Justify the Enemy: Becoming Human in South Africa is a new collection of non-fiction by the prolific author Zakes Mda.
The book showcases Mda’s role as a public intellectual with the inclusion of public lectures, essays and media articles.
Mda focuses on South Africa’s history and the present, identity and belonging, the art of writing, human rights, global warming and why he is unable to keep silent on abuses of power.
Some of Mda’s best-known novels include Ways of Dying (1995, MNet Book Prize); The Heart of Redness (2000, Commonwealth Writers’ Prize: Africa, and Sunday Times Fiction Prize); The Madonna of Excelsior (2002, one of the Top Ten South African books published in the Decade of Democracy); The Whale Caller (2005); Cion (2007); Black Diamond (2009); The Sculptors of Mapungubwe (2013); Rachel’s Blue (2014); and Little Suns(2015, Sunday Times Literary Award).
Zakes Mda was born in Herschel in the Eastern Cape in 1948 and studied in South Africa, Lesotho and the United States. He wrote his first short story at the age of 15 and has since won major South African and British literary awards for his novels and plays. His writing has been translated into 20 languages. Mda is a professor of Creative Writing at Ohio University.
JU Jacobs is an emeritus professor and senior research associate at the University of KwaZulu-Natal. He is the co-editor of Ways of Writing: Critical Essays on Zakes Mda (2009) and author of Diaspora and Identity in South African Fiction (2016).