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Südafrikanische Botschaft
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27. February 2017

Famed South African Novelist Miriam Tlali passed on

"Just a book by itself, if it has the right messages in it, can change a whole human being. It can remake a person."

Famed novelist Miriam Tlali, born in Johannesburg in 1933, who was the first black woman in South Africa to publish a novel, has passed on.

Tlali’s "Muriel at Metropolitan" was published four years after she had completed it in 1969 and it was banned by the Apartheid government in 1979. In 1980, Tlali published her second novel, which focused on the 1976 Soweto uprising. “Amandla” was banned shortly afterwards, too. However, her books were translated into many a language and published internationally. Eventually, they were unbanned in 1986.

In 1984 Tlali wrote “Mihloti” consisting of short stories, interviews and non-fiction and in 1989 “Footprints in the Quag.” Tlali founded the publishing house Skotavilla and assisting in drafting of the Preamble to the South African Women’s Charter.

For her powerful work Tlali was honoured with a Literary Lifetime Achievement Award in 1995 and the Presidential Award, Ikhamanga Silver in 2008, to mention only two of the many accolades she received.

Rest in peace, Miriam Tlali.

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