Fred Khumalo has revealed the cover for his newest fiction title The Longest March, published by Umuzi, set to make its debut on September 2019.
Fred Khumalo is a journalist, short story writer, and novelist whose writing has appeared in various publications, including the Sunday Times, the Toronto Star, New African magazine, the Sowetan and Isolezwe. His books include Bitches Brew (2005), Touch My Blood (2006), Seven Steps to Heaven (2007), Zulu Boy Gone Crazy: Hilarious Tales Post Polokwane (2010), The Lighter Side of Robben Island (2012), and Dancing The Death Drill (2017).
It’s been a very busy and productive year for the Johannesburg based writer. We were introduced to Zulu translation of his well-received history novel Dancing The Death Drill followed in April by the introduction of Talk of the Town into the African literary canon.
On August 2, the author unveiled the cover for his newest book The Longest March to his Facebook audience with the post with an accompanying image;
The Longest March is a historical novel inspired by, and based on, a little-known incident. Just before the outbreak of the South African War, also known as the Anglo-Boer War, thousands of black people found themselves stranded in Johannesburg. Many of them were workers at the various gold mines in the city, the very mines which had sparked the war. Now the stranded black men had to leave the city in a hurry. Because the trains had stopped running, they had to walk thousands of kilometres back to their homes in the hinterlands of South Africa. The book focuses on one specific group, a horde of 7000 Zulu men who walked from Johannesburg to Natal, carrying their belongings with. At the helm of the march was a white man, James Marwick, known in Zulu circles as Muhle. Yes, the KwaMuhle home affairs offices are named after him. It took them 10 days of walking in perilous territory, fending off wild animals, sleeping in the open. So, uFred Khumalo ungenaphi? I, Fred Khumalo, tell the story through the eyes of three people involved in this march: Phillipa (a white woman), Ndukuzempi (her boyfriend), and Xhawulengweni, Nduku’s boyfriend. Yes, these three characters are completely fictional, but they interact with Muhle Marwick, who was a real life character. In the story, we meet disciples of #Nongoloza, the original black gangster and founder of the 28 Gang which still exists to this day, though in a different form. An exciting swirl of politics, capitalist greed, xenophobia, romance, and an exploration of sexuality at a time when this theme was not de rigueur. The book crackles. It rocks. It jumps. Coming out first week of September. Also available online through Amazon.com, loot.co.za, takealot.co.za.
A new historical novel from what is starting to become one of the hardest working novelists on the continent. We Stan. When the book becomes available, we shall be linking it for you.
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