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Archive for the ‘Sesotho’ Category

Niq Mhlongo’s top 15 books from the African Writers Series

Niq Mhlongo
Niq Mhlongo's top 15 books from the African Writers Series
AffluenzaDog Eat DogAfter TearsWay Back Home

 

Niq Mhlongo has shared his top 15 books from the legendary Heinemann African Writers Series.

Mhlongo is a known fan of the famous series, and at the Time of the Writer Festival in Durban this year he said it was a great influence on his writing.

“I grew up reading only the African Writers Series,” he said. “So when people talk about Charles Dickens, I’ve never even read him. It didn’t interest me at all. I grew up reading African writers. I read everything that was African.”

Read: ‘I’m not philosophical, I’m just a writer’ – Niq Mhlongo tells it like it is at Time of the Writer

Now Mhlongo has compiled a list of his favourites, and it’s a must see for those wishing to expand their knowledge – as Nozizwe Cynthia Jele comments: “This is the ultimate reading list!”

He writes on Facebook:

Before I studied literature at the Wits University, the only writers I was exposed to (apart from Shakespeare and Orwell) were African writers from the Heinemann African Writers Series. Here is my top 15 books that I adored from the series before I was introduced to other writers from around world.

Follow Mhlongo on Facebook here

Niq Mhlongo’s African Writers Series top 15

Some of the books are currently unavailable from the African Writers Series, and the cheapest edition has been substituted in

How many of these books have you read? Share your thoughts with us on Facebook or Twitter!

Second Class Citizen
1. Second Class Citizen by Buchi Emecheta
EAN: 9780435909918
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Houseboy
2. Houseboy by Ferdinand Oyono
EAN: 9780435905323
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Nervous Conditions
3. Nervous Conditions by Tsitsi Dangarembga
EAN: 9780954702335
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Going Down River Road
4. Going Down River Road by Meja Mwangi
EAN: 9780982012635
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The African Child
5. The African Child by Camara Laye
EAN: 9780006122593
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The Beautyful Ones are Not Yet Born
6. The Beautyful Ones are Not Yet Born by Ayi Kwei Armah
EAN: 9780435905408
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The Marabi Dance
7. The Marabi Dance by Modikwe Diboke
EAN: 9780435901240
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Detained: A Writer's Prison Diary
8. Detained: A Writer’s Prison Diary by Ngugi Wa Thiong’o
EAN: 9780435902407
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House of Hunger
9. House of Hunger by Dambudzo Marechera
EAN: 9780435895983
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Afrika My Music
10. Afrika My Music: An Autobiography 1957-1983 by Es’kia Mphahlele
EAN: 9780869752371
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Call Me Woman
11. Call Me Woman by Ellen Kuzwayo
EAN: 9780958470827
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God\'s Bits of Wood
12. God’s Bits of Wood by Sembene Ousmane
EAN: 9780435909598
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Mine Boy
13. Mine Boy by Peter Abrahams
EAN: 9780435905620
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Mhudi
14. Mhudi by Sol Plaatje
EAN: 9780143185406
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Chaka
15. Chaka by Thomas Mofolo
EAN: 9780435902292
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Download a free children’s story – available in 11 official languages – and pass on the power of stories this World Read Aloud Day

 
National reading-for-enjoyment campaign Nal’ibali has teamed up with Yvonne Chaka Chaka for World Read Aloud Day on 24 February, 2016.

Last year, with the support of hundreds of South Africans, Nal’ibali read aloud to over 166 000 children and it hopes to double or even triple that number this year.

Yvonne Chaka Chaka will be giving her own special reading of Neo and the Big Wide World in isiZulu to children at Orlando Stadium in Soweto.

In addition, Orlando Pirates Football Club will launch its Reading Stars Programme.

Scroll down to find out more and download the book.

 

“If we want our children to grow up as strong and powerful readers, we must demonstrate reading for them,” Nal’ibali managing director Jade Jacobsohn says. “When you read aloud to a child, you show them what reading looks like and how to make sense of text. Exposing them to new words and expressions used in stories helps to develop their vocabularies and provides a rich pool of language for children to draw from when they want to read and write on their own.”

Carole Bloch, executive director of PRAESA (the Project for the Study of Alternative Education), a co-founder of Nal’ibali, adds: “The power of reading aloud to children is incredible. Not only is it richly rewarding and enjoyable for any age, it is also the way we establish the foundational, knowledge and motivation young children need as they are learning to read – and indeed for all learning.

 

“There are over 17 000 000 children in South Africa with only around 5 percent being read to by their caregivers. World Read Aloud Day celebrates the joy of sharing a good story and we hope that even more adults in South Africa will join us this year. Then let’s grow that 5 percent to 50 percent by continuing to explore books and stories throughout the year.”

How to get involved

This year’s special story, Neo and the Big Wide World, by Vianne Venter and illustrated by Rico of Madam and Eve Fame, is freely available for download from Nal’ibali’s web and mobisites.

Members of the public can also sign up on these sites to share how many children they will be reading to, and stand the chance to win one of four Bargain Books hampers worth R1 000 each!

 

Neo and the Big Wide World is available in all 11 official languages, and a further two: it will be available in Braille in the February edition of Blind SA’s youth magazine, while Sign Language Education and Development (SLED) has collaborated with Story Bosso runners up Kerrin Kokot and Jayne Batzofin to produce a signed video of the story which can be viewed on the Nal’ibali website.

The story will also appear in a commemorative edition of the Nal’ibali’s supplement produced in partnership with PRAESA and media partner Times Media.

 

You can access the World Read Aloud Day story online here:

And for a burst of storytelling inspiration, listen to Yvonne Chaka Chaka reading the story in English and isiZulu!


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In Celebration of International Dictionary Day: 13 New and Revised Indigenous Language Dictionaries to be Published

International Dictionary Day is celebrated annually on 16 October, which is tomorrow.

This day was established in tribute to the famous American dictionary writer, Noah Webster, who was born on 16 October 1758. He is heralded as the father of the modern dictionary.

The South African National Lexicography Units, one for every official South African language, will be celebrating this important day – and the importance of dictionaries in general – by starting the release of no fewer than 13 new or revised editions of indigenous language monolingual, and indigenous language bilingual dictionaries. By the end of November all 13 new dictionaries will have been published.

The Lexicography Units were established by the Pan South African Language Board (PanSALB) in 2001 to focus on lexicography and terminology development in South Africa, their task being to compile monolingual explanatory dictionaries and other products to help with language development. Each unit is managed by a board of directors and registered as a Section 21 (not-for-profit) company, which allows the unit autonomy to raise funds to carry on its work.

For more information on the new dictionaries, read the press release below:

* * * * * *

 

SALU

 
The eleven South African National Lexicography Units (one per official language) are the structures of state Constitutionally and Legislatively mandated, in the case of our indigenous languages, to produce dictionaries and other material that will “elevate their status and advance their use”.

While the Units are national entities they are based in the province or provincial district in which their language predominates, but the result of their work benefits all speakers and learners of the language no matter where they reside.
They are located as follows:

Xitsonga – Limpopo
Tshivenda – Limpopo
Sesotho sa Leboa – Limpopo
Siswati – Mpumalanga
isiNdebele – Gauteng / Mpumalanga
isiZulu – Kwa Zulu Natal
isiXhosa and English – Eastern Cape
Sesotho – Free State
Setswana – North West
Afrikaans – Western Cape

The nine indigenous language Units have recently formed an overarching structure – The South African National Lexicography Units – in order to:

Launch and maintain an awareness creation programme to inform the public and all government departments and agencies, including schools and tertiary education institutions, of the Units, their work, achievements and our new publication development plans.
Persuade the above agencies to implement and use our dictionaries, and to involve them – - in particular Government’s other indigenous language support and development structures, tertiary institutions, National and Provincial Departments of Education – in revisions of existing dictionaries and the identification of new projects which will elevate the status and increase the use of our languages.
Remind Government agencies of their Constitutional obligation to our indigenous languages and persuade the private sector to play an active role in this regard.
Co-ordination of the Units book development activities ensuring that no indigenous language, on the basis of having fewer speakers, is disadvantaged over any other language.

Our national awareness campaign was launched about five weeks ago and saw the attached poster, together with a covering letter, being distributed to all Honourable Members of Parliament, the NCOP and as of today six of our nine provincial Legislatures. The response has been most encouraging and we hope for a similar response from both government and the private sector.

International Dictionary Day

We are pleased to announce that between International Dictionary Day – 16th October 2015 – and the end of November 2015 no fewer than thirteen new or revised editions of indigenous language monolingual, and indigenous language bilingual dictionaries will be published. A further two dictionaries will be available early in 2016. It is the largest publishing event of its kind ever undertaken in our indigenous languages.

These are:

isiZulu English Bilingual Dictionary
isiNdebele Afrikaans English Trilingual Dictionary
isiNdebele Monolingual Dictionary
Tshivenda English Bilingual Dictionary
Tshivenda Monolingual Dictionary
Sesotho sa Leboa Monolingual Dictionary
Sesotho sa Leboa English Bilingual Dictionary
Setswana Monolingual Dictionary
Setswana English Bilingual Dictionary
Setswana Maths and Science English – Setswana Dictionary for Grades 4 to 9
Sesotho English Bilingual Dictionary
Xitsonga English Bilingual Dictionary
Xitsonga Monolingual Dictionaries

Due Early 2016

Siswati Monolingual Dictionary
Siswati English Bilingual Dictionary

These will add to the published dictionaries listed below:
isiXhosa Three Volume isiXhosa – Afrikaans – English Dictionary
isiXhosa One Volume Monolingual Dictionary
isiXhosa Maths and Science isiXhosa – English Dictionary for Grades 4 to 9
isiZulu Monolingual Dictionary R 275.00

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Nominees for the 2015 South African Literary Awards Revealed

In ligte laaieMy Children Have FacesnullnullLondon – Cape Town – JoburgMpho ya kaJustice
Girl on the EdgeSynapseMede-weteStrange PilgrimagesAl die lieflike dade
Maar wie snoei die rose in die nag?Die beste verhale en humor van Herman Charles BosmanThe New African

 
Alert! Books LIVE can exclusively reveal the nominees for the 10th annual South African Literary Awards (SALAs).

The SALAs honour writing and writers in all official languages across 10 categories, and include the K Sello Duiker Memorial Literary Award, the First-time Published Author Award and the Nadine Gordimer Short Story Award.

The SALAs were founded in 2005 by the wRite associates and the Department of Arts and Culture.

This year, Antjie Krog, Achmat Dangor and the late Thokozani Mandlenkosi Nene will receive Lifetime Achievement Literary Awards, while RRR Dhlomo and HIE Dhlomo will receive Literary Posthumous Awards.

Michele Magwood of the Sunday Times will receive the Literary Journalism Award.

The SALA ceremony will be held at the Tshwane Events Centre on November 7, 2015.

The full list of this year’s SALA nominees are:

Nominees for the 2015 South African Literary Awards Revealed

 
Congratulations to all the nominees!
 

Related stories:

Press release

Sala Celebrates 10 Years of Advancing Our Literary Heritage

Celebrating 10 years of growth and exhilarating success, the South African Literary Awards (SALA) will honour over 10 South African authors at a celebratory awards ceremony to be held at Tshwane Events Centre, Tshwane, Gauteng Province on November 7, 2015.

The prestigious South African Literary Awards were founded in 2005 by the wRite associates, in partnership with the national Department of Arts and Culture, as a platform to honour authors, writers, poets and literary practitioners who made and continue to make a contribution in the literary landscape in South Africa.

More than 100 luminaries have been honoured over the last decade, among them Nobel Award winner Nadine Gordimer, multi-award winning novelist Kgebetli Moele, literary journalists Bongani Madondo and Sabata-Mpho Mokae, poet Kobus Moolman, book critics Karabo Kgoleng and Jenny Crwys-Williams, short story writers Makhosazana Xaba and Reneilwe Malatji, scholars and prolific writers Zakes Mda, Mbulelo Mzamane, Ashraaf Kagee, Nhlanhla Maake, Imraan Coovadia, translator, poet, novelist and children’s writer Chris van Wyk, and many others.

The list of nominees reflects the transformative nature not only of SALA, but the country’s literary community. The potpourri nature of the country provides a canvas on which writers manage to paint beautiful pictures without needing to look over their shoulders.

SALA honours writing and writers in all official languages and writers across 10 categories. They are K Sello Duiker Memorial Literary Award, which is a celebration of one of the country’s most prolific authors of his generation, K Sello Duiker. First-time published writers are also acknowledged and honoured by the Awards. The other is the Nadine Gordimer Short Story Literary Award, honouring thespians in the genre, across all languages. In addition, there are:

1. Poetry Award
2. Literary Translators Award
3. Lifetime Achievement Literary Award
4. Posthumous Literary Award
5. Literary Journalism Award
6. Creative Non-Fiction Award and
7. Chairperson’s Award

As writers are given an equal opportunity to contest any of the awards categories, this year’s winners reflect that elevated state of South African literature, which has seen some of the local works adapted into screen- and stage-plays. South African literature is, indeed, on an upward spiral.

2015′s nominees are:

1. Jannie Malan
2. Carol Campbell
3. Matebello Innocentia Masasa
4. Nekhavhambe Khalirendwe
5. Zukiswa Wanner, LS Mokoena
6. Edwin Cameron
7. Ruth Carneson
8. Antjie Krog
9. Achmat Dangor
10. Thokozani Mandlenkosi Nene
11. Charl-Pierre Naudé
12. Mangaliso Buzani
13. Bishop MT Makobe
14. Karen Press
15. Johann de Lange
16. RRR and HIE Dhlomo
17. Michele Magwood and
18. Abraham H de Vries

The SALA has grown in leaps and bounds from when it started with only one category: the National Poet Laureate Prize and later followed by the Lifetime Achievement Literary Award, bestowed on luminaries across the land.

This year’s instalment will be outstanding and celebratory, as SALA will be preceded by a one-night live show, titled “AfreeLitMarts”, must-see exciting expertly choreographed multimedia live performance comprising music intersecting and interspersing storytelling, poetry, other literary performances, live painting, art, book, exhibitions and more.

For enquiries and more information:

Please visit www.sala.org.za and www.africacenturyconference.co.za OR write to info@writeassociates.co.za

OR call: 011 791 4102

Ends

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Presenting the 2015 IBBY SA Honour Roll

IBBY SA Honour List 2015-2016

 
Alert! IBBY SA have revealed their honour list for 2015-2016.

The South African section of the International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY) announced the six titles on their 2015-2016 honour list – which will all be presented at the IBBY World Congress in New Zealand next year – during an event held in Pinelands, Cape Town yesterday afternoon.

IBBY is a non-profit organisation which represents an international network of people from all over the world who are committed to bringing books and children together. The biennial IBBY congress brings together IBBY members and other people involved in children’s books and reading development from all over the world. The congresses are excellent occasions to make contacts, exchange ideas and open horizons. Being showcased there opens up a world of possibilities for the South African authors, translators and illustrators who are selected.

The six books chosen by IBBY SA – during a very democratic and fair process, executive committee member Lona Gericke assured those present at the announcement – are:

UitMiscastHoe om jou draak te temUmcelo Neentsomi Zase-AfrikaBaile Le MoketaRhinocephants on the Roof

 
Both the titles selected in the English and Afrikaans categories address issues relating to teenage sexual identity in ways never before seen in South African youth literature. The Afrikaans translation brings the joys of the popular How to Train Your Dragon series to local kids, while the isiXhosa and seSotho translations make classic South African narratives available to children in their mother tongues. The illustrations in the chosen picture book brings a new dimension to local stories, offering a fresh way of looking at things from a child’s perspective. Read the press release below for more information on each of these precious books.

These books will now go on to be exhibited around the world at conferences and book fairs, and form part of permanent collections in some of the biggest international youth libraries.

Congratulations to those selected!

* * * * * * * * *

 
Helené Prinsloo tweeted live from the announcement:


 

* * * * * * * * *

 
Press release

IBBY SA is the South African national section of the International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY), an international body with 74 national sections around the world.

IBBY SA is pleased to announce that the following books have been selected for the IBBY Honour List to be presented at the IBBY World Congress in Auckland, New Zealand, in 2016 as having made a special contribution to recent South African literature for children and young people:

Author: Afrikaans
Fanie Viljoen: Uit (LAPA Uitgewers, Pretoria) – for making it easy for all teenagers to experience and emphathise with a young man’s growing realisation of his sexual orientation

Author: English
Charmaine Kendal: Miscast (Junkets Publisher, Cape Town) – for its sensitive exploration of the inner journey of a trans boy; probably the first South African teen novel about transgender

Translator: into Afrikaans
Kobus Geldenhuys: Hoe om jou draak te tem (Protea Boekhuis, Stellenbosch) translated from Cressida Cowell’s How to Train Your Dragon – for capturing the spirit and sense of the fantastical in his translation

Translator: into isiXhosa
Sindiwe Magona: Umculo neentsomi zase-Afrika (University of KwaZulu-Natal Press, Pietermaritzburg) translated from Gcina Mhlophe’s Stories of Africa – for transmitting the magic of the original folktales so faithfully

Translator: into seSotho
Selloane Khosi: Baile le Moketa (Jacana Media, Johannesburg), translated from Gerard Sekoto’s Shorty and Billy Boy – for a clear and lively version of the 1973 story of Sekoto’s, only recently published for the first time.

Illustrator:
Dale Blankenaar: Olinosters op die dak / Rhinocephants on the roof by Marita van der Vyver (NB Publishers, Cape Town) – for his rendering of the eerily atmospheric world of the writing

The above announcements were made at an event hosted by IBBY SA at the SASNEV building in Pinelands, Cape Town, on Thursday 17 September 2015.

The announcements were made by Lona Gericke, former children’s librarian, former chair and vice-chair of IBBY SA, and a former member of the international Hans Christian Andersen Award Jury. She holds the Awards portfolio on the Executive Committee of IBBY SA. IBBY SA’s current Chairperson Professor Genevieve Hart handed over the certificates.

Five of the six people nominated were able to attend the event and receive their IBBY SA certificates in person. Likewise, five of the six publishers involved were the happy recipients of IBBY SA certificates.

“We are really glad that the six categories were spread among six different publishers,” said Lona Gericke. “It means that more and more publishers are doing excellent work in the field of literature for children and young people.”

Is there anything especially noteworthy about this year’s Honour List nominees? “Isn’t it striking,” commented Genevieve Hart, “that the two ‘Author’-category nominees have both written books about sexual diversity? It is a very significant area of teenager experience, and one welcomes such careful and sensitive treatments.”

What lies ahead for these six books? Copies have been despatched to the head office of IBBY in Basle, Switzerland. At next year’s IBBY World Congress they will be on display, will appear in the Honour List of Books brochure, and will be the subject of a screened presentation in a plenary session of the Congress, after which they will move on to be displayed at the famous Bologna Children’s Book Fair.

So, the recognition and the exposure for these writers, translators and illustrators could be very significant for their careers.

Ends
 
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An Inappropriate Text for an Appropriate Evening – Read Antjie Krog’s Keynote Address from the 2015 Sunday Times Literary Awards

Antjie Krog

 
Poet, author and activist Antjie Krog delivered the keynote address at the 2015 Sunday Times Literary Awards on Saturday. She made a call for white South Africans to perform an act of radical outreach, similar to that of Nelson Mandela 20 years ago when he donned Francois Pienaar’s jersey at the 1995 Rugby World Cup.

Krog made various statements which drew spirited reactions from the crowd – some not as positive as others (scroll to the end to see the reaction on Twitter).

Read her speech in full, and see the images Krog used to illustrate her point:
 

* * * * * * * *

 
Inappropriate Text for an Appropriate Evening

Allow me tonight to open with an incident from Country of my Skull.

During a public meeting with the then Minister of Finance he was asked whether there was a post-Truth and Reconciliation plan to get from whites what was needed to repair the past. He answered: even if we take everything whites have, it will never make up for what they did. What we need, to address inequality is a 6% growth rate.

This was of course the truth. Nothing could ever repair the damage of three centuries. But in another way it was also a mark of a general unwillingness by all of us to do some complex thinking.

With the wisdom of hindsight one wishes there had been a Rhodes Must Fall group to ignite a proper conversation on the consequences of not changing our world. What was it that black people desired after apartheid? What were the outlines of their dreams? Also, what was the biggest challenge: establishing racial equality and then attending poverty? Or a drive to reduce poverty through various mechanisms of which a crucial one was race.

It would have been important for whites then to have heard the conditions under which they were to be accommodated or rejected: we don’t want whites here; or: we want whites, but only poor ones – or only rich ones; or: we want whites willingly to take responsibility for everything that fails; or: for three centuries the country has invested its best and most powerful resources in you, so for three generations you will use your accumulated skills, knowledge and resources to eradicate for ever the Verwoerd education system, or mend the distorted transport system, or build an appropriate health system; or perhaps even: every white should report to a township school and assist with rendering services from cleaning toilets and safeguarding buildings and people, to teaching and marking as and when necessary.

However problematic or unpractical these suggestions might sound, they would have focused all of our minds on what kind of society we wanted to live in. And what we were willing to pay for it.

I mean, whatever was negotiated and understood, misunderstood or taken for granted – was there anybody in South Africa who thought that the country materially had to stay as it was with all the resources remaining in specific areas and classes? Remember Yeats:

Hurrah for revolution and more cannon-shot.
A beggar upon horseback lashes a beggar on foot.
Hurrah for revolution and cannon come again:
The beggars have changed places, but the lash goes on.

How many Afrikaners assumed that they could raise their children and grandchildren in a ghetto of ethnic privilege and language, avoiding everything that had to do with the continent they so blithely named themselves after? Did whites really think that setting matters right stopped at charity, NGOs, philanthropy, paying domestic workers more than a living wage and allowing a black middle class to grow?

At this post-Marikana stage it is perhaps time to speak frankly – to engage in brutal public conversations. It is especially time for anger. I respect anger. Anger is often where important change begins. Not the anger of destruction, but the anger which brings clarity of direction and resolute lucidity. When someone in anger says: “We must kill the whites … ” it is important to hear real responses: and then what? Or: how? OR more importantly: on what principle? This is not to play around irresponsibly with fears, rage and desires, but to bring into the open what is being murmured under angry breaths, what festers in horrific killings, emotional repression and violent neglect of human dignity. It is time to discuss and argue these things. How do we get to radical change? How will the means influence the outcome? If there are race-killings, expropriations, squattings as a consequence of unrelieved poverty and dashed expectations of change – what will happen? And who will care enough to start dealing with the root causes and wounds?

Recently a comprehensive research project was done on racism on campuses. An interesting element was that apparently all the students, irrespective of colour, expressed a desire to move: ‘beyond race’. Yet, the moment they themselves begin to talk about their circumstances and dreams, they fell back into old apartheid categories. Thus one of the conclusions is that we are not enabling students to move beyond the racial lexicon of apartheid. The irony, as Neville Alexander noted: is that those born free from racial classification are now forced by government practice to classify themselves when filling in forms as white, coloured, black or Indian.

In the absence of a plan to get what is needed from whites and the absence of new content to the pronoun ‘us’, a question: what would most South Africans older than thirty two, respond, when asked to name a visual image which brought home like a thunderbolt the profound moment of radical change?

Probably:

Mandela in a Springbok jersey / Mandela taking the national salute:

Mandela Wearing a Springbok Jersey

 

Or

Mandela with Mbeki and de Klerk:

Reconciliation in Action

 
But as they ask in IQ tests: what should the next frame look like?

Who Will Fill the Empty Frame?

 
In the first two images, outreach is from the black side.

Personally I want an image showing whites in an equally radical act of outreach. After the TRC there was intense hope for a White Prince of Reconciliation: a powerful not-guilty white man to say: on behalf of all whites, I am sorry, we want to build with you a new society of sharing, tell us what to do. That never happened. The Home For All campaign, eliciting tons of scorn and ridicule, barely raised eight hundred signatures, so after twenty years the third frame is still empty.

And yet, many whites are doing things. Enormous things. Small things. Wonderful things. (So do black people, but the frame needs the input from whites!) Many people, old and young, are being assisted by whites, many lives are being saved, talents nurtured and sponsored, and every person assisted is a person assisted, whatever the motives or the affluence from which it originated. So why don’t whites have an image to put in here? Is it just bad PR or is it that charity and aid often immobilise efforts of radical change while simultaneously allowing government to blissfully ignore the poor.

But whites working shoulder to shoulder with blacks, as equals, as partners, as fellow citizens, could present an image of a sweeping paradigm shift able radically to change the South African landscape for the good. But what should blacks and whites be doing to psychologically complete the visual frame series inspirationally? Let’s have phone-ins with plans and a referendum choosing among them.

Because what was promised in 1994, didn’t happen. A systemic fault line prevented the momentous emblematic political transformation from being complemented by an equally momentous emblematic socioeconomic transformation. Was everybody so caught up in placating the interests of capital that we assumed that it was enough that affirmative action was meant for those already employed and BEE for those mixing with the elite? How on earth could we think this was ethically correct? Or that it will hold?

In one’s frustration one is pushed to imagine whether the empty frame calls for a two year Radical Reconstruction Period in which all energy, all resources and every South African is used in order to achieve massive structural change. The image that comes to mind is of a particular kind of scrambled egg, one made after the yolk and white has been fried hard. Everything is put on hold, salary increases, price increases, even the constitution is used to take us towards systemic changes, until the collective spatula has cut the whole lot to pieces for a proper, fairer mix.

Will that do the job? First a step back. Ten years ago I felt that all land should be nationalised. Then one could say: the land truly belongs to all the South African people, all of us; those on farms merely have leasehold. But with the current set of leaders it seems problematic to execute any plan demanding of clear ethical thinking, selfless motivation and moral example.

Every week there are problematic responses to headline issues. One remarkable example is the open letter of President Zuma to Mozambican writer Mia Couto saying that the government is driving a campaign to tell South Africans not to kill other Africans as they assisted the ANC in their struggle against apartheid. Does the President notice that he implies that those who did NOT actively support the ANC in exile – the Somalians, the Moroccans, the PAC-supporting Zimbabweans – are fair game?

Listening to ANC politicians and spokespersons is often like entering an ethical desert where all life is centred on riches that will dawn like a lottery win on individuals doing the protect Zuma-tapdance. The poor suddenly have to become entrepreneurs. The rhetoric of freedom and justice has evaporated into increasingly shabby talk about a developmental state, while the examples of leaders suggest freedom from apartheid means freedom to shop and especially freedom not to be accountable.

When last did we hear anybody talk about a just society, a better life for everybody, suggesting that enough was a feast? In strikes and wage bargaining one seldom hears the words: justice, fairness, empathy. And why would we – being bombarded by the vulgar excesses of celebrity life and vainglorious luxury on television, billboards and magazines only acknowledging the right to consume?

To return to the Rhodes Must Fall group: it has surely done well to create awareness of the need to face issues; of the kind of activism that understands the importance of thinking as a form of collective activity. But precisely for that reason, and because collectivity can humanise a space, it is important to press for clarity of thought to educate us all. Are they teaching us that to reject Rhodes solely on grounds of his racism is implicitly to endorse the inequality, exploitation and state violence of the present?

Fanon warned decades ago how quickly liberation can degenerate when it lacks humanist content. Movements without it, fall into undemocratic and brutal ways especially when a ruling party, masked by the mixed rhetoric of Africanism, Ubuntu and possessive individualism, begins to focus only on sectional and ethnic interests. He suggested that in order not to create new hierarchies, we should establish ‘relations of comradeship, of solidarity, of love, relations which prefigure the sort of society we struggle for.’

But let us return to the seemingly impossible image of the hard fried egg that needs to be scrambled.

How to Scramble a Fried Egg?

 
The essence of colonialism is space – the expropriation and personal consuming of space. The colonial and apartheid worlds were worlds divided and dividing. Therefore decolonisation must mean the making whole, the recreation, reappropriation and reconfiguration of space. It means more than simply eradicating the lines of force that keep zones apart; it requires fundamental social and economic change.

For example: during this suggested two year Radical Reconstruction Period all suburbs and farms are given two years of free range to scramble themselves. Every house in the suburbs should be confronted by the fact of shackness, every park filled with squatters, every street with vendors. Every home and land owner, every suburb, every farm free to negotiate a living space with whomever moves in.

Liberation remains incomplete when the colonial or apartheid city is not reorganised, but simply taken over. A ban should be put on changing the name of any town/street/space before that community has fundamentally, practically and collectively prioritised the poor. Those who finish their studies, and those who have retired, should work for a year in the town or city of their birth to remove backlogs and shortages in courts, hospitals, schools, administrative offices, infrastructure support, corruption investigations, child care etc. For no salary. The town will provide food and a place to sleep.

We are facing a disaster in the absence of a crucial social unifying vision of a humane society. The times are pitiless. No vision is coming to save us. Let us dirty our hands with the tactics of the kind of communality needed to create openings into which new rhythms, new language and new modes of being human can be poured.

"Us" - An illustration of South Africans

 

We did it once. We surprised ourselves in doing what was not thought possible (a political transformation despite our historical and current political context). The times are demanding from us to do so again: bringing about the impossible: an economic transformation despite a neoliberal context and rotten leadership. And in order to pull it off, we need to have all the conversations, deferred from 1994, with as much courageous imagination, new vocabulary and wild dreams as possible.

and so this us comes
heartstained and upwards
the us comes
with cataclysmic breath
in the mouthclose sound of birds
with care we break the frames

and our bodies
begin to
read: those with less power

eating
our tongues begin to feel: the destitute

our neck hairs rise:
when on flattened cartons a fallen man turns over

our ribs
slip: at the maiming of a trampled body’s light

this us are the beggars
this us are the poor
this us live intact and with honour

unwon we must become
unfastened
with wrists that bravely pile up stars
 

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Related stories:


Read some tweets sent out during Krog’s speech:.

 

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Country of My SkullA Change of TongueAntjie Krog and the Post-Apartheid Public SphereMede-weteSynapseAntjie Krog
Skinned\'n Ander tongvalDie sterre sê tsauMet Woorde Soos Met KerseBody BereftVerweerskrifFynbos Fairies

 

View some photos from the event:

 

Book details

  • Die sterre sê tsau: /Xam-gedigte van Diä!kwain, Kweiten-ta-//ken, /A!kúnta, /Han#kass’o en //Kabbo edited by Antjie Krog
    EAN: 9780795701740
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2015 Indigenous Languages Publishing Programme Author Awards Winners Announced

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The first ever Indigenous Languages Publishing Programme Author Awards were held on Friday at the Wanderers Hotel in Johannesburg.

The awards, a joint initiative between the Department of Arts & Culture (DAC) and the South African Book Development Council (SABDC), rewarded the authors of 19 books in the genres of poetry, novels, short stories, drama and reference, with a R15 000 each.

 
2015 Indigenous Languages Publishing Programme Author Awards winners

Gcina Mhlophe – Ibhubesi lakuthola kanjani ukubhonga kwalo (isiZulu)
Samuel Machitela – Ga Ke Nyake Phoso (Sepedi)
Given Mdliva – Nangomso iselusuku (isiXhosa)
Isaac Saki Shabangu – Yoo, ndzi khomeleni minoo; Embiteni Yin’we; Xilotlela xa Vutlhokovetseri (Xitsonga)
JJ Mhlongo – Dyonzo xitlhangu xa vutomi (Xitsonga)
BR Mokoena – Kabelo ya ka (Sesotho)
David wa Maahlamela – Tša Borala (Sepedi)
MJ Mokaba – Ba mo nyakele kae?; Mahlopha a senya (Sepedi)
MJ Mafogo – Faele Ya Ramolao (Sepedi)
ME Ngcobo – Igazi Lezibi (isiZulu)
Mzi R Mngadi – Yekanini AmaFilisti (isiZulu)
G Malindzisa – Kuphilwa kanye kulomhlaba (Seswati)
Thokozani Nene – Tapa zingakemukeli (isiZulu)
MM Ndlovu – Elokufa alitsheli (siZulu)
T Makhado and EM Thagwane – Miludzi ya Shango (Tshivenda)
NB Sekere and M Mahlwane – Di mameleng ha di phetwa (Sesotho)

nullnullnullFaele Ya Ramolao

Igazi LezibiYekanini AmafilistiKuphilwa Kanye KulomhlabanullElokufa Alitsheli

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And now the fun begins! All the authors of the 19 titles were awarded R15 000 each, made possible with funding from the…

Posted by National Book Week SA on Friday, 5 June 2015

* * * * *

Press release:

Indigenous Language Books Break Mainstream Barriers

Johannesburg, South Africa (8 June 2015) – The Indigenous Languages Publishing Programme (ILPP) that took place on Friday at the Wanderers Hotel brought together authors, publishers and bibliophiles in a celebration of previously marginalised writing.

A joint initiative between the Department of Arts & Culture (DAC) and the South African Book Development Council (SABDC), this was a literary awards like no other.

Authors of 19 books in the genres of poetry, novels, short stories, drama and a reference book were awarded R15 000 each – made possible with funding from the National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund (NLDTF) – as recognition of their contribution to this particular form of publishing.

They included leading voices in folklore and vernacular writing such as Gcina Mhlope, Isaac Saki Shabangu and MJ Mokaba among others.

Speaking of this groundbreaking initiative, Chief Executive Officer of the SABDC Elitha van der Sandt pointed out that this was a first of its kind in the South African publishing industry.

‘It’s worthy to note that the Indigenous Languages Publishing Programme is not an award like other awards. All authors that are part of the programme receive R15 000 for each title that was published and formed part of National Book Week. They also receive 15% of royalties for sales. The entire project is based on the principles of book development, where not only more books are being produced, but the mechanisms of the production are also changed,’ she said.

The event’s programme director and ILPP committe member Mandla Matyumza praised the project, calling it ‘a good intervention that needs to be supported’ and applauded the support from the NLDTF.

‘Indigenous language books are so important in the movement of indigenous languages as they carry our culture and values of who we are as Africans, which is something embedded in our languages.’

The ILLP supports SMME and independent publishers by funding up to 50% of the publishing costs, sharing the risks that publishers ordinarily carry on their own when entering into new markets.

The cultural and content diversity to come out of this initiative will ensure that indigenous language books will move beyond the classroom to become a player of the publishing main stage, while contributing to the transformation of the local book sector.

Van der Sandt implored libraries and booksellers to stock more indeginous language books while Matyumza urged publishers to market indigenous language books with as much vigour as they do English titles.

While Friday’s event marked the first time the awards took place, the SABDC hopes that with funding, the ILPP can be turned into an annual celebration.

*For more information, please visit www.sabookcouncil.co.za

LIST OF AWARDED AUTHORS

Gcina Mhlophe – Ibhubesi lakuthola kanjani ukubhonga kwalo — IsiZulu
Samuel Machitela – Ga Ke Nyake Phoso — Sepedi
Given Mdliva – Nangomso iselusuku — IsiXhosa
Isaac Saki Shabangu – Yoo, ndzi khomeleni minoo; Embiteni Yin’we; Xilotlela xa Vutlhokovetseri – Xitsonga
JJ Mhlongo – Dyonzo xitlhangu xa vutomi — Xitsonga
BR Mokoena – Kabelo ya ka – SeSotho
David Wa Maahlamela – Tša Borala – SePedi
MJ Mokaba – Ba mo nyakele kae?; Mahlopha a senya — Sepedi
MJ Mafogo – Faele Ya Ramolao — Sepedi
ME Ngcobo – Igazi Lezibi — IsiZulu
Mzi R Mngadi – Yekanini AmaFilisti — IsiZulu
G Malindzisa – Kuphilwa kanye kulomhlaba – Seswati
Thokozani Nene – Tapa zingakemukeli
M M Ndlovu – Elokufa alitsheli – IsiZulu
T Makhado and EM Thagwane – Miludzi ya Shango – Tshivenda
NB Sekere and M Mahlwane – Di mameleng ha di phetwa — Sesotho

Ends

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Literacy? There’s an App for That

Nalibali Literacy App

To celebrate International Literacy Day today, the Nal’ibali reading-for-enjoyment campaign has joined forces with Mxit Reach to launch a literacy app.

Mxit Reach is a division of Mxit, a mobile social networking platform, dedicated to free mobile educational, health care, agricultural and community applications, and has five million monthly users.

The app, which is available to anyone with a mobile handset, including non-smart feature phones, enables users to receive stories or motivational tips in a language of their choice. It also contains a story library, including audio book and literacy quizzes, and a virtual reading club section where users can share their book reviews. To encourage meaningful engagement, users can earn points and other rewards by completing stories and submitting reviews.

Carole Bloch, director of the Project for the Study of Alternative Education in South Africa (PRAESA), which is driving the Nal’ibali campaign, says a love of reading must be initiated at home, preferably in a child’s home language.

“Research shows that being told stories and being read to at home are the things most likely to help make children successful learners at school,” Bloch says. “Stories, particularly when read or heard in home languages, help children develop their language skills and imagination as well as their thinking and problem-solving skills. But not all South Africans have access to children’s books and stories – particularly in their mother tongue.

“What most South Africans do have, is a cellphone, with mobile penetration now over 100 percent in the country. By harnessing this tidal wave of mobile communication technology use in our country, we hope to get even more adults reading and enjoying stories with their children so it becomes part of their daily lives.”

Adults are encouraged to sign up for the app with their children, as literacy development is most successful when stories are read and enjoyed together.

“There is a tendency for parents to engage less with their children around ebooks and other forms of digital content,” Bloch says. “Language and literacy skills are best developed in the discussion and engagement that takes place when caregivers and young ones share a story together – and this includes the sharing of stories found on digital devices.”

To sign-up for the Nal’ibali reading-for-enjoyment app download Mxit on your phone at m.mxit.com. Go to Apps > Search > Nalibali.

For more information visit www.nalibali.org or www.nalibali.mobi.

Image courtesy of Nal’ibali


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Tša Borala: A Sepedi/Sesotho sa Leboa Poetry Anthology to be Launched at Polokwane Literary Fair

Tsa Borala English book launch

The annual Polokwane Literary Fair, which has been running since 2012, will take place from Friday, 5 September 2014 to Sunday, 14 September, incorporating National Book Week.

This year’s event will feature many exciting events for children, as part of National Book Week’s emphasis on creating a “culture of reading”, as well as the launch of an exciting new Sepedi and Sesotho sa Leboa poetry anthology, Tša Borala.

On Friday, members of the public are invited to donate books from 10 AM at Greenside Primary School, when a puppet show and storytelling will take place, with Deputy Minister of Arts and Culture Rejoice Mabudafhasi, Polokwane Executive Mayor Thembi Nkadimeng, and television personality and National Book Week ambassador Aaron Moloisi.

On Saturday, 6 September, from 8 AM at the Polokwane City Library, the activities will continue, including book donations, a children’s reading competition, and motivational talks.

“This is a good cause which contributes towards late former President of South Africa Tata Nelson Mandela’s legacy around education and improving the plight of our younger generation through reading and writing,” Nkadimeng says.

“This marks the beginning of an important partnership that strategically aligns the Annual Polokwane Literary Fair to the national agenda thus bringing it closer to realising its vision of being a national and continental thought-leading brand.”

Meanwhile, on 11 September, The Timbila Poetry Project will launch its new anthology of indigenous-language poetry, Tša Borala.

Tša Borala is an anthology of 202 poems in Sepedi and Sesotho sa Leboa, compiled and edited by award-winning poet David wa Maahlamela, and featuring the work of Matshediso Aletta Motimele, Phomelelo Moshapo-Machika, Tau Motubatse, Mashupye Nchabeleng and Mankgase Shadrach Mashabela.

The collection came together out of a creative writing workshop that was held in Polokwane in 2010, and features such sidelined dialects as Khelobedu, Setlokwa and Sepulane.

Tša Borala was produced as part of the South African Book Development Council’s Indigenous Languages Publishing Programme.

Tša Borala: A Sepedi/Sesotho sa Leboa Poetry Anthology by Books LIVE


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Twenty in 20 Anthology Launched as National Book Week Kicks Off

Twenty in 20 anthology

 
Twenty in 20Twenty in 20: The Best Short Stories of South Africa’s 20 Years of Democracy was launched at the start of National Book Week.

The launch was attended by the Minister of Arts and Culture, Nathi Mthethwa, Deputy Minister of Arts and Culture Rejoice Mabudafhasi, South African Book Development Council CEO Elitha van der Sandt, and SABDC chairperson Jane Molony, as well as Twenty in 20 judges Mandla Langa and Karabo Kgoleng.

The Twenty in 20 project, a collaboration between Books LIVE, the Department of Arts and Culture and Short Story Day Africa, kicked off in May, when we made a call for submissions of the finest short stories written in South Africa, in English, since 1994.

After over 200 submissions, judges Langa (chair), Kgoleng, Mtutuzeli Matshoba and Fiona Snyckers chose a longlist of 50, and then a final list of 20 short stories, which have now been collected into an anthology that will provide pleasure for generations to come and serve as a long-standing reference for South African literary posterity. From Chris van Wyk’s 1995 miniature masterpiece, “Relatives”, to Makhosazana Xaba‘s extraordinary 2013 tale of betrayal, “Running”, we hope you enjoy the fruits of the Twenty in 20 project, a Twenty Years of Freedom initiative.

Langa said the collection represented “what it means to be South African, what it means to be creative, what it means to take that journey that South Africa has taken for the past 20 years”.

“When we started on this exercise of looking through the short stories we wanted, as South Africans, to do things right,” Langa said. “To come up with the short stories that best represent the spirit of the 20 years of our democracy.

“We believed in the issue, in the principle, that literature comes from the Latin word ‘literatura’, which means letters, which means we were looking for letters that best help us understand ourselves as South Africans and also material that goes to the spirit of writing, which is being able to imagine to ‘the other’, being able to see the world through the eyes of ‘the other’. And we believe that the empathy that comes out of that is what really brings about peace in any community.”

The Twenty in 20 Continues South Africa’s Great Tradition of Short Story Writing

Deputy Minister of Arts and Culture Rejoice Mabudafhasi said she was “delighted” to launch the Twenty in 20 anthology, as it continues a great tradition of short story writing in South Africa.

“In July it was with sadness that we learnt of the passing of the South African literary giant and Nobel Laureate in Literature Nadine Gordimer. She was a renowned anti-apartheid critic and cultural activist who, from a young age, showed principled commitment in an artistic freedom of expression and the ideal of a non-racial and democratic society. Her contribution to the national literary treasury is immeasurable and not even her death can erase it.

“Gordimer saw her fiction as part of the struggle against apartheid; to document the havoc that institutional lies, prejudice and discrimination wrought on private lives.

“But South Africa has a rich tradition of short story writing, with not only Nadine, but also Bloke Modisane, Casey Motsisi, Can Themba, Bessie Head, Es’kia Mphahlele, Njabulo Ndebele, Mbulelo Mzamane and many, many other notable literary voices.

“With this inspirational earlier generation we encourage younger generations to continue with this great tradition while confronting present day challenges.”

Only 6% of Books in South Africa are Published in Indigenous Languages

Mabudafhasi added, however, that South Africa has a long way to go to promote a “culture of reading”, and that the writing community has a responsibility to contribute to its growth.

“In the general sector in South Africa, 49 percent of the books published are in English. 45 percent in Afrikaans. The remaining six percent is shared among the nine indigenous languages,” Mabudafhasi said. “This deep imbalance manifests itself in many ways including economic beneficiation. So we still have a great task ahead of us.

“The writing fraternity has the responsibility to add meaningful value in our endeavour to address the lack of a culture of reading and contribute towards the attainment of a broader imperative of developing a caring society. A thriving literary landscape and a widespread culture of reading can serve as a catalyst for the creation of a prosperous society.

“In the South African context, where our emphasis must be placed on economic growth and development and the creation of sustainable jobs, we need to recognise that the prerequisite for entrepreneurship, inventiveness and innovation is the basic skills of reading and writing.

“Out of reading and writing we also develop our analytical capacity, so that we can address even more complex matters and problems that affect our people and ourselves.

“Reading statistics suggest that only 14 percent of the South African population are active book readers and a mere five percent of parents read to their children. National Book Week is an important initiative to encourage people to value reading as a fun activity and to showcase how reading can be incorporated into one’s everyday lifestyle.

“In the words of our late president Tata Nelson Mandela: ‘If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his own language, that goes to his heart.’”

Mthethwa: Nat Nakasa Emphasised Shared Nationhood Through Writing

Minister of Arts and Culture Nathi Mthethwa said it is vital for South Africa to “write, tell and read our own stories”.

“National Book Week marks the beginning of Heritage Month in South Africa. This is no accident, as books are an integral part of telling our own stories, celebrating our heroes, and moving our society forward. One of the African proverbs puts it eloquently: ‘Until the lions have their own historians, the history of the hunt will always glorify the hunter.’

“As we celebrate 20 years of democracy this year, we must write, tell and read our own stories. The importance of books as sources of knowledge and information makes reading a vital ingredient of developing society. The challenge is for South African writers to use their pen to define our identity, tell South African stories and empower communities.”

Mthethwa referred to the speech made by Nat Nakasa, in his address to the English Academy of South Africa in 1963, before he was forced to leave for Harvard University forever on a one-way exit permit.

“The late iconic journalist and editor Nat Nakasa said: ‘It is the general idea of a shared nationhood, the idea of a common experience, which I want to focus attention upon. I believe it is important for our writers to illuminate all aspects of our life from a central point in the social structure. That is, whatever their colour or views may be, they must accept their presence in the country as members of one community, the South African community. After that they can choose to be what they wish. Without this view of life, the writer will continue to lack closeness to his subject, his work will suffer from the inadequacy of his own insight into the human situations he handles.’

“Ours is a period when few writers can claim to be relevant without clearly defining their role and using their talent to help us find our true identity and where we are going as a nation. As custodians of our nation’s heritage, it is the responsibility of the Department of Arts and Culture to promote the culture of reading and writing, develop a sustainable book publishing industry that encourage the development of all South African languages, and resurrect the memory of our unsung heroes like the legendary Nakasa.”

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Books LIVE, Jennifer Malec, Ben Williams, and others, tweeted from the launch using #livebooks:


 

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