Interview with Menzi Meshack Minsie Duka

Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up at Cradock. I started my primary schooling at Cradock (Lwana primary School) and finished it at Hofmeyer ( Mzamomhle Primary School).
When did you first start writing?
I started writing in 1964, for a Wamba Magazine which was meant for students. As from then I continued writing. During this period I was a student at Cradock Bantu Secondary School. I also wrote articles for Imvo Zabantsundu.
What motivated you to become an author?
I loved literature when I was a student. I loved both English and IsiXhosa literature and I was taught by very good English and IsiXhosa teachers. I was good in writing essays in both these two languages. This motivated me to write.
What are the genres that you write in?
I write Drama, Essays, Short Stories and Poetry.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
The first story I wrote was about two African men who fought over a bottle of brandy in a waiting-room during those apartheid days. Both were arrested and jailed for some months without an option of a fine. They were both losers.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Writing to me is a calling. When I finish writing a piece of work I experience fulfillment and joy.
Do you remember the first stories you ever read?
The short stories of L.K Siwisa in Ndibuzeni Amathongo. They resembled reality and had a climax that was very interesting.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
Ityala Lamawele by S.E.K Mqhayi, UDingezweni by P.T Mtuze, Umyezo by J.J.R Jolobe, Intshuntshe by Z.S Qangule, Umlimandlela by N Saule. They motivate thought and are inspiring.
What do you read for pleasure?
IsiXhosa Bible, Theory of Literature, Newspapers, English Literature, IsiXhosa Literature, Theology.
Who are your favourite authors?
S.E.K Mqhayi, P.T Mtuze, J.J.R Jolobe , Z.S Qangule, N Saule.
What do your readers mean to you?
They are human beings who are to be uplifted to be more human in the context of Ubuntu and one human race.
Published 2017-10-13.
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