Faizel Patel, Radio Islam News - 10-06-2019
The CEO of the Market Theatre Foundation says while literary giant Ahmed Essop was known countrywide, the system of Apartheid made him ‘invisible.”
Essop, the author of books such as The Emperor, The Hajji and Other Stories and Charles Dickens and Salman Rushdie amongst many others sadly passed away on Monday.
Born in 1931 in India but grew up in Johannesburg, Essop attended the University of South Africa (UNISA) where he obtained a BA degree in 1956 and later an honours degree.
Much of Essop’s work focuses on Indians and their roles in South African society, and includes racial themes of apartheid
The Market Theatre Foundation’s Ismail Mahomed says Essop’s work was unique in a sense that it drew on characters that he was familiar with.
“There was a wonderful sense of irony in his work in that even though he dealt with in a very satirical way with some of the characters, he always was full of compassion and a deep sense of humanity about those particular characters and he never dehumanized them even if they were characters that were negative.”
Listen to the interview with Ismail Mahomed
Essop was awarded the Olive Schreiner Prize in 1979 by the English Academy of Southern Africa for The Hajji and Other Stories (1988) and the Literary Lifetime Achievement Award by the South African Ministry of Arts and Culture.
Essop was laid to rest at the Avalon Cemetery in Lenasia.
We are deeply saddened to announce the news of the passing away of Author Ahmed Essop. Our deepest sympathies go out to the family. Author Ahmed Essop will be fondly remembered for the 13 books which he has authored.… https://t.co/qxHZGmYW8j— JozisBBF (@jozisBBF) June 10, 2019