What are you looking for?

Duiker, K.S.

Duiker, K.S.

Sello Duiker, born in Soweto, South Africa, in 1974. B.A in Journalism from Rhodes University, Grahamstown. Author of two novels and an Anthology of Short Stories. Winner of a number of literary awards, amongst which the Commonwealth Writer’s Prize for Best First Novel (2001). († 2005)

Writer-in-Residence (1 September 2003 – 31 January 2004)


I would first like to formally thank NIAS for the invaluable opportunity it afforded me in coming here. I have had a fruitful stay. During my stay at NIAS I decided I would try and finish the manuscript already started in South Africa. It is a story about post apartheid South Africa where two men come face to face with their past. Needless to say, I was most nervous about whether I would be able to write my novel away from home. I was pleasantly surprised to discover that it was possible. I attribute this especially to the fact that NIAS manages to create an atmosphere that is conducive to work. The excellent staff members made my stay here most agreeable. But as I had enough time to work on the novel I then became curious about how I might maximise my stay here. I have always wanted to write a children’s novel. It is something that has been at the back of my mind for a while. So I divided my days into two. In the morning I would work on my adult novel and in the afternoon I would work on the children’s novel. I am very pleased with how effective this strategy turned out to be as it allowed me to use my time wisely. I am glad to report that two weeks before the end of my stay here at NIAS I was able to finish the manuscript for the children’s novel and even to send it to my South African editor. My South African publisher also had a look at it and gave me a very favourable report saying that she would like to publish the novel this year. I have a deadline for the end of May in which to carry out the final touches. For this I am very grateful to NIAS. I was also able to submit a short story which is to be published in a Dutch anthology sometime in the near future although I have no clear idea when. This was organised through Fonds van de Letteren. Sylvia Dornseiffer made this possible.

NIAS has also proved to be a place where I have been able to reflect on myself and my life. I have been able to make a few lifestyle changes like giving up smoking and making exercise part of my routine. I have also had the opportunity to take horse riding lessons. All in all I feel as though my stay at NIAS has been most stimulating. Initially I thought the remoteness of Wassenaar would be difficult to get accustomed to but, in fact, it turned out to be an ideal place for study and contemplation, a sanctuary for serious work. I thank the administrators and everyone who has made it possible for me to come here.