angifi-dladla-south-africaAngifi Dladla, a.k.a. Udibi lwaseSandlwana, is a poet, playwright, publisher, writing teacher and coach based in Katlehong on the East Rand . Dladla's poetry has been published in numerous anthologies and journals locally and internationally. In 1987, he co-founded Bachaki Theatre in Johannesburg . Their debut play Top Down was the first in the history of South Africa to critically interrogate the evil that was Bantu Education. As the director of the play and also a teacher in Katlehong, Dladla had to adopt the pseudonym of Muntu wa Bachaki to avoid being persecuted by the apartheid government. His plays include: Mistress MagumboMene Tekel Dennis The Goat On Trial ,Professor Saragorah , and Combi.

Dladla is also the founder of Community Life Network, a cultural organisation for community reconstruction and development and, through the Femba Writing Project, he initiates the formation of school and prison newspapers. His debut poetry collection, The Girl Who Then Feared To Sleep was published in 2001 by Deep South Publishing.

 

Of these poems Alan Finlay comments: “a good example of how poetry responds to a violent and violated society. It shows those things beneath our noses that we are perhaps afraid to see," while Greg Penfold writes: "Angifi Dladla's first book of poems announces his status as a poet with a sober, practical demonstration of his ability to thrill, terrify or exalt his reader beyond tolerable word limits."

 

In 2004, Chakida Publishers published his compilation, Wa lala, Wa sala, a multi-lingual anthology showcasing prisoners, teachers, students, parents and general public of his Kathorus community – Vosloorus, Thokoza and Katlehong. In 2003, Dladla was a playwright-in-residence in Geneva , where he wrote Kgodumodumo, a play about the protection of biodiversity and traditional knowledge.

 

His forthcoming poetry books include Uhambo, We Are All Rivers and  Maxwell The Gorilla And The Archbishop of Soshanguve.