Books LIVE Community Sign up

Login to BooksLIVE

Forgotten password?

Forgotten your password?

Enter your username or email address and we'll send you reset instructions

Books LIVE

Archive for the ‘Politics’ Category

Shireen Hassim to Join Wits Institute for Social and Economical Research

The Wits Institute for Social and Economical Research (WiSER) has announced that Professor Shireen Hassim will be joining the Institute for the next three years.

Hassim is the author of The ANC Women’s League: A Jacana Pocket History (Jacana) and Women’s Organizations and Democracy in South Africa: Contesting Authority, and the co-editor of Go Home or Die Here: Violence, Xenophobia and the Reinvention of Difference in South Africa (Wits University Press).

Hassim is currently working on another project entitled Contingency and Uncertainty: Working with and Against the State in South Africa.

The statement issued by WiSER reads: “We look forward with much energy and joy to working with Shireen in our Medical Humanities programme, on our Public Positions series, and numerous intellectual projects on feminism, gender, and the politics of the University.”

Women's Organizations and Democracy in South AfricaThe ANC Women's LeagueGo Home or Die Here


Press release:

WiSER is delighted to announce that Professor Shireen Hassim will join the Institute for a period of three years, on secondment from the Department of Political Studies at Wits. Shireen has a distinguished career as a Professor of Politics with a rich and widely recognised body of work on feminist theory and politics, social movements and collective action, the politics of representation and affirmative action, and social policy. She is co-editor of many books and author of Women’s Organizations and Democracy in South Africa: Contesting Authority (2006), which won the 2007 American Political Science Association’s Victoria Shuck Award for best book on women and politics.

Shireen’s new book project is entitled Contingency and Uncertainty: Working with and Against the State in South Africa. It is an attempt to theorise why and how it is that various feminist claims on the state are so easily incorporated without significant impact on the underlying power relations in the state, and between state and society. Other new work considers ways in which categories of citizenship rest on a binary conception of gender, and the ways in which addressing embodied claims (such as the recognition claims of intersex and transgender people) has shifted law and state into territories not conceived of by feminist activists or the state.

We deeply value Shireen’s many contributions to the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, to institutional struggles at Wits, and to University leadership both here and nationally. We look forward with much energy and joy to working with Shireen in our Medical Humanities programme, on our Public Positions series, and numerous intellectual projects on feminism, gender, and the politics of the University.


Book details

Image courtesy of the Stellenbosch Institute for Advanced Study

» read article

7 South Africans Make the 2015 Morland Writing Scholarships Shortlist

Alert! The Miles Morland Foundation has announced the shortlist for the 2015 Morland Writing Scholarships, including seven South Africans.

21 applicants have made the shortlist, including six from Nigeria, three from Ghana, two from Uganda, and one each from Zimbabwe, Egypt and Sudan.

The foundation received 345 entries this year. Michela Wrong, literary director, said, “This was fewer than last year but I felt the overall standard was higher.

“Now that the scholarships are better known we are attracting some of the best African writers. Some of the entries left me almost breathless. I am confident our four scholarships will yield four outstanding books.”

Wrong added, however, that the foundation was disappointed not to receive entries from a greater variety of African countries.

“There are many talented writers in Tanzania, Sierra Leone, Ethiopia, Somalia, Kenya and other countries,” she said. “We did have entries from them but none that made the shortlist. We would encourage people writing in English from all over Africa to apply in future years.”

2015 Morland Writing Scholarships shortlist

Fatin Abbas (Sudan)
Ayobami Adebayo (Nigeria)
Ayesha Harruna Attah (Ghana)
Nana Ekua Brew-Hammond (Ghana)
Kurt Ellis (South Africa)
Akwaeke Emezi (Nigeria)
Amy Heydenrych (South Africa)
Mishka Hoosen (South Africa)
Karen Jennings (South Africa)
Beatrice Lamwaka (Uganda)
Kopano Mabaso (South Africa)
Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi (Uganda)
Kagiso Lesego Molope (South Africa)
Cheryl Ntumy (Ghana)
Bolaji Odofin (Nigeria)
Mary Ononokpono (Nigeria)
Ladi Opaluwa (Nigeria)
Megan Ross (South Africa)
Noo Saro-Wiwa (Nigeria)
Wiam El-Tamami (Egypt)
Blessing-Miles Tendi (Zimbabwe)

By Any MeansFinding SoutbekCoconutSpilt MilkDancing in the DustKintu
Powder NecklaceSaturday's ShadowsLooking for Transwonderland Making History in Mugabe's Zimbabwe

It is a big month for Kurt Ellis, whose book By Any Means was recently longlisted for the Etisalat Prize for Literature.

Karen Jennings is the author of Finding Soutbek, which was shortlisted for the 2013 Etisalat Prize, and a short story collection, Away from the Dead.

Kopano Mabaso’s Coconut (as Kopano Matlwa) achieved instant legend status when it was published in 2008. Mabaso followed that up with Spilt Milk in 2010.

Kagiso Lesego Molope is the author of Dancing in the Dust.

Literature lovers will be delighted to see Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi on the list. The Ugandan author won the Kwani? Manuscript Prize for Kintu in 2013, as well as the 2014 Commonwealth Short Story Prize. Earlier this year Binyavanga Wainaina told Books LIVE that Kintu was an “incredible novel” that is “going places”.

Cheryl Ntumy is the author of a number of Sapphire Press romance novels, and Crossing, which was published in Botswana in 2010 and won the 2009 Bessie Head Literature Award.

Prufrock magazine congratulated the shortlist on Facebook:

Congratulations to Prufrock contributor Megan Ross, who has been shortlisted for this year’s Miles Morland Foundation Scholarship, which is Worth A Lot of Money.

Ross’ piece on the 2014 Thailand coup d’état appeared in Prufrock 7, while her short story “The Mechanics of Bruising”, is out now in our latest issue.

Modjaji Books also congratulated the candidates:

So proud to be associated with 3 of the shortlistees who have worked for Modjaji (as a book designer) Megan Ross and (interns) Karen Jennings and Mishka Hoosen. Congratulations to all the shortlisted writers. Such a fabulous list of writers.

Judges Ellah Allfrey (chair), Olufemi Terry and Muthoni Garland will meet on 14 December to discuss the shortlist. Four winners will be announced shortly after this.

Scholarship winners writing fiction will receive a grant of £18 000 (about R380 000), paid over the course of 12 months. Scholars writing non-fiction will receive a grant of £27 000 (about R572 000), paid over the course of 18 months.

Previous winners of the Morland Writing Scholarship include Percy Zvomuya, Yewande Omotoso and Ahmed Khalifa.

Bom BoynullAfrica39

Book details

  • Egyptian Gothic: Stories From The Land of Pharaohs and Revolutions by Ahmed Khalifa
    ASIN: B00AVZZ5N6

» read article

Thuli Madonsela to Give Keynote Address at the Launch of African Accountability: What Works and What Doesn’t

Invitation to the launch of African Accountability: What Works and What Doesn't

The South African Institute of International Affairs invites you to the launch of its new book, African Accountability: What Works and What Doesn’t.

Public Protector Advocate Thuli Madonsela wrote the book’s foreword, and will be giving the keynote speech at the launch.

Dr Brigalia Bam, former Chairperson of the Independent Electoral Commission, will be a respondent. The book editors, Steven Gruzd and Yarik Turianskyi, will also speak at the event and share their experiences of working on governance and accountability in Africa.

The event takes place this evening, Tuesday, 24 November, at 6 PM at Villa Simonne in Johannesburg.

Light refreshments will be served and you will also have an opportunity to purchase a copy of the book.

Event Details

  • Date: Tuesday, 24 November 2015
  • Time: 6 PM to 8 PM
  • Venue: Villa Simonne
    16 West Street
    Houghton Estate
    Johannesburg | Map
  • RSVP: Essential, click here
  • Enquiries: Please contact Nondumiso on or call 011 339 2021 ext 117
  • More information: SAIIA


About the book

African Accountability: What Works and What Doesn’t? focuses on political and social aspects to assess the current state of governance and accountability in Africa. Rather than choosing an Afro-optimistic or Afro-pessimistic approach, both of which have been prominent since the start of the 21st century, this book tries to adopt a balanced, Afro-realistic view, giving credit where it is due, while also pointing out deficient areas that need improvement.

This edited volume aims to bring to the fore cutting edge analysis on the contemporary African governance and accountability landscape by focusing on both continental institutions (including the African Peer Review Mechanism, African Charter on Democracy Elections and Governance, and the African Union) well as domestic ones (parliaments, ombudsmen and electoral commissions).

» read article

Book Bites: 22 November 2015

Lynda LaPlante (Simon & Schuster)
Book thrill
If you are a Prime Suspect fan, this is a satisfying prequel of Jane Tennison’s salad days as a young copper. It’s 1973, chauvinism is de rigeur and Tennison, a 22-year-old newbie, is one of only two women constables in her squad. But she’s tenacious: even when silently fuming about making cups of tea, all she can think is about the murder of Julie Ann Collins. She is also young and impressionable – not yet the lonely alcoholic she becomes in the TV show, played unforgettably by Dame Helen Mirren.
- Jennifer Platt @Jenniferdplatt

Whipping BoyWhipping Boy
Allen Kurzweil (Harper)
Book buff
Delivers what it promises on the cover: the 40-year search for the author’s 12-year-old bully, Cesar. Kurzweil, foremost a novelist and journalist, owns up to the obsessive side of his personality, and his quest takes him all over the world, with a conclusion more bizarre than he ever dreamed of: the adult Cesar is involved in a group of con artists who impersonate obscure royalty – down to monocles and bogus knighting ceremonies – in order to fleece people with elaborate loan schemes. An entertaining read.
- Jennifer Malec @projectjennifer

Koos Stadler (Tafelberg)
Book bru
Operating in Angola, South West Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe in the 1970s and 80s, Stadler and his teams were tasked with blowing up trains, infiltrating enemy bases, destroying enemy aircraft and even targeting political opposition in exile. Told from the perspective of someone caught up in the Rooi and Swart Gevaars, the book gives a well-balanced account of the pressures that reconnaissance “operators” had to endure. Stadler writes about how seeing dead bodies started to change his mind about what he was fighting for. An engrossing read, with danger at every turn.
- Guy Martin @defenceWeb_Afr

Imagined LiberationImagined Liberation: Xenophobia, Citizenship and Identity in South Africa, Germany and Canada
Heribert Adam and Kogila Moodley (African Sun Media)
Book buff
Sociologists Adam and Moodley present the sad, hidden truth of our world through a study of three countries. In Germany, they highlight how the treatment of asylum seekers and spread Islamophobia are interrelated. Canada’s multicuturalism is looked at as a model for immigration policies. The authors then break it down in South Africa, where the disenfranchised continuously treat foreigners as easy scapegoats. They present extensive research but don’t quite provide concrete answers to the vital questions that might point us to meaningful change.
- Kgebetli Moele

Book details

» read article

Phyllis Green resenseer boeke oor oorlog: Recce deur Koos Stadler, Donker stroom deur Carel van der Merwe en nóg

RecceDonker stroomSouth African BattlesChurchill's South Africa
Back to AngolaThe Battle of SavateWorld War One and the People of South Africa

Uitspraak: wortels

Vir almal wat nogal altyd nuuskierig was oor wie en wat die recces was, is hierdie boek ’n moet-lees. Stadler skryf biografies oor sy eie ervarings, maar hy dokumenteer ook breedvoerig hoe hierdie eenheid gefunksioneer het. Vroeër jare het daar ’n sluier van geheimhouding en misterie oor die recces gehang. Boonop was daar ook ’n klomp onsinnige kletspraatjies wat Jan Publiek goedsmoeds geglo het, natuurlik versprei deur mans wat nie deel was van dié eenheid nie, maar wat graag wou hê dat die reputasie van die recces hulle ook moes omvou. Vir gewone mense was die recces vreesloos en ongelooflike dapper soldate, maar ook mans wat so bietjie gevrees moes word. As jy Stadler se boek lees, besef jy hulle was inderdaad soldate waarmee rekening gehou moes word, juis omdat hulle nougeset was in hoe hulle opdragte uitgeoefen het.


» read article

Maryna Lamprecht resenseer Holy Cows deur Gareth van Onselen

Holy CowsUitspraak: wortel met kritiek

Van Onselen kom oordrewe prekerig oor in sy hoofstukke oor onderskeidelik “respek” en sy afkeer aan middelmatigheid.

Nietemin word belangrike kritiek gelewer op die stand van die Suid-Afrikaanse samelewing.


» read article

Willie Burger resenseer Askari deur Jacob Dlamini en Eugene de Kock deur Anemari Jansen

Askari: A story of collaboration and betrayal in the anti-apartheid struggleEugene de KockEugene de KockUitspraak: wortels

Die manier waarop Jansen vir De Kock as mens, eerder as bloot sluipmoordenaar en wreedaard, in hierdie boek gestalte gee, is soortgelyk aan die manier waarop Dlamini daarin slaag om Sedibe se verhaal as mens, en nie net as askarinie, te vertel. Uiteindelik word dit egter ook Jansen se eie verhaal, as Afrikaanse vrou, wat in eerlikheid nie van die verlede kan wegskram nie, nie kan maak asof “ons nie almal so” is nie, maar wat die verlede ook as haar eie toeëien met al die wreedheid, aandadigheid en pyn. Dlamini se hoop is dat die vertel van hierdie soort verhale ons nasie sal goed doen. Maar dit moet natuurlik ook gelees word. Eintlik is hierdie twee boeke verpligte leesstof vir almal in die land.


» read article

Africa Uprising: The First Book to Put Contemporary Popular Protest in a Pan-African Context

Africa UprisingNew from Best Read, and imprint of HSRC Press, Africa Uprising: Popular Protest and Political Change, by Adam Branch and Zachariah Mampilly:

From Egypt to South Africa, Nigeria to Ethiopia, a new force for political change is emerging across Africa: popular protest. Widespread urban uprisings by youth, the unemployed, trade unions, activists, writers, artists, and religious groups are challenging injustice and inequality. What is driving this new wave of protest? Is it the key to substantive political change?

Drawing on interviews and in-depth analysis, Adam Branch and Zachariah Mampilly offer a penetrating assessment of contemporary African protests, situating the current popular activism within its historical and regional contexts.

  • The first book to put contemporary popular protest in a pan-African context
  • Based on original research in Nigeria, Uganda, Sudan, Tanzania, Kenya and Malawi
  • Both authors are recognised experts on contemporary African Politics

“Increasingly interconnected and better informed than ever, Africa’s peoples are more and more ready to go onto the streets in defence of their rights. Branch and Mampilly skilfully show how African politics is changing and how the collective agency of the ordinary citizen is something that will progressively shape political culture and practice across the continent. A luta continua!” – Professor Ian Taylor, University of St Andrews

“This accessible account of popular demands for an end to poverty challenges conventional narratives about democratization, economic development and a rising middle class. Recommended.” – Michael Bratton, Michigan State University

“Provides convincing insights into the complexity of the social and political dynamics behind African protests in a really readable – and enjoyable – fashion. The ideal introduction to the topic.” – François Polet, editor of The State of Resistance: Popular Struggles in the Global South

“Africa Uprising insightfully argues that contemporary African protests incorporate both economic and political demands, and their success cannot simply be measured by immediate political effects.” – Alcinda Honwana, author of Youth and Revolution in Tunisia

“A powerful account of recent large-scale protests in Nigeria, Sudan, and elsewhere, Branch and Mampilly show us that the internal politics of movements can have a powerful effect on their success or failure. This vivid portrait of the new politics of urban protest in Africa should interest scholars and activists alike.” – Adrienne LeBas, American University

“An inspiring and thoughtful study of African struggles for indigenous self-liberation, taking protests on their own terms and locating them within the reality of politics in Africa. The authors seek out what is specific to protests in Africa, instead of pursuing models of linear preconceptions of what protests should look like, or predetermined expectations of outcomes.” – Abdullahi Ahmed An-Na’im, author of African Constitutionalism and the Role of Islam

About the authors

Adam Branch is associate professor of political science at San Diego State University. From 2011 to 2014 he was research fellow at the Makerere Institute of Social Research, Kampala. He is the author of Displacing Human Rights: War and Intervention in Northern Uganda as well as articles and book chapters on political violence, humanitarian intervention, and international law, largely focused on East Africa.

Zachariah Mampilly is director of the programme in Africana studies and associate professor of political science and international studies at Vassar College. From 2012 to 2013 he was a Fulbright visiting professor at the Department of Political Science, University of Dar es Salaam. He is the author of Rebel Rulers: Insurgent Governance and Civilian Life during War as well as articles and essays on the history and politics of Africa and South Asia.


Abbreviations and acronyms

1. Protests and Possibilities
2. Mobs or Mobilisers? Nkrumah, Fanon and Anti-Colonial Protest
3. A Democratic Transition? Anti-Austerity Protests and the Limits of Reform
4. The Third Wave of African protest
5. The Precipitous Rise and Fall of Occupy Nigeria
6. Political Walking in Uganda
7. Protest and Counter-Protest in Ethiopia
8. ‘We are Fed Up!’ Sudan’s Unfinished Uprisings

Conclusion: Africa in a World of Protest


Book details

» read article

Loftus Marais resenseer We Have Now Begun Our Descent deur Justice Malala

We Have Now Begun Our Descent: How To Stop South Africa Losing Its WayUitspraak: wortel

Die jongste toevoeging tot die genre is die TV-persoonlikheid en politieke kommentator Justice Malala se We have now begun our descent. Ek was eers skepties. Die subtitel (How to Stop South Africa Losing Its Way) doen maar min om die hooftitel se melodrama te temper. Is die boek saamgeflans, so voor die Kersmark, om die golf van die nuwe onrus al die pad bank toe te ry?

Die antwoord: Nee. Glad nie. Hierdie is ’n leesbare, deurdagte, gevoelvolle en ek sou selfs sê noodsaaklike blik op waar ons jong demokrasie tans staan.


» read article

Knotting Your Brain Over Festive Gifts? Check out the 2015 Exclusive Books Christmas Catalogue for Ideas

Does the very idea of Christmas make you break out in a cold sweat? Is your festive season countdown calendar an endless list of futile ideas (because really, how many creative gifts can you buy someone you’ve known for years now?) Or do you simply avoid the issue until Christmas Eve, and then pray for Groundhog Day?

However you approach the holiday that inevitably turns into a time of giving – and more giving – the 2015 Exclusive Books Christmas Catalogue will take the guesswork out of gift-shopping.

There is something for everyone in the Exclusive Books Christmas Catalogue – from fiction to poetry, children’s books to young adult, even books for inspired home cooks or avid gardeners.

For all that the Exclusive Books Christmas Catalogue has to offer, have a look at the contents page (click to see the entire list):



Here are a few of the local books in the 2015 Exclusive Books Christmas Catalogue:

The Book of MemoryThe Magistrate of GowerSweet MedicineFlame in the SnowBeer SafariVlakwaterImmer wes
SkarlakenDie verdwyning van Billy KatzDJ Opperman - Versamelde poësieRympies vir pikkies en peuters’n Goeie dag vir boomklimDie huis van ryeTwo Years Eight Months and Twenty-Eight Nights
Jane’s Delicious Urban GardeningGolden LionDonker stroomSugar ManThe Supper Club
Burchell's TravelsShed Happens50 Must-see Geological Sites in South AfricaThe Secret Society
Still GrazingWe Have Now Begun Our DescentJack Parow - Die ou met die snor by die barRhodes Rage

The catalogue was launched last week Friday at Exclusive Books Rosebank, with special presentations and activities by Suzelle DIY (SuzelleDIY: The Book), Lucy Corne (Beer Safari), Jane Griffiths (Jane’s Delicious Urban Gardening) and Rico of Madame & Eve (Shed Happens).


Read Monique Bernic’s blog post on the event:

We were then able to select our next activity between container gardening with Jane Griffiths, learning to draw the characters from Madam & Eve with Rico, tasting craft beer with Lucy Corne and decorating cookies with Elli Saayman in celebration of the release of the special edition of Alice in Wonderland.

I opted for the container gardening due to my background in Conservation and got to put together and take home an upside-down potted parsley which now graces my front door. We learned about the water-holding properties of peat (an essential in this drought!) and the soil enriching characteristics of earthworms.

Annetjie van Wynegaard (@Annetjievw) live tweeted the festivities:



Press release:

Exclusive Books Christmas Catalogue Event

Exclusive Books was delighted to have hosted media, publishers and clients at this year’s Christmas Catalogue Event at the Rosebank Exclusive Books store this past Friday.

As part of the festivities, Exclusive Books announced the 2015 Christmas Catalogue titles, among which were highly esteemed authors and one very special anniversary. CEO of Exclusive Books, Benjamin Trisk delivered a warm welcome to all attending guests and spoke heartily about the industry and Exclusive Books’ mission to keep the legacy of print books alive. After his speech guests quickly moved on to an exciting ‘make your own handbag’ activity with the comical and energetic Suzelle DIY.

After Suzelle’s hilarious delivery, the order of events continued and Rico Schacherl, Jane Griffiths, Lucy Corne and Elli Saayman kept the crowd thoroughly entertained with their activities. Publishers and media were invited to gather around the specially designed activity tables. All were in for a treat! Rico taught his guests a thing or two about cartoon drawing. Some of his guests’ attempts were dismal but Rico kept his students going, encouraging them to focus more on the pleasure of the creative exercise. Lucy Corne’s beer tasting table was a popular draw card, especially amongst the gents. The result? Great conversation, plenty of laughs and quite a few interesting facts about beer. Jane was not at all phased by her mall surrounding. She immediately set to work and got her hands (quite) dirty. Inspired by her enthusiasm, Jane’s table of guests all did their best at urban gardening and made their very own upside down pot plants. The final thrill of the afternoon was Elli Saayman’s cookie designs. To celebrate the 150th anniversary of Lewis Carol’s Alice in Wonderland, Elli’s table designed the most exquisite Alice in Wonderland cookies using glitter, icing, frosting and a rainbow of other sweets.

The Christmas Catalogue Event was a great success. The hosts went all out with the food and drinks menu too. The beautifully displayed tables of cheese boards, macaroons and other desserts were mouth-wateringly gorgeous. The endless supply of flat white coffees from the Exclusive Books cafe was certainly a win with guests, especially those who’d burnt through the midnight oil to ensure they didn’t miss out on this exclusive event.

All guests thoroughly appreciated the joys and spoils that the Exclusive Books team put together. We wait with childish anticipation on what the team will put together for 2016!


Book details

» read article