AMAL'EZULU, African Treasury Series no. 8

: Vilakazi (B.)

R 180.00
- +

83pp., paperback, New Edition, Johannesburg, (1945) 2021


New introduction by Mpume Zondi, in both isiZulu and English.

A collection of isiZulu poems by poet and novelist B.W. Vilakazi (1906 -1947).

A collection of isiZulu poems by poet and novelist B.W. Vilakazi (1906-1947).  Poet and novelist Benedict Wallet Vilakazi (1906-1947) has been called the “Father of Nguni Literature”.  His collection of poems, Inkondlo kaZulu (tr: Zulu Horizons), published in 1935, was the first book of poems ever published in isiZulu. In the same year, at the insistence of CM Doke, at the time Head of the Bantu Studies Department (now the Department of African Languages) at the University of the Witwatersrand, Vilakazi was appointed as Language Assistant. This appointment made him the first black African in the then Union of South Africa to teach at a white university. In 1946 he became the first black African in South Africa to receive a Doctorate in Literature (D Litt.) from Wits for his thesis on oral and written literature in Nguni. His second collection of poems, Amal’eZulu (1945), was later recognized as one the best 100 African books of the twentieth century. Vilakazi also published three novels, Noma Nini!, Udingiswayo KaJobe and Nje Nempela. In collaboration with Doke, he compiled the first Zulu-English Dictionary. He died suddenly of meningitis at the age of 41.