Sipho Sepamla
(1932-2007)

South African poet and novelist who lived most of his life in Soweto, on the outskirts of Johannesburg. Was active in the Black Consciousness movement.




Novels
A Ride on the Whirlwind (1981): 241 pages, written about the 1977 Soweto Uprising, it discusses both the students' movement which were very active during the uprising, as well as the armed resistance groups which operated in South Africa during the period of outright apartheid. One of the interesting things about this novel is that the resistance to apartheid which it details is solely violent resistance, as opposed to the image that is propagated now about how it was a "non-violent" movement against oppression. The students in the story know what they are doing, and regularly make use of violent means, whether stone throwing, petrol bombings, etc...while the armed resistance fighter in the novel makes use of more traditional means such as the gun and the bomb. It also focuses on the brutal torture and criminal behavior of the white racist security services (members of which have continued in service, and been given greater powers in recent years), and the disgusting African collaborators who worked for them.


Poems
The Soweto I Love (1977): 54 pages, a book of poems written after the Soweto uprising, which passionately attacks apartheid.