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South Africa celebrates an African Wordsmith
The Reprint of South African Classics Project, administered by the Centre for the Book, celebrated another milestone. The first isiXhosa novel written and published in 1914 by Mr Samuel Edward Krune Mqhayi (1875 – 1945) titled ´Ityala lamawele´ (The lawsuit of the twins) is celebrating its centenary. This title was reprinted as part of the first phase of the project having received the highest nomination from native indigenous language speakers and practitioners. The South African Classics Project reprinted the seventh abridged version of the original text.

Mqhayi is best known and most celebrated today for his authorship of much of the poem, ‘Nkosi Sikelel' iAfrika’, which was to form part of a free South Africa's national anthem. A youthful Nelson Mandela, who esteemed him ‘a poet laureate of the African people,’ saw Mqhayi at least twice in the flesh, and once, to his infinite pleasure, heard him recite. (

Mandla Mona, Centre for the Book



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