John Matshikiza, 1954-2008, was a creative artist who not only worked and wrote as a journalist but composed music and poetry, wrote many plays for the stage, screen TV and radio, was a working actor, director and producer. He spoke several languages, including fluent French and spent considerable time in different parts of the African continent as well as the USA, UK and Europe.
John Anthony Matshikiza was born in South Africa in 1954 to Esme and Todd Tozama Matshikiza. With the family going into exile in 1961, John grew up in London in Zambia. John was schooled in both countries and attended university in Lusaka. He later moved to the UK where he studied acting / drama and became a member of the Royal Shakespeare Compay, performing many roles and also working in television and film. In the 1970s he helped form Mayibuye, a cultural group of the African National Congress. He also lived in the US, Amsterdam and various African countries including Senegal, where he was culture director of the Gorée Institute.
On his return to South Africa in the early 1990s he became involved in theatre, mainly the Market Theatre, television – drama as well as factual – event production and public speaking. He became victim of a violent hijacking in 2007 and with a deteriorating health, died in 2008 of a massive heart attack.
The collection is a work in progress, still awaiting the material relating to his father Todd Matshikiza.