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Author 7: Niq Mhlongo

Author 7: Niq Mhlongo

Niq Mhlongo was born in 1973 in Soweto. He has a BA from the University of the Witwatersrand, with majors in African Literature and Political Studies. His first novel, Dog Eat Dog, was published by Kwela in 2004 and was translated into Spanish under the title Perro Come Perro in 2006. This Spanish edition was awarded the Mar de Letras prize.

Besides writing novels and short stories, Niq has written a screenplay for the animated children’s TV series Magic Cellar and scripts for a comic magazine called Mshana, the first issue of which appeared in February 2007. After Tears is his second novel.

Books currently in print:

Way Back Home, Kwela (2013)

After Tears, Kwela (2007; reissued 2013) 

Dog Eat Dog, Kwela (2004; reissued 2013)

Awards

Mar de Letras Internecional-prys (2006) – For the Spanish translation of Dog Eat Dog

Published works


2013 Way Back Home, Kwela
2007 After Tears, Kwela
2004 Dog Eat Dog, Kwela


Translations

Dog Eat Dog (2004): Spanish (Perro Come Perro, 2006)

The Books:

After Tears

Bafana (nicknamed Advo for advocate), is a young man with a weight on his shoulders. After flunking his law studies at UCT, he now has to find a way to either admit the truth to his family, or somehow find a job that will allow him to continue fooling them.

Soon after his arrival back home in Soweto he meets up with a Nigerian guy named Yomi who promises to help him solve all his problems. What should Bafana do? Should he bite the bullet and confess the truth to his mother and uncle, or should he rather take up Yomi’s suggestion to buy a law degree and start practicing as an attorney? A piercingly funny yet poignant novel by the author of Dog Eat Dog.

Way Back Home

I, Kimathi Fezile Tito, do solemnly declare that I am a soldier of the South African revolution. I am a volunteer fighter, committed to the struggle for justice. I place myself in the service of the people, The Movement and its allies.13 August 1986, Angola

Kimathi Tito has it all. As a child of the revolution, born in exile in Tanzania, he has steadily accumulated wealth and influence since arriving in South Africa in 1991. But even though everything appears just peachy from outside the walls of his mansion in Bassonia, things are far from perfect for Comrade Kimathi. After a messy divorce, accelerated by his gambling habit and infidelities, he is in danger of losing everything. And now, to top it all, he’s seeing ghosts. Sometimes what happens in exile doesn’t stay in exile.

A caustic critique of South Africa’s political elite from the author of Dog Eat Dog and After Tears (both recently reissued).

Dog Eat Dog (2013 edition)

Dingz is an average Wits student – struggling with money, partying with his friends, picking up girls, skipping lectures, making up elaborate excuses for missing exams. A bright, articulate guy, Dingz and his circle of friends sit around drinking and discussing current affairs – Aids, racism, South African politics and history – in between being kidnapped by taxi-drivers, contracting gonorrhoea and trying to fake a death certificate. 

This is an authentic, witty slice-of-life set at the time of the first democratic elections, full of interesting perceptions and vivid descriptions, and well-drawn and believable characters. 

All in all, an exciting manuscript and a lively read; the narrator has a humorous, wry voice, perceptive and cynical. A glimpse into the lives of the “kwaito generation”, both in the township and on campus.

Source: Kwela