The Madams

by Zukiswa Wanner

KSh 1,150

Author’s Note: The Madams was my first baby and therefore I have for it the sort of affection any parent harbors for a first child. Written in first person narrative, it follows the friendship of three women in contemporary South Africa and the issues they encounter in their social, work, and romantic lives.
– Zukiswa Wanner

“Set in post apartheid South Africa, Zukiswa Wanner’s debut novel, The Madams, is a fascinating story about three women, their families, growing up, careers, marriages, friendship and the love-hate relationship between maids and their madams. about . The word ‘madam’ is often used as a form of respectful or polite address to a woman.”
Africa Book Club


“I am admitting defeat to my hectic schedule. I am giving in to something I thought I would never do. I’m going to hire a maid.” And not just any maid … When Thandi decides she’s done with being a Supermom to her five-year-old son, a Superslut to her man and a Superwoman to her staff at the tourism board, she realises she needs to concede to the great South African bourgeois accessory: a maid. And since she doesn’t have the heart to boss a ‘sister’ about in her own home – and would love to see the look on her best friends’ faces – it’s going to have to be a white maid. The arrival of the charming ex-con, Marita, catalyses a chain of events which forces Thandi and her two closest friends to confront their assump tions about relationships, history and each other.



The Magunga Bookstore

Zukiswa Wanner

Born to a South African father and a Zimbabwean mother in Zambia, Zukiswa Wanner is the author of the novels The Madams (2006), Behind Every Successful Man (2008), Commonwealth and Herman Charles Bosman Award shortlisted Men of the South (2010) and London CapeTown Jo’burg 2014.

In addition to writing fiction, Zukiswa has also contributed essays to Oprah, Elle and Juice magazines, and literary reviews and essays to Afropolitan and Sunday Independent, as well as the international online journal,African Writing.



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Zukiswa Wanner

Zukiswa Wanner is a South African journalist and novelist. Her debut novel, The Madams, was shortlisted for the K. Sello Duiker Award in 2007.Her other novel, Men of the South, was shortlisted for the 2011 Commonwealth Writers’ Prize. In April 2014 Wanner was named on the Hay Festival’s Africa39 list of 39 Sub-Saharan African writers aged under 40 with potential and talent to define trends in African literature. She proved she was worth that praise by producing another amazing novel London CapeTown Jo’burg and then went ahead to win the K. Sello Duiker Award (which is part of the South African Literary Awards) in 2015.