Renowned author and former educationist of Indian origin Ahmed Essop passed away after an illness in South Africa. He was 88. Born in India in 1931, Ahmed Essop emigrated to South Africa as a child.
Most of his writings focused on the role of the Indian community in South Africa.The challenges theIndian community faced under draconian apartheid-era minority white government were the highlights in his works. This vociferousness in his works led him being barred from teaching.
He acquired several degrees and taught at a number of high schools and as a lecturer at a teacher training institution, where he was loved for his approach to popularising English literature, especially Shakespeare.
One of Ahmed Essop’s early books, ‘The Hajji and Other Stories” won the coveted Olive Schreiner Prize from the English Academy of Southern Africa in 1979. It was later turned into a film
In 2018, Ahmed Essop received the Lifetime Achievement Literary Award at the annual South Africa Literary Awards.
“In his hands, words behaved as if he were a magical craftsman,” fellow Indian-origin wordsmith Yusuf Garda said in a tribute to Essop.
“We honour you, Ahmed Essop, as a man of letters and literature, and as a Master of the English language in South Africa,” Garda added.
Ahmed Essop was buried Tuesday in his hometown of Lenasia, the mainly-Indian township south of Johannesburg.