Authors birthdays: June

Nnoseng Ellen Kate Kuzwayo (29 June 1914 – 19 April 2006) was a women’s rights activist and politician in South Africa. She was president of the African National Congress Youth League in the 1960s. In 1994 she was elected to the first post-apartheid South African Parliament. Her autobiography, Call Me Woman (1985), won the CNA Prize.

Kuzwayo came from an educated, political family. Her maternal grandfather, Jeremaiah Makgothi, was taken by his mother from the Orange Free State to the Cape to attend the Lovedale Institute, circa 1875. He qualified as a teacher and also worked as a court interpreter and a Methodist lay preacher. Makgothi was the only layman to work with Robert Moffat on the translation of the Bible into Setswana.

Both Makgothi and Kuzwayo’s father, PS Mefare, were political. Makgothi was secretary of the Orange Free State branch of the South African Native National Congress, Mefare a member of its successor, the African National Congress. A South African marine research ship was named after her.

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Among great novels Ellen wrote is African Wisdom:

The book provides a unique insight into folkloric African wisdom by analyzing and offering anecdotal usage of Setswana proverbs. The author recounts tales from her rural youth and explains her philosophy on the healing power of proverbs. Also contained are a selection of Setswana proverbs, each with a literal English translation and an explanation of its meaning. The subjects addressed include the individual, the society, and the family.

  • Adelaide Casely-Hayford, née Smith – 27 June 1868—died 16 January 1960
  • Lucille Clifton – 27 June 1936 –died 13 February 2010
  • Paul Laurence Dunbar – 27 June 1872 – died 9 February 1906
  • Syl Cheney-Coker – 28 June 1945
  • Dennis Chukude Osadebay – 29 June 1911—died 26 December 1994
  • Stokely Carmichael – 29 June 1941 –died 15 November 1998
  • Chester Bomar Himes – 29 July 1909 –died 12 November 1984
  • Ellen Kuzwayo – 29 June 1914 – died 19 April 2006
  • Thomas Sowell – 30 June 1930

Word of the day:Chihuahua

Say it: che-wa-wa

Part of speech: Noun

Definition:Any of a breed of very small round headed dogs that occur in short-coated and long-coated varieties.

Etymology: Mexican

Synonyms:Greyhound, Bulldog,Collie,Dalmatian

Use in a sentence: Across all the varied breeds, the genetic potential for dog size evidently is Chihuahua to Mastiff .


Authors birthday: June

Amos Tutuola (20 June 1920 – 8 June 1997) was a Nigerian writer famous for his books based in part on Yoruba folk-tales.Tutuola was born in Abeokuta, Nigeria, in 1920, where his parents Charles and Esther were Yoruba Christian cocoa farmers. When about seven years old, he became a servant for F. O. Monu, an Igbo man, who sent Tutuola to the Salvation Army primary school in lieu of wages. At age 12 he attended the Anglican Central School in Abeokuta. His brief education was limited to six years (from 1934 to 1939).

When his father died in 1939, Tutuola left school to train as a blacksmith, which trade he practised from 1942 to 1945 for the Royal Air Force in Nigeria. He subsequently tried a number of other vocations, including selling bread and acting as messenger for the Nigerian Department of Labor. In 1946, Tutuola completed his first full-length book, The Palm-Wine Drinkard, within a few days. In 1947 he married Victoria Alake, with whom he had four sons and four daughters.

Despite his short formal education, Tutuola wrote his novels in English. After he had written his first three books and become internationally famous, he joined the Nigerian Broadcasting Corporation in 1956 as a storekeeper in Ibadan, Western Nigeria. Tutuola also became one of the founders of Mbari Club, the writers’ and publishers’ organization. In 1979, he held a visiting research fellowship at the University of Ife (now Obafemi Awolowo University) at Ile-Ife, Nigeria, and in 1983 he was an associate of the International Writing Program at the University of Iowa. In retirement he divided his time between residences at Ibadan and Ago-Odo.

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Many of his papers, letters, and holographic manuscripts have been collected at the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center at the University of Texas, Austin.Tutuola’s most famous novel, The Palm-Wine Drinkard and his Dead Palm-Wine Tapster in the Deads’ Town, was written in 1946, first published in 1952 in London by Faber and Faber, then translated and published in Paris as L’Ivrogne dans la brousse by Raymond Queneau in 1953.

The noted poet Dylan Thomas brought it to wide attention, calling it “brief, thronged, grisly and bewitching”. Although the book was praised in England and the United States, it faced severe criticism in Tutuola’s native Nigeria. Part of this criticism was due to his use of “broken English” and primitive style, which supposedly promoted the Western stereotype of “African backwardness”. This line of criticism has, however, lost steam.

  • Eduardo Chivambo Mondlane – 20 June 1920 – died 3 February 1969
  • Amos Tutuola – 20 June 1920 –died 8 June 1997
  • Everette Lynn Harris – 20 June 1955 –died 23 July 2009
  • Charles Waddell Chesnutt – 20 June 1858 –died 15 November 1932
  • Aqiil Gopee – 22 June 1997
  • Octavia Estelle Butler – 22 June 1947 – died 24 February 2006
  • Zulu Sofola 22 June 1935 –died  5 September 1995
  • Pamela Thomas-Graham – 24 June 1963
  • Patrick Fani Chakaipa – 25 June 1932 – died 8 April 2003
  • Vincent Gordon Harding – 25 July 1931 –died 19 May 2014
  • Fran Ross – 25 June 1935 –died 17 September 1985

Word of the day:Allegator

Say it: a-le-ga-ter

Part of speech: Noun

Definition: A large reptile that has a long body, thick skin, and sharp teeth, that lives in the tropical parts of the U.S. and China, and that is related to crocodiles.


Synonyms: Lizard, Crocodile

Use in a sentence: Among the animals are the puma, manatee (sea cow), alligator and crocodile, but the number of these has been greatly diminished by hunting.



Author birthday: June

Okot p’Bitek (7 June 1931 – 20 July 1982) was a Ugandan poet, who achieved wide international recognition for Song of Lawino, a long poem dealing with the tribulations of a rural African wife whose husband has taken up urban life and wishes everything to be westernised. Song of Lawino was originally written in Acholi language, and self-translated to English, and published in 1966. It was a breakthrough work, creating an audience amongst anglophone Africans for direct, topical poetry in English; and incorporating traditional attitudes and thinking in an accessible yet faithful literary vehicle. It was followed by the pendant Song of Ocol (1970), the husband’s reply.


  • Victor Séjour – 2 June 1817 – died 20 September 1874
  • Cornel Ronald West – 2 June 1953
  • Dorothy West – 2 June 1907 –died 16 August 1998
  • Paulina “Poulli” Chiziane – 4 June 1955
  • Marie NDiaye – 4 June 1967
  • Dambudzo Marechera – 4 June 1952 –died 18 August 1987
  • Julian Hudson Mayfield – 6 June 1928 – died 20 October 1984
  • Yolande Cornelia “Nikki” Giovanni, Jr. – 7 June 1943
  • Okot p’Bitek – 7 June 1931 – died 20 July 1982
  • Helene Johnson – 7 July 1906 –died 6 July 1995
  • Gwendolyn Elizabeth Brooks – 7 June 1917 –died 3 December 2000
  • Thomas Dexter “T. D.” Jakes, Sr. – 9 June 1957
  • Brandon Massey – 9 June 1973
  • Arthur Shearly Cripps – 10 June 1869 –died 1 August 1952
  • Roscoe Hunter Orman – 11 June 1944
  • Afolabi Olabimtan – 11 June 1932 –died 27 August 2003