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South African Nobel Prize Essayist; J.M. Coetzee5 minutes read

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John Maxwell Coetzee is a South African-born Australian novelist, essayist, linguist, translator and recipient of the 2003 Nobel Prize in Literature born 9th February, 1940. He has won the Booker Prize (twice), the CNA Prize (thrice), the Jerusalem Prize, the Prix Femina étranger, and The Irish Times International Fiction Prize, and holds a number of other awards and honorary doctorates.


Coetzee is one of the most critically acclaimed and decorated authors in the English language. He moved to Australia in 2002 and became an Australian citizen in 2006. He lives in Adelaide. Coetzee was born in Cape Town, Cape Province, Union of South Africa, on 9 February 1940 to Afrikaner parents. His father, Zacharias Coetzee (1912–1988), was an occasional attorney and government employee, and his mother, Vera Coetzee (née Wehmeyer; 1904–1986), a schoolteacher. The family mainly spoke English at home, but John spoke Afrikaans with other relatives. He is descended from 17th-century Dutch immigrants to South Africa on his father’s side, and from Dutch, German and Polish immigrants through his mother.

Coetzee spent most of his early life in Cape Town and in Worcester, a town in the Cape Province (modern-day Western Cape), as recounted in his fictionalised memoir, Boyhood (1997). His family moved to Worcester when he was eight, after his father lost his government job. He attended St. Joseph’s College, a Catholic school in the Cape Town suburb Rondebosch, later studying mathematics and English at the University of Cape Town and receiving his Bachelor of Arts with honours in English in 1960 and his Bachelor of Arts with honours in mathematics in 1961.

He moved to the United Kingdom in 1962 and worked as a computer programmer for IBM in London and ICT (International Computers and Tabulators) in Bracknell, staying until 1965. In 1963, the University of Cape Town awarded him a Master of Arts degree for his thesis “The Works of Ford Madox Ford with Particular Reference to the Novels” (1963). His experiences in England were later recounted in Youth (2002), his second volume of fictionalised memoirs.


In 1965 Coetzee went to the University of Texas at Austin, in the United States, on the Fulbright Program, receiving his doctorate in 1969. His PhD dissertation was a computer-aided stylistic analysis of Samuel Beckett’s English prose. In 1968, Coetzee began teaching English literature at the State University of New York at Buffalo, where he stayed until 1971. At Buffalo he began his first novel, Dusklands. From as early as 1968 Coetzee sought permanent residence in the U.S., a process that was finally unsuccessful, in part due to his involvement in protests against the war in Vietnam. In March 1970, he was one of 45 faculty members who occupied the university’s Hayes Hall and were arrested for criminal trespass.

The charges against them were dropped in 1971. In 1972 Coetzee returned to South Africa and was appointed lecturer in the Department of English Language and Literature at the University of Cape Town. He was promoted to senior lecturer and associate professor before becoming Professor of General Literature in 1984. In 1994 Coetzee became Arderne Professor in English, and in 1999 he was appointed Distinguished Professor in the Faculty of Humanities. Upon retirement in 2002, he was awarded emeritus status. He served on the Committee on Social Thought at the University of Chicago until 2003.

After relocating to Adelaide, Australia, Coetzee was made an honorary research fellow at the English Department of the University of Adelaide, where his partner, Dorothy Driver, is a fellow academic. As of May 2019, Coetzee is listed as Professor of Literature within English and Creative Writing at the school, and Driver as Visiting Research Fellow.
Coetzee’s first novel was Dusklands (1974) and he has continued to publish a novel about every three years. He has also written autobiographical novels, such as Boyhood, Youth and Summertime, short fiction, translations from Dutch and Afrikaans, and numerous essays and works of criticism.
Coetzee has received numerous awards throughout his career, although he has a reputation for avoiding award ceremonies. Coetzee was the first writer to be awarded the Booker Prize twice: for Life & Times of Michael K in 1983, and for Disgrace in 1999. As of 2020, four other authors have achieved this, J.G. Farrell, Peter Carey, Hilary Mantel, and Margaret Atwood.
Summertime, named on the 2009 longlist, was an early favourite to win Coetzee an unprecedented third Booker Prize. It made the shortlist, but lost to bookmakers’ favourite Wolf Hall, by Mantel. Coetzee was also longlisted in 2003 for Elizabeth Costello and in 2005 for Slow Man.


The Schooldays of Jesus, a follow up to his 2013 novel The Childhood of Jesus, was longlisted for the 2016 Booker Prize. On 2 October 2003, Horace Engdahl, head of the Swedish Academy, announced that Coetzee had been chosen as that year’s recipient of the Nobel Prize in Literature, making him the fourth African writer to be so honoured and the second South African, after Nadine Gordimer. When awarding the prize, the Swedish Academy stated that Coetzee “in innumerable guises portrays the surprising involvement of the outsider”.

The press release for the award also cited his “well-crafted composition, pregnant dialogue and analytical brilliance”, while focusing on the moral nature of his work. The prize ceremony was held in Stockholm on 10 December 2003. Coetzee is also a three-time winner of South Africa’s CNA Prize. His Waiting for the Barbarians received both the James Tait Black Memorial Prize and the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize, Age of Iron was awarded the Sunday Express Book of the Year award, and The Master of Petersburg was awarded The Irish Times International Fiction Prize in 1995. He has also won the French Prix Femina étranger and two Commonwealth Writers’ Prizes for the African region, for Master of St Petersburg in 1995 and for Disgrace in 2000 (the latter personally presented by Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace), and the 1987 Jerusalem Prize for the Freedom of the Individual in Society.
He really is decorated.

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”Make It Normal To Stop Judging People’s Actions Based On Post” -Beyonce’s Publicist Replies Tiwa Savage

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Award-winning actress, Tiwa Savage, recently beckoned on American celebrities such as Beyonce, and international brands not to keep mute over the ongoing agitation for an end to police brutality in Nigeria.


This call on Beyonce and her team using their platform to speak on the #EndSars protest, however didn’t sit right with Beyonce and her team as Yvette Noel-Schure, Beyonce’s publicist gave a reply to Tiwa Savage.


She said; “not all activists live on Social media. Not all Doers look for validation, nor your approval. Not all work is for a photo OP. Make it normal to stop judging people’s actions based on posts. Posts don’t make you an activist. Actions make you an activist. Whether in the background or out in these streets. We all choose a different path to get it done. Blessed are those who do not see yet they believe. Actions speak louder than posts! Stop Judging! S.T.O.P!!!”



In a very emotional and enthusiastic video Tiwa released on her Instagram page, the Koroba crooner said, “I have so much to tell you and so many emotions are going through me. Nigerians are special people but the country is bad. Because we are strong, we don’t realise how bad our country is. We are not protesting for basic needs because we are not used to having it in the first place. A lot of privileged people feel that these happenings do not concern them because they have alternatives but what if there is an unforeseen incident and your money or affluence cannot save you?


All we are asking for is to stay alive and they still want to stop that? There is corruption everywhere in the world but when you take, give back. We all lent our support for the #BlackLivesMatter movement using our social media platforms, even if we were not physically present. We also need support from the world. I was so proud to be involved in Beyonce’s Black is King: The Gift album. Do not quote me out of context but I want to use my platform to call on Beyoncé and the whole team that reached out to all of us to use their voice and platform for us too. The country that birthed these celebrated afrobeat talents is on fire. You cannot ignore us or be quiet at this time



Tiwa Savage emphasized that she knows she may be criticised for speaking out and blacklisted for making these videos “I know that I may be blacklisted by these outpourings but we know what the late Fela Anikulapo-Kuti stood for and we have to stand for the same things too. For everyone that has given us a platform, I am grateful but I call on them to also use their platforms for Nigerians. What is happening now is deeper than police brutality. I don’t want the government to frustrate us. The government will not win this time, we would win.”

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Beyonce Knowles’s Mum Talks About #ENDSARS Movement While Hinting That Tiwa Savage Should Have Reached Out To Beyonce’s Team

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It is no news that the #ENDSARS protest has now gained international recognition. Days back, Tiwa Savage made a video beckoning on Beyonce and other international brands to lend their voices, as Nigerian youths take on the streets. Tina Lawson has openly come out to say how displeased she is about Tiwa’s move, and Tiwa Savage could have reached out to Beyonce personally as opposed to taking it to her Instagram to call her daughter out.
Tina Lawson revealed that since the release of The gift album, and Beyonce’s movie; “black is King”, a lot of people have had something to say, which in most cases, are not so pleasant, some suggesting Beyonce could have used the whole of African creatives instead of a selected few.

She also expresses her displeasure about the injustice that have been going on in Nigeria and more particularly in Lagos last night, stressing that she and her family just like everyone else, have real issues, and she had recently just heard about SARS, and all that they represent just last week, and it’s very unlike her not to have said anything about it, but for her infrequent use of social media.

“I am deeply saddened by the events that happened last night in Lagos! When people lost their lives and were beaten and abused. I understand the injustices that have been going on in Nigeria, it sickens me. SARS came to my attention last week and immediately I posted about it! I had not heard of it before as I have not been following closely Instagram as much as I usually do due to some serious personal family challengesI As a result I have been mostly posting funny things to try to make people smile.

After researching on line I understood that SARS (a special task force supposedly to stop crime) were abusing their power and harassing young people. Very much like what we have been protesting for , here in America. Everyday we are disproportionatly stoped harassed jailed and sometimes killed ! These senseless killings of our black men and women! The brutal treatment of our people by law enforcement ! No knock warrants etc.

Of course I guess much of the public does not think we have personal problems in our family . We are supposed to be super human and not have loss, or health issues or personal problems because our sole purpose is supposed to be of service and humility and take as much abuse from the haters as they choose to put on us. No matter what my daughter does she is scrutinized and torn apart! She Makes a record and uses all African artist, producers, writers.

She is criticized because She didn’t get artist from every country in Africa there are 52 countries! Then she makes a film that by the way she doesn’t profit a penny off of, because she spent every penny in the budget on making something that celebrates our heritage! What profiting off of you did she do? She made art!! She is an artist! That is what artist do. She is not your political leader and not your whipping board. They saw a 30 second trailer and critics and couch activist attacked! !!! yes I said it and I meant it! They came out and did their usual thing about her being a culture vulture and saying some of the most ugly and vile things about her that were totally not true and insults galore


Someone that was on the last project who BTW is in constant contact with her team decided that instead of contacting her team and asking her to post to assist in spreading the word . I am appalled that They would get on social media and do it !! Why not ask the people you are dealing with all the time????? On her team!! I don’t understand that !!! I am sure at the time she was not thinking straight because of the trauma that the country was facing but come on!!!!!! I have had enough of the hating and am personally tired of the attacks.

And it is disgusting how people sit behind a computer and talk crap all day and many of them do absolutely nothing else ! It is so easy to post ! Don’t get me wrong posting is very important that’s why I do it every day about social issues. It spreads the word and that is important But everybody has a right to activate in their own way. If we do us , and focus on what WE can do and not expect Beyonce to do exactly what she is told when you tell her to do it! Then we would get it done better.

When I made my post it was not about any group of people and certainly not the Nigerian People ! Only the attackers and haters that no matter what she does you feel entitled to bully someone and take credit for bullying her into making a by a statement !! By the way many people are just posting today because it has gone to the next level after last nights tragic events.

Are you critics attacking them? Sorry if I offended anyone just trying to make a statement for change and asking for help ! I was not talking to you ! Those comments were for the rude attackers that rudely ,constantly come for us in a vile and abusive way ! Trying to bully and shame us into submission just like the oppressors. We not your whipping board . I am not here for it! You do not run me and bully me I will fight back. You don’t take credit for bullying her to post ! I pray everyday for Nigeria and all countries that are being abused and murdered for the color of our skin!!! I would do anything to help but stop with the abuse and stop trying to make her your spokesperson and shaming people for doing things in their own way!!!!” She said.

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I Know What It Means To Be In Pain And To Lose A Loved One – D’banj

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Nigerian Afrobeats star D’banj says he can relate to one being in pain, and when one loses a loved one, hence, he can relate to what Nigerians are going through at the moment in his words, “I know what it means to be in pain, , to lose a child and a loved one,so I know the pain my brothers and sisters are going through and my heart is heavy



“I pray God grants us the healing and restoration we so deeply need in our country and that our lights can once again shine
As a Nigerian youth,I try my best to never give up especially when it seems the hardest, so I urge you to do the same”
Dbanj who is very much instrumental to boosting the popularity of the Nigerian music industry globally says he stands with the Nigerian youth and for the cause which they are fighting for. Considering joining the protest, Dbanj asks for the location of the protest in Abuja.



“I stand in solidarity with the Nigerian youth. I stand for restructuring of the Nation system
On that note,we move, we never give up,till we get to the top of the world!
ABUJA ;pls where is the location for the ?? #ReformtheNation #EndSars”



Mon June 25, 2018 Dbanj lost his only son in a drowning incident, according to local media. His late sonDaniel Oyebanjo III, who had only just turned one in May of that year- 2018, reportedly died in a swimming pool at the singer’s Lagos home.



It’s evident that Dbanj still feels the loss of his son, because till now D’banj has not made a single comment addressing the death directly, he only posted a black background on his Instagram page with the caption: “Trying times but my God is Always and Forever Faithful.”


D’banj, who was 38 years old then, was not in the country when the incident occurred. He was in Los Angeles for the BET Awards, but had to hurriedly fly back to Nigeria to be with his wife, Lineo Kilgrow.
Two months after the incident, the artiste dedicated a song to his wife.

In August, 2019 during an interview in London , D’banj said that he never thought he would ever lose a child and that the sad incident really broke him. During this same interview, the Nigerian superstar singer thanked everyone that supported him and his wife throughout the trying time.


He said, “First, I want to thank everyone out there who has supported us, but the truth is in everything we do we need to give thanks to God and more importantly, I believe there is God that granted me the grace and mercy over my family and my wife to be able to be here today. It’s not something you wish for your worst enemy. To lose a child is not something you think about, and I have never thought about it before.”

He also revealed that he only attended therapy once with his wife but stopped going after it “brought up a lot. “If I told you I thought about it, unlike other things you asked me and I told you I am focused and I go in, this was one that broke me. It was just that it just took the grace of God and a bit of therapy. I think I went for therapy once and I said this no be my style because it was bringing out so many things.”


It was then D’banj announced that he was expecting another son, when asked about how he coped with the difficulty of losing a child. “I am going to be a father in a few months after praying for restoration after the sad incident. And we are expecting a boy,” the singer had revealed.

In September 19, 2019, Lineo Didi Kilgrow gave birth to a bouncing baby boy in United States of America. News of the birth triggered excitement on social media as report of the baby’s arrival filtered online.

The singer, whose real name is Oladapo Daniel Oyebanjo, was one of the frontrunners of the new wave of Nigeria’s popular music style, Afrobeats, and had a global hit in 2012 with his infectious hit “Oliver Twist.”



The award-winning video featured a cameo from Kanye West and has been viewed 53 million times on YouTube.

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