Biography of Sindiwe Magona

Sindiwe Magona is a South African author. During the 1990s, She grew up in Bouvlei, and spent her early career working as a domestic in nearby Cape Town. She later graduated from the University of South Africa and attended Columbia University for graduate school. She currently works as the writer-in-residence at the University of the Western Cape.

In the 1990s, Magona lived in the township of Guguletu. In 1993, American student and anti-Apartheid activist Amy Biehl was murdered on the road near Guguletu; Magona lived down the road from one of her killers. This experience inspired her to write Mother to Mother, a fictionalized account of the events surrounding Biehl's death written from the perspective of one of the killers' mothers, named Mandisa—a woman who, like Magona herself, worked as a domestic in Cape Town.

In her career, Magona has written nine books, including two autobiographical works, collections of short stories, children's books, and an anthology of poetry. Notably, she was the first author to ever publish a series of children's books in the Xhosa language. Magona's work is informed by her experience growing up in apartheid in South Africa. She has brought her first-hand experience with impoverishment and resistance to subjugation with her as she moved into the United States.

Study Guides on Works by Sindiwe Magona

Beauty's Gift is a compelling story written by Sindiwe Magona. It was published during 2011 by NB Publishing. This novel tells the story of four women who cope with the lost of their best friend. This journey starts with five best friends known as...

Published in 1998, Sindiwe Magona's novel Mother to Mother was inspired by the death of Fulbright Scholar Amy Biehl who was killed in South Africa while trying to organize the nation's first truly democratic elections. Biehl was murdered very...