Invites you to a book discussion with the author,

Mandla Langa

Book title:

the texture



Duma Ndlovu


Saturday, 21 February 2015


14H00 – 16H30


Museum Africa, Newtown Cultural Precinct, 121 Bree Street, Newtown

About the book:

The Texture of Shadows is set at the turn of the decade 1989-90, a highpoint of hope in South Africa’s political history. The nation is abuzz with rumours of Nelson Mandela’s imminent release, the dismantling of guerrilla camps by the African National Congress and the possibility of a realistic peace process. The central plot concerns the return of a band of exiled Umkhonto we Sizwe soldiers to South Africa in 1989. Their expectation after years of training and fighting in Angola is to find a changed and improved society, one which they were instrumental in bringing about. They have been ordered to carry and deliver a sealed trunk to an unspecified destination in South Africa and it soon becomes evident that this trunk makes them a target. A number of different parties set out to separate the men from the trunk and its mysterious contents. The novel recognises the hopefulness of the time, but focuses on the violence. Langa’s characters are hardened guerrilla fighters, corrupt police officers, ex-political prisoners and the victims of abuse by a system of taboos, bannings and beatings. There are cracks in this steel-edged world that love, beauty, poetry and dance are allowed


Authors’ profile:


 Mandla Langa was born in Stanger in Northern KwaZulu-Natal in 1950. He grew up in KwaMashu, a township on the outskirts of Durban. He is one of nine children. Among his siblings are honourable Judge Pius Langa and South Africa’s ambassador to Russia, Bheki Langa.

Langa attended Gardner Memorial School and Sibonelo High School in Durban. After completing high school, he enrolled at Fort Hare University. He was actively involved in the South African Students’ Organisation, and his studies were disrupted by political strikes at the time. He returned to Durban and worked as teacher at Nhlakanipho School.

In 1976, Langa was arrested on a charge of trying to leave the country without a permit. He subsequently spent 101 days in jail. While they may have arrested Langa, his mind was free and he sharpened his pen to expose the evils of the system. He began to take his writing seriously, knowing that it served a very important role. Soon after his sentencing, he escaped to Botswana where he went into exile. In those days, at the height of apartheid, exile offered an alternative avenue to continue challenging the apartheid order through other means, by among other things, mobilising the international community.

Publication: September 2014
ISBN: 9781770103863
e-ISBN: 9781770103870
Price: R240.00
ePrice: R192.00
Category: Fiction
Format: TPB (234 x 153 mm)
Extent: 384 pp
Rights: World

For enquiries:

The wRite associates, 011 791 3585 or



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