Noni Jabavu

Drawn in Colour
  • Drawn in Colour

  • Moving from South Africa to the UK in her youth, Drawn in Colour begins when Noni is summoned back to South Africa as a young woman for the funeral of her brother. After the funeral, she spends time travelling around South Africa and Uganda, reflecting on the complex, layered impacts of colonialism on the communities she meets. This is a thoughtful, insightful memoir from a singular voice - as one of the first African women to pursue a literary career in the UK, Noni Jabavu is a pioneer whose talent shines through in this extraordinary narrative.

Noni Jabavu was a South African writer and journalist, and the first black South African woman to publish books of autobiography. At the age of fourteen she came to England in the care of English friends and was educated at the Mount School, York. She was studying music at the Royal Academy when the Second World War started. She then trained as a semi-skilled engineer and oxy-acetylene welder. Later, she became the first African woman to be the editor of a British literary magazine when in 1961 she took on the editorship of The New Strand.

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