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Archive for the ‘Humour’ Category

“We remembered blundering, in fog, into a nudist colony” – Terry Bell shares anecdotes from A hat, a kayak and dreams of Dar

Published in the Sunday Times

It was a book that was supposed to have been written as we travelled half a century ago. But all the notes and everything else we owned was lost, stolen in Madrid. That followed several months of great difficulty being stranded in Equatorial Guinea, being robbed at gunpoint in what was then Zaire and finally arriving in Ndola on Zambia’s Copperbelt, in what our contemporaries described as “an emaciated condition”.

It was a tumultuous time politically in the region and there was no thought of going back to a book I had tentatively dubbed: Paddle Dammit! This after the need for my partner and wife, Barbara, and I to paddle frantically to avoid collisions with ships coming upstream on the Rhone as we careered downstream.

Two years in Zambia were followed by time in Botswana and New Zealand, where a decade after we had paddled down the Thames in London, bound for Dar es Salaam, we were presented with an album of postcards sent by Barbara to her parents throughout our travels. With them came 11 tapes made on a portable reel-to-reel tape recorder during the latter part of our journeying.
 

There were no machines we could play them on and so they were stored with the postcard album – and we forgot about them. But we often talked about what we had done, the humorous moments and the difficulties. We were encouraged to write up the journey of both a hat and a kayak called Amandla.

I didn’t want to rely on fallible memory and thought that to write such a personal memoir would be self-indulgent. Authors John and Erica Platter disagreed and, encouraged, we took the postcards out of the album and discovered, on the backs, a diary of our journeying. All but one of the tapes were also transcribed onto CDs.

I realised we had an accurate record of where we had been, what we had done and when. Even what we had eaten. To write it up would be a break from the generally worrying areas of economics, politics and labour that I concentrate on; a lighter moment about a more hopeful time when everything seemed possible.

“How on earth do you cook, travelling in a kayak?” asked John Platter. Barbara set to, drawing up a selection of the recipes used for one-pot camping cuisine. We remembered the incidents of blundering, in fog, into a nudist colony; of the terror of our first experience with 250 ton barges; of the roar of the mistral wind and the calm, lovely canals.

It was therapeutic. And it underlined for us how liberating it had been and how hopeful the world had seemed as we blundered our way from swinging ’60s London through the waterways of France into the Mediterranean.

We learned much, lessons that still seem pertinent today. . .

Book details


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Wenners van kykNet-Rapport-boekpryse 2017 bekend

Die wenners van die kykNET-Rapport-boekpryse – die grootste pryse van hul soort in Afrikaans – is op Saterdag 30 September 2017 in Kaapstad bekend gemaak. Die Jan Rabie-Rapportprys vir die beste debuutroman in Afrikaans asook die twee kykNET-Rapportpryse vir boekresensent van die jaar is by dieselfde geleentheid oorhandig.

Hulde is gebring aan ontslape skrywers soos Karel Schoeman en PG du Plessis, maar die aand het behoort aan die huidige geslag skrywers, wat sulke geleenthede moontlik en gedenkwaardig maak. Hettie Scholtz, sameroeper van die drie hoofboekpryse, het die skrywers geloof vir boeke wat diep sny, diep delf, en ’n aar raak boor. “Dit het by my ’n insig van Chesterton opgeroep, sy geloof dat daar één ding is wat ’n helderheid aan dinge verleen: die vermoede van iets nét om die draai. Ek kan werklik nie wag om te sien waarmee hierdie skrywers volgende vorendag gaan kom nie! Hierby sluit ek die inskrywings vir die Jan Rabie-Rapportprys in.”

Die kykNET-Rapport-boekpryse met ’n gesamentlike prysgeld van R500 000 is toegeken aan die volgende skrywers:
- Fiksie: Huilboek, Ryk Hattingh (Human & Rousseau)
- Niefiksie: Emily Hobhouse: Geliefde Verraaier, Elsabé Brits (Tafelberg)
- Film: Al wat ek weet, Marita van der Vyver, (Lapa)

Die keurders het die fiksiewenner, Ryk Hattingh, geloof “vir sy sagkense behandeling van groot dinge, die subtiliteit van segging, die beskeie toon en algehele gebrek aan selfkoestering. Die manier waarop hy persoonlike pyn uiteindelik, sonder politieke grandstandery, vestig in die konteks van ’n hele land se trauma, is uitsonderlik en maak van Huilboek ’n prestasie in hoe groot kragte in beweging gestel kan word deur ’n minimum aan woorde en vertoon.”

Waardering is ook uitgespreek vir die niefiksiewenner, Elsabé Brits, se herbesoek aan ou bronne oor Emily Hobhouse “wat ons in staat stel om opnuut in hierdie merkwaardige vrou die eienskappe te sien wat aan die kern lê van ons universele menslikheid – die vermoë om te empatiseer met die onderdruktes, op te staan vir reg en geregtigheid selfs teen ’n hoë persoonlike en politieke prys, om nood en lyding te verlig ongeag waar dit voorkom. Sy skets Hobhouse as die vergestalting van verset soos dit in die woorde van die Nederlandse digter Remco Campert gedefinieer word: Om aan jouself ’n vraag te vra, daarmee begin verset – en om dit dan aan ’n ander te vra. Dit noop ons om in die Suid-Afrika van vandag weer hierdie kritiese vrae te vra oor menswaardigheid, gelykheid, en weerstand.”

Marita van der Vyver se jeugboek Al wat ek weet het van die prysaand ’n behoorlike rap-aand gemaak. Sy is geloof vir die ligte, vaardige hand waarmee sy die sensitiewe verhaal van ’n seun van gemengde afkoms stuur tot waar hy sy plek in die groter bestel van die lewe vind. En dit deur die skryf van rap songs waarmee hy sy verliese en woede transendeer en sy eie stem vind. “Dis ’n verhaal wat getuig van besondere vakmanskap, een wat smeek om verfilm te word,” sê keurder Herman Binge. “Dink – nét vir ’n oomblik – aan die nuwe Afrikaanse treffers wat hierdie film gaan oplewer, die eerste volwaardige hip-hop-fliek in Afrikaans!”

Die Jan Rabie-Rapportprys ter waarde van R35 000 is vanjaar toegeken aan Valda Jansen vir Hy kom met die skoenlappers (Human & Rousseau). Volgens die keurders is Jansen se debuutroman in vele opsigte meer as “’n elegie aan verlore liefde”, soos dit op die omslag bestempel word. Dit word “’n pynlik intieme en deurtastende verkenning van al die maniere waarop ’n hele lewe soos een byna noodwendig verspeelde kans kan voorkom . . . Jansen kleur nie dit wat persoonlik is ooit met groot politieke stellings nie, maar wys hoe onontwarbaar die persoonlike en die politieke in Suid-Afrika verstrengel is. Haar debuut gee ’n aangrypende en ontstemmende blik op ’n bevreemdende, bruin middelklas-ervaring van apartheid; ’n genuanseerde perspektief op ’n benarde posisie wat nog bitter min in Afrikaanse fiksie belig is.”

Die kykNET-Rapportpryse vir boekresensent van die jaar, vir die beste Afrikaanse resensies wat in 2016 oor ’n Afrikaanse fiksie- of niefiksiewerk onderskeidelik verskyn het, is ook oorhandig. Die wenners, wat elk R25 000 ontvang het, is:
- Fiksie: Danie Marais vir “Die ‘Kook en Geniet’ van oneerbiedigheid” (oor Anton Kannemeyer en Conrad Botes se Bitterkomix 17, Media24-dagblaaie, 4 Julie 2016), en
- Niefiksie: Emile Joubert vir “Die afkook van ’n vol lewe vind hier beslag” (oor Wat die hart van vol is deur Peter Veldsman met Elmari Rautenbach, Media24-dagblaaie, 31 Oktober 2016).

Die keurpanele vir die onderskeie pryse was: kykNET-Rapport-fiksieprys: Frederik de Jager, Elmari Rautenbach, Steward van Wyk en Gerrit Schoonhoven; kykNET-Rapport-niefiksieprys: Herman Wasserman, Irma du Plessis, Darryl David en Herman Binge; kykNET-Rapport-filmprys: Herman Binge en Gerrit Schoonhoven; kykNET-Rapport-boekresensentpryse: Bibi Slippers, Alfred Schaffer, Jomarié Botha en Yvonne Beyers; Jan Rabie-Rapportprys: Elna van der Merwe, Danie Marais en Kerneels Breytenbach.

Die seremoniemeesters vir die aand was Karen Meiring van kykNet en Waldimar Pelser van Rapport. Die prysfunksie is by die Dapper Coffee Company restaurant in Kaapstad gehou.

Boekbesonderhede

Huilboek

 
 
 
 
Emily Hobhouse

 
 
 
 
Al wat ek weet

 
 
 
 
Hy kom met die skoenlappers

 
 
 
 
Bitterkomix 17

 
 
 
 
Wat die hart van vol is


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Presenting the latest addition to the Madam & Eve series: Hadeda La Land

“Outrageously funny with unerring humour and intelligence” – Cosmopolitan

“A superb mixture of sitcom, satire and South African stuff” – Zapiro

“Has won the hearts of millions!” – Mail & Guardian

This year we are in for a treat: After 25 years, Madam & Eve is still going strong and are back with more hilarious cartoons looking back at another year of the crazy rollercoaster that is daily life and politics in South Africa.

Madam & Eve cartoons appear regularly in the Mail & Guardian, The Star, The Saturday Star, Herald, Mercury, Witness, Daily Dispatch, Cape Times, Pretoria News, Diamond Fields Advertiser, Die Volksblad, EC Today, Kokstad Advertiser and The Namibian.

“I am always amazed by the energy and passion displayed by this writing and drawing duo that manages week after week to come up with fresh comedic ideas on which to make their point and build their powerful punch line.” – Business Day

Stephen Francis is the writing half of the Madam & Eve team. Born in the United States in 1949, Stephen moved to South Africa in 1988. In 1992, witnessing the interesting and often funny dynamic between his South African mother-in-law and her domestic housekeeper, he conceptualised the Madam & Eve strip. Francis is also an award-winning script writer, and radio and TV personality.

Rico Schacherl forms the other half of the creative team – as illustrator. Born in Austria in 1966, Rico has lived and worked in Johannesburg for most of his life, and has been drawing cartoons ever since he was old enough to hold a pencil. Besides his work on Madam & Eve, Rico also produces illustrations and editorial cartoons for a wide range of other publications.

Book details


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Kortlyste vir die kykNET-Rapport Boekresensent van die Jaar-toekennings 2017 bekendgemaak

Die Afrikaanse resensiebedryf kan homself op die skouer klop te oordeel na die gehalte van inskrywings wat vir vanjaar se kykNET-Rapport Boekresensent van die Jaar-wedstryd ontvang is.

Die kortlyste is pas bekend gemaak vir dié pryse, wat ingestel is om die belange van boeke en die leesgenot van boekliefhebbers te bevorder deur die wêreld van Afrikaanse boeke vir die breë Suid-Afrikaanse publiek toeganklik te maak. Dit dien ook as aanmoediging om hoë standaarde in die Afrikaanse boekjoernalistiek te handhaaf.

Altesaam 33 van die voorste resensente in Afrikaans het vanjaar ingeskryf, tien meer as verlede jaar. Twee pryse van R25 000 elk word toegeken vir die beste Afrikaanse resensie wat in 2016 oor Afrikaansie fiksie en niefiksie onderskeidelik verskyn het. Die kortlyste, wat uit 90 inskrywings saamgestel is, is soos volg:

Fiksie

Danie Marais: “Die ‘Kook en Geniet’ van oneerbiedigheid” (oor Anton Kannemeyer en Conrad Botes se Bitterkomix 17, Media24-dagblaaie, 4 Julie 2016)
Charl-Pierre Naudé: “Digterlike afdruk van ‘n lewe verbeeld” (oor Bibi Slippers se Fotostaatmasjien, Media 24-dagblaaie, 5 Desember 2016)
Elmari Rautenbach: “Debuut se stiltes ’n elegie aan verlore liefde” (oor Valda Jansen se Hy kom met die skoenlappers, Media 24-dagblaaie, 18 Julie 2016)

Niefiksie

Reinhardt Fourie: Vlam in die sneeu: Die liefdesbriewe van André P. Brink en Ingrid Jonker (geredigeer deur Francis Galloway, Tydskrif vir letterkunde, September/Oktober 2016)
Daniel Hugo: “Een van die heel grotes” (oor Om Hennie Aucamp te onthou, saamgestel deur Danie Botha, Rapport, 14 Februarie 2016)
Emile Joubert: “Die afkook van ’n vol lewe vind hier beslag” (oor Wat die hart van vol is deur Peter Veldsman met Elmari Rautenbach, Media24-dagblaaie, 31 Oktober 2016)

Die keurders was boekjoernalis en digter Bibi Slippers (sameroeper), senior joernalis en skrywer Jomarié Botha en digter en dosent Alfred Schaffer. Aangesien ’n werk van Slippers geresenseer is, is sy vir die finale keuring deur die redakteur van Huisgenoot, Yvonne Beyers, vervang.

Die keurders was dit eens dat die inskrywings deur die bank van ’n baie hoë gehalte was en werklik leeslus aanwakker.

“Daar was heelparty gevalle waar ek nie noodwendig onder normale omstandighede in ’n sekere boek sou belangstel nie, maar die resensent se entoesiasme en insigte het my genoeg geprikkel om dit ’n kans te wil gee,” sê Slippers.

“Dit was ook veral heerlik om verskillende resensies van belangrike boeke soos Die na-dood, Vlakwater en Koors te lees, en uiteenlopende interpretasies en leesbenaderings te kan ervaar via die resensente.”

Daar was vanjaar heelwat nuwe name onder die resensente wat ingeskryf het. “Ek hoop dat ons deur inisiatiewe soos dié die poel selfs verder kan vergroot. Hoe meer ingeligte, intelligente menings uit verskillende perspektiewe verteenwoordig is, hoe beter vir alle rolspelers in die boekbedryf,” sê Slippers.

Die wenners word op 30 September 2017 saam met die wenners van die kykNET-Rapport-boekpryse in Kaapstad aangekondig.
 

Bitterkomix 17Boekbesonderhede

 
 

Fotostaatmasjien

 
 

Hy kom met die skoenlappers

 
 

Vlam in die sneeu

 
 

Om Hennie Aucamp te onthou

 
 

Wat die hart van vol is


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Austen Power

An earlier version of this column was published in the Sunday Times in 2013.

Jane Austen died 200 years ago, but she wrote some groovy letters, baby. By Sue de Groot

JANE Austen lived from 1775 to 1817 and was a writer of prolific output. Apart from her six published novels and a trunk full of unpublished work, she sent friends, family and assorted others an astonishing number of letters, all written in the same spirit of playful irony that infuses her novels.

What joy these missives must have given their recipients. They probably read them over and over and entertained their visitors by quoting bits from them.

Austen had the ability to make the most mundane subject sound riveting, a rare skill. She never took anything too seriously, another rare skill, yet her gentle sending-up of human silliness never descended to outright bitchiness, nor was she flippant.

We know her correspondence was prized because many of her letters were kept and preserved. One of the sad things about e-mail communication is that most of it – unless your surname is Gupta – disappears into the cloud once read, denying future generations the opportunity to enjoy intimate letters from long ago.

There are unquestionable advantages to electronic communication. I’m not going to climb on that dreary Luddite bandwagon and start bemoaning the loss of quills, ink and postmen, or get all choked up about the sentimental smell of parchment. One thing we have lost that pains me, however, is the art of letter writing.

You can’t blame it all on the keyboard. It’s the message that counts, not the medium. If we wanted to, we could type thoughtful, grammatical letters and e-mail them, yet hardly anyone does. Perhaps a resurgence of interest in Austen will inspire us.

If she had owned a smartphone, perhaps Jane would have written a thousand more letters, but I suspect that such a device would have dulled her sparkle and stunted her compositions. Nor would they have been saved. And how much poorer our lives would be without observations like these:

On weather

“We have been exceedingly busy ever since you went away. In the first place we have had to rejoice two or three times every day at your having such very delightful weather for the whole of your journey…” (October 25 1800)

“How do you like this cold weather? I hope you have all been earnestly praying for it as a salutary relief from the dreadful mild and unhealthy season preceding it, fancying yourself half putrefied from the want of it, and that now you all draw into the fire, complain that you never felt such bitterness of cold before, that you are half starved, quite frozen, and wish the mild weather back again with all your hearts.” (January 25 1801)

On fashion

“I cannot help thinking that it is more natural to have flowers grow out of the head than fruit.” (June 11 1799)

On children

“Poor woman! How can she honestly be breeding again?” (October 1 1808)

“I give you joy of our new nephew, and hope if he ever comes to be hanged it will not be till we are too old to care about it.” (April 25 1811)

“I would recommend to her and Mr D the simple regimen of separate rooms.” (February 20 1817)

On having a good time

“I believe I drank too much wine last night at Hurstbourne; I know not how else to account for the shaking of my hand today.” (November 20 1800)

“Mrs B thought herself obliged to leave them to run round the room after her drunken husband. His avoidance, and her pursuit, with the probable intoxication of both, was an amusing scene.” (May 12 1801)

“As I must leave off being young, I find many douceurs [today this means a bribe, in the 1800s it was a more innocent “sweetener”] in being a sort of chaperon, for I am put on the sofa near the fire and can drink as much wine as I like.” (November 6 1813)


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Seven books to read in the light of Pravin Gordhan’s dismissal

President Jacob Zuma’s dismissal of Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan on 30 March 2017 has been met with opposition from South African politicians and citizens alike.

The following seven books serve as recommended background reading on South Africa’s socio-political history, including its state of affairs since Zuma’s presidency:

South Africa's Corporatised Liberation South Africa’s Corporatised Liberation
Dale T. McKinley
South Africa’s democracy is in trouble. The present situation is, in objective terms, a house divided; a house that is tottering on rotten foundations. Despite the more general advances that have been made under the ANC’s rule since 1994, power has not only remained in the hands of a small minority but has increasingly been exercised in service to capital. The ANC has become the key political vehicle – in party and state form as well as application – of corporate capital: domestic and international, black and white, local and national, and constitutive of a range of different fractions. As a result, ‘transformation’ has largely taken the form of acceptance of, combined with incorporation into, the capitalist ‘house’, now minus its formal apartheid frame.

What has happened in South Africa over the last 22 years is the corporatisation of liberation, the political and economic commodification of the ANC and societal development. Those in positions of leadership and power within the ANC have allowed themselves to be lured by the siren calls of power and money, to be sucked in by the prize of ‘capturing’ institutional sites of power, to be seduced by the egoism and lifestyles of the capitalist elite.

This book tells that ‘story’ by offering a critical, fact-based and actively informed holistic analysis of the ANC in power, as a means to: better explain and understand the ANC and its politics as well as South Africa’s post-1994 trajectory; contribute to renewed discussion and debate about power and democracy; and help identify possible sign-posts to reclaim revolutionary, universalist and humanist values as part of the individual and collective struggle for the systemic change South Africa’s democracy needs.

Policy, Politics and Poverty in South AfricaPolicy, Politics and Poverty in South Africa
Jeremy Seekings & Nicoli Nattrass
Along with inequality and unemployment, poverty is seen as South Africa’s biggest challenge with over half of South Africans living below the national poverty line. Poverty is arguably the most pressing social, economic and political problem faced in South Africa. When South Africa finally held its first democratic elections in 1994, the country had a much higher poverty rate than in other countries at a similar level of development. While the exclusion of the poor occurs in very many countries, in South Africa it has a distinctive extra dimension. Here, poverty has been profoundly racialised by law, by social practice, and by prejudice. This was the legacy of apartheid. Over twenty years later, poverty is still widespread. Poverty, Politics & Policy in South Africa explains why poverty has persisted in South Africa since 1994.

In the book, authors Jeremy Seekings and Nicoli Nattrass demonstrate who has and who has not remained poor, how public policies both mitigated and reproduced poverty, and how and why these policies were adopted. Their analysis of the South African welfare state, labour market policies and the growth path of the South African economy challenges conventional accounts that focus only on ‘neoliberalism’. They argue, instead, that the ANC government’s policies have been, in important respects, social democratic.

The book shows how social-democratic policies both mitigate and reproduce poverty in countries like South Africa, reflecting the contradictory nature of social democracy in the global South.

Dead President WalkingDead President Walking
Zapiro

Zapiro comes of age in this 21st annual. Zuma once again takes centre stage for all the wrong reasons along with his cronies the Guptas and his nemesis Malema. It’s the year of the hashtag. #RhodesMustFall begat #FeesMustFall, also #Racism/#Sexism and #ZumaMustFall. With Nenegate and SARS wars, it’s the rand that’s really falling. Meanwhile, Pravin and Thuli fight the good fight.

Each cartoon is worth a thousand words and helps us make sense of our crazy, beautiful country where fact is indeed stranger than fiction.
 
 

How Long will South Africa Survive? How Long will South Africa Survive?
RW Johnson

In 1977, RW Johnson’s best-selling How Long Will South Africa Survive? provided a controversial and highly original analysis of the survival prospects of apartheid. Now, after more than twenty years of ANC rule, he believes the situation has become so critical that the question must be posed again.
‘The big question about ANC rule’, he writes, ‘is whether African nationalism would be able to cope with the challenges of running a modern industrial economy. Twenty years of ANC rule have shown conclusively that the party is hopelessly ill-equipped for this task. Indeed, everything suggests that South Africa under the ANC is fast slipping backward and that even the survival of South Africa as a unitary state cannot be taken for granted. The fundamental reason why the question of regime change has to be posed is that it is now clear that South Africa can either choose to have an ANC government or it can have a modern industrial economy. It cannot have both.’ Johnson’s analysis is strikingly original and cogently argued. He has for several decades now been the senior international commentator on South African affairs, known for his lucid analysis and complete lack of deference towards the conventional wisdom. (Also available as an eBook.)

Goodnight Zzzuma! Goodnight Zzzuma
Anonymous

Tucked up in bed, President Zuma says goodnight to all the familiar things in his softly lit world. Goodnight to the pictures of his favourite wives, to the Gupta brothers and to the helipad at Nkandla. To everything, one by one, he says goodnight.
Generations of children have been lulled to sleep with Margaret Wise Brown’s and illustrator Clement Hurd’s classic bedtime story Goodnight Moon. In 2008, Little Brown US published the New York Times bestseller, Goodnight Bush. It became a runaway bestseller and viral sensation. In 2009 Bush left office. Now it is our turn, with Goodnight Zzzuma! A must-read for anyone still possessing a sense of outrage.

Clever Blacks, Jesus and NkandlaClever Blacks, Jesus and Nkandla
Gareth van Onselen

Gareth van Onselen has put together a comprehensive collection of Zuma’s most controversial – and often contradictory – public statements. With some 350 quotes collected along ten themes that define Zuma’s personal beliefs, Clever Blacks, Jesus and Nkandla documents some of Zuma’s most notorious moments. It aims to serve as both an easy guide to Zuma’s personal philosophy and a reference point for some of the debates that have defined his political career. The quotes represent one of the fundamental fault lines that run through South African discourse today – a society trapped between its Third World realities and its much-vaunted First World ambitions. In many ways, Zuma is the epicentre around which the subsequent debate has unfolded. (Also available as an eBook.)
 
 
 

When Zuma GoesWhen Zuma Goes
Ralph Mathekga

South Africa has been in the grip of the ‘Zunami’ since May 2009: Scandal, corruption and allegations of state capture have become synonymous with the Zuma era, leaving the country and its people disheartened. But Jacob Zuma’s time is running out. What impact will his departure have on South Africa, its people and on the ruling party? Can we fix the damage, and how? Ralph Mathekga answers these questions and more as he puts Zuma’s leadership, and what will come after, in the spotlight.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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‘I feel angst and self-doubt’ – Zapiro chats about his glittering career and why it’s not easy being a cartoonist

Jonathan Shapiro, better known as Zapiro, is a brilliant cartoonist but he’s often racked by self-doubt, writes Claire Keeton for the Sunday Times

Zapiro

 
Dead President WalkingLife as South Africa’s most celebrated and controversial political cartoonist isn’t all deadlines and stress, even though Zapiro’s anxiety levels after years in the game seem similar to stand-up comedians and pilots.

One of the highlights for Jonathan Shapiro, known as Zapiro, came out of the blue when he got a call on Christmas Day in 2001.

It was the agent of jazz singer and actor Harry Belafonte. Belafonte said he would like to meet Shapiro. A Belafonte fan, Shapiro said that it would be fantastic.

“He walked through the gate in a huge fur coat in the middle of summer and gave me a massive bear hug, then we sat in my studio and started talking,” Shapiro remembers.

“He said to me: ‘I have a confession to make. I was expecting a black man. God has a sense of humour.’”

Belafonte, who had been attending a world conference against racism in Durban and had seen Shapiro’s cartoons, assumed the cartoonist was a black South African from the way he “tapped into” society.

Shapiro’s progressive upbringing and experiences as an activist with the United Democratic Front in the 1980s – we were together in the South African Youth Congress and on the UDF coordinating committee in Cape Town – sharpened his commitment to fight institutionalised racism and oppression.

And his sense of outrage at injustice has not diminished.

Shapiro is brilliant but not infallible. He’s a battle-weary warrior for the constitution who has on rare occasions fallen out of step with the public whose rights he defends.

“I feel angst and self-doubt. I’m second-guessing myself all the time. I wonder if I’m becoming more reactionary. Have I changed, or has the politics changed? It’s my sense that it’s the politics I’m trying to interrogate.”

‘I feel angst and self-doubt’ – Zapiro chats about his glittering career and why it’s not easy being a cartoonist

 
While Nelson Mandela praised his creations as “accurate and very exciting”, President Jacob Zuma, with his Zapiro-anointed showerhead, is not a fan.

Zuma has sued him twice, for the maiden showerhead cartoon in 2006 and for the controversial Lady Justice cartoon, which appeared in 2008. Both cases were dropped.

“That [Lady Justice] cartoon has a life of its own. It was selected as one of the 15 cartoons that changed the world, at number 15, along with cartoons by heavy-hitters from around the world, and by the American student cartooning world,” he said.

The launch of Shapiro’s 21st book, Dead President Walking, once again exposes the ways in which Zuma is failing South Africa’s democracy. It also provides an incisive and uncensored view on major political developments in the past year.

Not surprisingly, former public protector Thuli Madonsela endorses the collection on the back of the book with the comment:

I don’t always agree with Zapiro’s cartoons, but his wit, brilliance and relevance can’t be ignored.

It’s not easy being a cartoonist, and Shapiro spends hours conceptualising his works before putting pen to paper.

The process usually kicks off after too little sleep and too much coffee, with him “taking his news intravenously”, as a friend put it when he saw Shapiro at dawn with a radio the size of a lighter glued to his ear.

“My Sony radio is my lifeline,” says Shapiro, who listens to news for hours over breakfast, during the school run and throughout the day.

By early afternoon he hopes to have a rough drawing for the next day, but that can be a “little euphemistic”, he admits.

For about a decade he produced six editorial cartoons a week, taking off only Saturday afternoons and evenings, but he now does only four a week.

This allows him more time to do talks and walk trails with his family, and ahead of the Cape Town Cycle Tour he gets in last-minute training for the race he has ridden nine times.

Madiba Planet

 
Shapiro started his career as an editorial cartoonist in 1987 for the alternative newspaper South before taking up a Fulbright scholarship to study media arts at the School of Visual Arts in New York.

“In South Africa we had unity and they had diversity, issues I hadn’t even thought of,” he says of his exposure to social activism there.

Another defining moment of his life in New York was marrying Karina Turok, his wife of 28 years with whom he has a son of 21 and a daughter of 16.

When the couple had been together for four years they decided to leave to study in the United States, but his mother asked him to wait and have a wedding at home.

He assured her they would, but after a month of facing visa complications, they were married in the city hall in Harlem, after which they went to the top of the World Trade Center to celebrate.

One of their favourite activities then was playing ultimate frisbee in Central Park, taking part in one of the world’s long-running games (where I joined them while studying there).

“We got addicted, and my wife and I like to believe we were among the first who brought the game here and played it for years,” said Shapiro, who played it on Camps Bay beach.

When he returned to South Africa, he had a change of pace and for three years he drew educational comics on the themes of HIV/Aids awareness and preventing child abuse.

Even though he joined the ANC, he became more of an observer than activist and he drew the main voter education poster in 1994.

Zapiro - freestyle cartooning!

 
In the same year he was invited to draw for the Mail & Guardian.

In 1998 he started contributing to the Sunday Times, which has also proved an enduring relationship, and in 2009 he became regular cartoonist in The Times.

He also contributed to a satirical puppet show for TV and has since sculpted caricatured figurines of politicians.

Shapiro has won a host of international awards. This year he won the annual EWK-Prize by the EWK-Society, based in Norrköping, Sweden.

He has exhibited all over the world, from the US and Australia to Cameroon and Germany.

Through his cartooning he has met celebrities and artists he admires, attending the World Economic Forum as part of a group of creatives.

“I have come in contact with fascinating people, people who are my heroes like Joan Armatrading, Youssou N’dour, Peter Gabriel, Richard Gere and Nadine Gordimer,” Shapiro says. “I had to pinch myself.”

In the post-Trump-as-president world he’s not the only one pinching himself, but in South Africa at least we have Zapiro’s unique take on out-of-control presidents to keep us alert.

‘I feel angst and self-doubt’ – Zapiro chats about his glittering career and why it’s not easy being a cartoonist

 
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‘Burning rubber and black smoke’: Bridget Hilton-Barber on how she almost lost her manuscript – by baking her laptop

Published in the Sunday Times

Student, Comrade, Prisoner, SpyStudent, Comrade, Prisoner, Spy
Bridget Hilton-Barber (Zebra Press)

I have lost many laptops to theft, and my external harddrive was recently pinched, so in the end throes of writing my latest book I became very protective over my laptop and its contents. I emailed myself the latest changes to my book every day and whenever I went out I hid my laptop – in different places to avoid the possibility of thieves and pilferers detecting my hiding patterns. I hid it in the bookshelf, I hid it under the bed, I hid it in the vegetable rack, I hid it in the clothes cupboard and then I hid it in the oven.

One lazy weekend I took a break from writing. A good friend was visiting in the guesthouse next door, and we decided to make a collective Sunday lunch. I was tasked with cooking the sweet potatoes, so I slicked down said potatoes with olive oil, draped them in sprigs of fresh rosemary, set them aside, turned on the oven to preheat and went for a glass of vino next door. After 20 minutes I went back to my oven to load the potatoes …

As I walked into the kitchen I was overpowered by the smell of burning rubber and the sight of thick black smoke curling out of the oven. Nooooo. The laptop. I stopped dead in my tracks, I screamed, I leapt many metres in the air, I went pale and sweaty, I clutched my madly beating heart. This was all in the nano second before I yanked open the oven door, seized the steaming laptop, tore off the burning rubber case, prised it open and stabbed at the “on” button.

OMG it was working! All downloads, documents, photographs and yes, my entire book, were still intact. The laptop’s CD drive had melted completely as had most of the bottom casing, giving it a rather Salvador Dali-esque appearance, but everything else seemed just fine, albeit hot and steamy. I dropped to my knees and gave thanks to every god and deity I could think of, tears of sheer relief sliding down my face.

Then I took a deep breath, put the sweet potatoes into the oven and went unsteadily back next door. Wine, I cried, wine. Now. There were shrieks of laughter as I recounted the sorry tale of my near death experience and downed several glasses to steady my shattered nerves.

You’re lucky it wasn’t an Apple Mac, chortled my friend, they have metal cases and you could have blown up the whole house never mind the entire block. But my laptop is a Samsung, which also makes a range of cooking appliances – haha – that promise a reduced cooking time and an even, thorough bake.

Mercifully I didn’t have one of those. Just a squishy, working laptop and its rubber case with my desperate handprint indelibly melted upon it.

As one of the founding fathers of the United States, Benjamin Franklin, once self-righteously pointed out, diligence is the mother of good luck, but then as English novelist Thomas Hardy said, some folks want their luck buttered.

•

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Book Bites: 31 July 2016

Is it Just Me or is Everything Kak?Is It Just Me Or Is Everything Kak? The Zuma Years
Tim Richman (Two Dogs)
Book bru
***
It’s been seven years since the third of the Kak books, which was intended to be the last, but Tim Richman now offers us a fourth, which covers the corruption and chaos of Zuma’s presidency. The book also dips into international topics, though it misses some of the most controversial. This makes for a welcome break as the bulk is decidedly South African, which has the unintended effect of becoming exhausting. It’s best read in small doses to allow the humour to override your sense of outrage. — Mandy Watson @mandyjwatson

My Name is Lucy Barton My Name is Lucy Barton
Elizabeth Strout (Penguin)
Book buff
***
“I have no memory of my mother ever kissing me. She may have kissed me though; I may be wrong.” Thus speaks Lucy Barton, who spends much of this tender novella in hospital, being treated for a mysterious ailment by a doctor so kind he makes Lucy want to weep. For some of the time her mother visits, sleeping in a chair next to Lucy’s bed, and they talk. They don’t talk about anything important; they talk of Elvis and people from back in the day, but somewhere in this talk of commonplaces they reach an understanding of each other. Sort of. Strout writes with the ear of a composer, both in passages of vivid dialogue and in the internal musings of Lucy’s mind, switching between her sick bed, her alienated childhood and her difficult adult relationships. Comparisons with Virginia Woolf have been made. Strout is much more engaging and easier to follow. — Sue de Groot @deGrootS1

Guide to Trees Introduced into Southern AfricaGuide To Trees Introduced Into Southern Africa
Hugh Glen & Braam Van Wyk (Struik Nature)
Book trek
****
This book fills the niche of a guide to the exotic trees that have been introduced into southern Africa, covering 600 species out of an estimated 2 000. They’re all around us in the suburbs and parks, contributing substantially to Joburg’s famous “urban forest”. The book uses the same model of identification as Field Guide to Trees of Southern Africa, with 43 groups and the identification of trees based on leaf and stem attributes. There is a map for each showing where it can be grown, and a brief description, including common names, place of origin, whether it is invasive, and its cultivation and uses. For tree-lovers it’s a great dip-into read. — Andrew Unsworth

The TeacherThe Teacher
Katerina Diamond (HarperCollins)
Book thrill
****
Katerina Diamond’s debut is delightfully different and, although it’s labelled a psychological crime thriller, the character’s reactions to evil are refreshingly uncomplicated. First the headmaster of an exclusive school, then a host of high-profile residents of a Devonshire town are murdered using agonising methods, and partners DS Imogen Grey and DS Adrian Miles – both of whom have troubled pasts – battle to find a connection between the killings. The book comprises innocent victims and unrepentantly cruel, twisted villains. Murder is always wrong and we should leave justice to the law – yet some crimes cry out for revenge and demand retribution. — Aubrey Paton

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Showcasing South African authors: The 2016 Homebru Selection from Exclusive Books

The 2016 Homebru Selection from Exclusive Books

 
For the month of June Exclusive Books is celebrating great South African authors and great South African books with its 15th annual Homebru campaign.

Their selection this year includes fiction, current affairs, history and politics, cookery, business, biography, travel writing, self-help and children’s books.

 
From Exclusive Books:

Homebru: A celebration of South African authors

Since the beginning of time, storytelling has been an integral part of our continent’s people, from the stories told to us by our grandmothers; to the written word as we know it today. As South Africans, we have a rich heritage and are a diverse nation. Our stories are colorful and unique; they are a reflection of our country’s landscape.

This year, Exclusive Books celebrates 15 years of our Homebru campaign, a carefully curated list of the best in South African writing. This year’s campaign is a celebration of authors such as critically acclaimed photojournalist, Peter Magubane, with his iconic collection of photographs in his book June 16. 2016 marks the 40th anniversary of Magubane’s photographic evidence that led to South Africa’s freedom.

For investigative journalism at its best, Alex Eliseev’s Cold Case Confession delves into the mysterious Betty Ketani case; the storyline would not be out of place as a Hollywood movie.

How does one get ahead in life while having to pay “black tax” and lobola? These are some of the questions black middleclass South Africans have to ask themselves today. Writing What We Like is an in-depth collection of opinion pieces, with contributions by the likes of comedians David Kau and Loyiso Gola, writer Shaka Sisulu and singer Simphiwe Dana.

At this year’s Franschhoek Literary Festival, our CEO made an address to call to service to all those in the book trade to address issues around accessibility and the promotion of South African authors:
“It is a discordant and uncomfortable truth that bookshops do not exist in areas where the majority of our countrymen still live. We need to address this and we see it as an immediate priority. In this context particularly we should welcome the voices of young people who have highlighted our neglect of a crucial market. There is work to do – for both us and the publishers” — Benjamin Trisk, CEO, Exclusive Books

With this year’s Homebru campaign, Exclusive Books is committed to seeing this change.

Here’s the complete 2016 Homebru selection:

INVESTIGATIVE JOURNALISM

Cold Case ConfessionCold Case Confession: Unravelling the Betty Ketani Murder by Alex Eliseev

Betty Ketani, a mother of three, came to Johannesburg in search of better prospects for her family. She found work cooking at one of the city’s most popular restaurants, and then one day she mysteriously disappeared.

The storyline would not be out of place as a Hollywood movie – and it’s all completely true. Written by the reporter who broke the story,
Cold Case Confession goes behind the headlines to share exclusive material gathered during four years of investigations, including the most elusive piece of the puzzle: who would want Betty Ketani dead, and why?

EAN: 9781770103108
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BIOGRAPHY

The Sword and the PenThe Sword and the Pen: Six Decades on the Political Frontier by Allister Sparks

The Sword and the Pen is the story of how as a journalist, he observed, chronicled and participated in his country’s unfolding drama for more than 66 years, covering events from the premiership of DF Malan to the presidency of Jacob Zuma, witnessing at close range the rise and fall of apartheid and the rise and crisis of the new South Africa

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EAN: 9781868425594
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The Fires BeneathThe Fires Beneath: The Life Of Monica Wilson, South African Anthropologist by Sean Morrow

The Fires Beneath is a powerful and affecting story of love and loss. Monica Wilson, née Hunter, was the most prominent social
anthropologist of her day in South Africa, whose groundbreaking research in African communities continues to influence anthropological and ethnographic studies. With sympathetic candour this book explores a life of achievement and integrity that was also marked by tragedy

EAN: 9781776090396
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Fighting for MandelaFighting for Mandela: The Explosive Autobiography of the Woman Who Helped to Destroy Apartheid by Priscilla Jana with Barbara Jones

Priscilla Jana is a legendary figure in South African revolutionary politics. As an Indian woman who experienced racial oppression first-hand, she decided to use her degree in law to fight for the rights of her fellow people and do all she could to bring down the apartheid state. At one time she represented every single political prisoner on Robben Island, including both Nelson and Winnie Mandela. Priscilla spent her days in court, fighting human rights case after human rights case, but it was at night when her real work was done. As part of an underground cell, she fought tirelessly to bring down the hated government. This activism, however, came at a price.

EAN: 9781784189792
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What a BoykieWhat a Boykie: The John Berks Story by Robin Binckes

Pioneering modern radio in South Africa, John Berks broke new ground in radio broadcasting through his hilarious parodies of situations, phone calls to unsuspecting victims, and his ‘characters’ such as ‘Jan Sweetpak’. He developed ‘Theatre of the Mind’ and took it to new heights, with a vision to push for talk radio at a time when others said it would fail, and in doing so, changed the face of broadcasting in South Africa. Berks was a man of great humility and integrity, and this book shows how much can be achieved when the odds are stacked against you and all you have is determination, passion and an unparalleled talent for communicating.

EAN: 9781928211846
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BUSINESS

The DisruptorsThe Disruptors: Social Entrepreneurs Reinventing Business and Society by Kerryn Krige and Gus Silber

Impassioned by purpose, driven by dreams, emboldened by ideals, social entrepreneurs go out of their way to make a better world. They
shake the dust off old ways of thinking and disrupt the way business has always been done. Through tales of daring, struggle, triumph and
innovation, you’ll see the world through the eyes of a diverse range of social entrepreneurs, and learn their secrets for changing the world by changing business. From healthcare to mobile gaming, from education to recycling, from dancing to gardening, these are the game-
changers, the difference-makers, the doers of good. Here are their stories.

EAN: 9781928257172
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Black Economic EmpowermentBlack Economic Empowerment: 20 Years Later – The Baby and the Bathwater by Phinda Mzwakhe Madi

South Africa’s pioneer and foremost thinker and voice on black economic advancement, Phinda Mzwakhe Madi is back with a bang. His first book, Affirmative Action in Corporate South Africa, triggered the first wave of Affirmative Action programmes in the country. His follow-up book, Black Economic Empowerment in the New South Africa, led to the formation of the BEE Commission and eventually the creation of the country’s policy and codes of good practice. Now his third book in the trilogy, Black Economic Empowerment: 20 years later – The Baby and the Bathwater, evaluates progress so far and startles with its fresh perspective on the way forward.

EAN: 9781869225858
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CHILDREN’S

Harry The Hungry HadedaHarry The Hungry Hadeda by Ed Jordan and Alan Glass

With his long beak and handsome feathers, he’s one of Africa’s best-known fellas! Meet Harry the Hungry Hadeda, a wonderful, rather noisy, prehistoric looking bird! Join in as he digs for worms, flies the skies and wakes everybody up with his morning song, Ha Ha
Ha, Hadeda!

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EAN: 9780620587631
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Powers of the KnifePowers of the Knife by Bontle Senne

What if you discovered that you come from an ancient family of Shadow Chasers, with a duty to protect others from an evil Army of Shadows? Nom and Zithembe’s lives are turned upside down when an Army of Shadows threatens everyone close to them. It’s the beginning of a quest that takes them into the dream world, and will change their lives forever. Powers of the Knife is the first book in the Shadow Chasers trilogy. It’s an African fantasy adventure – one part family saga, one part hero’s quest.

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EAN: 9780994674456
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SnitchSnitch by Edyth Bulbring

13-Year-old Ben Smith attends St David’s, where rugby is a compulsory sport. After the annual derby against Voortrekker in which a St David’s player is severely injured and rushed to hospital, Ben inadvertently catches a glimpse of a bottle labeled Methyltestosterone in the player’s tog bag. What follows turns Ben’s life upside down. Gripping and pacy, this first-person account tackles the serious topic of steroids used by schoolkids.

EAN: 9780624077114
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I am AlexI am Alex by Elena Agnello, illustrated by Adrie le Roux

I am Alex. Today is my birthday and I’m having a party. My friends are coming, but everyone is welcome! Please come, too!

Children don’t see race, religion or disability – and nor should they have to. This little book is a universal celebration of diversity and tolerance. Also available in Afrikaans.

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EAN: 9780994690708
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KweziKwezi by Loyiso Mkize

The comic follows a narcissistic teenage boy named Kwezi as he discovers his superhuman abilities amid the daily hustle of the fictional
Gold City – a bustling metropolis modeled after Johannesburg. Portrayed as a cocky anti-hero obsessed with selfies and Twitter, Kwezi is
initially fueled by the attention from his adoring online fans, but he soon finds out that his powers come with a cultural responsibility.

Mkize describes Kwezi as “a coming of age story about finding one’s heritage.”

EAN: 9781485622727
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There Should Have Been FiveThere Should Have Been Five by Marilyn Honikman

Two children visit the Museum of Military History in Johannesburg and are intrigued by a painting of a black serviceman at the top of the stairs … there were 354,000 South Africans of all races, including 25,000 women, who volunteered to serve in South Africa’s defence force and nursing services in the fight against Hitler, the Nazis and the Italian fascists in World War II. This book tells of one of these men, Job Maseko, whose heroic deed was almost forgotten for 50 years: he managed to destroy a German vessel with a homemade bomb while imprisoned in Tobruk. Why was he not awarded the Victoria Cross for his bravery?

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EAN: 9780624076568
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Nombulelo and the MothNombulelo and the Moth by Susie Dinneen

Even though Nombulelo loves her Gogo’s stories about the animals that live in the forest, she’s too scared to go there. When Gogo dies, Nombulelo must summon her courage and take Gogo’s magical moth on a journey through the forest. This is a story of love, loss and the discovery of inner strength. Also available in Afrikaans.

EAN: 9781485900108
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AfkopAfkop by Fanie Viljoen

Trent bly hierdie naweek alleen by die huis. ‘n Aand se rowwe partytjie eindig tragies in ‘n karongeluk, en laat Trent met die moeilike keuse: wat moet hy doen met die geld wat hy by die ongelukstoneel opgetel het?

In hierdie aweregse, holdersterbolder riller vir tieners
loop dinge lelik skeefin ware Tarantino-styl. Die leser moet hare op die tande hê om kop te hou met die vinnige pas van die storie. Hierdie grinterige, vermaaklike storie is Fanie Viljoen op sy beste!

EAN: 9780799372885
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COOKERY

My Cape Malay KitchenMy Cape Malay Kitchen by Cariema Isaacs

My Cape Malay Kitchen is Cariema Isaacs’s heartfelt and poignant account of the extraordinary relationship between herself and her father and how that was reflected in their shared passion for food and cooking. She recollects all of the dishes they cooked and ate together, and shares her childhood memories of growing up in Bo-Kaap (the Cape Malay Quarter in Cape Town), lending insight into the culture, religious ceremonies and family events that have shaped the Cape Malay community into what it is today.

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EAN: 9781432305659
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JAN - A Breath of French AirJAN – A Breath of French Air by Jan Hendrik van der Westhuizen

JAN – A Breath of French Air is a memoir and celebration of the renowned eatery JAN, a South African restaurant in the south of France. The restaurant is a showcase of South Africa’s tradition of hospitality, transported from a farm in rural South Africa to the glamorous French Riviera. Jan, now a one-star Michelin restaurant, is proof that dreams can be lived and how a love for what you do can transform humble ingredients into a masterpiece. The collection of over 90 recipes covers everything from locally-baked breads to amuse bouches and mouthwatering main course meat and fish dishes

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EAN: 9781432306083
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Eat TingEat Ting: Lose Weight, Gain Health, Find Yourself by Mpho Tshukudu and Anna Trapido

Tshukudu and Trapido offer healthy eating solutions based on traditional Southern African food, and modern versions of time-honoured
favourites. From gluten-free sorghum flapjacks to salads featuring low-GI ancient grains, this book is all about great-tasting South
African superfoods. How about a modernised tshidzimba with oven-roasted tomatoes? Or an updated inhloko with spiced pumpkin salad? Perhaps a comforting bowl of classic mofokotso? It’s all here, plus many more innovative, delicious dishes that are very good for you too.

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EAN: 9781928209553
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My Little Black Recipe BookMy Little Black Recipe Book by Siphokazi Mdlankomo

In My Little Black Recipe Book, Siphokazi Mdlankomo shares her favourite recipes, from the simple scones and ginger beer her mom taught her to make many years ago, to mouth-watering braised oxtail, cinnamon cream pears and the rest of the sumptuous fare she developed on her way to the MasterChef finale.

From delicious dips and sauces, decadent desserts and easy one-dish meals to traditional favourites and sophisticated fusion food, every recipe is characterised by Siphokazi’s delightful combination of flavours and ingredients. Beautiful photographs of completed dishes will whet your appetite and have you trying out the dishes in no time.

EAN: 9781928201632
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Simply DeliciousSimply Delicious by Zola Nene

Simply Delicious is all about Zola’s culinary career told through her recipes, interspersed with snippets and perspectives of her life journey, including tributes to the people who have inspired and influenced her cooking style. Her food philosophy is very simple – cooking is for everyone. With easy-to-follow instructions, the recipes will ensure that anyone can produce mouthwatering results.

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EAN: 9781432304874
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Kook Saam KaapsKook Saam Kaaps by Koelsoem Kamalie and Flori Schrikker

Groenboontjiebredie, koolfrikkadelle, tamatiebredie, sagopoeding en broodpoeding – eerlik gemaak, sonder fieterjasies en moderne byvoegings – is die onopgesmukte huiskos waarna ons elkeen verlang. Die hartskos wat met ’n stewige dosis van ma en ouma se liefde berei is en ons instinktief laat weet dat ons tuis is.

Kook saam Kaaps, in samewerking met RSG, stel beheud die kos van Koelsoem Kamalie en Flori Schrikker, twee voorslag-kosmakers van Bonteheuwel in die Kaap. Met onfeilbare resepte, perfek beproef na jare se ondervinding, kan elkeen weer huiskos in hul eie kombuise
voorberei.

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EAN: 9780799375039
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CURRENT AFFAIRS

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Sigh The Beloved CountrySigh The Beloved Country: Braai Talk, Rock ‘n Roll and Other Stories by Bongani Madondo

Foreword by Rian Malan: With his customary flair and eye for detail, Bongani Madondo delights his readers in this essay collection with his unique take on all things South African, covering topics ranging from “Kissing and Lynching the Black Body” to “New Money Culture” and “Student Politics”, and including uniquely critical and insightful homages to our beloved country and those who call it home.

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EAN: 9781770104952
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Gang TownGang Town by Don Pinnock

Why is Cape Town one of the most violent cities on earth? What is it that makes gangs so attractive to young people? Why are drugs so easy to find and so widespread? Why are the police seemingly losing control of the crime situation? Why is it getting worse? Top-selling author Don Pinnock answers these questions in Gang Town, and looks at solutions to the problem.

Meticulously researched, Gang Town, winner of City Press/Tafelberg Nonfiction Award, offers practical remedies to the scourge of gangsterism on the Cape Flats and elsewhere.

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EAN: 9780624067894
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Continental ShiftContinental Shift: A Journey Into Africa’s Changing Fortunes by Kevin Bloom and Richard Poplak

Africa is failing. Africa is succeeding. Africa is betraying its citizens. Africa is a place of starvation, corruption, disease. African economies are soaring faster than any on Earth. Africa is turbulent. Africa is stabilising. Africa is doomed. Africa is the future.

All of these pronouncements prove equally true and false, as South African journalists Richard Poplak and Kevin Bloom discover on their 9-year road trip through the paradoxical continent they call home.

Part detective story, part report from this economic frontier, Continental Shift follows the money as it flows through Chinese coffers to international conglomerates, to heads of state, to ordinary African citizens, all of whom are intent on defining a metamorphosing continent.

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EAN: 9781868424283
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A Manifesto For Social ChangeA Manifesto For Social Change: How To Save South Africa by Moeletsi Mbeki

A Manifesto for Social Change is the third of a three-volume series that started seven years ago investigating the causes of our country’s – and the continent’s – development obstacles. Architects of Poverty: Why African Capitalism Needs Changing (2009) set out to explain what role African elites played in creating and promoting their fellow Africans’ misery.

Advocates for Change: How to Overcome Africa’s Challenges (2011) set out to show that there were short- to medium-term solutions to many of Africa’s and South Africa’s problems, from agriculture to healthcare, if only the powers that be would take note.

EAN: 9781770104976
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Writing What We LikeWriting What We Like: A New Generation Speaks edited by Yolisa Qunta

How does one get ahead in life while having to pay “black tax” and lobola? Can urban life be reconciled with traditional culture? What does it mean to be privileged and black? These are some of the questions middle-class black South Africans have to ask themselves today. This book looks at topics as wide-ranging as the Rhodes Must Fall movement, blackface in popular culture and, sexual identity and life lessons learned when taking a minibus taxi. With contributions by the likes of comedians David Kau and Loyiso Gola, writer Shaka Sisulu
and singer Simphiwe Dana.

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EAN: 9780624071808
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FICTION

The YearningThe Yearning by Mohale Mashigo

Marubini is a young woman who has an enviable life in Cape Town, working at a wine farm and spending idyllic days with her friends … until her past starts spilling into her present. Something dark has been lurking in the shadows of Marubini’s life from as far back as she can remember. It’s only a matter of time before it reaches out and grabs at her. The Yearning is a memorable exploration of the ripple effects of the past, of personal strength and courage, and of the shadowy intersections of traditional and modern worlds.

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EAN: 9781770104839
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Tjieng Tjang Tjerries and other storiesTjieng Tjang Tjerries and other stories by Jolyn Phillips

A strikingly written debut collection of vivid short stories set in and around Gansbaai, on the Western Cape coast of South Africa.

“An impressive debut that brings across voices never heard before in South African English – not only in rhythm and timbre, but plumbing
the unspoken. With such a remarkable ear, Jolyn Phillips is a young writer to watch.” – Antjie Krog

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EAN: 9781928215172
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Dutch CourageDutch Courage by Paige Nick

Grace Hendriks has led a pretty sheltered life. So when her sister Natalie begs her to take her place as a Rihanna impersonator at a club in Amsterdam, no alarm bells go off … until she finds herself onstage with only a pole for support and her knickers in a knot. Thrown into strip-club life, and forced to share an apartment with an exotic troupe of impersonating divas with Lady Gaga-sized egos, Grace has to learn some hard lessons fast, such as transformations don’t happen overnight – especially when your bra is determined to sabotage your dance routine.

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EAN: 9781415207703
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AffluenzaAffluenza by Niq Mhlongo

Affluenza is a new collection of short stories. In his characteristically humorous and piercing style, Mhlongo writes about the span of our democracy and the madness of the last twenty years after apartheid: his short stories address issues such as crime, xenophobia, racism, homophobia, the new black elite, and land redistribution. The stories have been published to critical acclaim in France, Spain, Germany, Italy and in the USA but remain largely unknown in South Africa.

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EAN: 9780795706967
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Gold Never RustsGold Never Rusts by Paul-Constant Smit

It is 998 BC. The Queen of Sheba sends an expedition down the east coast of Africa, but it comes to grief. Many years later, while roaming the vast subcontinent, a castaway from one of Vasco Da Gama’s ships finds the ancient records of the expedition, but dies before he can use them. During the 1880s gold rush in the Transvaal, American mining engineer Con Slaughter stumbles across the records while fleeing a gang of robbers. He strikes it rich on the Barberton gold fields, but soon assassins are after him. Also available in Afrikaans.

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EAN: 9781485903222
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Chasing The Tails of My Father’s CattleChasing The Tails of My Father’s Cattle by Sindiwe Magona

This is the story of Shumikazi, the only surviving child of Jojo and Miseka. She grows up in a small village in the remote Eastern Cape during the days of white rule – from the outside, an apparently unremarkable life. And yet Shumi is marked for extraordinary things from the moment of her birth. Wry, tragic, funny, scathing, this rich new novel from one of South Africa’s most beloved storytellers is not only a powerful meditation on the vulnerability of rural women, it is also a series of overlapping love stories – above all, the love a father has for his daughter.

EAN: 9780994677006
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NwelezelangaNwelezelanga: The Star Child by Unathi Magubeni

Nwelezelanga, The Star Child travels a magical and spiritual journey that merges the ancestral realms with contemporary realities. It is a story of an ancestral spirit that is born through Nwelezelanga, who is tasked with the purpose to pass on messages from the beyond; a divine responsibility given to children of the star.

With an assured voice and eloquent prose, Magubeni invites us into the life of this extraordinary being, Nwelezelanga, the child who should not have been, contrasting the themes of darkness and light, embracing the unknown and unseen in a way no one else has – or can.

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EAN: 9781928337249
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SlaafsSlaafs by Bettina Wyngaard

‘n Dag in die lewe van drie speurders van die Khayelitsha-polisiestasie is nie paintball speel nie. Vra maar vir kaptein Nicci de Wee,
“Ounooi” soos haar kollega Blackie haar noem. Haar priestervriendin Sally sal dit beaam en so ook Peters, wat skaars sy oë van Nicci kan afhou.

Want in Khayelitsha is die Jane Does volop: daardie vroueslagoffers wat so sonder naam op die staatspatoloog se outopsietafel beland. Maar waarom was daar vreemde vesels in die keel van ’n meisie wat aan ’n oordosis sterf, en hoekom het sy en ’n tweede slagoffer dieselfde tatoeëermerk?

Weldra daal Nicci en haar kollegas af in die donker onderwêreld van mensehandel, begelei deur die enigmatiese (en verleidelike) doktor Gigi Gerber, kenner op die gebied van slawesindikate. En heeltyd, in die agtergrond, staan al die kwesbare, ontwortelde mense van die wêreld.

Die speurspan in Bettina Wyngaard se nuwe riller is mense van vlees en bloed wat diep voel, in intense verhoudinge tot mekaar staan, liefhet, verliese ly en die hart aangryp.

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EAN: 9781415207536
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Die Formidabele Ling HoDie Formidabele Ling Ho by Johan Kruger

Kansvatter Willem Landman doen hom voor as Ling Ho: opperste towenaar en showman. Van skoolsaal na kerksaal na landbousaal reis Willem, sy assistent en sy kat in hul bakkie, gevolg deur ’n karavaan, gevolg deur ’n Ventertjie, oor die grasvelde van Mpumalanga, waar Willem-hulle ’n biblioteekwa raakloop. Tussen Willem en die bibliotekaresse is daar ’n vonkie, maar daar is ook ’n storm in aankoms … Die Formidabele Ling Ho steek die draak met allerlei swaarwigtige Suid-Afrikaase werklikhede, met skreeusnaakse gevolge!

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EAN: 9781415201756
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SA HISTORY & POLITICS

Fordsburg FighterFordsburg Fighter: The journey of an MK volunteer by Amin Cajee and Terry Bell

When Amin Cajee left South Africa to join the liberation struggle, he believed he had volunteered to serve “a democratic movement dedicated to bringing down an oppressive and racist regime”. Instead, he writes, in this powerful and courageous memoir, “I found myself serving a movement that was relentless in exercising power and riddled with corruption”.

Fordsburg Fighter traces an extraordinary physical journey – from home in South Africa, to training in Czechoslovakia and the ANC’s Kongwa camp in Tanzania, to England. The book is both a significant contribution to opening up the hidden history of exile, and a documentation of Cajee’s emotional odyssey from idealism to disillusionment.

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EAN: 9780994674425
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June 16June 16 by Peter Magubane

2016 Marks the 40th anniversary of Peter Magubane’s historic photographic evidence that led to South Africa’s freedom. With over 130 iconic photographs, this is one of the most important works of contemporary Africana to appear in the last two decades.

Foreword by Winnie Madikizela-Mandela.

EAN: 9780994677082
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Umkhonto we SizweUmkhonto we Sizwe: The ANC’s Armed Struggle by Thula Simpson

The armed struggle waged by the ANC’s military wing, Umkhonto we Sizwe (MK), was the longest sustained insurgency in South African history. This book offers the first full account of the rebellion in its entirety, from its early days in the 1950s to the inauguration of Nelson Mandela as South African president in 1994.

Written in a fresh, immediate style, Umkhonto we Sizwe is an honest account of the armed struggle and a fascinating chronicle of events that changed South African history.

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EAN: 9781770228412
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Dr Philip's EmpireDr Philip’s Empire: One Man’s Struggle for Justice in Nineteenth-Century South Africa by Tim Keegan

From the time he arrived in South Africa as superintendent of the London Missionary Society in 1819, Dr John Philip played a major role in the idealist and humanitarian campaigns of the day, working with English philanthropists such as William Wilberforce and Thomas Fowell Buxton and African leaders such as Waterboer, Moshoeshoe and Maqoma. He was a creature of an age of extraordinary optimism, who held out a vision of non-racialism and progress that needs to be rediscovered and remembered.

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EAN: 9781770227101
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Is it Just Me or is Everything Kak?Is it Just Me or is Everything Kak?: The Zuma Years by Tim Richman

It’s time once again to cry the beloved country, because ever since Alan Paton wrote his upbeat little book, South Africans have been taking his advice to heart: whinging and moaning about the state of the nation at regular intervals. And though we thought we’d got it all off our chests in the late 2000s with the original Is it Just Me or is Everything Kak? series, well, it’s back on our chests, isn’t it?

This is a book that unites South Africans in their misery and allows us to laugh it off. Just in time for the national elections, of course!

EAN: 9781928230335
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SELF DEVELOPMENT

The Goddess Mojo BootcampThe Goddess Mojo Bootcamp by Kagiso Msimango

This book is for women who want authentic relationships, not those who are interested in learning how to manipulate men in order to get a ring on their finger. It’s for women who desire happy, healthy relationships in their lives. Central to this empowering book is loving yourself and feeling good about yourself. It teaches you how to attract a healthy relationship, through falling in love with yourself and your life.

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EAN: 9781920601683
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TRAVEL & TRAVEL WRITING

Blacks Do CaravanBlacks Do Caravan by Fikile Hlatshwayo

When her husband and children broke the news that they were planning a countrywide caravanning adventure, Fikile was adamant that “Blacks don’t caravan!” But faced with the prospect of being abandoned at home she put aside her preconceptions, put on her sunhat and started reading up on the way of the wild. What followed was an eye-opening, mind-changing trip of a lifetime. Fikile and her family visited over
25 caravan parks, covered over 10,000 kilometres, and traversed all nine provinces on their adventure.

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EAN: 9781431423774
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