Thabang Maje

Created by Diale Thlolwe

THABANG MAJE is a retired Johannesburg schoolteacher who supplements his pension by working as a private investigator, or as he refers to himself, “a part-time hunter of absconding fathers, debt defaulters and summons dodgers.”

In his debut, Ancient Rites (2008), he’s hired by an unknown client to find Mamorena Marumo, a schoolteacher who’s gone missing in the remote village of Marakong-a-Badimo up in the mountains. To find her, Maje goes undercover as a teacher, but the search is complicated by a serial killer apparently loose in the area, some mysterious nocturnal drumming and the fact he had a major crush on the missing woman as a teenager. The novel, which is a nifty mix of magical realism with hard-boiled crime fiction, received the 2010 South African Literary Award (SALA) for Best First Novel.

The author was born in 1961 in Meyerton and went to primary school in Alexandra Township and Mofolo, Soweto. He began his law studies at the University of Fort Hare in 1980 but did not return after one of the mass expulsions at the University. Instead, he took up teaching and earned a diploma in journalism through the Argus Journalism Cadet School, later Thlolwe becoming a client and local government liaison officer for a consultancy company. His first novel, Ancient Rites, was awarded the 2010 South African Literary Award (SALA) for a First-time Published Author. As for thesupernatural elements in his work, Thlolwe claims he’s “heard and experienced many strange, hilarious and disturbing stories” and feels that fiction is a great way to explore them.



Respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith.


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