Lewis Nkosi: A Fragile Soul’s Quest for Home

  • E Gall


Lewis Nkosi left South Africa in 1961 on a permanent exit visa on his way to study at Harvard as a Nieman Fellow. During his seventy-three years, he lived in England, America, Zambia, Poland, and Switzerland, and he transitioned from denying homesickness (because he had no home) to feeling it acutely (because he had no home) whilst ever taking issue with the concept of it.
Sandile Ngidi met Lewis Nkosi in a bookshop in Johannesburg a mere eight years before the death of the writer, yet within that time the two became very close. Nkosi asked Ngidi to be his agent; he wanted the stability and human connection of someone who could take care of him, and at that point, he needed taking care of. He would get lost; he would get robbed, because he had an overzealousness, an almost naïve belief in the goodness of people whom he had never met. Ngidi, who had studied Nkosi’s criticism at university, agreed.

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eISSN: 0376-8902