Can Themba

Robin Peter Gaylard (University of Stellenbosch)
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Can Themba was perhaps the most talented of the writers associated with


magazine and Sophiatown in the 1950s. He was born in Marabastad (Pretoria) in 1924 and won the first Mendi Memorial Scholarship to study at Fort Hare. He graduated with a first-class degree in English in 1947 and taught at Madibane High School in Western Township (Johannesburg). In 1953 his short story “Mob Passion” won


first short story competition, and Themba resigned his teaching post to work as a reporter on


and subsequently on


sister publication,

The Golden City Post.

His exploits as a hard-drinking, fast-living journalist and man-about-town were legendary, and his house in Sophiatown, “The House of Truth”, became a meeting place for friends and associates. In the words of…

2201 words

Citation: Gaylard, Robin Peter. "Can Themba". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 20 August 2009 [, accessed 05 March 2024.]

4361 Can Themba 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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