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Who is the SA poet honoured by Google today? 5 things you need to know about Mazisi Kunene

12 May 2022 - 14:53
Mazisi Kunene was honoured by Google with his own doodle.
Mazisi Kunene was honoured by Google with his own doodle.
Image: Google

If you have been on search engine Google today you may have noticed that the Google Doodle for the day is a man writing on a scroll. That man is South African.

Celebrated poet and writer Mazisi Kunene was born on May 12 1930 in Durban.

He is the latest in a string of SA icons to be honoured by Google with a doodle.

Here are five things you should know about Kunene and what made him a global arts giant.

THE GLOBAL STORYTELLER OF THE ZULU NATION

Kunene became famous around the world for his writings on the history of the Zulu nation, with global audiences captivated by his works, including: Emperor Shaka the Great, Zulu PoemsThe Ancestors & the Sacred Mountain, and Anthem of the Decades.

A MAN IN EXILE

Kunene went into exile during apartheid and became a leading figure in the fight for freedom and democracy. He was an ANC representative in Europe and a cultural adviser to Unesco.

MAKING HISTORY

Kunene was the first poet laureate of the democratic SA and won  the Bantu Literary Competition Award in 1956.

A SCHOLAR AND TEACHER

Besides teaching at institutions in SA and Lesotho, Kunene studied in England and taught at the University of California, University of Iowa and was a visiting professor of African literature at Stanford University, among others.

RETURNING HOME

Kunene returned to SA in 1992. He died in 2006 after a long battle with cancer.


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