Mohale Mashigo on telling stories about the 'insignificant people' and learning to navigate mental illness without shame.
Born-and-raised in Soweto, Mohale Mashigo comes from a family of storytellers but never really thought she would write, let alone about Black people, until she read the works of Tsitsi Dangarembga and Zakes Mda. Like so many Black kids, she didn't know that a writer was something she could be. Mohale has since gone on to produce bestsellers including The Yearning and Beyond the River and even a comic book called Kwezi. Her most recent work, Intruders, is a brilliant body of speculative fiction, a genre that is still overlooked in South Africa. It includes stories of a mermaid in Soweto, a woman who kills a man with her high heeled shoes, werewolves falling in love with vampires and even an apocalypse. Mohale is the recent winner of the Vodacom Journalist of the Year 2018 award in the category of multiplatform.
We caught up with her to speak about Intruders, being a writer and navigating mental illness in a way that makes her feel supported and still able to celebrate her victories.