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Es’kia Mphahlele
Lifetime Achievement Literary Award

South African novelist, short-story writer and a critic was born in Pretoria. After a late start at school he qualified as a teacher and in 1945 joined the staff of Orlando High School. Dismissed from teaching for his opposition to ‘Bantu education’ in 1952, he joined the magazine Drum as political reporter and fiction editor. He gained a master’s degree at the University of South Africa in 1956 and the following year began a period of exile that did not end until his return to South Africa in 1977.

During his exile he taught at universities in Africa and the USA, gained a Ph.D. at the University of Denver, and served as a director of the Congress for Cultural Freedom in Paris. He retired in 1987 as professor of African literature at the University of Witwatersrand. Mphahlele’s reputation as a writer will probably rest on his autobiography, Down Second Avenue (1959). The prevalence of the autobiography in Africa has been attributed to a search for identity within the new…

He was honoured with the South African Literary Lifetime Achievement Award in 2005.

 

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