Magazine article New Internationalist

The Rich Man of Pietermaritzburg

Magazine article New Internationalist

The Rich Man of Pietermaritzburg

Article excerpt

The Rich Man of Pietermaritzburg by Sibusiso Nyembezi translated from the Zulu by Sandile Ngidi (Aflame Books, ISBN 9780955233999)

This splendid novel by Zulu novelist and teacher Sibusiso Nyembezi, first published in South Africa in 1961, is a spare, simply told morality tale of great subtlety and power. Set in Nyanyadu in the rural hinterland of KwaZulu Natal, the story concerns the arrival in this farming community of Mr CC Ndebenkulu, Esq, an 'important person' from Pietermaritzburg who claims that he has come to lift them out of poverty. His haughty manner and constant complaints at first alienate the people and they suspect both his credentials and his motives. However, a local notable, Zeph Mkhwanazi, in awe of Ndebenkulu's suave urban manner and greedy for the riches he promises, persuades the farmers to listen to his schemes. …

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