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DEATH OF KABELO SELLO DUIKER (article first published : 2005-02-3)

Born on April 13, 1974, in Rockville, Soweto, well-known writer Kabelo Sello Duiker was found deceased on January 19, 2005. He was aged 30.

The firstborn son of Meikie and Judah Duiker, he was the eldest of three boys. As a child, he was quiet and reserved, yet highly perceptive. He spent all his pocket money on books while his peers bought sweets and toys. This love of reading inherited from his mother marked the early start of what became an illustrious writing career. Sello wrote three novels and numerous short stories before the age of 30, a remarkable feat by any standards.

In 1997, Sello’s mother, Meikie Duiker asked her three sons to put their wishes, hopes and dreams in an envelope to be opened at the end of the millennium. When New Year’s 2000 finally arrived, Sello opened his envelope and read his wish out which said: “To have written and published a novel by 2000”.

Not only had Thirteen Cents been published that year, Sello also went on to be presented with the Commonwealth Writer’s Prize for Best Debut Novel. He completed and published his second novel The Quiet Violence of Dreams in 2001 and won the Herman Charles Bosman Prize. His short stories are in the anthologies In the Rapids and Modern South African Short Stories. His third book The Hidden Star will be published posthumously later this year.

Kabelo Sello Duiker also worked as a scriptwriter and was Commissioning Editor of Drama at the SABC. Television benefited from his enormous talent all too briefly, the literary world is the poorer for his passing. He is survived by his parents and his brothers, Kgomotso and Kamohelo.




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