248pp., paperback, Johannesburg, 2021
Memoir by South African poet, educator and activist Barbara Masekela, (born 1941). Covers her childhood in the coal mining community of KwaGuqa in the 1940s and Alexandra township in the 1950s, her schooling at Inanda Seminary in Kwazulu-Natal, her time at university in Lesotho and her going into exile in Ghana in 1963.
"Poli Poli by Barbara Masekela is an adorable book full of childhood thrills and teeming with vignettes of memory retold in brilliant prose. It reminds me of Aké by Wole Soyinka, which in and of itself is high praise indeed." Nuruddin Farah, author of North of Dawn
Barbara Masekela was head of the ANC's Department of Arts and Culture for many years, served as ambassador to France and the United States, and has held various directorships, including Director of the Standard Bank of South Africa, the South African Broadcasting Corporation and De Beers. She is a recipient of the Order of Luthuli in Silver, awarded for her "excellent contribution to the eradication of apartheid and contributing to the development of the new South African values". Barbara Masekela lives in Johannesburg.