Fred Khumalo on writing about inequality and the inspiration behind his latest novel, Two Tons O’ Fun

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Fred Khumalo's 15th book covers significant topics about inequality, sexuality, xenophobia and the GBV.
Fred Khumalo's 15th book covers significant topics about inequality, sexuality, xenophobia and the GBV.
Kevin Sutherland/Gallo Images

Despite being so well received, there are two important readers – maybe in some ways the most important ones – who have not yet found or made the time to read Fred Khumalo’s latest novel, Two Tons O’ Fun.

He feigns exasperation when Drum asks him about that. “They haven’t read the bloody thing, the ungrateful wretches!” he exclaims before saying he’s still awaiting their feedback on the final product even though they know the story inside-out from being consulted on it by him throughout the writing process. “They say a prophet is never acknowledged at home,” he jokes. 

It’s understandable, though, why for these readers it’s not that big a deal that this literary icon, journalist and editor has published another book. Like most kids whose parents have a public profile, Fred’s daughters, who are now university students, are too busy with other things to get swept up in the hype that’s surrounded their dad’s 15th book.

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