- Category: TOW 2011
DIALE TLHOLWE was born in 1961 in Meyerton, attended primary school in Alexandra Township and Mofolo, Soweto and currently resides in Spruitview, Ekurhuleni. He began his law studies at the University of Fort Hare in 1980 during a time of much student unrest. After one of the ensuing mass expulsions at the University, Tlholwe did not return. He then took up teaching and earned a diploma in journalism through the Argus Journalism Cadet School.
Described as a crime-novel, Tlholwe’s debut publication, Ancient Rites, not only explores the contrasting worlds of the ‘real’ and of the ‘spirits’, but also navigates the relationship between urban and rural life. Of the latter, the author maintains that “such people and places are rarely represented in our literature”. Particularly fascinated with foregrounding the way in which rural areas are “attractive and tempting” for many an urban-dweller, Tlholwe’s Ancient Rites captures the way in which rural spaces are not only synonymous with age-old beliefs and traditions, but as places also providing renewal and a sense of personal rootedness.
Citing a cluster of contemporary black South African authors he believes “could benefit from exposure to an international market”, fellow South African established thriller-writer, Deon Meyer – whose own work has been sold into twenty-one countries – includes Tlholwe as part of this impressive group and describes Ancient Rites as “superb”.
Tlholwe was awarded the 2010 South African Literary Award (SALA) for a First-time Published Author for Ancient Rites.
Tlholwe has always enjoyed reading, languages and writing – his writing career began with a prize-winning play while he was still at high school.
He is now a member of a monthly group that caters for aspirant writers and book lovers in the Katlehong, Thokoza, Vosloorus (“Khatorus”) area, operating under the auspices of the Afrika Community Life Network.
Ancient Rites, Kwela Books, 2008