4 memoirs by South African black authors that will move you

Their books
live on with you long after you’ve put them down. With their truly incredibly personal experiences and thought provoking opinions on social issues, these authors dared to tell their story and we loved them.

Here are four memoirs by local authors that will move you. 

1.       You have to be gay to know God by
Siya Khumalo


Hilarious, insightful
and cheeky. Siya Khumalo grew up in a Durban township where one sermon could
whip up a lynch mob against those considered different. Drawing on personal
experience — his childhood, life in the army, attending church, and competing
in pageants — Khumalo explores being LGBTQI+ in South Africa today. In You
Have to Be Gay to Know God, he takes us on a daring journey, exposing the
interrelatedness of religion, politics and sex as the expectations of African
cultures mingle with greed and colonial religion.

2.       Colour me Yellow


Colour Me Yellow is award-winning
journalist Thuli Nhlapo’s memoir. Just by reading the synopsis and the first
few pages you establish three things: Thuli’s mother wishes she was never born,
she’s the black sheep of the family and she suffers a tremendous amount of
physical, emotional and verbal abuse as a result. But Thuli never allows
herself to wallow in self-pity. This book explores African tradition family dynamics
and healing.

Becoming Him, A Trans Memoir of
Triumph by Landa Mabenge

As a young child, he’d known the way he looked
on the outside didn’t match how he felt inside. He didn’t like the dresses with
lace frills that he was made to wear and longed to play with toy soldiers and
trucks instead of dolls. When puberty hit, his changing body felt even more
foreign. In Becoming Him, A Trans Memoir of Triumph, Landa Mabenge tells his lengthy
and intricate process of transitioning in 2009.

Always Another Country By Sisonke Msimang

The daughter of South African
freedom fighters, Sisonke Msimang was born in exile and tells her story as a young
woman living between Africa and America.

In the frank, fierce and
insightful, she reflects candidly on the abuse she suffered as a child, the
naive, heady euphoria of returning at last to her parents’ homeland—and her
disillusionment with present-day South Africa and its new elites.









'Always another country' by Sisonke  Msimang and 'You have to be gay to know God' by Siya Khumalo

‘Always another country’ by Sisonke Msimang and ‘You have to be gay to know God’ by Siya Khumalo