzburg.