5 minutes with Khaya Dlanga

Khaya Dlanga
Khaya Dlanga

On his extraordinary book cover, Khaya Dlanga says the image was actually inspired by his own Instagram captions, which always take a life of its own.

“No, this is not a screenshot of an Instagram post). Donovan's (the designer) idea was simple: you always tell stories on Instagram, so he designed a cover to tell that story.

Then I decided to buck the tradition of having the shout quote at the back because the design allowed for us to do so. That's why Trevor's quote is like a comment right on the front cover.

Book three, but my publisher says it's my forth book because the abridged version of To Quote Myself counts as its own book apparently” he wrote on his Instagram page. 

Khaya Dlanga book cover

How do you choose what to share in your books and what to leave out?

If I find it interesting, chances are someone else will too. Some of the stories I told in the book I’ve told to friends over dinner, and their reactions confirmed that the things I talk about would make a good addition to the book. I left out some parts because I figured that I could only share them when I’m 80!

What do you want people to take away from your book?

Every story is worth telling. There are no stories too small or insignificant. Stories are what make up the sum of our lives.

Do you think you’re funny?

I do know that I can be funny. I don't actively think, ‘Okay, let me be funny now’. Having said that, however, I do want to leave people feeling better than when I found them.

What’s your writing process?

My writing process is called a deadline and a ruthless publisher who is on my case [chuckles]. It's important to have a publisher you're scared of because you will do the best you can to stick to due dates!

What is the one thing you wish you could do again or rectify?

I can't think of anything right now. Isn't life about looking forward to what's new to experience? But, I have had chances to redo some things that I wanted to change.

What’s your favourite book of all time and why?

The Old Man and The Sea. It's simple and easy to read. It tells a profound story without the writer trying too hard to show off how well he can write. He was criticised for writing too simply during his days. I think writers must write for people and not for other writers. 

Name a favourite trait that you took from your parents?

My mother's resilience.

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