Our Ghosts Were Once People: Interview with Bongani

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Bongani Kona

Vasti interviews Bongani Kona about the process of editing the collection, Our Ghosts Were Once People.

About the book:

Death is a fact of life, but the experience of grief is unique to each of us. This timely collection brings together a range of voices to offer reflections on death and dying, from individual losses to large scale catastrophes.

Karin Schimke revisits her troubled relationship with her late father, a Second World War survivor ‘whose brain had been broken by violence’. Madeleine Fullard, the head of South Africa’s Missing Persons Task Team, draws us into the search for activists who were ‘disappeared’ or went missing in political circumstances between 1960 and 1994. Caine Prize winner Lidudumalingani remembers his childhood in a small village in the Eastern Cape, and how his mother always listened to death notices read over the radio as a way of bearing witness to the grief of strangers.

The other contributors in this poignant and thought-provoking anthology turn their minds to subjects as varied as the ritual of washing the body of the deceased before burial, the ethics of killing small animals, and the extinction of humankind.

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