Sandile Dikeni biography: profile, age, background, education, poetry, death

Sandile Dikeni (born in 1966 in Karoo, Victoria West; died on 9 November 2019 in Cape Town) was a South African poet and editor. He made an impact through his writings and activism during the apartheid.

His participation and campaigns against oppression gained him prominence. He became a sought-after personality in the Western Cape.


Sandile Dikeni biography
Renowned South African writer, activist, and poet Sandile Dikeni died at the age of 53. News24
NameSandile Dikeni
Born1966 in Karoo, Victoria West
Died9 November 2019, Cape Town
NationalitySouth African
Alma materUniversity of Witwatersrand
University of Western Cape
Peninsula Technikon
OccupationPoet, editor
SynopsisPolitical prisoner, poet, journalist, and editor


He was born Sandile Dikeni in 1966 in Karoo, a small town of Victoria West, Northern Cape. 

He was active in political rallies and started to write poetry while in the custody of the apartheid government.


Dikeni held a degree in Law from the University of Witwatersrand (Wits University) and the University of the Western Cape (UWC).

He was a member of the Student Representative Council (SRC). Sandile also attended Peninsula Technikon and completed with a diploma in Journalism.


At the end of the apartheid, Sandile became a journalist and political commentator. In 1995, he kicked off at SAFM shows including AM Live and PM Live.

He also worked for Cape Times as an arts editor. More on his editorial credits include editor of Die Suid Afrikaan and political editor of This Day.

As an author, he boasted of being the brain behind 3 poem collections. In 1992, Mayibuye Books published Guava Juice, UKZN Press published Telegraph to the Sky in 2001, and Planting Water in 2007.

In 2002, UKZN Press published a collection of his articles from the Cape Times, Soul Fire: Writing the Transition

His essay “How The West Was Lost” made appearances in Chimurenga 07: Kaapstad! And Jozi the Night Moses Died (July 2005).

In February 2005, Sandile had a collaboration with Klaus Hinrich Stahmer, a German composer in recording a collection of his poetry published by Wergo.


In 2005, he was involved in a car accident that he entered a coma. After a slow recovery, he actively took part in events. One of the notable events he was graced on was the launch of Planting Water in 2007.

Sadly, he suffered tuberculosis which claimed his life on 9 November 2019. His sister, Nomonde, revealed that Sandile Dikeni died in Cape Town, Western Cape, on 9 November 2019. 


Guava JuiceMayibuye Books1992
Telegraph to the SkyUKZN Press2001
Planting WaterUKZN Press2007

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