|National Poet Laureate|
| Celebrated South African poet laureate and professor, Mazisi Kunene was born in Durban and undertook a Master of Arts degree at the University of Natal. He won a Bantu Literary Competition in 1956 and three years later left for London to study at the School of Oriental and African Studies.He returned to South Africa in 1992 after having pursued his studies and lectured in England, Lesotho and the USA. Until his retirement he was based at the then University of KwaZulu-Natal. He is well known for his 1979 epic poem Emperor Shaka the Great – inspired by the rise of the Zulu empire. His works were written originally in Zulu and then translated into English.
Anthem of the Decades: a Zulu Epic published in English in 1981 tells the Zulu legend of how death came to mankind. A collection of poems called The Ancestors and the Sacred Mountain: Poems containing 100 of his poems was published in 1982.