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26 April 2011

A Traveling Salesman - The Story of Sello K. Duiker

A Traveling Salesman – The Story of Sello K Duiker

Written and directed by Msizi Moshoetsi

Screening on Sunday, the 24th of April at 21h00 on SABC 2

Asked to describe himself in one sentence Sello Duiker said “Call me a traveling salesman”. He was always on the road, either physically or on some spiritual journey. Hence the title of this 24 minute documentary which chronicles the often sad but mostly beautiful life of this award winning and critically acclaimed writer who committed suicide at the prime of his career at the age of thirty in 2005.

His debut novel Thirteen Cents won the 2001 Commonwealth Writers Prize for best first book by an African writer. His second novel “The Quiet Violence of Dreams” was awarded The Herman Charles Bosman Prize for Literature and was runner up for the Sunday Times Literary Award. His last novel, The Hidden Star was published posthumously in 2005.

Unknown to many people, this talented writer suffered from bipolar disorder. He had to take certain medication which he felt was interfering with his creativity. Under severe depression, he suffered a nervous breakdown in December 2004. He chose to end his life rather than sacrifice his art. He died by hanging himself in January 2005.

The Traveling Salesman is his tragic story: told through his friends, colleagues, family and literary critics. He is immortalized through film in a moving tribute which speaks directly to the premise of the film: Some storytellers move beyond the point of telling stories about others, they themselves become The Story.


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