Hein Willemse studied Law and Afrikaans literature at the University of the Western Cape. He has earned the following qualifications: BA (Hons) (Cum Laude), MA (Cum Laude), MBL and D.Litt. He has published widely on Afrikaans language, literature and orature studies.
He has also taught for extended periods in Mexico, the USA and Namibia.
During the 1980s and 1990s he was a stringer for South and Vrye Weekblad. He contributed to New Era and Mayibuye and served on the editorial committees of Ons Leer Mekaar and Die Suid-Afrikaan.
Willemse is a Professor of Literature in the Department of Afrikaans, University of Pretoria and the current editor-in-chief of the multilingual African literary journal Tydskrif vir Letterkunde (www.letterkunde.up.ac.za).
His books include the award-winning More Than Brothers — Peter Clarke and James Matthews at 70 (Kwela, 2000) and Aan Die Ander Kant — Swart skrywers in die Afrikaanse letterkunde (Protea, 2007).