Nozizwe Cynthia Jele

South Africa

Nozizwe Cynthia Jele is a South African novelist. Her debut novel, Happiness is a Four-Letter Word (Kwela Books, 2010), has won numerous awards including the Best First Book (Africa region) in the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize 2011 and the 2011 M-Net Literary Award (Film category). The book was adapted for film and released in South African cinemas, in February 2016.

The Ones with Purpose is Nozizwe’s second novel. It was shortlisted for the Sunday Times Barry Ronge Fiction Prize (2019) and University of Johannesburg for South African Writing in English (2019). The Ones with Purpose is currently longlisted for the 2020 International Dublin Literary Award.

Nozizwe also writes shorts stories and contributes to magazines, newspapers and other literature platforms. She supports various initiatives to promote literacy including The Fundza Literacy Trust, which promotes reading and writing amongst young people, and is an editorial board member of the People Opposing Women Abuse (POWA) Women’s Writing Project.