Zakes Mda

Zakes Mda

Zakes Mda is a South African writer, painter, composer and film maker.


Zakes Mda is a South African writer, painter, composer and film maker. He commutes between South Africa and the U.S., working as a professor of creative writing at Ohio University, beekeeper in the Eastern Cape, a patron of the Market Theatre, Johannesburg, and a director of the Southern African Multimedia AIDS Trust in Sophiatown, Johannesburg.

Praise for Zakes Mda

‘[One of] the two most acclaimed South African novelists of the past twenty years [along with Coetzee]… Mda’s greatest gift is his Dickensian social range, his ability to generate characters from diverse backgrounds, colluding and colliding across the barriers erected to divide them. – Rob Nixon, New York Times Book Review

‘For a long time, white writers dominated South African literature – Paton, Brink, Gordimer, Coetzee. Post-apartheid, Zakes Mda, looks like the great South African novelist of his generation, a writer rich in both imagination and ironic political attitude.’ – The Philadelphia Inquirer

‘A voice for which one should feel not only affection but admiration’ – The New York Times

‘In novel after novel, Zakes Mda seems to have cultivated a mode of writing in which the realistic and the magical co-exist with unruffled ease.’ – Harry Garuba, Independent

‘Zakes Mda is among the most acclaimed exponents of a new artistic freedom. His fiction has a beguiling lyricism and humour, revelling in the beauty of aloe-covered mountains or Cape marine life.’ – Maya Jaggi, The Guardian


Represented by Aoife Lennon-Ritchie