We chat to author Phumlani Pikoli about his latest novel, Born Freeloaders
Phumlani Pikoli is a multimedia journalist and artist and author of the “crisp, experimental and beautifully weird” book of short stories, The Fatuous State of Severity, published in 2016. His new book, Born Freeloaders, is about a crew of young friends born on the cusp of democracy and navigating a life of drinking, wild parties and other recklessness.
The siblings at the centre of the novel, Nthabiseng and Xolani, have been raised in an upper-middle-class family with connections to the political elite. Nthabiseng is lauded by her peers as she whimsically goes through life, unable to form her own identity in a world that expects her to pick a side in the fractured classifications of race. Xolani, not having known his late father, longs for acceptance from an uncle who sees him and his generation as the bitter fruit borne of the freedom he and countless others fought for.