South African poet Mazisi (Raymond) Kunene was born on May 12, 1930 in Durban, South Africa.
Kunene became widely known for his translation of the epic Zulu poem Emperor Shaka the Great.
While in exile away from South Africa’s apartheid regime, Kunene turned an active supporter and organizer of the anti-apartheid movement in Europe and Africa.
He eventually taught at University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), and became Africa’s and South Africa’s first poet laureate.
Kunene started writing poems and short stories in Zulu very early in his childhood. His poems were published in local papers when he was 11 years old.
Having earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Natal in Zulu and history, he later received a Master of Arts in Zulu Poetry.
His works were originally written in Zulu and afterward, translated into English.
Meanwhile, Mazisi Kunene died from cancer at age 76 on August 11, 2006 in Durban, South Africa.
What type of poet is Mazisi Kunene?
Mazisi Kunene is a Zulu poet. He predominantly writes in the Zulu language which is then translated into English.