Remembering Benedict Wallet Vilakazi, the award-winning Zulu literary giant

Remembering Benedict Wallet Vilakazi, the award-winning Zulu literary giant

Friday marks the 71st anniversary of the death of Benedict Wallet Vilakazi, who was known as the 'Father of Nguni Literature'.

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On 26 October 1947, Vilakazi passed away in Johannesburg after losing the battle against meningitis.

Although the then 41-year-old was still young at the time of his death, he achieved a lot in his life and till this day his legacy lives on.

Briefly.co.za learned the literary giant even had a street named after him- the Vilakazi Street in Soweto, where both Madiba and Desmond Tutu once lived.

In Zola 3, Soweto, a high school, Dr B.W. Vilakazi Secondary School, was also named in his honour. A year before his death Vilakazi became the first black South African to obtain a PhD.

The inspirational Zulu figure started out as a teacher after he received a teaching certificate in 1923. He then pursued his passion in literate, becoming one of the most well known Zulu poets of all time.

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Two-years-ago, on 28 April, the Order of Ikhamanga - Gold (OIG) awarded the late poet with a Posthumous honours for "his exceptional contribution to the field of literature in indigenous languages and the preservation of isiZulu culture".

Taking to social media, Minister Nathi Mthethwa shared a post in Vilakazi's honour.

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Source: Briefly.co.za

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