Published in 2000, Heart of Redness tells the story of Camugu, now returned from exile to post-apartheid South Africa, intent on being a part of rebuilding his country. He visits a small village and becomes embroiled in a conflict started in the mid-19th Century: the prophetess Nonqawuse preached salvation for the Xhosa people if they slaughtered their cattle and burned their crops, thus reviving their ancestors who would drive the English oppressors into the Sea. Failure of the prophecy to come true was historically blamed by the believers on the non-believers among them. In modern day the disparity between these groups still exists and resurfaces when developers look at building a nearby casino and resort. Traditional values come up against Western economic development and themes of conflicting beliefs and values are explored. Mda does this with beautiful, poetic language and characteristically vivid characters, engaging the readers with the characters themselves, not merely the ideas behind the story.