Sindiwe Magona was born in the Transkei and finished high school by correspondence. She completed a BA through UNISA and graduated with a Masters degree in social work from Columbia University. She worked for the United Nations for 22 years in New York but retired to South Africa. Magona is a prolific writer of children’s books, biography, poetry, short stories, plays and novels. Magona is the recipient of numerous awards including the Order of Ikhamanga (2011) in recognition of her literary and humanitarian contribution. In 2016 Sindiwe was awarded The English Academy Gold Medal for her distinguished service to English over a lifetime.