Meet the writers of the Eclectic Writers’ Club of the Free State

Chairperson of the Eclectic Writers' Club of the Free State, Flaxman Qoopane. PHOTO: SANDRA MULDER

The development of writing among black people in the Free State, rather unknown to the more ‘glamorous’ provinces in the country, is growing by leaps and bounds.
The pivotal Eclectic Writers’ Club of the Free State has nurtured and encouraged the publication of many books written by black authors in the province. During the Macufe Festival, for example, the chairperson of the club, Flaxman Qoopane, presented Vuyo Mbuli with a catalogue of some thirty books published by black authors.
These books – thousands of which have been sold locally and nationally – include biographies (mainly by Qoopane), fiction (mainly by Omoseye Bolaji), and impressive poetry by black poets like Teboho Mohanoe, Job Mzamo and Lebohang Thaisi.
The body of work that has been published is already being evaluated and criticised, mainly in the series Perspectives on Free State Black Writing, which has six editions at the moment.
Two books especially illuminate the growth of black writing in the Free State: For the love of Words, and Free State writers talking.
For the love of Words essentially focuses on the Eclectic Writers’ Club, its major members’ achievements, books published by members, flamboyant book launches, marketing of the books, TV exposure, etc.
The second book, Free State writers talking (reminiscent of the famous book, African writers talking), features interviews with black writers based in the Free State and their literary corpus.
A columnist says: “At least black literature has taken off in the Free State. Things can only get better.” – Flaxman Qoopane