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Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Nal’ibali adds two more South African languages to their literacy newspaper supplements

Via Nal’ibali

Nal’ibali – South Africa’s national reading-for-enjoyment campaign – is proud to be adding two more South African languages to their literacy newspaper supplements. Setswana and Xitsonga readers can now enjoy the Nal’ibali supplements in their mother languages from mid-April 2018. This latest addition brings the total number of languages to eight, for Nal’ibali’s bilingual supplements. It is a significant milestone for Nal’ibali, who fully promotes reading and writing in mother languages.

The supplements are made possible through a media partnership with Tiso Blackstar (formerly Times Media Group), who produce the bilingual newspaper supplements every two weeks, during term time. The print rich material includes stories, literacy activities, reading and reading club tips and support, to inspire and guide parents, caregivers, teachers, librarians and reading clubs, to make reading and storytelling meaningful, enjoyable and accessible.

“The importance of mother language preservation and promotion is critical and should be addressed as such,” explains Nal’ibali Xitsonga language editor, Mr Gezani Chabalala, who believes language, culture and identity are inseparable and complement each other. Language assists in shaping one’s culture. It is important to preserve and promote mother tongue for the language’s continued existence, and as a minority language in SA, Xitsonga speakers will benefit from this milestone. People learn and understand better when lessons are conducted in a language they know and understand well, concludes Chabalala.

Nal’ibali places value on the power of language and cultural relevance in literacy development. To cultivate a reading culture and a nation that prides itself on high-level literacy, all children and adults need to understand what they are listening to and reading. Real understanding makes it meaningful and enjoyable which is significant for raising readers.

“I would like to commend Nal’ibali for giving the Batswana children, and children of other languages, an opportunity to read interesting stories in their own language! It is a great effort towards ensuring we cultivate a culture of reading in our children, at the same time preserving our language. In my opinion, children who can write and read in their language can easily learn other languages. Through storytelling, with special reference to Setswana, our language and culture will be hugely promoted, as Nal’ibali urges children to interact with others, to use their imagination and to learn from these stories” says Opelo Thole, Nal’ibali Setswana language editor.

Several Tiso Blackstar titles distribute 147,600 reading-for-enjoyment supplements fortnightly in the following language combinations, available during school term time only:

• Sunday World (North West Province) – English and Setswana – Sundays
• English and Xitsonga supplements will be available at selected SA Post Offices and reading clubs in Limpopo
• Sunday Times Express (Western Cape) – English and isiXhosa – Sundays
• Sunday World (KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng) – English and isiZulu – Sundays
• Sunday World (Free State) – English and Sesotho – Sundays
• Sunday World (Limpopo) – English and Sepedi – Sundays
• The Herald (Thursdays) and Daily Dispatch (Tuesdays) (Eastern Cape) – English and isiXhosa.

Each week, 53 000 supplements are also distributed free of charge through Tiso Blackstar Education directly to reading clubs, community organisations, libraries, schools and other partners in the Eastern Cape, Western Cape, Gauteng, Free State, Limpopo, North West and KwaZulu-Natal. A limited number of free supplements will be available at select post offices in Limpopo and North West. Visit Nal’ibali’s website to see a list of these post offices.

To download digital copies of the supplements and more information about the Nal’ibali reading-for-enjoyment campaign, free children’s stories in a range of SA languages, tips on reading and writing with children, details on how to set up a reading club or to request training, visit www.nalibali.org, www.nalibali.mobi, or find them on Facebook and Twitter..


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Book Bites: 25 March

Published in the Sunday Times

A Moonless, Starless Sky: Ordinary Women and Men Fighting Extremism in Africa
****
Alexis Okeowo, Corsair, R315

Okeowo, an American-Nigerian New Yorker staffer, set off to better know the vastness of the continent of Africa and the people who are bravely fighting fundamentalism. She believed, “If I wanted readers to understand that the people I interviewed were not that different from them, I needed to practise empathy while writing.” This led to her pursuing four in-depth stories: a Ugandan couple who were kidnapping victims of Joseph Kony’s LRA; a Mauritanian who devoted his life to fighting slavery; two people who were affected by Boko Haram in Nigeria; and the brave girls and women who risk their lives by continuing to play basketball in Somalia. An emotionally tough read, yet beautifully done. Tiah Beautement @ms_tiahmarie

The Blind *****
AF Brady, HarperCollins, R295

Sam James is a well-known psychologist at a psychiatric institution in New York. Richard is a difficult patient who nobody wants to treat but Sam is unfortunately assigned to him. Through Richard and his sordid history, Sam confronts her own demons, something she has always avoided. At the same time, Richard is moving from patient to counsellor, but only one person will walk away healed. Its clever plot and constant thrills will throw any reader off balance, but that is what makes this book a must-read. Jessica Levitt @jesslevitt

The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle *****
Stuart Turton, Bloomsbury, R295

Tweeds, dinner jackets, valets and butlers, crystal stemware and a murder mystery with a small cast of characters in a once magnificent 1920s country house in England. It’s a few years after WW1, and the Hardcastle family have a masquerade ball to celebrate their children Evelyn and Michael. But Evelyn is murdered and the mysterious protagonist Aiden Bishop has to find the killer. He is in a time loop and lives the day over and over by inhabiting different guests to solve the murder. It’s a wacko plot, but Turton delivers a well-constructed concept and a refreshing read. Jennifer Platt @Jenniferdplatt

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The Single Story Foundation is calling for submissions!

Via The Single Story Foundation

TSSF Journal seeks well-crafted stories about Africa, Africans, and African issues in all genres from writers of African descents or those associated with Africa. Send your poetry, fiction, and creative non-fiction to journal@singlestory[dot]org. Email title should be: TSSF Journal: [Work Name], [category].

We accept all kinds of stories, whether genre or literary. Send us your speculative, thrillers, romance, comedy, Sci-Fi, magical realism, contemporary, historical, history, mystery, adventure, fantasy, etc. stories and poems.

We do not offer a specific theme to adhere to. Therefore we would like a plethora of stories that deal with different themes. Don’t be afraid to send us stories that deal with chronic illnesses, disability, LGBTQI issues, depression, and anxiety, etc.

We welcome any story or poem, in any category or subject as long as it isn’t racist, sexist, or promoting hatred. We believe that anything, from speculative fiction to romance, to a queer space opera, can be a wonderfully well-written story or poem.

Submission should be sent as a .doc or .rtf attachment, one single document. Failure to adhere to this will result in rejection. Also, entries submitted in the body of the email will not be accepted. Your contact information, such as your name, address, phone, and email, should be in the body of the email. Your bio should also be included in the body of the email.

TSSF Journal is published yearly. We read year-round, so it is not uncommon for a decision to take up to 6 months. If you have not heard from us since the initial confirmation email, please assume your submission is still under consideration. Please, do not send new work until we call for it.

We do not accept simultaneous or previously published works. Do not send us multiple submissions. TSSF Journal will only accept one submission at a time from an author. We will automatically decline any additional submissions. We accept email submissions only. There is no submission fee. At this time, we do not pay our contributors.

Click here for the submission guidelines.


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Book Bites: 18 March

Published in the Sunday Times

White Bodies
*****
Jane Robins, HarperCollins, R285

Callie and Tilda are sisters but their relationship has always been strained. Tilda is the famous actress and has found love with the gorgeous Felix. But she keeps hinting that things between them are not great and Callie takes it upon herself to protect her sister. What she finds is sinister and leads to a web of abuse, online blogs and multiple deaths. You think you know how it’s going to end, but you don’t. With each page there is a new twist and all is not as it seems. Even Callie is surprised at the way things turn out. Who killed who and just how far will these sisters go to help each other? Jessica Levitt @jesslevitt

Heartbreaker
****
James-Brent Styan, Jonathan Ball Publishers, R240

What makes this biography of Christiaan Barnard so interesting is that it demonstrates how Barnard’s work fits into the worldwide scientific community, then and now. This includes interesting trivia; such as Barnard was not the first to attempt a heart transplant. It was Tom Hardy, an American, who put a chimpanzee’s heart into a 68-year-old man (he died 90 minutes later). But the most alarming take away is Styan’s insight to how access to heart operations for South Africa’s underprivileged is rapidly declining. This is despite the fact that, “in South Africa, heart disease is the leading cause of death among children under the age of 5”. Tiah Beautement @ms_tiahmarie

Now We are Dead
****
Stuart MacBride, HarperCollins, R285

MacBride is one of the most acclaimed of the “Tartan Noir” writers, as no one does grim, grizzly and gruesome like him. But his most popular character is neither the noble Logan McRae nor the tough Ash Henderson, but sloppy, demanding, foul-mouthed Roberta Steel. From being the comic relief in some of the tales, Steel now has a book of her own – and long overdue. Demoted from chief inspector to sergeant for framing a rapist, she is partnered with long-suffering detective constable “Tufty” Quirrel. Loan sharks, rapists, paedophiles, graffiti artists and shit-throwing protesters, all are grist to their mill. Not as violent as MacBride’s other books, but what it lacks in thrills it makes up for in laughs. Aubrey Paton

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Programme for the 2018 Franschhoek Literary Festival announced!

The quaint Western Cape town of Franschhoek will be accommodating South Africa’s literary greats from Friday 18 May to Sunday 20 May.

This annual literary festival’s 2018 line-up includes discussions ranging from the André P Brink memorial wherein Elinor Sisulu will focus on the life and times of Ahmed Kathrada, with an introduction by Karina Szczurek (The Fifth Mrs Brink); a panel discussion on what feminism looks like in 2018, featuring discussants Mohale Mashigo (The Yearning), Jen Thorpe (Feminism Is), Helen Moffett (Feminism Is) and social commentator and public speaker Tshegofatso Senne; and Jacques Pauw (The President’s Keepers) and Jan-Jan Joubert (Who Will Rule in 2019?) deliberating whether there’s a ‘recipe’ for an ideal South African president with international relations scholar Oscar van Heerden.

And that’s just day one!

Find the full programme here.

The Fifth Mrs Brink

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The Yearning

 
 
 
Feminism Is

 
 
 
 
The President's Keeper

 
 
 
 
Who Will Rule in 2019?


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Book Bites: 11 March

Published in the Sunday Times

The Twinkling of an Eye: A Mother’s Journey
*****
Sue Brown, Human & Rousseau, R230

The Browns are an ordinary family. They have two lovely children (Meg and Craig), good friends, and a home that welcomed others. They also have a ghastly cuckoo in the nest, a life-threatening tumour that was discovered in Craig’s brain when he was 12. His mother wrote this book after his death. The story is horrifyingly accurate. She spares no one in the telling of it. This is an unflinching book about a cruel death, but one that puts living at the centre of death. Jennifer Crocker @malleson30

Our Hearts Will Burn Us Down
***
Anne Valente, William Morrow, R250

Valente takes you down the bloodied school corridor, under the desks in the classrooms, to the back of stacks in the library as Caleb Raynor guns down 28 of his fellow students, three teachers, three staff members and one principal. This is on October 8 2003 at 9:04am. This is fiction but seems very real (none of the teachers have guns). The part that does not feel real is that this is not the only tragedy to face the small town in St Louis. Three days after the shooting, the houses of the families of the victims start burning down. Jennifer Platt @Jenniferdplatt

The Wanderers
****
Meg Howrey, Simon & Schuster, R220

Three Nasa astronauts are chosen for a mission to Mars which will make them the first people on the Red Planet. Helen is a veteran astronaut with a complicated relationship with her daughter, Sergei is on the verge of divorce and Yoshi is trying to reach out to his distant wife. Why are they doing it? How will their significant others cope with their absence? A nuanced tale of adventure, terror and the complex emotional challenges of journeying to the outer limits as well as within. Nikki Temkin @NikkiTemkin

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Aspiring children’s book illustrator? Apply for a paid internship!


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Open Box Library Project 2018

Open Book Festival has been committed to driving a love of books and reading amongst learners since its inception. Fundamental to this has been the Open Book School Library Project which has seen us put libraries into Matthew Goniwe Memorial High School, Parkhurst Primary and Westridge High School. The experience is one that has been hugely rewarding but which has also come with its own challenges.

As with all aspects of Open Book, we are constantly looking for ways to do things better and it is with this in mind that we reworked the library project to come up with something that doesn’t overwhelm, doesn’t require additional staff or space and which can be kept up to date with relatively little money. Welcome to Open Box! These mini mobile libraries are placed in classrooms, allowing teachers and learners access to the resource through the day.

St Mary’s Primary School
Located in the Cape Town CBD, St Mary’s Primary was ideally suited to be our pilot for the Open Box Project. Teachers showed huge interest in having access to books through the day in their classrooms, the school is within walking distance of the Book Lounge (which is closely associated with Open Book Festival) and learners at the school come predominantly from disenfranchised communities.

2015 – 2017:
2015 saw us piloting the Open Box project and we are delighted with how it worked. In total we placed 3 boxes at St Mary’s Primary and they are now in daily use in the Grade R, 1 and 2 classrooms. In 2016, we placed an additional 3 boxes in the Grade 3, 4 and 5 classrooms and in 2017, we placed boxes in the Grade 6 and 7 classrooms. The boxes include books, games, materials for activities and other resources that are relevant to both teachers and learners. Tied to the boxes, were the events we ran there through the year, from readings and activities through to author visits.

Selection Process:
We include at least 5 books per learner in each box. We meet with teachers ahead of purchasing so that they can outline the kinds of books that will best suit them, both in terms of their curricula and challenges faced by their learners. Those conversations enable us to stock each box with titles most relevant to both learners and teachers. The titles include a mix of fiction and non-fiction titles as well as books in different languages and aimed at different reading ages.

2018:
While we have completed the box handovers at St Mary’s, our relationship with them will continue and where possible we will organise events for learners. The focus of Open Box though will shift and we identified Siyazingisa Primary School in Gugulethu as the school we are working with for the next few years. The school is part of the same circuit as St Mary’s (Circuit 2).

The principal is Mrs Nonkonyana. She has been based at the school for over 20 years and is excited to be working with us on this. There are 3 Grade R classes and those will be our starting point. We met with the principal and teachers at the end of 2017 to discuss what books would be most relevant to their classrooms and we will be working on getting those together in the coming months. There are roughly 35 learners in each class and we will be aiming for a 5:1 ratio of books to learners. Ideally the majority of those books will be in isiXhosa.

The proposed dates for the handovers are:
23 April 2018: 3 boxes handed over with partial supply of books to each box
7 June 2018: Partial supply of books to each box
31 July 2018: Final supply of books to each box
The dates listed above may change. Each of the handovers will be linked to storytelling

Contact Frankie Murrey (Open Book Festival coordinator) for more information: +27 82 958 7332 / frankie@openbookfestival.co.za


 

 

 

 


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Headlining authors for the 21st Time of the Writer International Festival announced!

Compiled by TOW

Fifteen authors from across Africa and the world are coming to Durban during this year’s 21st Time of the Writer International Festival that is set to take place from 12 – 17 March 2018. The writers convene under this year’s theme of “Changing the Narrative” and will engage with this notion as it relates to their work and the direction in which literature is moving towards in this context.

Announcing this year’s line-up, the Acting-Director of the CCA, Ms. Chipo Zhou said:

We are very excited to be hosting Time of the Writer yet again and celebrating the diverse voices that make up our African literary continent. The CCA is grateful for the support from our various stakeholders, without which this festival would not be possible. In an ever changing global village, the backing of the literary giants in attendance this year, is most humbling, 21 years on. We look forward to an intellectually engaging event that will entertain and challenge our creativity.

Program and Ticket Sales

This 21st edition of Time of the Writer will consist of a day program that is hosted in four community libraries (Austerville, Westville, Chesterville Extension and Tongaat), art centres and schools around eThekwini where workshops and panel discussions will take place. In the evening panel discussions will be hosted at the Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre at University of KwaZulu Natal, Howard College. The full program will be released on the social media channels of the festival. Tickets for the evening program are available on Computicket, however the day program is free of charge.

Theme: Changing the Narrative

Ms. Chipo Zhou, Acting-Director of festival organiser CCA, said: “Nelson Mandela once said: “The education I received was a British education, in which British ideas, British culture, British institutions, were automatically assumed to be superior. There was no such thing as African culture.” A very sad statement which to a great extent, even now, speaks the reality that is our education system in Africa. A new generation of scholars is on the rise, demanding recognition of the African intellect and its contribution to literature, an “African Renaissance” if you will. We cannot rewrite history, but we can question and maybe alter it. And most definitely, we will write the future. In the words of Kakwe Kasoma, it is time to correct this colonial hangover. As we celebrate Mandela’s centenary year, it is our hope that we can reflect fairly on this history and begin a new chapter as we own our stories and change the narrative.”

Meeting established and upcoming writers

Fifteen writers will participate during Time of the Writer 2018:

  • Award winning creative author, Ayọ̀bámi Adébáyọ̀, from Nigeria;
  • Experimental author, Jennipher M. Zulu, from Zambia;
  • Dynamic author, Kafula Mwila, from Zambia;
  • Poet, performance master and author of 12 books, Lesego Rampolokeng, from Johannesburg, South Africa;
  • Gritty and intense author, Luka Mwango, from Zambia;
  • Author, award-winning filmmaker, recording artist, and distinguished professor, MK Asante, from the USA;
  • Best-selling author, Refiloe Moahloli, from Mthatha, South Africa;
  • Outspoken political commentator, scholar and musician, Sizwe Mpofu-Walsh, from Johannesburg, South Africa;
  • isiZulu, short story and children’s author, Themba Qwabe from Durban, South Africa;
  • Unathi Slasha who reimagines and subverts Nguni folklore to write the unlanguaged world that is South Africa today, from Port Elizabeth, South Africa;
  • Award winning novelist and short story writer, Yewande Omotoso, born in Barbados, raised in Nigeria and based Cape Town, South Africa;
  • Novelist, journalist, poet and academic, Alain Mabanckou, born in Congo, based in France;
  • Professor of political economy, Patrick Bond, from Johannesburg, South Africa, born in Belfast, Northern Ireland;
  • Author, politician, diplomat, poet, academic, journalist, and cultural activist Lindiwe Mabuza from Newcastle, South Africa
  • Author of the University of Johannesburg Debut Fiction Prize winning novel The Yearning, Mohale Mashigo, from Soweto, Johannesburg, South Africa.

Six days of literature, books, panel discussions and workshops

Time of the Writer starts on Monday evening 12 March at the Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre with an opening night that introduces all participating writers of the festival.

Key elements of the festival are the other evenings at the Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre that highlight some of the participants and engages them in a panel discussion.

As part of the day programs the writers will be visiting various art centres and community libraries, which include The George Campbell Museum, Mangosuthu University of Technology in Umlazi and Luthuli Museum in Groutville for various panel discussions and workshops.

This year’s festival offers a special focus on children’s literature, which will see a storytelling session on Saturday 17 March and panel discussions around that during the week facilitated by Dr Gcina Mhlophe. On Saturday 17 March Dr Lindiwe Mabuza will be launching two children’s books.

Young Talent

High school learners are encouraged to submit their short stories for the annual short story competition held in conjunction with Time of the Writer Festival. The competition aims to encourage creative expression in young people while functioning as a springboard for the future writers of South Africa. With the festival’s long standing commitment toward nurturing a culture of reading and writing, this competition has received a wide appeal that continues to grow with each edition of the festival. Winners will be awarded with cash prices, book vouchers and festival tickets.

Meet the writers and get your books signed

Adams Book Shop will host a pop-up bookshop at the foyer of the Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre with new and older work of the participating authors. Many of the participating writers will be available to sign books.

Various book launches will take place during the festival, details will be announced closer to the festival.

Time of the Writer is presented by the Centre for Creative Arts (University of KwaZulu-Natal), the 21st Time of the Writer is made possible by support from eThekwini Municipality, National Department of Arts and Culture, National Arts Council and Alliance Française Durban. The Centre for Creative Arts is housed in the School of Arts, College of Humanities at the University of KwaZulu-Natal.


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Hartpionier by die Woordfees

Christiaan Barnard is ’n naam wat almal dadelik herken. Ná die geskiedkundige eerste hartoorplanting, 50 jaar gelde, was sy naam op almal se lippe en in al die media. Sy navorsing lei tot tegnieke wat steeds wêreldwyd gebruik word en sy roem verseker dat hy ʼn permanente plek in geskiedenisboeke het.

Wat minder bekend is, is die rol wat sy navorsingspan in die lewe (en internasionale aansien) van die hartchirurg gespeel het. Daar was dokters en tegnici wat nooit erkenning gekry het vir hul werk nie en daar was verpleegsters en susters van wie net die pasiënte geweet het. En daar was Winston Wicomb, die Volkswagen-werktuigkundige wat uit die bloute aangestel is om beheer van Barnard se navorsingslaboratorium oor te neem.

Winston, die jonger en donkerder broer van die meer bekende Randall, se lewensverhaal lees soos ’n moderne sprokie. As kind moes hy telkens agter sy ma se laaikas wegkruip as iemand aan hul deur geklop het. Terwyl die res van die gesin die apartheidsinspekteurs kon flous, was die arme Winston baie duidelik nie ‘suiwer blank’ nie. Die familie se pogings om die twee seuns as ‘wit’ geklassifiseer te kry, het veroorsaak dat beide Winston en Randall se geboortedatums aangepas was. En al het Winston uiteindelik op papier ‘blanke’ status verkry, het sy voorkoms enige hoop op vaste werk gekortwiek.

Amos van der Merwe beskryf Winston se jeug in Vital Remains, the Story of the Coloured Boy behind the Wardrobe. Die verhaal herinner die leser wel aan die werklikhede van apartheid, maar is deurspek met humor en deernis. Vital Remains is ’n eerlike weergawe van ’n gekleurde seun se ervarings in die 60’s en 70’s, sonder om die storielyn met politiek te besoedel.

Winston se verhaal is uitsonderlik. Hy herleef sy kinderjare en sy vroeë drome om mediese geskiedenis te maak. Hy vertel van sy pogings om universiteitstoelating te kry en die ironie daarvan dat hy, as sogenaamde nie-blanke, diensplig moes doen. Geld en werk was altyd ’n probleem en derhalwe verkoop hy ensiklopedieë, werk in ’n klerewinkel, word betaalmeester op die hawe en oes oë in die lykshuis. Hy word uiteindelik toegelaat om in te skryf vir ’n BSc-kursus by UCT, maar selfs met hierdie graad bly hy werkloos weens sy velkleur. Noodgedwonge moet hy terugval op sy ou stokperdjie: Om Volkswagens in sy agterplaas te diens en herstel.

Terwyl hy pamflette op die universiteitskampus uitdeel om hierdie dienste te adverteer, merk hy die goue Mercedes langs die pad staan. Die lenige figuur van Chris Barnard langs die voertuig is ’n prentjie van moedeloosheid en Winston gryp die kans aan om die hartman te hulp te snel. ’n Week later is hy in bevel van Barnard se navorsingslaboratorium en dis hier waar Winston uiteindelik mediese geskiedenis maak. Hy ontwerp en bou ’n apparaat om harte mee te vervoer – maar gaan dit werk? Dit is egter nie waar hierdie ongelooflike storie eindig nie.

Vital Remains is ’n storie van hoop, liefde en deursettingsvermoë. Dit vertel van toeval, rebellie, onwaarskynlike gebeure en onlogiese gevolge – soos dit in almal se lewens soms gebeur. Feite is voorwaar vreemder as fiksie! Dis ’n verhaal om te koester as ’n kosbare stukkie geskiedenis, maar ook as ’n aanmoediging vir gewone mense om bo politiek uit te styg en in hulself te glo.

Die Woordfees is dus trots om Winston en die skrywer van Vital Remains kans te gee om met Hanlie Retief oor die boek te gesels by Die Boeketent, om 15h30 op 6 Maart 2018. Winston, wat sy navorsing in die VSA voortgesit het en sodoende ’n bekende in internasionale wetenskaplike kringe geword het, reis spesiaal van Seattle om die geleentheid by te woon.

Vital Remains word uitgegee deur Naledi en is beskikbaar by www.naledi.online.

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