Weekend Post (South Africa)

Zuma sends condolence­s on death of author Tlali

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PRESIDENT Jacob Zuma has expressed his condolence­s on the passing of legendary author Miriam Tlali‚ who died at the weekend.

Tlali‚ the first black woman to publish a novel in South Africa‚ was 83.

“We have learned with deep sadness of the passing of one of the country’s internatio­nally celebrated black female authors‚ Ms Tlali‚ who played a critical role during the liberation struggle by telling a true South African story through her anti-apartheid novels‚” Zuma said in a statement.

“She will be remembered for her outstandin­g literary work which earned her several accolades and honours, including the Order of Ikhamanga.”

Tlali was born in Doornfonte­in in Johannesbu­rg. She applied to study literature at the University of the Witwatersr­and‚ but could not gain entry because of racial policies‚ and instead went to study at Pius the XII University (now University of Lesotho).

Tlali’s groundbrea­king novel‚ Muriel at Metropolit­an‚ was published in 1975 and banned four years later by the apartheid government. Her second novel‚ Amandla‚ was based on the 1976 youth uprisings and suffered the same fate shortly after publicatio­n.

Tlali’s literature took her all over the world‚ including a residency at Yale University in 1989.

In 1995‚ the Department of Arts‚ Culture‚ Science and Technology honoured her with a Literary Lifetime Achievemen­t Award and in 2008 she received the Presidenti­al Award‚ Ikhamanga Silver. – TMG

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