Reading and talk

• 07​ 06​ 2017 •
Niq Mhlongo Way Back Home


Venue: ACADEMYSPACE, Herwarthstraße 3, 50672 Cologne
Free admission
In English with German translation

In cooperation with African Voices / Allerweltshaus Köln and Sylt Foundation

Author Niq Mhlongo has been called “one of the most high-spirited and irreverent new voices of South Africa’s post-apartheid literary scene.” He is strongly influenced by his hometown of Soweto as he pens his fiction in Soweto, about Soweto and in Soweto dialect. His third novel, Way Back Home (2013), recently translated into German, tells the story of a female freedom fighter named Senami, who is killed by her own comrades in her Angolan exile during the apartheid era. She was not buried properly, so her angry spirit comes back in the form of a ghost to haunt her killers in the present-day post-apartheid South Africa. In order to appease these spirits, her killers and relatives have to go back to Angola where she was killed to do the rituals of taking her body and spirit back home to South Africa where she is reunited with her ancestors. Only by doing this will Senami’s spirit rest in peace and her death will be complete. Niq Mhlongo reads from his novel and joins translator and writer Gunther Geltinger and writer Swantje Lichtenstein in a discussion moderated by Guy Helminger.

NIQ MHLONGO is a Johannesburg-based journalist and novelist. After his novels Dog Eat Dog (Ohio University Press 2004) and After Tears (Ohio University Press 2007), Way Back Home (Kwela 2013) is his first novel published in German. His most recent publication is Affluenza (Kwela 2016), a collection of short stories. In 2017, MHLONGO is a fellow of the Academy of the Arts of the World.