My Character is based on Me – Songeziwe Mahlangu

My Character is based on Me – Songeziwe Mahlangu

Songeziwe Mahlangu, the South African writer who emerged winner of the 2015 edition of The Etisalat Prize for Fiction has revealed that the protagonist of his debut novel Penumbra, is based on his own experience.


Songeziwe Mahlangu revealed this during a readings and conversation session with Ellah Allfrey, Patron of the Etisalat Prize for Literature on Friday, 13th February at Terra Kulture, Lagos.

The novel which is set in Cape Town tells the story of Mangaliso, a graduate working in a boring finance job in Cape Town, his disillusionment with life and his friends and his mental breakdown.

Songeziwe Mahlangu Winner of The Etisalat Prize for Fiction 2014, Lagos


Songeziwe, who is an accountant living in Cape Town was awarded a cash prize of £15,000, a mont blanc pen and a high-end device.
The 27 year old will subsequently embark on a book tour to three African cities. He will also go on the Etisalat Fellowship at the University of East Anglia where he will be mentored by Gile Forden.

Songeziwe Mahlangu came out ahead of Chinelo Okparanta shortlisted for her collection of short stories, Happiness Like Water and Nadia Davids for An Imperfect Blessing. The two runners up would also go on a book tour and Etisalat will purchase 1,000 copies of all three books for distribution across the continent.

In the flash fiction category, Tanzanian Neema Kimba won the 1000 pounds sterling  award as wel as an ipad mini while the runners up Justin Irabor Ikhide and Chinua Ezenwa Ohaeto got 500 pounds and an ipad mini each.


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About The Author

Osigweh Lilian Oluchi is a graduate of the University of Lagos where she obtained a B.A (Hons) in English, Masters in Public and International affairs (MPIA). Currently works with 1stnews as a Database Manager / Writer. [email protected]

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