Ndumiso Ngcobo

Writer

Ndumiso Ngcobo is the kind of writer that makes other writers cry. That's because he's one of those guys who was born with it. He doesn't have to slog away like the rest of the hacks. Ngcobo just writes and what he produces is some seriously funny, achingly smart, stuff. It was back when he was a lowly food scientist at the food processing company, Unilever, that he started writing emails. You know those occasionally hysterical ones amid the stack of annoying riffs that are forwarded around the planet? A few of Ngcobo's emails made the Gauteng rounds and landed on the desk of a local DJ, who read Ngcobo's stuff on air. That's all the encouragement he needed. He put together all those emails � along with a stack of writing that he had done over the years � and sent his compilation to a few publishers. Two Dogs put out his first book, Some of My Best Friends Are White in August of 2007. By then Ngcobo had already started blogging. His Resident Zulu Spearchugger blog became a favourite on the Thought Leader website, and got Ngcobo a huge following. "It's a play on the US racial slur for African people �spear-chucker' and my notoriety as a beer chugger of note � kind of, �I'm so mean I chug spears',� he says His second book, Is It Coz I'm Black?, was released in April. Ngcobo quit his food scientist gig a while back, taking up writing full-time. He is now a screenwriter for several shows, including SABC2's Drawing the Line and is head writer for the channel's Late Night with Kgomotso. His favourite part about the new job? "The writing,� he says. "It sounds ridiculous but seriously, it is the moments spent at 3am with fingers on the keyboard and a cold, fermented beverage lurking close by � and then the release.� � Tanya Pampalone

Lunch spot: Rapsody, Centurion