FRED KHUMALO

South Africa

Fred Khumalo is a novelist based in Johannesburg. An author of 11 books, his latest work is The Longest March, a fictional reimagining of a march by 7000 Zulu men from Johannesburg to Natal at the outbreak of the Anglo-Boer War.

His previous novel Dancing the Death Drill, based upon the sinking of the SS Mendi during First World War, won the 2019 Humanities and Social Sciences Award. A stage adaptation of it was performed to rave reviews at the Royal Opera House in London, and also at the Bergen International Festival in Norway, in 2019. In September 2019, the play was also performed to rave review at Brisbane Arts Festival in Australia.

His other books are: Talk of the Town and Other Stories (short stories), Bitches’ Brew (novel), Touch My Blood (autobiography), Ngenxa yeMendi (a Zulu novel), Seven Steps to Heaven (novel), Zulu Boy Gone Crazy (essays),  UManzekhofi nezakhe (a collection of Zulu short stories), The Lighter Side of Life on Robben Island (essays) #ZuptasMustFall and Other Rants (essays).

He has been short listed twice for the Commonwealth Short Story Prize, and once for the Short Story Day Africa Award.

He holds an MA Creative Writing from Wits University, is a Nieman Fellow at Harvard University, a Fellow of the Academy of the Arts of the World (Cologne, Germany), a Fellow of the Stellenbosch Institute for Advanced Study, a Fellow of the Johannesburg Institute for Advanced Study and also a PhD (Creative Writing) candidate at the University of Pretoria.

He has suffered for his art: in October 2019 he walked 460 kilometres in 10 days (from Johannesburg to Ladysmith), to commemorate the 125th anniversary of the march he has immortalised in his novel The Longest March.