- Category: TOW 2014
Born in Zambia to a South African father and Zimbabwean mother, ZUKISWA WANNER is passionate about African literature. She has facilitated reading and writing workshops in South Africa, Kenya, Uganda, Zimbabwe and Germany.
In 2006, Wanner told her mother she had decided to become a full-time writer. Her mother retorted, “We all learnt to write in first grade; why can’t you aspire to anything better?” Despite this slight difference of opinion, her mother has since become Wanner’s biggest fan and always introduces her to friends as, “My daughter. Zukiswa Wanner. The writer.” That same year, Wanner’s debut The Madams, was published and shortlisted for the K. Sello Duiker Award in 2007.
In her second novel published in 2008 titled Behind Every Successful Man, Wanner dismantles society’s stereotype of women first as mother, then wife and finally a professional. Behind Every Successful Man is the tale of Nobantu’s struggle to find her identity and finally do something for herself.
Wanner then wanted to write from a male’s perspective and so Men of the South came about. Published in 2010, this third offering was shortlisted for the Commonwealth Best Book award. Of the book, Zakes Mda says: “… In their [the characters’] interaction, important social issues of our time emerge organically in an entertaining storyline and are narrated in a voice that is both sensitive and witty.”
In 2013, Wanner’s latest book, Maid in SA: 30 Ways to leave Your Madam, was published.
Wanner is the founding member of ReadSA literary campaign and sits on the continental short story writing competition, Writivism.
Wanner lives in Nairobi with her laptop, her fridge, her son and her partner.
Maid in SA: 30 Ways to leave Your Madam, Jacana, 2013
Men of the South, Kwela, 2010
Behind Every Successful Man, Kwela, 2008
The Madams, Oshun, 2006