Ungulani Ba Ka Khosa

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Francisco Esaú Cossa (pseudonym Ungulani Ba Ka Khosa, also spelled as Ungulani ba ka Khosa) is a Mozambican writer born August 1, 1957, in Inhaminga, Sofala Province. Khosa completed elementary school in Sofala, and high school in Zambezia. In Maputo he attended Eduardo Mondlane University, receiving a bachelor's degree in History and Geography. He then worked as a high school teacher.

In 1982, Khosa worked for the Ministry of Education for over a year. Six months after leaving the Ministry of Education, he was invited to work for the Writer’s Association. He initiated his career as a writer with the publication of several short stories and was one of the founders of the magazine Charrua of the Associação dos Escritores Moçambicanos (AEMO). It was his experiences in Niassa and Cabo Delgado, where poorly organized reeducation camps were located, that gave him the urge to write and expose this reality.

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Published works[edit]

Ualalapi is the name of a warrior nguni who is destined to kill Mafemane, brother of Mudungazi (later called Ngungunhane). This fictional story, a collection of six loosely related episodes, describes the life of hosi (king, emperor, in the Tsonga language) Ngungunhane, celebrity of the resistance to the Portuguese at the end of nineteenth century. Ualalapi´s telling of the story creates an epic ambience; however, an oral tradition describes the emperor as a tyrant rather than a hero. The author tracks Ngungunhane's rise to power over his murdered rivals and his eventual decline. The story is a disguised warning against tyranny. The book was translated into English in 2017. In 2002, Ualalapi was announced by a panel of judges in Accra, Ghana as one of Africa's 100 best books of the twentieth century.
  • Orgia dos loucos (1990)
  • Histórias de amor e espanto (1999)
  • No reino dos abutres (2002)
  • Os sobreviventes da noite (2005)
  • Choriro (2009)
  • Entre as Memórias Silenciadas (2013)
  • Cartas de Inhaminga (2017)


  • Chabal, Patrick. The Post-Colonial Literature of Lusophone Africa. London: Hurst & Company, 1996. Print.
  • Chabal, Patrick. Vozes Moçambicanas. Literatura e nacionalidade. Lisboa: Vega, 1994. Print.
  • Khosa, Ungulani Ba Ka. Ualalapi. 2nd ed. Lisboa: Editoral Caminho, 1990. Print.
  • Laranjeira, Pires. Literaturas africanas de expressão portuguesa. Lisboa: Universidade Aberta, 1995. Print.
  • Leite, Ana Mafalda. Oralidades e Escritas nas Literaturas Africanas. Lisboa: Colibri, 1998. Print.

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