Remembering Lewis: Voices in Conversation

  • J Soske
  • L Gunner

Abstract

After the first part of the workshop on Lewis Nkosi, a small number of people who had vivid memories of specific moments in his life came together and shared anecdotes of Nkosi. Our panel was made up of novelist and Nobel laureate Nadine Gordimer, the poet Oswald Mtshali, best known for his groundbreaking collection of poetry Sounds of a Cowhide Drum, and the veteran photographer Alf Khumalo.1 Also present was Anna Hamlyn, who had known Lewis as part of the group of African intellectuals, writers and broadcasters in London in the 1960s. She, too, gave the audience a sense of a moment in his life that would otherwise never have been a public memory. Sandile Ngidi, devoted companion to Nkosi in his later South African years, and himself an editor, translator and literary man, chaired the session with a magisterial joviality which hid, as he put it, his nervousness in being in such eminent company. What we have captured below are moments in this larger conversation. We offer it to the reader in the hope that it provides a series of images, perhaps a screen of dissonant images, where Lewis Nkosi moves before us. We offer it to the reader as a script, incomplete but present.
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eISSN: 0376-8902