Lidudumalingani Mqombothi is a storyteller.

The 31-year-old writes fiction, nonfiction, practices photography and makes films. In 2016, Mqombothi was thrust into the literary spotlight when his short story Memories We Lost won the Caine Prize for African Writing. It examines mental illness and is set in rural South Africa.

Mqombothi says he uses his writing to confront the difficult issues he witnessed as a child, growing up in the Eastern Cape. “Previously, conversations about mental health, love, relationships and sexuality were not mainstream,” says Mqombothi. “But it’s exciting to be a young writer now, because we can really go there.”

Now the recipient of the Morland Writing Scholarship, Mqombothi is working on his debut novel when he’s not travelling to literary festivals around the globe. He is also finishing his film about corrective rape in South Africa. He hopes Correcting God – which he’s been working on since he graduated from film school in 2012 – will begin pre-production in 2018.

His plate may be full, but Mqombothi says it doesn’t feel like work. “I try to study one film every day, and if I’m writing, I’m happy,” he says. And when he’s writing, the literary world is happier too.

|If you want to be successful, you must do something that you love.|

Categories: Influencers