- Category: TOW 2014
KGEBETLI MOELE is a South African novelist and fiction writer who was born in the Limpopo province. Moele has worked as a theatre producer and creative writing teacher. He started writing as an outlet to define himself, to be aware of the world around him and to find out where he belonged in it.
Moele began his career writing radio dramas. He also tried breaking into mainstream television with the sitcoms and television dramas he wrote. In 1999, he produced a theatrical production, Koeksusters, at the Johannesburg Civic Theatre and another production, Call us Crazy, at the Market Theatre the following year.
Moele’s debut novel, Room 207, which centres on the lives of six young black South African men struggling to realise their dreams in Johannesburg, won him the 2007 Herman Charles Bosman Debut Novel Award and the University of Johannesburg Debut Novel Award. The novel has also been translated into French and Italian.
For his second literary offering, The Book of the Dead (2009), Moele received the 2010 South African Literary Award.
Moele’s short stories have appeared in the anthology Sun Tropes: Sun City and (post-) Apartheid Culture in South Africa and in the Italian magazine Internazionale.
Untitled, Moele’s third and controversial novel due for release later this year, is written from the perspective of a 17-year-old girl and deals head-on with rape, poverty and sexual abuse.
When asked about his writing approach, Moele states that he allows the characters to tell their own story, rather than having his own voice dictate to the narrative. He draws inspiration from the great life and sad death of one of Africa’s most prominent writers, Bessie Head.
Untitled, Kwela Books, 2014
The Book of the Dead, Kwela Books, 2009
Room 207, Kwela Books, 2006