Ernest Mnyaka is a poetry author, he also works as a petrol attendant at Engen petrol station, Malmesbury. He was incarcerated in 2007 and served time at Kirkwood Correctional Services. That is where he continued his studies and later completed NQF Level 4 in Hospitality at West Coast College, Malmesbury Campus, with two distinctions.

Ernest participated in athletics and choral music at Kirkwood Prison and earned himself a Persistence Award. In 2013, he got an opportunity to review a book in Funda Mzantsi, offenders book club championships. Their book club received position three and a bronze medal. That’s how he was inspired to write IsiXhosa poems that speaks of his regrets, apologies and the harsh life behind bars.

He is fully rehabilitated and well integrated into society such that he has been appointed as deputy chairperson of the Executive Committee at one of the preschools in Ilingelethu township near Malmesbury. He also visits local school to motivate learners and create crime awareness.

In 2022, Ernest’s poetry book entitled: Waphela Umda Kalova was published by Mpande yeHlumelo Media, publishers and services Pty Ltd. In 2023 the Xhosa poetry book was translated into Afrikaans and “DIE BOEF IS DOOD” was released. He envisions his poetry book being used as a set book in schools to help prevent future generations from doing crime. “My poems are a legacy to generations after me.”