Hamilton Wende has over 30 years experience in journalism and the media. He has worked for a number of international networks including National Geographic, CNN, BBC, NBC, ABC (Australia), SBS (Australia), NHK (Japan Broadcasting Corporation) Al Jazeera English and a number of others. He has covered fifteen different wars in Africa, Asia and the Middle East. The countries he has worked in include Iraq, Afghanistan, Israel, Rwanda, Congo, Burundi, Sierra Leone, Angola, Sudan, Eritrea, Kuwait, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan.
Journey Into Darkness, a documentary on the genocide in Rwanda he worked on for the BBC with producer David Harrison and correspondent Fergal Keane won the 1994 Royal Television Society’s International Current Affairs Award. A Life Less Fortunate, a film on children in South African prisons he worked on with Belinda Hawkins of SBS won the 1999 United Nations Association of Australia Media Award.
He has been a guest on The Editors on the SABC, and has been a guest lecturer at the Department of Journalism at Rhodes University in Grahamstown, the English Department at The University of Cape Town and at The University of the Witwatersrand, at the Durban Institute of Technology and at the Cape Town Press Club, and the Muthaiga Club in Nairobi. He has also appeared on a number of radio and television programmes including MSNBC, SABC TV, AM Live and on Radio 702.
In addition, he has published eight books, including:
Only The Dead. A thriller set in eastern Congo and Uganda about the hunt for the mysterious General Faustin to free his army of child soldiers called the Claws of God.
House of War A love story and thriller about searching for the lost diaries of Alexander the Great in the badlands of northern Afghanistan while being hunted by Al Qaeda. It was long-listed for the Sunday Times Fiction Award in 2010.
The King’s Shilling. A novel about WWI in East Africa published by Jacana in April 2005. It has been on the bestseller lists in Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban and was long-listed for the Sunday Times Fiction Award in 2006
Deadlines From the Edge: Images of War from Congo to Afghanistan. Stories about his journeys into different parts of the world while working as television news producer in different parts of Africa, the Middle East and Afghanistan. It was published in 2003 by Penguin SA.
True North; African Roads Less Travelled is a non-fiction account of his work as a journalist in Africa. It was published in 1995 by William Waterman in Johannesburg. It was nominated for the 1995 Sunday Times Alan Paton Award.
He attended St. Andrews College in Grahamstown and then graduated from Wits University in Johannesburg in 1984 with a BA majoring in English and submajoring in Legal Theory and Drama & Film. He spent the years after that travelling through Europe, the US and Japan. He studied part-time courses in writing and journalism at New York University. He lived in Japan and the US where he worked as a freelance writer and English teacher. He returned to South Africa in the early 1990s.
House of War
A chance discovery of an ancient manuscript from Byzantium sets Sebastian Burke on a lifetime’s quest to find Alexander the Great’s lost Royal Diaries hidden in the ruins of a city in northern Afghanistan founded by Alexander himself. He teams up with the beautiful and enigmatic American journalist Claire Finch and her camera crew to travel to Central Asia to make a film about the Royal Diaries and the secrets they contain.
Sebastian and Claire find themselves in a race against time as shadowy, dangerous forces are trailing them on their journey through luxury hotels inhabited by diplomats and oil billionaires to remote caravanserai lingering in the camels and sunsets of the old Silk Road.
When one of their colleagues is killed in an ambush by terrorists trying to stop them finding the temple where the Diaries are hidden, they have to decide whether or not to go on. Surrounded by Taliban, war-lords and NATO troops Claire and Sebastian find themselves on a white-knuckle journey through modern-day Afghanistan that is as thrilling as it is dangerous.
In their quest for the long lost truths of Alexander’s heart, the two of them begin to find one another. They have to confront the secrets of their own pasts and ultimately discover not only the lost Diaries, but the hidden truths of their own hearts.
The House of War is a slick, two-fisted thriller that carves out its own literary territory. In the best tradition of Le Carré and Graham Greene, it is part psychological thriller, part spy story, while at the same time it is a sensual romance, and a quest for a lost world two thousand years old.
Only the Dead
Deep in the Ugandan jungle, a mysterious new presence has infiltrated the Claws of God – a cult army of child soldiers led by the depraved General Faustin. The children are now being controlled by the sinister Papa Mephisto, and believe he is possessed by the magic and power of the lion.
Psychologist Tania Richter is struggling to penetrate the minds of these dangerous and brainwashed children. She calls on Sebastian Burke who, while trying to escape his traumatic past and failed relationship, has been researching lion mythology and its tangled history in human culture.
Sebastian soon finds himself embroiled in a war that extends to the conflict between Islamic extremists and the American government. With the world under threat of nuclear war and the lives of the children at stake, he and Tania must race to uncover the tangled history of lions and humans through the ages, and face its horrifying implications.
Arabella, the Moon and the Magic Mongongo Nut
It is a fantasy tweeny adventure set in Johannesburg and with a real African feel to it.
Is there a magic that can change the past?
Arabella lives in a normal suburb in Jo’burg. Life seems that it is going to stay normal forever – until her father dies and she thinks that she will never get over the sadness of it.
But there is a world of magic hidden in the garden and one night when Ukhozi the eagle brings her a special mongongo nut from the Kalahari, her life is changed forever as the magic nut gives her the power to turn into a butterfly and fly through the starlit skies.
But there are enemies in the garden, too, the hadedas led by their king Ozymandias want to steal the mongongo nut for their own evil purposes. Arabella leads the small creatures of the garden to fight the hadedas and prevent them carrying out their nefarious plans. The final battle takes place over the skies of Johannesburg with Arabella and her friends trapped on the highest spire of the Hillbrow Tower while lightning strikes and the hadedas swoop down upon them…
Read about Arabella on Lauren Beukes’ blog and the Mail & Guardian Website