Bheki Peterson at the 10th Time of the Writer Festival

Bhekizizwe Peterson, the award-winning South African academic, screenwriter, producer and literary critic has passed on. He was aged 60.

The news of his passing was reported by the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, where the late Peterson was a Professor of African Literature in the School of Literature, Language and Media.

Born in 1961, Bhezizwe obtained two Bachelors degrees, in Drama and African Studies (1982) and African Literature (1985) from the University of Cape Town and the University of Witwatersrand respectively, an MA in Southern African Studies (York, 1988) and a PhD in African Literature (Wits, 1997). He began teaching at Wits as a Junior Lecturer in 1988 and progressed through the ranks to full Professor in 2012. During his time, he served twice as the Head of the Department of African Literature.

Extolled as a “towering intellectual”, his research interests “spanned areas such as youth culture, popular musical forms, the visual arts, Black intellectual history, and autobiography.”

Outside the academia, he wrote and produced international award-winning feature films such as Fools and Zulu Love Letter and feature documentaries like Born into Struggle, ZwelidumileThe Battle for Johannesburg, and Miners Shot Down. 

He was equally notable as a mentor willing to provide guidance to those who reached out to him.

Read the full announcement here.

He is survived by his wife and two children.

May his soul Rest In Peace.