Niq Mhlongo was one of the battalion of South African writers who invaded Scotland for one of the biggest literature festivals on the planet: The Edinburgh International Book Festival. The writer is well known for his books Dog Eat Dog, After Tears and his latest Way Back Home which is as good a book as I have read in recent times.
The author did several literary type events including a reading for the Amnesty International Imprisoned Writers series on August 13. Later on in that day he was joined by Anna Whitwham at the Writers Retreat where he discussed the following topic: ‘When Traditions Collide with Modernity’. The writer was exploring the importance of African cultures and beliefs with reference to his aforementioned novel ‘Way Back Home’.
He wasn’t just about serious literary stuff as he decided to check out the political scene (these South Africans SMH) and opted to sign for the party of his choice in that land. Here is his official statement on the matter.
“I’m glad to announce that I have just joined the Scottish Socialist Party here in Edinburgh today. We are a socialist wing advocating an independent socialist Scotland, soon to happen after 18th of September referendum. Few reasons why I decided to join this party at Weverley today are:
1. The UK visa for a South Africans is way too expensive, therefore SSP will abolish it as UK citizens are not required to pay anything to come to SA.
2. In the independent Scotland, it will be compulsory to learn African literature and Geography to avoid confusing South Africa with Kenya, Southern Africa or Africa. This will also help Scottish people to learn that the icon Nelson Mandela was not the only good and honest man to come out of Africa/ South Africa.
3. There will be a month long annual African Literature Literary Festival in Glasgow and Edinburgh to help Scott people learn about other writers other than the late legendary Nadine Gordimer, Achebe and JM Coetzee.
4. We will do away with the pound, which is heavy and all the notes that don’t fit into an African wallet, esp the 50 note.”
With this kinds of incentives I too want to join the Scottish Socialist Party hehe.