Mzi Mahola was born in 1949 as Mzikayise Winston Mahola. Mzi Mahola is his nom de plume. He started writing while he was at school. The Special Branch confiscated his first poetry manuscript in 1976 (That year, South African students rebelled against the government, which cracked down without restraint. Read more about the 1976 Soweto Uprising. Ed.) and he lost interest in writing for twelve years. After this period he started writing again, submitting work successfully to national and international journals, magazines and publications. His work has been published in more than eight anthologies.
His first book with poems is titled Strange Things and was published in 1994 by Snail Press. This volume received positive reviewing and was amongst those to represent South Africa in Geneva in a World Book fare in 1995. There was interest in translating the book into German and Danish, but this has not materialised to date.
His second volume When Rain Comes was published in 2000 by Carapace and won the Olive Schreiner Book prize.
At the moment he is editing and finalizing a semi-biographical novel called The Broken Link.
He has presented papers and given speeches at the National Arts Festival and at other venues for school children. He gives poetry readings for University groups and community projects. Now and then he runs poetry workshops for interested groups of writers.