- Created: 13 February 2014
Mandla Langa was born in Durban in 1950 and grew up in KwaMashu. After being arrested in 1976, he was sentenced, skipped bail and went into exile. In 1980, Langa won the Drum magazine story contest with ‘The Dead Men Who Lost Their Bones'. It was the start of a long and distinguished writing career that has seen him publish acclaimed works such as Tenderness of Blood (1987), A Rainbow on a Paper Sky (1989), The Naked Song and Other Stories (1997) and The Memory of Stones (2000).
Langa is widely respected not only in literary circles but also in the spheres of business, culture and politics. He has participated in various arts programmes and conferences throughout Africa and elsewhere, and has lived in Botswana, Lesotho, Mozambique, Angola, where he did his MK military training, as well as Zambia, Hungary and the United Kingdom. A scriptwriter and journalist, Langa has also held various ANC posts abroad, including that of Cultural Representative in the UK and Western Europe.
He was also a weekly columnist for the Sunday Independent and was Programme Director for Television at the SABC and Chairperson of the Independent Communications Authority of SA (Icasa) (1999-2005). Milestones, his musical opera, was featured at the Standard Bank Festival in Grahamstown in 2000 and last year his fifth novel, The Lost Colours of the Chameleon, an allegorical tale on the nature of power, was published by Macmillan. The novel will be launched at the festival.
A former board member of the SABC, Mandla Langa sits on numerous boards and is now the Chairman of MultiChoice Africa and is a trustee of the Nation's Trust, Read Educational Trust and the South African Screenwriters' Laboratory.
“Storytelling is about imparting something that is indestructible. Once you tell your story, it's yours, but now it also conjures up images in the imagination of the recipients and plays a role in the telling of their stories.” – Mandla Langa, Interview with The Citizen.
The Lost Colours of the Chameleon, Picador Africa, 2008
The Memory of Stones, DPP, 2000
The Naked Song and Other Stories, David Philip,1997
A Rainbow on a Paper Sky, Kliptown Books, 1989
Tenderness of Blood, Zimbabwe Publishing House, 1987