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DEATH OF MAZISI KUNENE (article first published : 2006-08-26)

Professor Mazisi Kunene, South Africa’s first Poet Laureate, died in Durban recently at the age of 76 after a battle with Alzheimer’s disease.

A renowned Zulu warrior poet, Professor Kunene dedicated his life and creativity to his country. He played a pivotal role in the struggle. A major role player in the founding of the anti-apartheid movement in England, he went into exile in 1959 and became the chief representative of the ANC in Europe and America in 1962.

He was honoured as Africa’s Poet Laureate in 1993 and achieved the South African status of first Poet Laureate in 2005. He also received the M-Net Literary and Lifetime Achievement Award and was recognised by the Indigenous Knowledge Systems of South Africa as a National Living Treasure.




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