Siphiwo-Mahala-South-AfricaSiphiwo Mahala was born in Grahamstown, and completed a BA honours degree at Fort Hare University , and a masters degree in African Literature at Wits University. Mahala also holds Creative Writing certifi cates from Rhodes University, in Grahamstown, and Lancaster University, in London. He joined the national Department of Arts and Culture in 2004 as the Deputy Director of Books and Publishing.


Until the publication of his first novel When a Man Cries in 2007, Mahala was largely recognised as an accomplished short story writer. His short stories have appeared in several anthologies including the Southern African Short Story Review (2002), “A” is for Ancestors (2004) and Words Gone Too Soon (2005).


Mahala has also published articles in national newspapers and magazines such as the Sunday Times, Classic Feel and The Deal. He was the founding Assistant Editor of Pax Africa, an African Peace and Security Newsletter published under the auspices of the AU-NEPAD Programme, SaferAfrica. He was also the coeditor of Africa is Calling , a special publication for South Africa's cultural manifestation programme during the 2006 Soccer World Cup in Germany.


Mahala is the recipient of the 2006 Ernst van Heerden Creative Writing Award for When a Man Cries. Upon presenting the award, Prof Belinda Bozzoli commented: “ When a Man Cries offers vivid insight into the painful rhythms and experiential pressures of township life, while contriving to include flashes of dark or even slapstick humour.”


Mahala has just finished translating When a Man Cries into his native Xhosa.



When a Man Cries, UKZN Press, 2007