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Fezeka Mkhabela

South African

First Language(s): IsiZulu
Second Language(s): English


Fezeka Mkhabela was born in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa. She is a Film and Television Production graduate with Honours from the University of the Witwatersrand and is a passionate writer, blogger, and performer. She is an award-winning documentary filmmaker and a critically acclaimed web-series writer and director. She enjoys spending time with family and is deeply passionate about Africa.


What was your favorite book as a child?

My first experience with South African literature was through the lens of renowned poet and playwright Gcina Mhlophe, the writer of Have You Seen Zandile?, my favourite play about a young woman in Hammarsdale, where I grew up. It was the first time I felt represented through words on a page and as I lament, it is still a magical experience.

As I grew up, Thirteen Cents by K Sello Duiker stood out as an incredible novel that engulfs you into the harsh reality of street kids in South Africa. I have never been more informed, challenged and beautifully disturbed by a read.

Do you remember the original reason or motivation why you started writing creatively?

When I wrote, as a teenager, whether it was a speech for lectern club, a script, or a short story, I observed that people listened to what I had to say and could not ignore me. I came to understand that paper and a pen are my superpower. I continue to write because stories have the potential to shift perspectives and change the world and my purpose is to create a better world one story at a time.

What was the most adventurous or thrilling thing you ever did/experienced?

It was conquering my fears by embarking on a three-week hike from the Drakensberg mountains into Lesotho. For those three weeks, there were no electronics, I was surrounded by nothing except glorious mountains, tranquil rivers, and the sounds of nature. At dusk the sky would light up with an infinite number of stars. This experience shaped my understanding of human existence — that life is precious but fleeting and we live better when we don’t fill our lives with unnecessary things and instead learn to be grateful for every blessing.

Do you listen to music while reading or writing?

To write successfully and access my imagination that lies in the transcendence, I have to listen carefully to my floating inner thoughts. If music plays, it only serves as a distraction to my writing process because this is achieved in the presence of silence. I also prefer writing at night, a time when the world around me feels still and allows me to concentrate on the story.


Flash Nonfiction
Issue Fall '22

Supported by:

Land Steiermark: Kultur, Europa, Außenbeziehungen
U.S. Embassy Vienna
Stadt Graz