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Make way for great South African Books: Exclusive Books celebrates local books and writing this June with its 2018 Homebru Campaign and free in-store catalogue

Exclusive Books, South Africa’s leading bookseller, celebrates South African authors this June with the launch of its annual Homebru campaign. There are more than 50 books in this year’s Homebru selection, and the languages represented include, in addition to English and Afrikaans, isiZulu, seSotho, isiXhosa and Sepedi.

Homebru 2018 features great fiction, biography, history, politics and current affairs, engaging children’s books, comics for young adults, poetry, cookery and more. Fanatics members earn double points on all titles, and the official 2018 Homebru catalogue is available to all members of the public for free in stores.

The books and authors featured represent a true slice of South African writing and include Mandy Wiener’s fascinating and disturbing Ministry of Crime, Schalk Bezuidenhout’s hilarious Truitjie roer my nie, Mpho Dagada’s inspiring Mr Bitcoin, Refiloe Moahloli’s delightful new children’s book, Tullula, Lukhanyo and Abigail Calata’s sobering memoir My Father Died for This, Nozizwe Cynthia Jele’s fantastic second novel, The Ones with Purpose, and Dudu Busani-Dube’s epic romance Zulu Wedding, among dozens of other titles.

“Without local writers there would be far fewer local readers,” said Ben Williams, GM: Marketing for Exclusive Books. “It’s a great privilege to be able to promote these titles, and Homebru is always one of the most exciting times of the year for those who love great reads.”

Browse the 2018 Homebru selection at Exclusive Books Online:

Exclusive Books is planning more than 30 events during the month of June to showcase its Homebru selection: watch out for invitations to its stores in Cape Town, Johannesburg, Pretoria, Durban, Pietermaritzburg and Bloemfontein. The full list of events will be online here:

Select Homebru 2018 events:


Mandy Wiener: Ministry of Crime Book Signing
EB Bedford Centre
DATE Saturday, 02 June 2018
TIME 11:00 – 12:00
RSVP email

Schalk Bezuidenhout: Truitjie roer my nie
EB Rosebank Mall
DATE Tuesday, 05 June 2018
TIME 18:00 vir 18:30
RSVP email

Vimla Naidoo and Sahm Venter: I remember Nelson Mandela
EB Hyde Park Corner
DATE Wednesday, 06 June 2018
TIME 18:00 for 18:30
RSVP email

Mpho Dagada: Mr Bitcoin
EB Rosebank Mall
DATE Wednesday, 06 June 2018
TIME 18:00 for 18:30
RSVP email

Mpho Dagada: Mr Bitcoin
EB Menlyn
DATE Thursday, 07 June 2018
TIME 18:00 for 18:30
RSVP email

Refiloe Moahloli: Tullula – Children’s Reading
EB Mall of the South
DATE Saturday, 09 June 2018
TIME 10:00 for 10:30
RSVP email

Lukhanyo and Abigail Calata: My Father Died for This
EB Hyde Park Corner
DATE Tuesday, 12 June 2018
TIME 18:00 for 18:30
RSVP email

Clinton Chauke: Born in Chains
EB Menlyn Park
DATE Tuesday, 12 June 2018
TIME 18:00 for 18:30
RSVP email

Nozizwe Cynthia Jele: The Ones with Purpose
EB Rosebank Mall
DATE Wednesday, 13 June 2018
TIME 18:00 for 18:30
RSVP email

Kwa-Zulu Natal

Dudu Busani-Dube: Zulu Wedding
Bessie Head Library, PMB
DATE Saturday, 02 June 2018
TIME 10:00 – 12:00
RSVP email

Free State

Marinda van Zyl: Dors
NALN, Bloemfontein
DATE Wednesday, 06 June 2018
TIME 17:30 vir 18:00
RSVP email

Western Cape

Clinton Chauke: Born in Chains
EB Cavendish Square
DATE Wednesday, 06 June 2018
TIME 18:00 for 18:30
RSVP email

Joanne Jowell: Winging It
EB Cavendish Square
DATE Thursday, 07 June 2018
TIME 18:00 for 18:30
RSVP email

Ministry of Crime

Book details


Truitjie roer my nie




My Father Died for This


The Ones With Purpose


Zulu Wedding

"There's a social justice agenda that gets and keeps me passionate about this work" - a Q&A with Lara Krause, language activist and PhD researcher into mother tongue education

Published in the Sunday World: 27 May 2018; Daily Dispatch: 28 May 2018; Herald: 31 May 2018)

By Carla Lever

Lara Krause, language activist and PhD researcher into mother tongue education. Photo supplied.

You’ve specialised in language and education in South Africa for many years now. What gets you so passionate about these topics?

It’s always struck me that something as universal as language, which was never an obstacle in my own education, can make life so difficult for millions of children at school. So there’s a social justice agenda that gets and keeps me passionate about this work. I’m also excited by the idea of debating what language really is – what counts as a ‘proper’ language and what gets dismissed as unacceptable or informal.

There is a big and important movement fighting for access to mother tongue education, but your research suggests it’s a complicated issue. Why is that?

Well, one issue is that South Africa is a country where most children grow up speaking more than one neat language category – they mix isiZulu, English, isiXhosa and maybe Afrikaans as a normal part of everyday life. They communicate just as efficiently as everyone else – perhaps more efficiently! – but what is their mother tongue? It shows the shortcomings of our thinking.

Can you give us some practical examples where school language policy doesn’t always help children?

Well, the numbers used in everyday isiXhosa are mostly adapted from English – the formal isiXhosa words for numbers are almost never used. When children learn maths in ‘mother tongue’, though, they are often taught standard isiXhosa words for numbers – words that are actually foreign to them! This sometimes has children being marked down in tests if, for example, they can’t write a number like 153 out in standard isiXhosa words. These children can often count and work with numbers perfectly well – it’s just that the words they know are not acknowledged because they don’t fit into one language category. That’s not a failure of thinking, it’s a failure of policy.

In your experience, what creative things are teachers doing in practice to help students with this?

Teachers work a lot with visual aids, I find. Even though resources are often hard to come by, they print posters, bring pictures or postcards to continuously illustrate what is being spoken about. I’ve also seen teachers physically act out vocabulary that they are teaching and integrating little jokes to make learners remember things better. I’ve been really impressed by the creativity teachers bring under very difficult circumstances!

Obviously it’s important that we turn around our literacy rates in South Africa. Do you think a more flexible approach to language use might help with this?

Yes! If I could decide, I would relax language restrictions when it comes to writing in content subjects in primary school. Children should be free to use whichever language resources they have to show their knowledge. We should also stop worrying so much about teachers mixing languages in the classroom – research suggests it’s one of the most efficient ways of helping students understand. We should legitimise and support any practices which help our children learn and develop a love of using language to express themselves. As they are exposed to standard ways of saying and writing things in the books they read, children absorb the formal rules if they’re allowed to grow into them.

You’ve done some work with picture stories to see how children naturally write. Can you tell us about why you did this and what you discovered?

I wanted to see how children choose to write if they are allowed to use any mix of languages they like. It looks as if children write more courageously and freely when not restricted to ‘one language’. This data is my current project so the insights are not very detailed yet.

How can parents and communities best support children to become curious, creative readers and thinkers? Are there any tips you’d give on supporting how children close to us talk and write?

I think it would be great to start early to expose children to different types of texts. Reading books together with children and talking about them is incredibly valuable and conducive to any sort of learning activity. However, if books are not always at hand, a whatsapp message with lots of emojis that mom just got from dad can be turned into a resource for learning about reading, writing and creativity as well, just like the writings on the wall of the spaza shop and the lyrics of children’s favorite songs.

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.

Die versmorende effek van die huishoudelike alledaagse is die hoofbron van konflik in Elsa Hamersma se domestic noir roman, Die Mense Langsaan

Die Mense LangsaanChristine wil van Frikkie, haar man, ontslae raak. Moord maak meer sin as egskeiding, veral nadat hy baie geld op die Lotto wen wat hy nie met haar deel nie, maar dan trek daar ’n geskeide man met ’n volwasse dogter langs haar in. Wanneer Frikkie op ’n onverklaarbare wyse by die trap in die huis afval, is die speurders en Christine suspisieus oor haar nuwe buurman. Christine, nou die ryk weduwee, trou gou weer en trek saam met haar nuwe man na ’n veiligheidslandgoed.

’n Eertydse kollega van Christine, Zebith, is haar nuwe buurvrou. Mettertyd kom Christine agter dat die huis waarin sy en haar nuwe man bly, ’n bloedige geskiedenis het. Zebith ken die geskiedenis en was betrokke by die inwoners. Sy ly aan postraumatiese stres en wroeg omdat sy skuldig voel oor wat in die huis langs hare gebeur het. Saam met die skuldgevoel moet sy ook die pyn van haar gebroke hart hanteer.

Die twee buurvroue het albei die mans saam met wie hulle gewoon het, verloor en albei het skouers geskuur met gewelddadige dood. Daar kan tog nie nog onvoorsiene tragedies vir hulle voorlê nie?


Domestic noir: Elders het boeke soos The girl on the train, wat as domestic noir bekendstaan, opslae gemaak. Hamersma val ook in die kategorie. Die versmorende effek van die huishoudelike alledaagse is die hoofbron van konflik. Hamersma se boek het egter ’n unieke storie, reg vir die Suid-Afrikaanse mark.

Chanette Paul, LAPA Uitgewers se manuskripontwikkelaar, sê: “Dis altyd verblydend wanneer skrywers nuwe genres in Afrikaans aanpak. Die noir-genres, en spesifiek domestic noir, is deesdae baie gewild. Ek is dus bly Elsa het hierdie tendens op die proef gestel.”

Jeanette Ferreira, teksredakteur, sê: “Dit is die beste van Elsa se romans wat ek ooit gelees het. Die bisarheid, die droefheid, die sameloop van omstandighede het my so geboei dat ek nie die teks wou neersit nie. Well done!”


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 or

Bellissimo! Jaco Jacobs doen dit in Italiaans!

LAPA Uitgewers is trots om aan te kondig dat vertaalregte vir Jaco Jacobs se bekroonde jeugroman ’n Goeie dag vir boomklim pas deur nog ’n groot internasionale uitgewery opgeraap is.

Die Italiaanse uitgewery Rizzoli het suksesvol teen ’n mededingende uitgewershuis gebie om die Italiaanse vertaalregte vir Jaco se boek te bekom.

Rizzoli is een van die grootste uitgewerye in Italië en wêreldbekende skrywers soos John Green (The Fault in Our Stars), Cressida Cowell (How to Train Your Dragon) en Michael Morpurgo (War Horse) se boeke word deur hulle in Italiaans uitgegee.

“Ek is steeds ietwat verstom,” sê Jaco, “en natuurlik baie dankbaar. Dit is ’n ongelooflike voorreg om te sien hoe Marnus en Leila, die twee hoofkarakters in my storie, die kans kry om nou regoor die wêreld te gaan boomklim!”

’n Goeie dag vir boomklim is die verhaal van Marnus, ’n gefrustreerde middelkind, wat hom een Desembervakansie laat ompraat om saam met ’n meisie in ’n boom te klim om te probeer keer dat die plaaslike owerheid dit afsaag.

’n Londense uitgewery, Oneworld Publications, het ’n Goeie dag vir boomklim verlede maand wêreldwyd in Engels gepubliseer. Die boek is tans ook in Suid-Afrika te koop as A Good Day for Climbing Trees.

In Oktober verskyn nog een van Jaco se boeke, Oor ’n motorfiets, ’n zombiefliek en lang getalle wat deur elf gedeel kan word, oorsee as A Good Night for Shooting Zombies.

’n Goeie dag vir boomklim was in 2016 die wenner van die kykNET/Rapport-prys se filmkategorie. Filmregte vir die boek is sedertdien aan M-Net toegeken.


Dié tienerboek oor skape, die stil agterpaaie van die Karoo en selfontdekking uit die pen van Jaco Jacobs sal jou anders laat kyk na die lewe, of jy nou 11 of 111 is

Hier is iets wat Luan van skape geleer het: Glo my, as jy op die ingewing van die oomblik ’n skaap by ’n kerkbasaar steel, sal jou lewe nooit weer dieselfde wees nie…

As straf moet Luan op ’n road trip gaan saam met sy eksentrieke fotograaf-ouma wat ’n fotoboek oor windpompe wil publiseer. Straf? Ja, maar jy wil nie weet nie.

Op pad deur die Karoo ontmoet hy vir Lana, wie se pa al die pad van Bloemfontein na Kaapstad met sy fiets ry om geld vir kankernavorsing in te samel. Lana eet nie vleis nie en sy mal is oor boeke. Lana is ook mal oor Luan. So, sonder dat sy dit weet, oortuig Lana vir Luan om ’n skaap te bevry van die kerkbasaar se veiling. Dis net, wel, hy betaal nie vir die skaap nie.

Dinge ruk hand uit: Die skaap raak bekend, die polisie kry snuf in die neus en… Lees maar self wat als op die Karoo se stil agterpaaie kan gebeur.

Danksy al dié drama, leer ken Luan vir die eerste keer sy ouma – daardie hardekwas-predikantsvrou wat al jare lank ’n baie diep geheim saam met haar ronddra.

Hy leer oor ook vir Lana beter ken. Sommer BAIE beter. Maar die belangrikste van als: Hy leer homself ken. Kort voor lank verander ’n vervelige rit deur die Karoo in ’n onvergeetlike avontuur.

Dié tienerboek uit die pen van Jaco Jacobs sal jou anders laat kyk na die lewe, of jy nou elf of 111 is.

Word dadelik deel van Depro Skaap se lewe!

Sy is ook op Instagram: @deproskaap