Sandile Dikeni was born in Victoria West, Northern Cape in 1966. He began writing poetry while in detention for his anti-apartheid activism in the 1980s. He became sought after for his performances and rose to prominence in the Western Cape as a major voice against oppression. Dikeni attended the University of the Western Cape (UWC), obtained a diploma in journalism through Peninsula Technikon. He was arts editor of the Cape Times, editor of Die Suid-Afrikaan and political editor of This Day South Africa. He also served a stint in government, as spokesperson for South Africa’s then Housing Minister, Lindiwe Sisulu. In 2005, Dikeni was involved in a car accident that left him in coma but he managed to pull through after a long period of recovery. Dikeni was the author of three collections of poems, including the seminal Guava Juice, (Mayibuye Books, 1992), which he followed with Telegraph to the Sky (UKZN Press, 2001) and Planting Water (UKZN Press, 2007). He also published a collection of his articles from the Cape Times, Soul Fire: Writing the Transition (UKZN Press, 2002). According to his sister, Nomonde, Sandile Dikeni died in Cape Town, Western Cape, on Saturday, 9 November 2019.
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