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A working life, cruel beyond belief

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It is a great privilege to launch our series with A Working Life, Cruel Beyond Belief, by Alfred Temba Qabula, with a new Foreword by the original translator, BE Nzimande. Qabula was a central figure in the cultural movement among working people that emerged in and around Durban in the 1980s. It was an innovative attempt to draw on the oral poetry developed among the Nguni people over many centuries. Alfred Temba Qabula was a forklift driver in the Dunlop tyre factory in Durban at the time this book was developed. He used the art of telling stories to critique the exploitation of black workers and their oppression under apartheid. He was a grassroots intellectual, best understood as an organic intellectual, a notion developed by the Italian Marxist, Antonio Gramsci.

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