Get more Mail & Guardian
Subscribe or Login

When love conquers

Rusty Bell is a beautiful story about love. It’s a story about a very successful and powerful lawyer, Michael aka Sir Marvin — because of his resembles to singer Marvin Gaye — who’s married to Rusty and they have a son, Michael Jnr. They have almost everything that money can buy but underneath the surface their lives are damaged. They are distressed. Junior is constantly in trouble and is an alcoholic like his now reformed dad. Despite the accomplishments, Sir Marvin is depressed, frustrated and suicidal. He also has an addiction to half-naked strip dancers that he is not willing to give up. His misbehavior has put strain on his marriage and his family. Hence the betrayed wife feels empty and vulnerable. In spite of all this, love seems to conquer everything.

I first met Nthikeng Mohlele in 2013 when I was assigned to photograph him at the time of the release of his book Small Things. He came across as a very well-mannered and polite person who willingly did everything that I asked him to do during the photo shoot. Since then I vowed that I would collect as many books of his as I could. He has published five thus far and I’ve heard from the grapevine that another is coming soon. Anyway, I’m now the proud owner of three books stacked neatly on my bookshelf and I’m hoping that, some day when I find an opportunity, I will read them. To my surprise that time came sooner than I thought. Mohlele’s novel Michael K, which came out this year, draws a new picture of JM Coetzee’s protagonist in his famous, Booker-winning Life and Times of Michael K. The success of that novel in 2018 has led to the republication of Mohlele’s other work, of which Rusty Bell is one.

Mohlele’s book Pleasure won the University of Johannesburg Main Prize for South African Writing in English, as well as the 2017 K Sello Duiker Memorial Prize. 

Vote for an informed choice

We’re dropping the paywall this week so that everyone can access all our stories for free, and get the information they need in the run up to the local government elections. For the latest updates and political analysis, sign up to our daily elections newsletter.

If our coverage helps inform your decision, cast your vote for an informed public and join our subscriber community. Right now, a full year’s access is just R510, half the usual cost. Subscribers get access to all our best journalism, subscriber-only newsletters, events and a weekly cryptic crossword.

Oupa Nkosi
Oupa Nkosi

Oupa Nkosi began taking photos in 1998 with a pawnshop camera, before enrolling at the Market Photography Workshop. He began freelancing after graduating and has since run community projects, won a Bonani Africa award, had his work selected for exhibitions in Zimbabwe and Japan, and been invited to international workshops. He began at the M&G as an intern and is now chief photographer. He also writes features for the paper and lectures at his alma mater.

Related stories


Already a subscriber? Sign in here


Latest stories

Local government elections: Why it’s rational to vote with your...

Voting tactically may seem like a realistic, mature option, but it compromises the integrity of your vote and is corrosive to the long-term health of democracy

SA proposes new climate finance target ahead of COP26

Long-standing issues on climate finance will make or break COP26, says environment, forestry and fisheries minister

Local government elections: Port Edwards’ residents rely on ‘holy’ water...

The Ugu district municipality has, for years, failed to provide a constant source of clean water and parties are pitching their elections campaigns around the crisis

Eskom to take ‘extraordinary measures’ to avoid load-shedding for elections

Stage four load-shedding rolled out to ensure the polls on Monday 1 November are energy secure

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…