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The once-banned struggle poem, “Africa my beginning” will again resonate for the youth when the life of poet Ingoapele Madingoane is celebrated.
THE life and times of the late Ingoapele Madingoane, the renowned poet and social activist, will be celebrated at African Literature Bookshop in Orange Grove on Saturday, 25 June to celebrate Youth Month.


African literature will be on displayAfrican literature will be on displayOrganised by the Miriam Tlali Reading and Book Club, the celebration aims to pay tribute to Madingoane by remembering the importance of 16 June.

“Celebrating this icon and militant poetic exponent, activities of the club will include poetry reading as well as performances from the young and old,” said the media co-ordinator of the Write Associates, Mmatseleng Tseki.

Madingoane wrote the evocative poem “Africa my beginning”, which was published by Ravan Press in Johannesburg in 1979; it was banned by the apartheid authorities two months later.

Undeterred, he performed the poem widely in Soweto, accompanied by Mihloti Black Theatre. It became a regular feature of protest rallies and funerals. Madingoane died in 1997 from a long illness, and was posthumously honoured with a South African Literary Award in 2007.

“The programme aims to grasp the ever-changing minds of teens at an early stage. Parents are encouraged to bring their children to benefit from these exciting activities and programmes,” said Tseki.

Speakers at the event who will be paying tribute to Madingoane are the national poet laureate, Keorapetse Kgositsile; the creator and producer of the Muvhango television series, Duma ka Ndlovu; the playwright, academic and activist, Maishe Maponya; and poets Marcia Tladi and Natalia Molebatsi.

The Miriam Tlali Reading and Book Club was started two years ago with the aim of cultivating a culture of reading and writing. It was founded by Write Associates and is supported by the City’s library and information services unit.

Books will be on display and for sale on the day. Activities will take place on 25 June, from 2pm at Africa Literature Bookshop, 191 Louis Botha Avenue, on the corner of Eighth Street, Orange Grove. Entrance to the event is free.

For more information contact Mooketsi Lecholo on 011 791 3585 /4102 or send an email to

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