Manning Marable

3 April 2011, 6:19 am

13 May 1950 – 1 April 2011

Intellectual giant. During the mid- to late-1990s, I learned a lot about post-Civil Rights politics in the USA from his pen. I was researching race and representation in the USA as I was developing an unhealthy obsession with early Spike Lee. This was post-1994, and so a lot of Marable’s analyses of the Civil Rights Movement, its victories and its massive shortfalls, were becoming apparent in the newly post-apartheid South Africa. Most specifically was his analysis of how organising along a politics of identity will only bring victories in representation. Without the actual transformation of institutions and society, it will only ever amount to representation without authority. Window dressing, in short.

Obituaries at New York Times and Racialicious.

Wikipedia page.


Vincent Kolbe

6 September 2010, 10:21 am

Griot of District 6, 1933 – 3 September 2010.

Obituary, by John Edward Mason.

Short documentary by Rio Allen, aka The Filmo.

Google search.

Lewis Nkosi

6 September 2010, 9:25 am

December 1939 – 5 September 2010

Short obituary at BookSA.

Claude Lévi-Strauss

4 November 2009, 10:43 am

23 November 1908 – 31 October 2009

A good innings.

Obituary at The Guardian.

Winston Mankunku Ngozi

13 October 2009, 11:50 am

1943 – 13 October 2009

A poem by Kelwyn Sole from his debut collection, The Blood of Our Silence (Ravan, 1987):


Dark golden boat
on a sea
far away, rock with me
rock with me:

deep-throated bird
gentle me home
past the mud-lined street
where thoughts stick fast
and children pick rubbish

the night flakes notes
from the scalp of my sorrow –

hide in my pillow
and cry for me


Mankunku playing “Yakhal’ Inkomo”

Profile of Mankunku at

Short obituary by Ryland Fisher.

Alex van Heerden

9 January 2009, 10:03 am

23 November 1974 – 7 January 2009

Frontier Rogue.

Tribute page at WhatsOnSA.

Sissie my kind‘, ‘Vrou van Samaria‘, courtesy of Derek Gripper.

Miriam Makeba

10 November 2008, 12:09 pm

4 March 1932 – 10 November 2008

Mail & Guardian.


Es’kia Mphahlele

1 November 2008, 11:38 am

17 December 1919 – 27 October 2008.


Book Southern Africa (BookSA)

The Independent

RIP John Matshikiza, Bheki Mseleku

17 September 2008, 11:25 am

John Matshikiza, 1954 – 15 September 2008. Obituaries at The Guardian and Mail & Guardian.

Bheki Mseleku, 3 March 1955 – 9 September 2008. Obituary at The Guardian.

Mahmoud Darwish

12 August 2008, 6:33 pm

15 March 1941 – 9 August 2008

Obituary at the Guardian.

“Where should we go after the last frontiers,
where should the birds fly after the last sky?”

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