Available on JSTOR at: doi.org/10.2307/3334512


The contribution of a short story from Senzenjani Lukhele of Manzini, Swaziland was a further reminder that news of our competition is now being dispersed more widely across Africa and no longer being confined to those writers who live in the major urban centers. Mr. Lukhele's tale “The Night Captive” is not only strangely fascinating in its material, but the style with its curious overtones carries its own intriguing conviction. Mr. Lukhele is clearly a storyteller from the wry opening lines with their deceptively casual throwaway conversational style: “That was dangerous–I mean–extremely dangerous.” But the colloquial is not simply a casual accident but skillfully establishes the appropriate mood in which this fanciful and exotic tale can weave its own spell over the reader. We have most deliberately avoided editorial emendations. Some might have been tempting, yet none would have permitted the subtle and personal style to be retained, and it is the diction that gives the tale its effective sense of originality and thus its power to intrigue and move the reader. We have no further evidence than this single story concerning Mr. Lukhele's experience as a writer, but this tale suggests a real and instinctive skill that should be developed into further pieces in this original vein.