Niq Mhlongo is an award-winning author who has brought us three incredible novels and two collections of short stories, the latest of which is titled Soweto, Under the Apricot Tree.
In 2019 he edited a bestselling collection of essays called Black Tax: Burden or Ubuntu?
Mhlongo recently joined Jenny Crwys-William to talk about Joburg Noir, a collection of writings about memories, legends, loss, jokes, stories, myths and experiences by twenty-two gifted and versatile authors in South Africa.
Listen to the full conversation here:
The contributors to this book all have uniquely South Africa experiences in the heart of the city, and bring a nostalgic perspective to the city we love to call Joburg.
The writers in this collection are: Sam Mathe, Fred Khumalo, Lidudumalingani, Keletso Mopai, Sibongile Fisher, Kgomotso Masemola, Styles Lucas Ledwaba, Mapule Mohulatsi, Khanyi Magubane, Sifiso Mzobe, Gloria Bosman, Nedine Moonsamy, Yewande Omotso, Mabel Mnesa, Nthikeng Mohlele, Eusebius McKaiser, Siphiwo Mahala, Nkateko Masinga, Mzuvukile Maqetuka, Sydney Mojoko and Michelle van Heerden.
Speaking to Jenny,Mhlongo spoke about the excitement of adding stories by these renowned South African writers, particularly Fred Khumalo who is one of his closest friends.
“Fred Khumalo is one of my biggest inspiration, he inspires and motivates me all the time. Every time you sit with him and share a drink with him he always shares stories he has written.”
The story also has a number of gripping stories from the contributors about criminal masterminds that use Joburg as their playground. Mhlongo shared how crime stories where something he couldn’t run away from.
“It’s something I wanted to run away from, but you just can’t run away from it when you write about Joburg. You can’t run away from Xenophobia that’s happening, you can’t run away from the dilapidated Joburg, the nostalgic Joburg of the past and present. That’s what I thought when I wrote this book, we cannot run away from the identity of Joburg.”