Laureate - 2012

Mongany Wally Serote

South African Republic


Mongane Wally Serote was born in Sophiatown, north of Johannesburg, in 1944. He attended school in Alexandra. The political conditions of the time led him to develop an interest in the Black Consciousness (BC) philosophy and the anti-apartheid struggles of the day. Upon leaving school, Serote began working as a journalist. More widely known as “Wally”, Serote is generally regarded as one of South Africa’s pre-eminent poets and writers. He is renowned as one of the Soweto poets who embodied the literary revival of black voices in the 1970s. Serote’s poems projected a stark and realistic picture of the apartheid regime. His resistance to the unjust regime extended outside of poetry through active involvement in political resistance by joining the African National Congress (ANC).