HERE IS THE STORY OF SYLVESTER'S LONG LIFE

Sylvester was born on Christmas day, 1920, in South Africa. Lazy, naughty and brilliant, he shook hands with GBS (one of his heroes), danced with Mrs Gandhi, spent time on Robben Island ... degaussing, acted with Laurence Olivier at the Old Vic, edited Drum magazine during the harsh Apartheid period, wrote zany, satirical novels, and being so far ahead of his time, he rarely allowed himself to be beaten over a 100m sprint. More...

fiction

A chance to explore Sylvester's books. You can learn about Staffnurse and how he develops into a political African, and you can read about the difficult childhood of Mary Bowes. There's also Who Killed Mr Drum?, written as an historical caprice on the fate of all those brilliant writers at Drum magazine during the 1950s. More...

stage plays

Always a late starter, Stein's Who Killed Mr Drum? was turned into a play, co-written with Fraser Grace. The play was put on at the Riverside in 2005. You can buy the script and read the reviews on this website. More...

DRUM magazine

Sylvester Stein was editor of Drum magazine from early 1955 to late 1957, a period of increasing oppression in South Africa. Find out about who his colleagues on the magazine were, about some of the amazing things they did and get a taste of its importance in the fight against apartheid.

As one of the most important magazines ever produced, it was ground breaking and famous for its investigative journalism and its use of pictures to tell the story.

It was truly remarkable. More...