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Zakes Mda’s Cion inspired Gregory Maqoma’s new work.
Maqoma brought author Zakes Mda’s mourner, Toloki, to life on stage in a dance piece, Cion: Requiem of Ravel’s Bolero. Mda attained global renown with Ways of Dying (1995), his seminal first novel that featured the unforgettable character Toloki, a professional mourner at township funerals during South Africa’s transition to democracy.
Mda’s writing is entrenched in African values, ethics and offers a broader view of South Africa as a complex animal with unique cultures.
In Cion, the follow-up to Ways of Dying, Mda revisits Toloki a decade later.