n English in Africa - 1962-1969 : South Africa in particular and Africa in general

Volume 41, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0376-8902



In 1962 a group of liberals in Cape Town founded as a radical review of politics and the arts. It set out to cover the new Africa in general and South Africa in particular. At that time many countries in Africa were gaining their independence and this group intended that a non-racial democratic South Africa would join them sooner rather than later. The editors set out to learn from, to criticise and rejoice in the changes which were happening in the far away north of the African continent. Thanks especially to Zeke Mphahlele the journal was always introducing to South Africa work by new writers such as Soyinka, Ngugi, Bessie Head, Dennis Brutus, Ayi Kwei Armah and Mazisi Kunene. In 1964 Special Branch harassment increased: the office was closed, the addressograph plates removed, all copies of the March issue seized at the Post Office, printers threatened, and a charge of obscenity and blasphemy brought for certain words like "Jeeweesus" in a shebeen story by Can Themba. The last South African issue was in July 1964, as three editors escaped in dangerously dramatic ways. continued in London from March 1965 and free copies were sent to old subscribers in South Africa under a succession of fake mastheads to slip past the postal authorities.

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