South Africa: The Maftown Book Club and the Day My Prejudices Were Unexpectedly Waylaid


Three texts helped to form the intellectual backbone of the #FeesMustFall movement. These are the writings of Steve Bantu Biko (I write what I like), Frantz Fanon (The Wretched of the Earth) and works by Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o, Mahmood Mamdani, Nelson Maldonado-Torres, among others, on decoloniality.

It was practically a year ago when I bumped into two of my long-lost comrades in Durban attending a Pan African Literary conference in 2019. They immediately seized the opportunity to corner me and invite me to speak at their book club in Mafikeng, hence the name, Maftown Book Club.

How could I refuse... they seemed so very enthusiastic and most organised, since they were planning the event months in advance. I assured both Sello Tatai and Laurence Modimokwane that I would honour the engagement, but what book would they like me to talk about? They could not as yet tell me, but they assured me I would be notified closer to the time.

Then came January 2020, six months after our first conversation, and I had clean forgotten about the commitment I had made to my dear friends but they, of course, had not. I received correspondence via mail that I was requested...

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