Sihle-Isipho Nontshokweni

Sihle-isipho Nontshokweni is a South African author, story-teller, scholar, and recently the host for The Ultimate Book Show, a series of13 in-depth profile interviews with Cape Town-based, black writers; an Abantu Book Festival cinematographic production.

Sihle burst into the literary scene with her loved debut children’s book, Wanda (2019), co-authored with Mathabo Tlali. Her latest book, Fly, Everyone, Fly, was the 2021 World Read Aloud Day’s chosen reading to reach upwards of 3 million children in South Africa. Her works have been translated into more than eleven languages, including sign language.

Sihle-isipho Nontshokweni was raised in Komani, where she started schooling, and later in King William’s Town, where she spent much of her youth until she went to attend university in Cape Town. She is the recipient of several prestigious academic and leadership accolades, complimented by a spirit of vitality that saw her completing the Cape Argus Cycle Tour (108km) and Two Oceans Half Marathon (2013 & 2014).

Her essays and performances have featured in several notable platforms, including the City PressSABCAbantu Book FestivalThis Girl Wins, Ethnic Kids, and Cheeky Natives. She has travelled to more than 30 countries, including Tibet, China, Australia, and 21 European countries. A unifying theme in Nontshokweni’s creative and academic work has been the motivations for- and barriers to- youth aspirational goals and the effects of race-based stereotypes on educational and career expectations in the post-Apartheid schooling landscape.

Sihle-Isipho Nontshokweni is a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Pretoria. Her area of research is identity and racial desegregation in the post-apartheid school setup. Her interest in schools stems from lived experience, which extends across 12 schooling institutions, including Kingsridge High School For Girls in King William’s Town (South Africa), University of Cape Town in Cape Town (South Africa), Peking University in Beijing (China), KU Leuven in Belgium, and it is from this vast world experience that Sihle tells stories.