Wally Serote SALA 2007
Mongane Serote
Lifetime Achievement Literary Award
 Mongane Wally Serote was born four years prior to the coming to power of the National Party and the introduction of apartheid in South Africa. Always conscious of himself in relation to his society, Serote in his life and writing provides a chronicle of and commentary on the apartheid era. A paraphrase of a section from an early poem, “Ofay-Watcher, Throbs-Phase” (1972)–“blacks must learn to talk; whites must learn to listen”–has attained the status of a local proverb. As one of the most prominent South African poets, he is primarily known for the passionate intensity of his work, his uncompromising commitment to political liberation, the breadth of his sympathies, and the tension he maintains between the clichéd image or expression and the startlingly original one. Apart from his volumes of poetry he is a novelist of note and has also written various short stories. He has written essays dealing with subjects such as the role of culture and literature in the liberation struggle. These subjects are adequately encapsulated in one of his essay entitled, “Culture, Literature and Liberation” (1990).In 2007 Dr. Mongane Wally Serote received the Lifetime Achievement Literary Award bestowed by the Department of Arts and Culture in conjunction with wRite Associates.