i may have been born on 27 April 1994 – but i was never born free.
~ Mjele Msimang
In Years of Fire and Ash: South African Poems of Decolonisation, over fifty years of protest poetry are gathered in a single volume, bringing together some of the most remarkable and thought-provoking poems that have emerged from struggle. The animating impulse behind this collection of old and new voices is ‘decolonisation’, a term which has regained prominence over the last few years. It allows us to perceive how different South African poets have placed their work in the world, and how that work might relate to the struggle for radical social transformation.
Compiled by award-winning literary critic Wamuwi Mbao, this collection includes established voices such as HIE Dhlomo, Oswald Mbuyiseni Mtshali, Mongane Wally Serote, Sipho Sepamla, and Es’kai Mphahlele, as well as prominent contemporary poets such as Vangile Gantsho, Lebohang Masango and Sihle Ntuli.