Sunday Times Books LIVE Community Sign up

Login to Sunday Times Books LIVE

Forgotten password?

Forgotten your password?

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

Sunday Times Books LIVE

Archive for the ‘South Africa’ Category

The shortlist for the Short Story Day Africa Prize for Short Fiction has been announced!

Via Short Story Day Africa

When planning the 2017 Short Story Day Africa Prize, ID, the abbreviation for “identity” and the psychoanalytic construct of the “Id” – that deep structure that houses our unconscious desires – we called for “innovative short fiction that explores identity, especially (but not limited to) the themes of gender identity and sexuality.”

We were impressed as never before by the multiple ways in which writers from all over the continent responded, the depth, variety and innovation of their interpretations. From Benin to Ethiopia, from Morocco to South Africa, the stories on the long list reveal uncomfortable and fascinating truths about who we are.

Once editing was completed, the twenty-one stories were sent to the judges. The decision to edit the stories and to engage with the authors before judging has proven to be invaluable in enabling young writers and raw talent to compete on an equal footing with their more established and experienced peers. The final stories and indeed the shortlisted stories are more evenly balanced between those already making their mark in terms of publication and awards, and extremely talented writers who are new to the adventure of publishing or only just venturing into the terrain of short fiction.

This year, for the first time, we opted for a broad spread of volunteer judges, ably assisted by The Johannesburg Review of Books, rendering the evaluation process flatter, more consultative and democratic. The combination of the new scoring system and the extremely high standard of the stories meant that for the first time, we’ve produced a short list of nine stories, instead of the usual six.

The shortlist is as follows (in alphabetical order):

1. The Piano Player by Agazit Abate (Ethiopia)
2. Ibinabo by Michael Agugom (Nigeria)
3. The Geography of Sunflowers by Michelle Angwenyi (Kenya)
4. Limbo by Innocent Chizaram Ilo (Nigeria)
5. Sew My Mouth by Cherrie Kandie (Kenya)
6. South of Samora by Farai Mudzingwa (Zimbabwe)
7. All Our Lives by Tochukwu Emmanuel Okafor (Nigeria)
8. The House on the Corner by Lester Walbrugh (South Africa)
9. God Skin by Michael Yee (South Africa)

Seen here are a variety of explorations of queer sexuality – an extremely important and necessary creative intervention, given the grim march of homophobia, including in legislative forms, across the African continent. Michael Agugom charts the challenges of negotiating biracial and sexually complex identities in a small and watchful Nigerian island community in “Ibinabo”; and Cherrie Kandie provides a powerful and painful account of the silencing (literally) of lesbian love in urban Nairobi in “Sew My Mouth”. In “The House on the Corner”, Lester Walbrugh provides a moving interpretation of the perhaps ubiquitous “gay life in Cape Town” narrative; Innocent Chizaram Ilo provides a delightfully unusual and fantastical account of heartbreak as experienced by a lesbian scarecrow in “Limbo”.

Michelle Angwenyi’s lyrical and hallucinatory “The Geography of Sunflowers” presents heteronormative love and loss as experiences that both heighten and blur identity.

Identity is also formed through friendships and family bonds, and in Farai Mudzingwa’s delicate and moving “South of Samora”, a young man whose social standing is dependent on where he lives, forms a friendship with an ailing child that forces him to define himself; while Tochukwu Emmanuel Okafor’s “All Our Lives” is a wry, clear-eyed, humorous and characteristically compassionate account of the identity (multiple identities, in fact) of a much-maligned community – young and disaffected men who drift into Nigerian cities in pursuit of a “better life”.

“The Piano Player” by Agazit Abate is a brilliant inversion of the “African abroad” narrative as it presents snapshots of life in Addis Abada through the eyes and ears of a pianist in a luxury hotel bar, and “God Skin” by Michael Yee weaves together alienation, forbidden love and intimate violence against a subtle backdrop of the scars of Liberia’s civil war.

Congratulations to all the shortlisted authors.

The winners will be announced on 21 June 2018, the shortest day of the year in the southern hemisphere. The grand prize winner is set to win $800. A full list of project sponsors is available on our sponsors page.

The resulting anthology from the longlisted prize entries, ID: New Short Fiction From Africa, is edited by Nebila Abdulmelik, Otieno Owino and Helen Moffett as part of the SSDA/Worldreader Editing Mentorship. ID is due for release on 21 June 2018, the shortest day of the year in the southern hemisphere, in partnership with New Internationalist.

All of SSDA’s previous anthologies have received critical acclaim, with two stories from Feast, Famine & Potluck shortlisted for The Caine Prize for African Writing – with one, “My Father’s Head” by Okwiri Oduor, going on to win the prize. Terra Incognita and Water likewise received wide critical praise, including reviews from the Los Angeles Review of Books, the Sunday Times and the Financial Mail. Stacy Hardy’s story “Involution”, published in Migrations is shortlisted for the 2018 Caine Prize for African Writing.


» read article

Do you suffer from stress? This book could help you avoid burnout and change the trajectory of your life

Avoiding BurnoutIf you’re suffering from stress, this book could help you avoid burnout and change the trajectory of your life.

“This is a book of triumph and grace that follows when one has suffered deeply and endured crises of such magnitude that our hearts and minds are literally cracked open and we recognise a power beyond ourselves that is always present.” Meryl Abrahams, Professional Specialised Kinesiologist

K.A. Mann had it all. She was a mother and wife, an ultra- marathon runner and a business owner. But the stress of doing the wrong work in an unpleasant environment landed her with a lifelong autoimmune illness.

Without work and income, she took stock of how it happened and how she could have prevented her burnout. Kathy developed the seven principles of self-preservation.

The principles cover relationship issues such as the importance of boundaries; knowing yourself and injecting creativity into your life – all to create a richer, more rewarding life and to connect with what matters most to you.
 
In this heartfelt and personal account, she provides great insight into the factors affecting our stress levels. Accompanied by personal stories and backed up by research, Kathy provides opportunities for us to evaluate our lives and to design a life more aligned to our authentic selves.

Author Detail

Kathy enjoys public speaking and writing articles on the topic of avoiding burnout and self-preservation. She writes an honest and thought-provoking blog (www.findingyourlifepassion.co.za) on connecting with your passion and in living a fulfilling life. She lives in Johannesburg, South Africa with her husband and two daughters.

Book details


» read article

“Reading is a powerful force in society and connects us to the thoughts and ideas of people across space and time” – a Q&A with Theresa Giorza, literacies activist and PhD researcher

Published in the Sunday World: 20 May 2018; Daily Dispatch 21 May 2018; Herald 24 May 2018

By Carla Lever

Children decide in pairs which picture we are are going to discuss to follow our question: “Can a street be a classroom?” Here, two girls vote for a picture showing a collection of cut-out mermaids and fairies. Photographer: Daniel Born

 
Can you tell us a little about your research?

I’m really interested in the ways that children create stories but also connect with everyday objects, situations and spaces. My research has been about finding out how children make meaning by engaging with their surroundings. I’ve recently experimented with the question of whether a street can be a classroom and uncovered a whole lot of new ways of thinking about public spaces and children’s learning.

Why is children’s literacy such a passion for you?

Actually I like to talk about ‘literacies’ rather than ‘literacy’ because I see children expressing themselves through so many different means, many of them not needing words at all. Drawing is probably the most well supported story-making children’s language that is acknowledged by adults, but there are so many more!

Your work must have taken you to some interesting places and situations! Can you tell us some of the most memorable moments with children and storytelling?

The most remarkable things have happened when I have been able to return to a group of children I have worked with. The way that the slow, thoughtful processing of ideas works over time and re-emerges in different expressions is always surprising. Children develop their own favorite themes that can be seen as the beginning of their ‘literacy’ practice – even if there are no words involved!

What are the biggest everyday things all of us can do to make a difference with literacy acquisition and a love for books in our families and communities?

The two most important things are so simple: to have really good conversations and to be interested in the world! The key to having good conversations is to be interested in how people, including the very smallest people, see things and in what they think about the world.

What are some of the most creative South African teaching solutions you’ve encountered in response to lack of resources or challenging conditions?

The use of an ‘enquiry-based’ approach to learning is really creative. It’s a form of learning where children are encouraged to ask questions and explore ideas themselves as a way into a topic, rather than just being told facts. Philosophy with Children, for example, is an enquiry-based approach that uses picture books to explore ideas in a space in which the ideas and questions of children lead the session instead of the teacher.

Why is reading together with children – and by oneself around children – so important?

Reading is a powerful force in society and connects us to the thoughts and ideas of people across space and time! Reading is at the centre of the way we learn and communicate, so it’s important that we invite children in as new readers as early as possible and establish reading as an enjoyable and inclusive activity.

What positive changes do you think we can realistically expect to see in the next five years in South African literacies or education?

One positive change I anticipate is for parents and families to really come on board in promoting children’s literacies. We need to educate parents about the importance of all the ‘literacies’ their children can explore before being introduced to school instruction – creative expression in storytelling, music, drawing and pattern making. Even more positive changes will come when ‘formal’ literacy learning embraces the abilities that children have for creating meaning, inventing narratives and engaging with the world together.

From Sunday April 15, Nal’ibali will be publishing its supplements in two new languages. An English-Setswana edition will be published in the Sunday World in the North West, and an English-Xitsonga edition will be donated to reading clubs in Limpopo. Clubs in both provinces will collect their copies from select post offices. The post offices (10 in each province) will also have 50 additional editions each to give away to member of the public.


» read article

Ons Klyntji is calling for submissions!

Via Ons Klyntji

Deadline: 31 May 2018, midnight CAT

Ons Klyntji, a magazine published and launched every year at the Oppikoppi music festival is looking for submissions “written or visual”.

There is no set theme, but we do appreciate material that concerns the here and now: love & politics, drought & roll, the road & the verge, music & the movement, spirits & genes, the city & the land, origins & myth, cursor & click, if you liked this you might also like & suggested for you. (This means: you write what you left swipe.) Writings about South Africa, Africa, South Africans and Africans will be appreciated.

Send in:

  • Your three best poems
  • Short stories no longer than 2500 words
  • Photographs, graphics, sketches, images, doodles etc that work in black and white, and smallish (Ons Klyntji is printed the size of your back pocket)
  • Book and CD reviews of no longer than 150 words a shot (focus on South African and African material, fiction or non-fiction, poetry or non-poetry)
  • Interviews with a creative of your choice (max 2000 words)
  • A short thesis on why South Africans consider the orange traffic light to be an invitation to speed the hell up (max 100 words)

 
You can submit in any language to either info@toastcoetzer.com or sendusyourpoems@gmail.com


» read article

Book Bites: 20 May

Published in the Sunday Times

The Hum of the Sun
*****
Kirsten Miller, Kwela R285

Zuko is eight and his thoughts get stuck in his mouth. He enjoys Cheerios, nature, rhythms, patterns, and the light. With his mother and sister dead, his only guide through life is Ash, his teenage brother. Ash should be in school, but with no money or food, he pins his hopes on finding their father in the city. But it is a long walk for two boys; can he be strong enough to get both himself and Zuko there safely? A beautifully told tale that penetrates the heart. Tiah Beautement @ms_tiahmarie

The Little Italian Bakery
****
Valentina Cebeni (Little, Brown, R275)

Food is magic. From candied lemon sweets (little bits of sunshine) to fried bread soaked in orange blossom honey, Elettra has to come to terms with her baking heritage. Her mother Edda is in a coma, and Elettra’s only answer to her family background is a necklace that points her to Titan’s Island, just off the coast of Sardinia where she discovers a group of widows living in a convent. They might have the answer to all her questions. Cebeni’s novel is atmospheric – filled with scents of lemon, cobalt blue skies and hills covered with juniper berries and heather, and most of all, a deep warm feeling of love. Jennifer Platt @Jenniferdplatt

Book details


» read article

#CatchMeReading: Nal’ibali to launch a nationwide book exchange on 26 May

Issued by Petunia Thulo on behalf of Nal’ibali


 

‘Books are a uniquely portable magic’ – Stephen King

There is no substitute for books in the life of a child. Which is why the NGO The Nal’ibali Trust, is expanding on its reading-for-enjoyment campaign, to initiate a national book exchange project on the 26th of May. Jade Jacobsohn, Nal’ibali’s Managing Director says, “Literacy Mentors across the country will be hosting public book exchange events, where everyone is encouraged to bring and swap a book, enjoy storytelling and read-aloud sessions, and find out more about how they can read and share stories effectively with their children.”

How it works

  • The book exchange welcomes books of any variety; printed or handmade books for adults or children can be swapped.
  • Those bringing books to exchange will receive a special sticker which can be placed on the inside cover.
  • The sticker provides an opportunity for the previous owner to inscribe their name and location before passing it on.

Illiteracy is the academic handbrake
A recent study by PIRLS states that 78% of Grade 4’s in South Africa are illiterate. All the more worrying when the ability to read in Grade 4 is regarded as crucial. From Grades 1 to 3 you learn to read, but from Grades 4 to 12 you read to learn.

“If a learner is unable to read properly, they will never get a firm grasp on the first rung of the academic ladder and will fall further and further behind,” says Stellenbosch University education expert, Nic Spaull.

Although parents have high aspirations for their children, many are not aware that reading is a powerful way to help them reach their potential. Research shows that only 35% of adults read regularly to their children and very few are readers themselves. But teachers, parents and caregivers can play a significant role in children’s literacy development. The Nal’ibali book exchange is an easy and fun way for caregivers and adults to start to model positive reading behaviors and become reading role models for their children.

Reading is learning to fly
“Academics aside,” says Jacobsohn, “Children who learn to read fluently take a flight into a whole new world, fueled by imagination and buoyed by curiosity.”

But they can’t do it alone. The book exchange intends to encourage adults and children to engage actively in fun literacy behaviors.

“We recognise and respect the power and potential of communities in literacy development and are working to build a nation of people who are interested and passionate about storytelling, reading and writing. We want to ensure that every child has at least one reading role model who uses reading and writing in meaningful ways with them, who encourages them to read, and who supports them through the provision of books and other literacy materials.”

You need literary materials to learn to read
Access to literacy materials is one of the biggest barriers faced by South Africans to get reading, the book exchange is just one of the ways that Nal’ibali is supporting the circulation of books and stories in mother tongue languages.

Other Nal’ibali projects to promote reading
Continues Jacobsohn, “Nal’ibali also produces 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.

“There’s also weekly broadcasts of audio stories in all 11 SA languages and a network of over 1 000 reading clubs in six provinces. First prize is to bring reading-for-enjoyment into homes, schools and communities.”

Ambassadors for reading
Supporting the drive, South African public figures will not only be bringing along their own books to swap at exchanges in the Eastern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal, Gauteng, and Limpopo, but will be signing up to Nal’ibali’s volunteer network – FUNda Leader – too.

But it’s not just for celebs, FUNda Leader is open to anyone who would like to champion literacy in their communities. Those who sign up will receive specialised training to build and nurture literacy amongst children. Members of the public interested in becoming a FUNda Leader can sign up at the exchange or online at Nal’ibali’s website, www.naliabli.org.

South Africans are also encouraged to hold and host their own book exchanges. The specially designed posters and stickers are available for download from the website.

“With opportunities to browse through different books, sit down and read or page through story books with children or simply get chatting with other community members about the books you have read, or will be reading, the book exchange promises to be a fun activity for all ages. We’re excited to share tips and ideas with all adults and anyone who wants to nurture a love of reading with children. And, with May being ‘Get Caught Reading Month’, there really is every reason to get down to your local book exchange!”

After all, a book is a dream you can hold in your hand, and the future belongs to those who believe in the possibilities of dreams.

For more information about Nal’ibali or its nationwide book-exchange drive, visit the Nal’ibali website (www.nalibali.org and www.nalibali.mobi) or find them on Facebook and Twitter.


» read article

READ Educational Trust: celebrating the freedom to learn, this Africa Day!

Written on behalf of READ Educational Trust

On 25 May 2018 we celebrate Africa Day; a day marking the independence of 28 African countries from European colonisers. While South Africa only became part of the original organisation in 1994, our country became the founding member of the African Union, officially launched in 2002.

For READ Educational Trust, a non-profit organisation promoting literacy amongst the poorest of the poor for nearly 40 years, this day is about far more than liberation. It’s about the freedom to learn; the freedom to explore and be educated, and at the very core, it’s about access to reading and literacy.

READ’S reason for being has always been to bring change to the lives of disadvantaged children in South Africa through education. Sadly, after 38 years since the organisation’s inception, we still see the majority of young learners being negatively impacted by a range of social and economic inequalities. These children in predominantly rural areas face a childhood of adversity.

There is inadequate access to healthcare, education, social services and quality nutrition. This has undermined the development of these learners, resulting in significant deficits that limit educational progress.

This limited progress was highlighted in the Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS) report, released in December 2017. A staggering 80% of South African Grade 4 learners cannot read with comprehension. South Africa’s average score is 261 points below countries like The Russian Federation, Singapore and Ireland. This difference represents six school years – meaning that our Grade 8 learners, entering secondary education, are reading at the same level as Grade 2 learners in these countries. Our top achievers are at the same mean level score as the lowest 25% performing countries. Over the past five years, our learners (including the top achievers) have not progressed at all. Rural learners are three years below their urban counterparts.

READ has successfully addressed some of these issues over the years, thanks to the implementation of Early Childhood Development (ECD) Programmes that assist caregivers, educators and principals of ECD Centres in overcoming our country’s challenges. READ also provides practical training, hands-on support and valuable resources which have been shown to be extremely effective.

The need, however, is both dire and vast. A collective effort can change the face of South Africa. The only way to succeed is for governments, non-profit organisations, big business and private individuals to stand together and do all they can to combat illiteracy by actively promoting and funding reading and educational incentives.

Visit http://www.read.org.za/ to find out more and join the conversations on:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/READEduTrust/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/READEduTrust, Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/read_educational_trust/


» read article

Barry Ronge Fiction Prize shortlist: Maxine Case discusses the origins of Softness of the Lime

Published in the Sunday Times

Maxine Case is based in Cape Town. When not writing, she works as an independent communications consultant. She is currently working on a screenplay, which is not based on her family history.

I don’t exactly remember when exactly I started writing Softness of the Lime. I know it was sometime during 2011 or 2012, while I was living in New York and completing an MFA degree in creative writing at the New School. For a long time before then I’d been struggling to find the space to write while working full time.

Luckily, I received a fellowship from the Ford Foundation which paid for my studies and would allow me the time and distance to work on the story of my family’s claim to a fabled fortune, which they believed was a master’s legacy to his descendants from his favourite slave, my great-great-great-great grandmother. A newspaper reported on this claim and how my great-great-great grandmother, Johanna September, had destroyed important proof required to claim the money to hide what she believed to be the taint of her slave blood.

So, Johanna was the initial focus of my story, and I planned to tell it truthfully, by discovering the facts of her life through archival research and interviews with surviving family members. Johanna was the illegitimate daughter of a servant, raised in the home of her master/father in Wynberg. There, Johanna was treated not quite like a servant, but not like a daughter either until she married and moved.

Johanna was an uncomfortable character for me to understand. I wrote several chapters before I realised that to understand Johanna, and to get to the root of the story, I’d have to go further back: to Lena, Johanna’s grandmother and our family’s first known slave ancestor.

Lena was at the heart of the mystery of the master’s money and strange bequest, but all I had was a name, possibly an incomplete name at that. Family lore has it that Lena came from Indonesia, but once I established the time that she would have arrived at the Cape, I thought that was unlikely.

I returned to Cape Town and tried to find traces of Lena’s life in the Western Cape archives. I found records of the master who’d impregnated her, but nothing of Lena – not a name, not a date or place of birth.

In trying to tell Lena’s story, I realised I needed to eschew any allegiance to nonfiction and would instead imagine what her life was. Many slaves came from Madagascar, so I gave Lena this homeland. I felt that to be fair to Lena, I’d need to strip Geert of his history too. I saw that many of the Cape’s wealthier citizens were those who had concessions to sell goods such as alcohol, grain and meat to the Dutch East India Company, and so Geert became a meat man.

Later, I learned that slaves were trafficked from the Madagascar highlands along cattle paths to the coast. I never visited Madagascar, but my mind inhabited the island for many months.

In Cape Town I trod the paths that Lena and Geert would once have navigated, separately, seldom together, I thought. I realise that I was grappling with who I am and what it means to have such a twisted history and bloodline, what it means to be a South African and a descendant of slaves, a woman today and then.

Book details


» read article

Alan Paton Award shortlist: Stuart Doran talks to us about his book Kingdom, Power, Glory: Mugabe, Zanu and the Quest for Supremacy, 1960-1987

Published in the Sunday Times

Stuart Doran is and independent historian. He completed his secondary education in Zimbabwe and later graduated from the Australian National University with a PhD in history. He has spent the last 15 years researching and writing about Zimbabwe’s early post-independence period, including the Gukurahundi massacres of 1983 and 1984.

You have a PhD in history – what was your area of study for that?

I studied 20th-century political history during my undergraduate days and then wrote a PhD thesis on the Cold War.

What sparked your interest in history?

There were two reasons why I grew to love history. The first was its applied nature. It’s about real people and real events. I found that fascinating. The second reason was that I was blessed to have a number of teachers through high school and university who were passionate about history. Those teachers genuinely loved the subject – and because of that they were better at what they did than most of my other teachers. And their enthusiasm rubbed off on others. I consider myself fortunate. Many students have poor history teachers who quickly kill off the interest of their pupils by giving the impression that history consists of nothing more than memorising a string of boring and irrelevant events. It’s a false view of a historian’s work. Historians are sleuths, investigators, pioneers – people who unearth and explain mysteries. I did much of my schooling in Matabeleland and lived in Bulawayo during the Gukurahundi. I wanted to understand the turmoil of the 1980s.

Can you describe your process of research?

Like any half-decent historian, I try to unearth new source material, while re-examining the primary source material that’s already known. And, of course, I look at what other historians have written. Then there’s the process of analysis – and, finally, the challenge of presenting the results in a way that makes sense to others. One of my mentors, the great historian Hank Nelson, drilled into me the idea that you’re not a historian if you’re writing stuff that can’t be understood by a normal educated person.

Western governments were accused of “not doing enough” to prevent the mass killing of civilians – would you agree?

I don’t subscribe to the view that historians are public intellectuals. What I mean is that we shouldn’t be in the business of making moral or political judgements when we’re writing history. Our job is to find out what happened and why it happened. It’s up to our readers to decide what the moral or political implications are. That’s not to say that historians don’t have personal views on these things. But when we have our hats on as historians, we must try to separate ourselves from such matters. So, to answer your question, I’d point to the reality as it occurred rather than making a theoretical statement about what should have been done. The reality is that western governments made private representations to the Mugabe regime about the massacres, but were not prepared to push their relationship with Zanu-PF to the wire over the issue. Those representations played a part in prompting Mugabe to scale down the intensity of the killings. But he also became convinced that there would be few consequences once he had adopted a lower-intensity approach.

Was there ever a legitimate reason for the existence of the Fifth Brigade in Matabeleland?

Mugabe and his ministers claimed that 5 Brigade was a crack unit that was established to deal with banditry in Matabeleland. But that was propaganda. The brigade was created to smash the support base of Zanu-PF’s main political opposition – and that’s exactly what it did when it was deployed in January 1983.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa was Robert Mugabe’s minister of state security during the Gukurahundi – do you believe, as some do, that he was instrumental in the massacres?

Yes. The evidence is clear. He was by no means the only player, but he was one of the most important. His outright denials are, frankly, pretty silly. He needs a new PR team.

Gukurahundi happened more than 30 years ago – do you think Zimbabweans are willing to leave it behind now?

Ordinary Zimbabweans aren’t close to having a choice in the matter. The perpetrators are still in control and any dialogue is severely constrained by that fact.

What was the most disturbing or surprising thing you uncovered in your research?

There were many. The depth of the violence was not surprising – human history everywhere is immersed in blood – but it was disturbing. When former colleagues are prepared to rip each other apart, when men take pleasure in dismembering women and children alive, it’s arresting. These things are not done by monsters, but by people like you and me. It gives you a jolt. What is this beast in the human basement?

What were your biggest challenges in writing the book?

Climbing a mountain that seemed to have no end. I bit off a lot to chew. I tried to tell myself that this was finite; that it would come to an end. Yet I wasn’t sure when that would happen and there were many times when it didn’t seem worth it. You’ve got to keep on plodding, even when the oxygen runs out. Another challenge was the lack of financial support. Many donors, institutions and individuals wring their hands over issues like the Gukurahundi, but few put money and mouth together. It means that a lot of vital research never happens. And if you’re foolhardy enough to forge ahead, most of the time you’re on your own.

It is a monumental book – do you feel there is any more to be revealed in Zimbabwean history?

I’ve barely scratched the surface. There are relatively few historians looking at modern Zimbabwean or Southern African history. The more the better. There can never be too many.

Book details


» read article

Franschhoek Literary Festival 2018 has kicked off!

From invigorating discussions about feminism in 2018, to where our country stands with regards to macro-economics; the precarious state of SA’s political future to formulating ideologies into words; plus what intersectionality *actually* means – the first day of the annual Franschhoek Literary Festival provided enough stimulating conversation to exercise festival goers’ brain muscles, whilst festival-sponsor Porcupine Ridge supplied enough wine to keep them hydrated.

Hotter than expected, veteran FLF’ers were often heard remarking that “it ALWAYS rains during Franschhoek,” yet the pleasant weather made for an excellent excuse to enjoy a glass of in vino veritas.

To whet your appetite for whatever Saturday might bring, here are a few tweets of the vet pret first day of Franschhoek Literary Festival 2018:


» read article