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Reasons to be Proud - #R2bP: Social Work alumnus Mzoli Mavimbela, 31, recently received the Creative Non-Fiction Award from SALA and Write Associates in collaboration with the National Department of Arts and Culture for his book MASIBUYEL’ EMBO KONAKELE PHI NA?

The book shares the rituals of amaXhosa, genealogy of the amaXhosa nation, the importance of traditional medicine – imithi, traditional songs and dance, and umqombothi among Xhosa people, from the author’s perspective on his culture and revitalises the importance of ukuzingca ngesiNtu sakho (being proud of your culture).

“I am speechless and cannot describe how I feel about this award,” he says.

Mzoli describes himself as a poet, author, ethnographic researcher, translator, editor, newspaper columnist and social worker and grew up in Port St Johns, Eastern Cape.

He completed his Social Work degree in 2014 and is currently working as a Social Worker at SANCA George. He also recently completed his Masters of Social Work (Research) at Nelson Mandela University. His study focused on the views of amakrwala on the meaning of umqombothi and commercial alcohol use during the initiation ceremonies, since he is passionate about indigenous knowledge systems.  

To date, he has published four books (poetry, short stories, fairy tales and traditional literature). Some of his poems were published at in 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, and in 2021.

Others were published by Amazwi Trilingual Poetry Magazine Volume 1 in 2018 and Volume 2 in 2019 at Nelson Mandela University. One of his poems was published in the Sol Plaatjie European Poetry Awards by Jacana Media in 2019.  

In 2019, he won the best national author award at APAPA (African Print Authors & Poetry Awards). He also translated two books titled, uBonda noDevi (Bonda and Devi) and iSandla Esincedayo (A Helping Hand) from English to isiXhosa, they can be found free online. In 2020, he translated from English to isiXhosa, a novel titled A Rap Singer’s Song written by Mrs Pixie Emslie.

He was featured by SAFM, Channel 404, and SABC 1 news in 2020 promoting the revitalisation of Nguni languages. And in September 2021 he encouraged the culture of reading and writing in indigenous languages on Umhlobo Wenene FM, Madibaz Radio, Eden FM and UCR FM with Lihle Sokapase.

Mzoli is also a full member of NWASA (National Writers’ Association of South Africa) which is led by Dr Lebohang Lance Nawa. 

Contact information
Ms Elma de Koker
Internal Communication Practitioner
Tel: 041-504 2160