Oswald Mbuyiseni Mtshali

Robin Peter Gaylard (University of Stellenbosch)
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Oswald Mbuyiseni Mtshali burst onto the South African literary scene with the publication of

Sounds of a Cowhide Drum

in 1971. The book went into six impressions, sold over 13000 copies, and was published in London and New York in the following year. The success of Mtshali's collection of poetry helped pave the way for a new, more militant generation of black poets (Sepamla, Serote, Gwala) and to create an audience for their poetry. Their writing provoked an often heated debate among South African critics and academics over the criteria used to evaluate this poetry. A second collection of Mtshali's poetry,



was banned on publication in 1980. After working as an educationist in South Africa in the 1980s, Mtshali left for the United States in 1989 to further his career. He is…

2378 words

Citation: Gaylard, Robin Peter. "Oswald Mbuyiseni Mtshali". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 20 August 2009 [https://www.litencyc.com/php/speople.php?rec=true&UID=3237, accessed 19 April 2024.]

3237 Oswald Mbuyiseni Mtshali 1 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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