Sipho Richard Kekezwa

Born in East London, Sipho Kekezwa started as a voracious reader while still at school. He read both English and isiXhosa books, authors of which inspired him to write and whose writing styles rubbed off on him. After eight years of unemployment at home, he moved to Cape Town in the early 1990’s where his dream of becoming a published author was realized, after years of struggling to make a breakthrough.

Although he initially wanted to get published in isiXhosa, taking a journalism course with Intec College paved a way for him to be able to write in English as well, with his first submissions, short stories, being published in Drum Magazine while working as a school caretaker in Makhaza, Khayelitsha.

The St John’s Apostolic Church bishop who always stresses that his writings are more for reader entertainment than preaching is an author of children’s books, drama, novels, short stories and poems and has won various awards for his writing, both in English and isiXhosa. His Sanlam Prize for Youth Novel Writing silver prize winner which he received in 2013 was used in the Funda Mzantsi Championships 2015 and 2016 respectively, with book clubs from different parts of the country competing on reviewing it. His other novel titled, Amajing ’ iqhiwu otshintsho has been recently aired on Umhlobo wenene FM’s book reading programme, Ufundo lwencwadi. This novel was published through the National Library’s Community Publishing grant in 2013.

His first attempt at poetry, Nqanda mongameli, was published in an anthology titled, 100 Echoes on Mandela’s Century by the National Library of South Africa. This anthology honours the late first South African black president, Nelson Rholihlala Mandela who would have turned 100 in the year of its publication, 2018. Then followed various poems that were selected for publication in the Avbob Poetry Competition.

Though it was never published at the moment, the manuscript for this book, Ubomi, ungancama! received a runner’s up prize in Maskew Miller Longman’s Drama Awards 2012, together with another titled, Umxhesho, which is yet to be published.

Besides writing, Sipho is also a creative writing workshop facilitator and freelance language services provider offering such services as editing, proofreading, reviewing and translations. Four aspiring writers who had attended his first workshop while still in Cape Town had their submissions published in a volume titled; Cape Town: Writing my City.