Zukiswa Wanner

AboutZukiswa Wanner

ZUKISWA WANNER is a South African writer, editor, publisher and curator born in Zambia to a South African father and Zimbabwean mother, raised in Zimbabwe and currently splits her time between  Kenya and South Africa but who considers the whole African continent her home. Her debut novel, The Madams (2006), was shortlisted for the 2007 K.Sello Duiker Award in 2007. Her third novel Men of the South (2010) was shortlisted for the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize Best Book 2011 and the Herman Charles Bosman Award. In 2015, she won the K Sello Duiker Memorial Literary Award for London Cape Town Joburg (2014). She has also written another novel Behind Every Successful Man (2008) and two works of nonfiction,  Maid in SA: 30 Ways to Leave Your Madam (2013) and Hardly Working: A Travel Memoir of Sorts (2018).  Her children’s books are Jama Loves Bananas (2011), Refilwe (2014),  Africa: A True Book (2019) and in May 2021, Pushkin Press will publish Black  Pimpernel: Nelson Mandela on the Run. As an editor and curator she counts among her works the first African Young Adult anthology  Water Birds  on the Lakeshore (2019) which was published  in English, French and Kiswahili and distributed in over 20 African  countries. She is also founder and curator of Artistic Encounters  in Nairobi and the first pandemic virtual literary festival  Afrolit Sans Frontières.  As a publisher she counts among her authors Maimouna Jallow from Gambia, Kenyan writer Mukoma wa Ngugi and Angolan writer Yara Monteiro. In 2014, she was named on the Africa39 list of 39 Sub-Saharan African writers aged under 40 with potential and talent to define trends in African literature. In 2016, she was a Danish International Visiting Artist (DIVA) hosted by World Wide Words. In 2018, she was a fellow at the University of Johannesburg’s Johannesburg Institute of Advanced Studies (JIAS). In 2020, she was awarded the Goethe Medal alongside Ian McEwan and Elvira Espejo Ayca, making Wanner the first African woman to win the award. She was also selected as Brittle Paper’s  African Literary  Person of the Year and is on New African’s 100 Most Influential Africans for 2020