top of page

Athol Williams writes across multiple genres -- academic, professional, non-fiction, fiction, short stories, poetry and children's books. He has authored eighteen books with a packed pipeline of further books.

Over 100 of Athol’s poems have been published in literary publications in South Africa, USA, UK, India, France, Sweden, Nigeria, Botswana and Zimbabwe. He has been invited to read his poetry at most literary festivals in South Africa as well as literary events in the UK, US, India, Sri Lanka, Nigeria and France. His poems have been used in a humanitarian campaign, in a public space, inside a building and in a movie.  

To buy books please visit Theart Press, Amazon or bookstores

  1. Ranking Agents of Justice: When Should the Corporation Act?St Antony's International Review, vol. 14, no. 1, 2018, pp. 83-102.

  2. Prose and Poetry: Shining light on the popular imagination of the idea of South Africa,” in The Contested Idea of South Africa, edited by Sabelo J. Ndlovu-Gatsheni & Busani Ngcaweni, 2022, Routledge, Abingdon.

  1. ​“The Responsible Company: Identifying and prioritising corporate responsibilities,” The Corporate Report, vol. 9, no. 2, 2019

  2. The Responsible Company,” Accountancy SA, November 2019

  3. Lower Financial Results: Market Slowdown or Poor Management?,” Management Today, vol. 25, no. 5, 2009

  4. Strategy Implementation Requires Bold Leadership,” Management Today, vol.23, no.2, 2007

Book of Eden Cover Front (002).jpg

DEEP COLLUSION: Bain and the capture of South Africa, Tafelberg, 2021


Drawing on Williams's testimony before the State Capture Commission, Deep Collusion uncovers the inner workings of state capture design. Williams takes the reader into the evidence that reveals the after-hours, behind-closed-doors planning meetings that took place at Jacob Zuma’s residences – who was present and what was discussed. While this book exposes greed and corporate corruption and lifts the lid on foreign profiteering and the weakening of South Africa’s public institutions, it also highlights the lonely burden of the whistleblower and the great personal cost of telling the truth in the face of overwhelming pressure.

Longlisted for the 2023 Sunday Times Literary Award (Non-Fiction)

PUSHING BOULDERS: Oppressed to Inspired: An Autobiography, Theart Press, 2016

“Pushing Boulders is a testimony to a remarkable person whose life history and experiences will undoubtedly be an inspiration to many people. The book gives us hope to achieve our dreams, no matter how small or unrealistic they may seem, for Athol’s life is certainly a life being lived well – not just materially but ethically and in a compassionate way. The book, which is a delight to read, is a tribute to the resilience and determination of the human spirit.” - Prof Zubeida Desai, Dean of Education, UWC. 

Read reviews here, here and here

THE BOOK OF EDEN: a spiritual philosophical revelation for a hopeful future, Theart Press, 2019


The book derives from a burst of inspiration, some might say a mystical experience, in 2013 while Williams was a student at Harvard University. It presents a spiritual philosophical revelation that addresses political, economic, environmental and daily living topics of great relevance in our modern world. The book offers spiritual understanding as well as personal and societal guidance for a hopeful future. 


  1. "The suffering was worth it," City Press, 9 January 2022

  2. “We cannot send a message that we embrace corruption,” Cape Times, 23 September 2021

  3. “Need to inculcate moral fortitude,'' Business Day, 15 July 2021

  4. “How whistle-blowers in SA are hung out to dry,” Financial Mail, 15 April 2021

  5. "Living without chaos," The Big Issue, 25 March 2021

  6. “Corporate amends: What is enough?” Mail & Guardian, 14 March 2021

  7. “Resilience after blowing the whistle,” Mail & Guardian, 20 January 2021

  8. “Leaders needed to step into this chaos,” UCT News, 29 April 2020

  9. “The need to address structural poverty,” News24, 27 April 2020

  10. “South Africa’s poets write of our new struggle for freedom,” Mail & Guardian, March 2020

  11. “Jump into the fray to remedy corporate wrongs,” Business Day, 27 June 2019

  12. “Business as usual won’t fix youth unemployment, poverty & inequality” Business Report, 2019

  13. “Criminal justice after corporate corruption is just the beginning,” Business Day, 2019

  14. “Six steps for company reparations,” UCT News, 1 February 2019

  15. "What do we want from Bain?" Daily Maverick, 6 October 2018

  16. “We condone an education system that guarantees future inequality,” Sunday Times, 2018

  17. “Which South Africa are we saving?” Huffington Post, 12 April 2017

A girl called H.jpg

A GIRL CALLED H, Theart Press (2019)


The new girl in Cape Town is a bit strange. Her name has just one letter, H, and she has a weird birthmark behind her neck. When she plays her guitar, something magical happens that makes her an instant hero. But there is a greedy villain who wants to stop H from playing her guitar – H’s music messes up his plan to threaten the lives of all the residents of Cape Town. With the help of her friend, Kaya, H discovers her true power and defeats the villain to save the city.


The book can be purchased here 



The poems spring from Athol's stand as a whistleblower and witness before the State Capture Commission in 2021. However, the poems also blow the whistle on the injustices we tolerate and foster in South Africa.

Includes the award-winning poem 'Visit at Tea Time'. Review of Whistleblowing.


Fragile cover.jpg

FRAGILE, Theart Press, 2020


The book presents a collaboration with 65 accomplished South African artists in which he produce an 8-line reflective poem for each of the artists' paintings. The poetry and art reflect upon our world to remind us of its fragility, but also offers a hopeful message, that, while our world may be fragile, it is not broken. 


INVITATION, Theart Press, 2017

Winner of the South Africa Independent Publishers Award for 2017

An exploration of beauty, memory and spirituality. An invitation to dream, to walk in faith and to love.

athol williams

BUMPER CARS, The Onslaught Press, 2016

Runner-up for the 2016 South African Literary Award for Poetry. Includes Streetclass Diseases,  Winner of the 2015 Sol Plaatje European Union Poetry Award.

A close look at conflict and possibilities for social harmony.

Athol Williams

TALKING TO A TREE, Theart Press, 2011

These poems of a fragile world ask 'Is this really how we want to live?' Written under the pseudonym, AE Ballakisten

Athol Williams

HEAP OF STONES, Theart Press, 2009

Debut collection, written under the pseudonym AE Ballakisten. Includes the inspirational poem, One Finite Life.

The+Hope,+The+Prayer,+The+Anthem (2).jpg

Includes Williams's short story, SILLY NELSON. 2021  

Voices that Sing Behind the Veil.jpg

Includes Williams's short story, HALFWAY UP KELVIN ROAD HILL. 2022  


There are eight books in the OAKY series. Over 200,000 OAKY have been donated to children in poorer communities in South Africa through Read to Rise. More information about the books can be found on the OAKY website

Athol Williams
Oaky and Themba.jpg
Oaky and the virus.jpg
Oaky in the Playground.jpg
Oaky the Happy Tree.jpg
What is Happening to Oaky.png
Oaky Runs a Race.jpg
Oaky the brave acorn.png
bottom of page