An unusual freedom : Mbulelo Mzamane's Mzala

Gaylard, Rob P. (1999-12)

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Mzamane's comments over the years seem to reflect a doubt or ambivalence over the status of his first collection of stories, Mzala (1980). In his introduction Mzamane describes himself as 'a teacher first, an aspiring literary critic next and only very incidentally a writer'. In an interview in 1983 in the Nigerian journal Okella, he repeats this, and adds, 'I do not consider myself very seriously as a writer. However, in the same interview he also defends himself against the criticism that his stories are 'escapist' or 'trivialize life'; people have tended to see him, he says, as 'a writer who is not very serious'

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