Writing A New South Africa


Word N Sound CEO, Thabiso Mohare, spent a week with BBC Radio journalist, Megan Jones interviewing writers and spoken word artists in Cape Town and Joburg for this exciting 3 part radio series.

The series seeks to paint a picture of South Africa as seen by a new generation of writers.

Part 1 | 19 February
Thabiso talks to writers and poets about the changing cityscape and how the past impacts on the present in their work.


  • Ivan Vladislavic, who has documented the city in his novels and non-fiction work ‘Portrait with Keys’.
  • Lebo Mashile, who talks about the emergence of the black female voice in the past twenty years.
  • Niq Mhlongo, whose most recent book ‘Way Back Home’ looks critically at the struggle against apartheid, and the way those who went into exile to fight for the movement are haunted by their experiences.

Part 2 | 26 February
Part 2 looks at the challenges, tensions and solutions facing South African writers. He talks to publishers, writers and poets about the issue of a small book-reading culture being exacerbated by the high cost of books in the country, and looks at how the spoken word scene has grown in the past twenty years to provide an outlet for new voices.

Part 3 | 5 March
Thabiso then travels to Cape Town to meet a new generation of writers, poets and playwrights and looks at the theme of place and contested space in their work and the history of the city.


  • Lauren Beukes, whose sci-fi visions of South African cities are internationally successful.
  • Playwright and novelist Nadia Davids talks about the undealt-with legacy of slavery in the city.
  • Playwright, Amy Jephta whose parents were forcibly removed from District 6.
  • Thabiso explores the status of Afrikaans among the younger generation now with poets Toni Stuart, Adrain Van Wyk and short story writer SJ Naude.
  • And there is uncompromisingly political work from Nathan Trantraal and Ronelda Kamfer.

Tune in: Stream BBC Radio 4 here.

Take part in our Twitter discussion: Check out #WritingNewZA on Friday 20 February @ 12pm for a conversation with @LeboMashile and @Afurakan. Feel free to join in with your comments and questions.

The Writing A New South Africa radio series and Twitter conversations that take place after each broadcast, are brought to you in partnership with British Council Connect ZA.

One response to “Writing A New South Africa

  1. Pingback: Afurakan’s new doccie on SA literature | Word N Sound Live Literature Co.·

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