Dancing with Hyenas is a tour-de-force that blends excellent prose with fact-driven stories to give a fresh perspective of the black struggle against the oppressive conditions of apartheid South Africa. The reader is taken 'behind the scenes' to conversations and strategy sessions in which successive generations of black youths are conscientized about the ideals of the liberation struggle.
In the book, author Mzi Mahola tells the stories in evocative, authentic, and thought-provoking narrative. Elsewhere he recounts the deep soul-searching exchanges among the black youth about the goals and efficacy of the Black Consciousness Movement in advancing cause of black liberation. His accounts are remarkably accurate, especially given the fifteen-year range over which the book is written.
What is most refreshing about Dancing with Hyenas is the emic perspective it takes since most of the books on the topic are written by outside observers. This is a one-of-a-kind book- amust-read for any interested in learning from indigenous blacks how they were able to make meaning of the lives while confronted by vagaries and vicissitudes of that vicious system, which was finally brought down in the early 1990s.
Mzamo P Mangaliso
Profesor, Isenberg School of Management
University of Massachusetts - Amherst MA
Dancing with Hyenas is a bout rites of passage of a young man hurled into maturity in a troubled land. Mzikayise Mahola conveys the story choosing words with the precision and dexterity of a poet, recalling events and painting them with the skill reserved for great story tellers. The book enthrals as it enables the reader to journey with Lizo through the labyrinth of dark paths in a perilous South Afica.
We do not know how he will, survive the wrath of the system whose vultures always hover with devilish zeal and sickening patience. Lizo thrives in a world that betrays taleneted and ambitious youth. Mahola lucidly captures the snippets of history, sharing hopes and shattered dreams in the trapping of the old South Africa. Indeed, this book is a piece of history that exemplifies how many young people experienced the rough ride into brittle futures.
Vuysile T. Msila
Professor and Head, Institute for African Renaissance Studies, University of South Africa (UNISA)
Dancing with Hyenas offers a riveting account of life under South Africa Aparhied. Lizo's autobiography evokes memories of "Coming of Age" stories by James Bladwin, Chinua Achebe and Frantz Fanon. Stories where young Black men pursue education (formal and informal) as they struggle for dignity and freedom under the oppressive weight of racist beliefs and systems. This "must-read' book engages the reader with a narative that speaks across the ages. Lizo's life renews our faith in the human spirit and inevitable though often delayed, triumph of justice over the arc of time.
Walter R. Allen
Distinguished Professor of Education, Sociology and African American Studies
University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)
CHAPTER ONE: I MUST ALSO HAVE A NAME
CHAPTER TWO: ORIGINS
CHAPTER THREE: CHILDHOOD IN LUSHINGTON
CHAPTER FOUR: MR. NOBHANDA
CHAPTER FIVE: AUNT ALICE
CHAPTER SIX: GROWING UP WITH COUSIN
CHAPTER SEVEN: A NEW LIFE IN THE CITY
CHAPTER EIGHT: A NEW SCHOOL
CHAPTER NINE: LIFE AT BOARDING SCHOOL
CHAPTER TEN: DEFINE YOURSELF
CHAPTER ELEVEN: GOOD TIMES ARE NOT FOREVER
CHAPTER TWELVE: ONE BULL ONE KRAAL
CHAPTER THIRTEEN: PLANTING OF THE SEED
CHAPTER FOURTEEN: I"LL TAKE YOU TO THEIR DEN
CHAPTER FIFTEEN: THE DEN
CHAPTER SIXTEEN: A SPECIAL BRANCH FOR A SPECIAL GROWTH
CHAPTER SEVENTEEN: A MAN CALLED GORDON
CHAPTER EIGHTEEN: THE CLOSEST INFLICT DEEPEST WOUNDS
CHAPTER NINETEEN: LEARN THEIR WAYS
CHAPTER TWENTY: BLACK MAN, YOU"RE ON YOUR OWN
CHAPTER TWENTY ONE: DANCING WITH HYENAS
CHAPTER TWENTY TWO: PLANT YOUR FEET FIRMLY IN THE GROUND
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