Goodbye to a Literary Giant, Don Mattera

ActionSA extends its most profound sympathies to the family of prestigious poet, literary giant, and freedom fighter, Don Mattera, who passed away at 87 years old.

Mattera’s contribution to literature will be remembered long after his passing. He held an honorary Doctorate degree in Literature from the University of KwaZulu-Natal and was granted fellowships from America and Sweden. He continued working with the homeless children in Eldorado Park.  It must never be forgotten that Mattera was also a freedom fighter. His involvement in the politics of ‘Black Consciousness’ began in the 1970s. He helped with forming the Union of Black Journalists, and the Congress of South African Writers. He was banned by the Apartheid government from 1973 to 1982 in light of his political exercises.

Throughout the course of his life, he wrote poetry, children stories, plays and an autobiography that won him the Steve Biko prize. As a journalist, he worked on The  Times, The Sowetan and Mail & Guardian. He was a notable persuasive orator and was frequently welcome to be a Master of service in different capabilities. He resigned from public exhibitions in 2004.

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