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Monday, May 23, 2022

Wilbur Smith, internationally acclaimed author, dies in South Africa aged 88

General News Wilbur Smith, internationally acclaimed author, dies in South Africa aged 88

Internationally acclaimed Zambia-born author Wilbur Smith has died in South Africa aged 88, his publisher announced.

“Global bestselling author Wilbur Smith died unexpectedly this afternoon at his Cape Town home after a morning of reading and writing with his wife Niso by his side,” said a statement released on the Wilbur Smith Books website.

Smith was born in Kabwe.

With 49 titles under his belt since his first novel When the Lion Feeds was published in 1964, Smith became a household name in literature.

“The undisputed and inimitable master of adventure writing, Wilbur Smith’s novels have gripped readers for over half a century, selling over 140 million copies worldwide in more than 30 languages,” said the statement.

His bestselling Courtney Series, was the longest running in publishing history, said the statement.

It spanned generations and three centuries, “through critical periods from the dawn of colonial Africa to the American Civil War, and to the apartheid era in South Africa”.

“In the 49 novels Smith has published to date, he has transported his readers to gold mines in South Africa, piracy on the Indian Ocean, buried treasure on tropical islands, conflict in Arabia and Khartoum, ancient Egypt, World War Two Germany and Paris, India, the Americas and the Antarctic, encountering ruthless diamond and slave traders and big game hunters in the jungles and bush of the African wilderness.”

But it was with Taita, the hero of his Egyptian Series, that Wilbur “most strongly identified, and River God remains one of his best-loved novels to this day”, said the statement.

His office thanked Smith’s “millions of fans across the world who cherished his incredible writing and joined us all on his amazing adventures”


  1. I knew about Wilbur Smith vaguely in Literature circles. I don’t know on which side of history to place him because I never read any of his books. I can only say MHSRIP.

  2. Because I rarely read fiction, I never got to read his books. I hv known about his Zambian birth. Perhaps I can now get to read some of his novels which are available in local bookshops.

  3. I have read about 6 of his books over the years and I agree the Eqypt series with Taita were a real page turner for me. I have read River God twice

  4. I read a lot of his books — copiously. Fantastic writing style, Transports you to exactly where he is at in his writing! Rest in adventurous power, Wilbur!

  5. If “only a black man can be an African” is applied why would Beyonce, Obama, Kanye West and Jay Zee be American?
    Mohammed Salah, Muammar Gaddafi would be what? Thierry Henry wouldn’t be a European? Because only a white man would qualify to be European sichoncho? In 200AD this may have applied not now.

  6. Shikulu uli chikopo. Kanye West and others are called “African Americans” for a reason which is because they are African..so how can you say the departed wilbur is African? The whltes don’t want to be associated with being African. Why do you think there is no such terminology as “european African” ? Thierry and the others have never claimed to be european. No such thing as a black european. You must be retarded. How can an African be european?

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