Authors birthdays: December

Ismail Joubert (7 December 1920 – 23 December 2002), commonly known as Tatamkhulu Afrika, which is Xhosa for Grandfather Africa, was a South African poet and writer. His first novel, Broken Earth was published when he was seventeen (under his “Methodist name”), but it was over fifty years until his next publication, a collection of verse entitled Nine Lives. He won numerous literary awards including the gold Molteno Award for lifetime services to South African literature, and in 1996 his works were translated into French. His autobiography, Mr Chameleon, was published posthumously in 2005.

Tatamkhulu Afrika was born Mogamed Fu’ad Nasifin Egypt to an Egyptian father and a Turkish mother, and came to South Africa as a very young child. Both his parents died of flu, and he was fostered by family friends under the name John Charlton.

He fought in World War II in the North African Campaign and was captured at Tobruk. His experiences as a prisoner of war featured prominently in his writing. After World War II he left his foster family and went to Namibia (then South-West Africa), where he was fostered by an Afrikaans family, taking his third legal name of Jozua Joubert.

In 1987 he was arrested for terrorism and banned from speaking or writing in public for five years, although he continued writing under the name of Tatamkhulu Afrika. He was imprisoned for 11 years in the same prison as Nelson Mandela, and was released in 1992.

Tatamkulu Afrika died on 23 December 2002, shortly after his 82nd birthday, from injuries received when he was run over by a car two weeks before, just after the publication of his final novel, Bitter Eden. He left a number of unpublished works, including his autobiography, two novels, four short novels, two plays and poetry.

 

  • Samuel Edward Krune Mqhayi – 1 December 1875 – died 29 July 1945
  • Charles Lovemore Mungoshi – 2 December 1947
  • Mamman Jiya Vatsa – 3 December 1940 – died 5 March 1986
  • Lewis Nkosi – 5 December 1936 –  died 5 September 2010
  • Phillis Wheatley – 1753 – died 5 December 1784
  • John Alfred Williams – 5 December 1925 –died 3 July 2015
  • José Carlos Schwarz – 6 December 1949 –died 27 May 1977
  • Tatamkhulu Afrika –  7 December 1920 – died 23 December 2002
  • Pearl Cleage – 7 December 1948
  • Valentin-Yves Mudimbe- 8 December 1941
  • Maria da Conceição de Deus Lima – 8 December 1961
  • Riana Scheepers – 9 December 1957
  • Naguib Mahfouz -11 December 1911 – died 30 August 2006
  • Birago Diop – 11 December 1906 – died 25 November 1989
  • Leslie Esdaile Banks -11 December 1959 – died 2 August 2011
  • Venance Konan – 12 December 1958
  • Sokhna Benga – 12 December 1967
  • Lady Anne Barnard – 12 December 1750– died 6 May 1825
  • Brenda Marie Osbey – 12 December 1957
  • Margaret Bakkes – 14 December 1931
  • Stanley Crouch – 14 December 1945
  • Corey James Hodges- 14 December 1970
  • Carolyn Marie Rodgers – 14 December 1940 –died 2 April 2010
  • Jean-Baptiste Tati Loutard – 15 December 1938 – died 4 July 2009
  • Donald Goines – 15 December 1936 – died 21 October 1974
  • Albert Memmi – 15 December 1920
  • Andy Razaf – 16 December 1895 –died 3 February 1973
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Word of the day: Milieu

Say it: mel-yu

Part of speech: Noun

Definition: The physical or social setting in which something occurs or develops.

Etymology: French

Synonyms: Ambient, Atmosphere, Climate, Clime, Context, Contexture, Environs

Use in a sentence: Young, innovative artists thrive in the freewheeling milieu that a big city offers.

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The Countdown Begins!!!

Drones

  • Amahle Mbelwa
  • Zameer Dada
  • Innocent Ngwenya
  • Thabo Tau Modiselle
  • Omphemetse Monchwe
  • Ntombifuthi Selepe

Bumble Bees

  • Cwenga Qashani
  • Faizaan Gani
  • Nomhlekhabo Nkosi
  • Boikhutso Matlhole
  • Irfaan Kajee
  • Kearabetsoe Molehe

Honey Bees

  • Tripti Patel
  • Habeeb Shonubi
  • Chulumanco Oliphant
  • Zizikazi Nzimande
  • Didintle William
  • Boikanyo Koena

Authors birthdays: November

Tayari Jones (born November 30, 1970, in Atlanta, Georgia) is an American author and winner of the Hurston-Wright Legacy Award for Debut Fiction. She was educated at Spelman College, the University of Iowa and Arizona State University.

Her first novel, Leaving Atlanta, is a three-voiced coming-of-age story set against the backdrop of the Atlanta Child Murders of 1979-81. This novel, which was written while she was a graduate student at Arizona State University, is based on the experience as a child in Atlanta during that period. It won the 2003 Hurston/Wright Legacy Award for Debut Fiction. Aletha Spann of 30Nineteen Productions has purchased the film option for Leaving Atlanta.

The Untelling is also set in Atlanta. Described by Publishers Weekly as Jones’s “deep-felt second novel”, the book examines how the protagonist comes to terms with the loss of key members of her family as a child before having to redefine herself all over again in her mid-twenties.It was awarded the Lillian C. Smith Award for New Voices in 2005.

Silver Sparrow, Jones’s third novel, was published by Algonquin Books in 2011. It was an American Booksellers Association’s number 1 “Indie Next” pick.

Tayari Jones has taught creative writing at The University of Illinois and also at George Washington University, where she served as the Jenny McKean Moore Writer in Washington. She is now a member of the MFA faculty at the Newark Campus of Rutgers University. Her brother is the sports pundit Bomani Jones.

  • Adamou Idé – 22 November 1951
  • Valerie Wilson Wesley – 22 November 1947
  • Mary Walker Phillips – 23 November 1923 – died 3November 2007
  • Zoë Wicomb – 23 November 1948
  • Richard Dogbeh – 1932– died 23 November 2003
  • Nuruddin Farah – 24 November 1945
  • Obo Aba Hisanjani – 24 November 1949
  • Ahmadou Kourouma – 24 November 1927 – died 11 December 2003
  • F.A. Venter – 27 November 1916 –  died 1997
  • Antoine Abel – 27 November 1934 – October 19, 2004
  • Dennis Brutus – 28 November 1924 – died 26 December 2009
  • Achmat Dangor – 30 November 1947
  • Tayari Jones – 30 November 1970
  • Gordon Parks – 30 November 1912 –died 7 March 2006

Word of the day: Narcissist

Say it: na-sisiz-em-na-sist

Part of speech: Noun

Definition: A person who is overly concerned with his or her own desires, needs, or interests.

Etymology: Greek

Synonyms: Egocentric, Egomaniac, Egotist, Ego-tripper, Egoist

Use in a sentence: Attention-craving narcissists had a public forum for their self-infatuation.

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Authors birthdays: November

Nadine Gordimer (20 November 1923 – 13 July 2014) was a South African writer, political activist and recipient of the 1991 Nobel Prize in Literature. She has recognised as a woman “who through her magnificent epic writing has – in the words of Alfred Nobel – been of very great benefit to humanity”.

Gordimer was educated at a convent school and began writing at the young age of nine; her first short story was published when she was fifteen in the liberal Johannesburg magazine, Forum. She later spent a year at Witwatersrand University, Johannesburg without receiving a degree. In 1948, she moved to Johannesburg where she lived most of her life. Gordimer has been awarded 10 honorary doctorates in literature from various universities around the world.

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Gordimer wrote about her childhood in Springs, then a mining town on the East Rand outside Johannesburg, only relatively late in her life. She remembered the spectral presence of black workers on the margins of her world and a burgeoning awareness of difference; she recalled also a kind of class struggle waged between her parents – her party, upper-class mother and her lower-class father.

In 1974, her novel, The Conservationist, was the joint winner of the Booker Prize for Fiction. Her 1979 novel, Burger’s Daughter, was written during the aftermath of the Soweto uprising and was banned, along with other books she had written. Although many of Gordimer’s books were banned by the Apartheid regime in South Africa, they were widely read around the world and served almost as a testament over the years of the changing responses to Apartheid in South Africa. She never considered going into exile but in the 1960s and 1970’s she lectured at universities in the United States of America (USA) for short periods.

Nadine Gordimer died in her sleep in her Johannesburg home on 13 July 2014.

  • Kameisha Jerae Hodge – 1 November 1989
  • William Melvin Kelley – 1 November 1937
  • Michelle Cliff – 2 November 1946
  • Lauretta Ngcobo -1931 – died 3 November 2015,
  • Uzodinma Iweala – 5 November  1982
  • Stephen Watson – 6 November 1954 –  died 10 April 2011
  • Colson Whitehead – 6 November 1969
  • Derrick Albert Bell, Jr. – 6 November 1930 –died 5 October 2011
  • René Maran – 8 November 1887 – died 9 May 1960
  • Godspower Samson Oboido – 10 November 1988
  • Joan Cooper – 10 November 1931– died 20 September 2014
  • Miriam Tlali – 11 November 1933
  • Kamanda Kama Sywor – 11 November 1952
  • Emma Dunham Kelley-Hawkins – 11 November 1863 – died 22 October 1938
  • Damon Galgut – 12 November 1963
  • Wanda Coleman – 13 November 1946 –died 22 November 2013
  • Jan Rabie – 14 November 1920 – died 15 November 2001
  • Musaemura Bonas Zimunya – 14 November 1949
  • Elie Rajaonarison – 15 November 1951 – died 27 November 2010
  • Rosemary Esehagu – 15 November 1981
  • Sarah Jane Woodson Early – 15 November 1825 –died August 1907
  • Abdi Abdulkadir Sheik-Abdi – 15 November 1942
  • Albert Chinualumogu Achebe – 16 November 1930 –died 21 March 2013
  • Johanna Brandt – 18 November 1876 – died 13 January 1964
  • Tina McElroy Ansa -18 November 1949
  • William Alexander Attaway – 19 November 1911 –died 17 June 1986
  • Ethelbert Miller – 20 November 1950
  • Pauli Murray – 20 November 1910 –died 1 July 1985
  • Nadine Gordimer – 20 November 1923 – died 13 July 2014

Authors birthdays: October

Ousmane Diop Socé (October 31, 1911, Rufisque, Senegal, French West Africa – October 27, 1973, Dakar, Senegal) was a writer, politician, and one of the first Senegalese novelists.

He attended a Qur’anic school, and later entered into the colonial school system, from which he would become one of the first African students to receive a scholarship to study at a French university. He studied veterinary medicine, during which time he would have two novels published in Paris—Karin (1935) and Mirages de Paris (1937).

The former expressed a concern of Socé’s where young Africans would face problems moving from rural to urban areas, while the in latter he incorporated his own experiences in writing about the tragic love story of a Senegalese student and a French woman. Like that of other early Senegalese novelists, his writing was heavily influenced by his French counterparts—inventing a plot and leading their characters into various sorts of adventures. They also borrowed techniques such as dialogue, flashbacks, and the stream of consciousness.

Socé later wrote a number of animals and historical tales in his Contes et légendes d’Afrique noire (1942; “Stories and Legends of Black Africa”) which he drew from Senegalese oral tradition. He founded the magazine Bingo in 1953, and in 1956 had Rythmes du Khalam, a volume of poetry, published.

He served in the French Senate from 1946-1952 and in the Sénat de la Communauté from 1959-1961. He also served as Senegal’s ambassador to the United States and delegate to the United Nations. However, he was forced to retire in 1968 due to increasing blindness.

  • Ahmad Baba al-Massufi al-Timbukti – 26 October 1556 – died 1627
  • Stephen L. Carter – 26 October 1954
  • Karel Schoeman – 26 October 1939
  • George Cain – 27 October 1943 – died 23 October 2010
  • Ronald L. Fair – 27 October 1932
  • Maya Arriz Tamza – 27 October 1957
  • William Farquhar Conton – 27 October 1925
  • Jessica Care Moore – 28 October 1971
  • Archibald Campbell Jordan – 30 October 1906 – died 20 October 1968
  • Ousmane Diop Socé – 31 October 1911 –died 27 October 1973

Word of the day: Frikkadel

Say it: frike-del

Part of speech: Noun

Definition: A traditional Afrikaner dish of baked (sometimes deep-fried) meatballs prepared with onion, bread, eggs, vinegar, and spices.

Etymology: Afrikaans

Synonyms: Meatballs, Rissole

Use in a sentence: She rushed off to find a tap after swallowing a frikkadel laden with peri peri.

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