- Category: PA 2006
MAKHOSANA (KHOSI) XABA was born in 1957 in Greytown, Kwazulu-Natal. She grew up in Ndaleni, Richmond and matriculated at Inanda Seminary. Khosi trained at Edendale Nursing College and later acquired a degree in Nursing Education and Administration from the University of Zululand. It was during this period that she entrenched herself in politics. She went into exile during the second state of emergency in 1986 and returned to South Africa in 1990 with the first group of women from the ANC Women’s League. Before turning to writing, Khosi worked as a women’s health specialist for both local and international NGOs. She wrote and published extensively on health systems management, gender and health, and women’s health policies. Although she would only start writing poetry consistently in 2000, Khosi was introduced to Shakespearian poetry from her younger days which her father, “like songs, he performed whenever he felt like it”. She is currently a Writing Fellow at the Wits Institute for Social and Economic Research ( WISER ) working on a nonfiction biography project for a year. In June 2006, she was awarded an MA-Creative Writing by the University of the Witwatersrand . She is the winner of the Deon Hofmeyr Award for Creative Writing (2005) for her unpublished short story called Running. Her work has been featured in several publications, including Timbila 2005 (Timbila Poetry, 2005); ISIS X (Botsotso Publishers, 2005); Women in Writing (2003); Timbila 2003 (Timbila Poetry, 2003); Botsotso (Botsotso Publishers, 2004); LitNet, Poetry Net (January 2006); South Africa Writing (Issue no.2, 2006); Green Dragon (upcoming) and online at www.poetsagainstthewar.org.za . Her first volume of poetry is titled these hands (Timbila Poetry, 2005) and has received excellent reviews from leading publications and magazines. A feminist and an activist at heart, Khosi's poetry and fiction thus draw from her life experiences: “It is inspired by life, propelled by my passion for words and grounded by my constant search for meaning”.