Mangothobane, A Soweto nobody by Robert Mshengu Kavanagh
Themba books, 2016
Soft cover, 341 Pages
A white South African who was popularly known by the praise name, Damase, forges in the crucible of apartheid race relations a lifetime friendship with Vusi, on the face of it a Soweto nobody. The book describes in a lively fashion how that friendship developed and at the same time reveals a lived history -a history of the time and the place. It is the 1970s in Johannesburg, Soweto and the Reef in general, a time when change was afoot, when the currents of social, economic and cultural developments were convergeing on the day the end began- June 16th, 1976. Damase leaves South Africa but much later returns for periodic visits and Vusi and he renew their friendship. It is during this period that Damase comes to know what Vusi has been through and what he has archived in the tumultuous years before the negotiations that led to the death of the legislative apartheid. He also comes to know how he has been cheated and robbed of the fruits of his achievements in the new South Africa and sadly watches as Vusi's entrails, like Spartan boy's, are devoured by the wolf of rage and impotence.