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Legendary South African author Zakes Mda has expressed optimism about South Africa’s future and likened the current problems facing the country as “just the pangs of birth”.

Zakes Mda, legally Zanemvula Kizito Gatyeni Mda (born 1948), is a South African novelist, poet and playwright. He has won major South African and British literary awards for his novels and plays. He is currently a Patron of the Etisalat Prize for Literature.

Mda‚ a professor at the University of Ohio in the US‚ was speaking at Jacaranda FM’s The Complimentary Breakfast Show on Friday to share a story behind his latest book Little Suns.

Zakes Mda

When asked by an interviewer: “Where do we go from here as South Africans?”‚ Mda replied he was a very optimistic person.

“I think these are just the pangs of birth. I think a number of things will self-correct.”

Mda said what made him optimistic was that the country had a very strong civil society.

“The fact that a lot of the things that happened are exposed and people are not just silent about them; they protest about them‚ they talk about them‚ they write about them.”

Mda said the country had a very strong judiciary and a strong press.

He said these things gave him hope.

“We will continue to have problems like all countries do have problems‚ but not as serious as these ones where a president for instance subverts the constitution and hijacks democracy and so on.

“I think that of course is something that will self-correct sooner or later.”

Mda told the hosts that there was nothing he missed about South Africa because he was always in the country.

“I am back to here after every two months or so.”

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Brent Lindeque
About the Author

Brent Lindeque is the founder and man in charge at Good Things Guy.

Recognised as one of the Mail and Guardian’s Top 200 Young South African’s as well as a Primedia LeadSA Hero, Brent is a change maker, thought leader, radio host, foodie, vlogger, writer and all round good guy.

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