“Believe go ahead – just write. You may surprise yourself, you may surprise the world.” – Sindiwe Magona

Country: South Africa

Why We Love Her: Dr Sindiwe Magona is possibly the most prolific female writer in South Africa, penning autobiographies, plays, poetry collections, novels, short stories and children’s books in English and Xhosa. She is even known as Nomabali for her love of storytelling.

Some of her best loved works are the revealing chronicles of her life, Forced To Grow and To My Children’s Children which detail the challenges she faced growing up in Gugulethu, living as a single mother and working as a domestic worker while educating herself by correspondence. Sindiwe worked at the UN in New York for over 25 years as an activist for women’s rights and presenter of Anti-Apartheid radio programmes. In her fiction and non-fiction she leaves no topic untouched like in Beauty’s Gift, a novel about the HIV/AIDS crisis that also serves as manifesto for black feminism and female friendship.

74 years young, she continues to release work, carry out motivational speaking engagements and nurture young voices as Writer-In-Residence at University of the Western Cape.


“There are times when only the vast ocean of timelessness can wash away sorrow, when its unceasing agitation, ageless roar and blinding blueness are the sole slave for a wounded spirit.” – Chasing The Tails of My Father’s Cattle, Sindiwe Magona


“She was not robbed. She was not raped. There was no quarrel. Only the eruption of a slow, simmering, seeting rage. Bitterness burst and spilled her tender blood on the green autumn grass of a far-away land. Irredeemable blood. Irretrievable loss. One boy lost. Hopelessly lost. One girl, far away from home.” -Sindiwe Magona, Mother To Mother


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