‘A bright light who is gone too soon’ – Multidisciplinary artist and award-winning writer Phumlani Pikoli dies

Multidisciplinary artist and writer Phumlani Pikoli has died, aged 33.

According to a family statement, Pikoli was found dead at an apartment in Johannesburg on Sunday, 11 April 2021. The cause of death has not been confirmed.

Pikoli was the son of former National Prosecuting Authority head Vusi Pikoli and his wife, Girlie Pikoli.

‘The gruesome discovery of Phumlani’s lifeless body lying in bed is something that no parent needs to go through,’ a grieving Vusi Pikoli said in the statement.

Family spokesperson Twiggs Xiphu said the family is ‘requesting privacy while they are going through this sad episode’.

Pikoli’s writing has been described as ‘a generational ode’. The Fatuous State of Severity, his first book, a collection of stories, was published by Pan Macmillan in 2018, after finding success as a self-published project. His debut novel, Born Freeloaders, was released in 2019, and won the K Sello Duiker Memorial Literary Award.

Pan Macmillan released a statement saying:

‘Pan Macmillan is deeply saddened by the passing of Phumlani Pikoli, a bright light who is gone too soon.

‘We were privileged to publish two wonderfully original works with Phumlani, the short story collection The Fatuous State of Severity (2018) and the award-winning Born Freeloaders (2019).

‘We celebrate Phumlani’s considerable talent, and we extend our deepest condolences to the Pikoli family and to all who knew and loved him.’

Categories Non-fiction South Africa

Tags Born Freeloaders Pan Macmillan SA Phumlani Pikoli The Fatuous State of Severity

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