Pepetela: Novelist of Portuguese descent. Fought with the leftist MPLA during its guerrilla war against Portuguese colonialism and has remained a principled leftist. His books are excellently written, often with an irresistible sense of humor and always in defense of the oppressed and against the corrupt and arrogant power hungry ruling class.
Norbert Zongo: Burkinabé novelist and journalist and intelligent opponent of dictators. Disappeared and executed by French puppet Blaise Campaoré.
Mongo Beti: Leftist writer and novelist known for his stringent satires against colonialism and neo-colonialism. From his youth an outspoken enemy of colonialism and supporter of Ruben Um Nyobe, the leftist leader who led an armed anti-colonial struggle against the French in Cameroon and was executed in 1958. Spent the better part of his life in France, due to his criticisms of the client regime in Cameroon.
Maina wa Kinyatti: Marxist historian considered one of the most important researchers on the Mau Mau (Kenyan national liberation group). Arrested for his opposition to the dictatorship of Daniel arap Moi, he was imprisoned for six and a half years, mostly in solitary confinement. Released in 1988, and unwilling to continue living under constant harassment in Kenya, he sought asylum abroad. In Kenya and abroad was a member of a small, underground Marxist group.
Micere Githae Mugo: Leftist writer and poet. Forced into exile in the 1980's.
Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o: Leftist novelist who grew up during the time of the Mau Mau anti-colonial revolt. In the 70's organized several popular plays: using normal people as actors/actresses, the plays had strong messages of anti-imperialism and social justice. Arrested in 1977 for his opposition to the dictatorship of Daniel arap Moi. During his time in prison he decided not to write anymore in English. Subsequently he wrote only in his native language Gikuyu. After his release in 1978 he left the country and has spent the rest of his life in exile. Once a member of a small, underground Marxist group in Kenya, he has transformed with the years into a mild leftist.
Raúl Honwana: A writer and an important figure in Mozambique during the days of colonialism. Honwana's family was firmly anti-colonial and had close connections with FRELIMO (The Front for the Liberation of Mozambique) which freed Mozambique of Portuguese colonialism. Honwana was also the father of one of the most famous Mozambican writers, Luís Bernado Honwana.
Chinua Achebe: Writer and novelist, he wrote widely and was a fierce critic of colonialism and the corrupt puppet governments that took it's place. Many of his works deal with traditions and life before colonialism.
Festus Iyayi: Leftist writer, he wrote several radical, realist novels about Nigeria. In the 1980's he was active in a progressive academic staff union, eventually becoming its president. Detained several times for his activism during the military dictatorship of Ibrahim Babangida. Always deeply concerned about social justice and with no faith in the ruling class, Iyayi remained a committed and principled radical. Murdered by the same corrupt, comprador political class he regularly denounced in his novels and political activism.
Tunde Fatunde: Leftist playwright and Francophone professor.
Ousmane Sembene: Communist writer and progressive film director, he was born in Zinguinchor, his father a fisherman. Briefly attended an Islamic school and then a French school, from which he was expelled in 1936 for opposing the disgusting racism of the principal. He left for Dakar in 1938 and worked there for a time as a manual laborer. In 1944 he was drafted into the Senegalese Tirailleurs. Upon his return to Senegal in 1946 he became a member of the construction workers' trade union, and participated in the lively labor movement of the time, influenced by the several month long Dakar-Niger railway strike of 1947. In the same year, unemployed and desirous of change, he stowed away in a ship bound for France. In France he settled in Marseilles, and working as a docker, he soon joined the communist CGT union and subsequently the Communist Party. Returning to Senegal after its 'independence' in 1960, he continued writing novels. Then, in 1963, with a desire for his progressive art to reach the greatest possible number of people, he began to make revolutionary films.
Alex La Guma: Communist writer born in District Six, Cape Town. After becoming a member of a labor union in 1945, he was fired from his job for organizing a strike. Joined the Young Communists League in 1947 and the South African Communist Party in 1948. A defendant in the famous Treason Trial organized by the racist government against anti-apartheid figures, he left South Africa in 1966 and lived the rest of his life in exile.
Richard Rive: Writer born in District Six, Cape Town, a working class area that is very important in his novels. A firm enemy of racism and apartheid.
Sipho Sepamla: Poet and novelist who lived most of his life in Soweto, on the outskirts of Johannesburg. Was active in the Black Consciousness movement.