Keorapetse Kgositsile, the father to Earl Sweatshirt and former South African poet laureate, has died aged 79.
It was reported by SABC news that the writer and former poet passed away early on Wednesday morning. Kgositsile began his career as a writer at Johannesburg’s anti-apartheid newspaper, New Age. He became an active member of the African National Congress liberation movement until he was exiled from the country in the 1960s. He then moved to the United States and earned an MFA in poetry at Columbia University before publishing his first poetry collection, Spirits Unchained, in 1969. He was given the title of poet laureate of South Africa in 2006.
Speaking to The New Yorker back in 2011 Kgositsile stated that he had not listened to his son Earl’s music. “When he feels that he’s got something to share with me, he’ll do that,” he said. “And until then I will not impose myself on him just because the world talks of him.”