- Professor Njabulo Simakahle Ndebele is an established author. He published The Cry of Winnie Mandela to critical acclaim in 2003. A revised addition of this novel was published in 2013. His first book Fools and Other Stories won the Noma Award, Africa’s highest literary award for the best book published in Africa in 1984. His highly influential essays on South African literature and culture were published in a collection Rediscovery of the Ordinary. Njabulo Ndebele served as President of the Congress of South African Writers for many years. As a public figure he is known for his incisive insights in commentaries on a range of public issues in South Africa. Fine Lines from the Box: Further Thoughts About Our Country, published in 2007 brings together essays he wrote between 1987 and 2006. In 2008, this won him the k. Sello Duiker Memorial Literary Award, a category of the South African Literary Awards.
- He holds honorary doctorates from universities in the United Kingdom, Netherlands, Japan, South Africa and the United States of America. The University of Cambridge awarded him an Honorary Doctorate in Law in 2006, and he was made an honorary fellow of Churchill College in 2007. In 2008 the University of Michigan awarded him another Honorary Doctorate in Law.