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Mandla Langa was born in Durban in 1950 and grew up in KwaMashu. After being arrested in 1976, he was sentenced, skipped bail and went into exile. In 1980, Langa won the Drum magazine story contest with ‘Th e Dead Men Who Lost Th eir Bones'. It was the start of a long and distinguished writing career that has seen him publish acclaimed works such as Tenderness of Blood (1987), A Rainbow on a Paper Sky (1989), Th e Naked Song and Other Stories (1997) and The Memory of Stones (2000).
Langa is widely respected not only in literary circles but also in the spheres of business, culture and politics. He has participated in various arts programmes and conferences throughout Africa and elsewhere, and has lived in Botswana, Lesotho, Mozambique, Angola, where he did his MK military training, as well as Zambia, Hungary and the United Kingdom. A scriptwriter and journalist, Langa has also held various ANC posts abroad, including that of Cultural Representative in the UK and Western Europe.
He was also a weekly columnist for the Sunday Independent and was Programme Director for Television at the SABC and Chairperson of the Independent Communications Authority of SA (Icasa) (1999-2005).