Mandla Langa, Director of Koketso Growth, is a published and award winning author, journalist, ANC veteran and struggle hero with a wealth of experience in Arts and Culture related projects and endeavours. Mandla’s involvement with Koketso Growth adds to a remarkable list of successful and notable ventures. He has held pivotal positions within the ANC and SABC and features on the board of numerous large businesses and institutions including Mulitchoice South Africa, where he acts as Chairman.
He has always and continues to contribute considerably to the development and wellbeing of journalism, arts and culture in South Africa particularly through his involvement as a board member for the Independent Business and Arts South Africa (BASA), Institute for the Advancement of Journalism (IAJ) and the Rhodes University School for Economic Journalism. He also serves as the director to Contemporary African Music and Arts (CAMA) and a trustee of South African Screenwriters’ Laboratory (SCRAWL).
Born in Durban in 1950, Mandla grew up in KwaMashu Township, and studied for a BA at the University of Fort Hare. Later on, as an exiled member of the ANC he lived in Botswana, Lesotho, Mozambique, Angola (where he underwent MK military training), Zambia, Hungary and the United Kingdom. During this time abroad he held several crucial posts for the ANC, playing an important role as an international representative for the party’s cause during the struggle.
A keen writer from an early age, his career as an author and journalist was truly sparked after winning the Drum story contest in 1980 for his short story ‘The Dead Men Who Lost Their Bones’. After this he continued to write prolifically, going on to become the first South African to be awarded the Arts Council of Great Britain Bursary for creative writing, as well as becoming a published author, featured columnist and magazine editor.
Titles and Achievements
- Winner of the 1980 Drum story contest.
- Deputy Chief Representative and Cultural Representative for the ANC in the UK and Western Europe.
- Vice-Chairperson of the successful Africa 95 Exhibition in London
- Weekly columnist of the Sunday Independent.
- Convener of the Task Group on Government Communications.
- Five published works:
- Tenderness of Blood,
- A Rainbow on a Paper Sky,
- The Naked Song and Other Stories,
- The Memory of Stones,
- The Lost Colours of the Chameleon
- Winner of the 2008 Africa Region Commonwealth Prize for Literature.
- Editor-at-large, Leadership Magazine
- Television Program Director, SABC
- Chairperson of the Independent Broadcasting Authority from April 1999 to June 2000.
- Chairperson of Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA).
- Chairman of the board, MultiChoice South Africa.
- He is a trustee of South African Screenwriters’ Laboratory (SCRAWL). He also serves as the director to Contemporary African Music and Arts (CAMA).
- Received the country’s National Orders of Ikhamanga (Silver) for literary, journalistic and cultural achievements in 2007
- Recipient of a Living Legends Award from the eThekwini Municipality in KwaZulu Natal on 10 September 2009