Category        : Literary Posthumous Award

Authors          : R.R.R & H.I.E Dhlomo

Title                : His oeuvre

Language       : isiZulu/English



Rolfes Robert Reginald Dhlomo (1906 – 1971) was a South African novelist. His novella, An African Tragedy, published in 1928, was the first fiction work written by a black South African to appear in book form. Together with his brother Herbert, he worked as a journalist and editor for the journals Bantu World and Ilanga laseNatali. His later novels, he wrote in the Zulu language.

Dhlomo attended the Ohlange Institute in his hometown and then earned a teacher’s certificate from Adams College at nearby Amanzimtoti. He contributed sketches and moral tales to The Sjambok, Ilanga lase Natal, and The Bantu World before becoming editor of The Bantu World (1942–43) and Ilanga lase Natal (1943–60), for which he wrote a leading feature in English and numerous articles in Zulu.

An African Tragedy, a novel about the corrosive effects of the city on a pair of lovers from the country, is a Christian fable of sin and forgiveness. Dhlomo’s major novels in Zulu—UNomalanga kaNdengezi (1934; “Nomalanga, Daughter of Ndengezi”) and Indlela yababi (1946; “The Way of the Wicked”)—paint portraits of Zulu life in Natal and Johannesburg, respectively. Many of his other Zulu works are semibiographical accounts about members of the Zulu dynasty.

His Selected Short Stories was originally published in 1975 by the Institute for the Study of English in Africa. A revised edition was published in South Africa by the Institute for the Study of English in Africa, Rhodes University, in 1996.