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Entertainment - Date: 07 December 2018
Written by: Tshifhiwa Mukwevho / Viewed: 924
A 38-year-old author from rural Mhinga village in the Malamulele area, Musa Baloyi, has done it again – he won the Maskew Miller Longman Literature Award for 2018, after scooping this very prestigious award in 2016.
He got the first prize for his novel, Nyimpi ya Miehleketo, which is a Xitsonga novel that tells us about Freedom Mabasa’s political life.
After completing his N6 mechanical engineering qualification, Mabasa received his apprenticeship boilermaker training at a company called Hall Long More. “After his training, he started participating in union activities and he was elected as a shop steward,” Baloyi said. He became active in such a way that he became a threat to management. The company had endless strikes. Management tried to offer him a bribe, but he was not a biased leader.”
At some point the shop stewards planned to kill their human resource (HR) manager, because they thought he was a stumbling block, preventing them from reaching their goals. Freedom did not go with the plan. “He decided to look for another job, so that he would stay away from the conspiracy,” stated the author. “However, even though he got a new job, the shop stewards went ahead with their plan. They hired a gunman to shoot the HR manager. Fortunately, he survived the shooting. Freedom had to blow the whistle by informing the South African Police Service anonymously who was behind the attempted killing.”
He said that the overriding message of the book was that good deeds or motives would always defeat evil ones.
In 2016, Baloyi won the MML Award for his novel, Vutlhari Bya Lunya, translated as “ruthless intelligence”.
Baloyi's passion for writing began when he was only 15 years old and still a pupil at Ripambeta High School. He would write scripts in the format of radio dramas and record himself on cassette. “I would play and listen to my dramas several times,” he enthused. “My mother used to read my handwritten manuscripts and give some comments if a story was interesting.”
He thanked Xitsonga literary giant Conny Masocha Lubisi and another author, Willie Richard Chauke, for being an inspiration to him.
Baloyi got a R10 000 cash prize and the publication of Nyimpi ya Miehleketo. He is available on Facebook and his books are available from good book stores.
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Tshifhiwa Given Mukwevho was born in 1984 in Madombidzha village, not far from Louis Trichardt in the Limpopo Province. After submitting articles for roughly a year for Limpopo Mirror's youth supplement, Makoya, he started writing for the main newspaper. He is a prolific writer who published his first book, titled A Traumatic Revenge in 2011. It focusses on life on the street and how to survive amidst poverty. His second book titled The Violent Gestures of Life was published in 2014.