Meet this week’s cool kid on campus.
ZUKOLWENKOSI GORDON JR. ZIKALALA is currently completing his Master of Arts in African Literature, and boats of numerous academic achievements having graduated Cum Laude twice (both in his Bachelor of Arts undergraduate and honours studies). He is also a Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellow and the recipient for the National Research Foundation Chair in ‘Local Histories and Present Realities’ Bursary.
Not satisfied with these accomplishments, the 23-year-old has recently added another accolade to his already illustrious profile, that being the title of author. Following in the footsteps of his mentor, gender activist and award-winning author Professor of African Literature, Pumla Gqola, Zikalala recently published his first short story My Body Remembers: A War cry.
Creating awareness on queer identities and stories, the short story was published as part of the Queer Africa 2 anthology. The collection was launched earlier this year, and is still to be launched in various countries on the continent and abroad.
Zikalala’s story in particular represents the range of human emotions and experiences that exist in the lives of Africans and those of the diaspora who identify along the line of the sexual orientation spectrum in African. Centred in these stories and in their attendant relationships is humanity. Therefore, the 23-year-old showcases his artistry in storytelling in a thought-provoking and delightful manner.
The cherry on top for Zikalala’s latest achievement has been his opportunity to get his work edited by renowned poet Makhosazana Xaba, who did her MA in Creative Writing from Wits.
Zikalala said that is latest short story is currently his most favourite, “that and knowing the lyrics to Cardi B’s Bodak Yellow”.
WitsVuvuzela,Cool kid on campus, May 07, 2017.