About the Book
This book is part of the series #PassOnTheWord, especially organised as a gift to the youth of Southern Africa and Africa, and contains a wide selection of poetry from almost all Mongane Wally Serote’s books of poetry. The importance of Memory, Earth, Love and Resistance: A Selection of Poems by Mongane Wally Serote, cannot be over-emphasised. Serote’s work does not only speak to the violent experiences of apartheid, but also speaks of the gallant resistance of Steven Bantu Biko, of ordinary men and women, of youth, of love and lovers, of mothers, of the earth, the staff and the moon.
His work also bears the vision for an egalitarian and democratic South Africa that has not only remained elusive; but today evokes simple yet critical questions – why are the legacies of apartheid entrenched after 25 years of democracy? Why are the majority still marginalised?
The #PassOnTheWord series includes selections from the work of Keorapetse “Bra Willie” Kgotsietsile, James Matthews and Lindsey Collen.
About the Author
Born in Sophia Town, Johannesburg in 1944, Mongane Wally Serote was drawn to poetry and writing towards the end of his high-school career following his connection to the ‘Township’ or ‘Soweto Poets’. They were a literary group involved in the development of Black Consciousness and who produced creative works which centred around themes of political activism, and featured images or revolt and resistance.
He was arrested by the Apartheid government in 1969 under the Terrorism act, following which he spent 9 months within solitary confinement. He was later released without charge, and went on to obtain a fine arts degree in New York at the Columbia University in 1979. For a time he was unable to return to South Africa due to exile, and so he began living in Botswana and London, where he became involved with the Medu Arts Ensemble.
He is the recipient of the 1993 Noma Award for Publishing in Africa, and has also been given the Pablo Neruda Award from the Chilean government in 2004. He is currently CEO of a national heritage cite in Pretoria called Freedom Park.