Sixolile Mbalo was recently interviewed by Polity’s Shannon de Ryhove about her memoir, Dear Bullet: Or A Letter to My Shooter. Mbalo tells De Ryhove that writing the book, which addresses the sexual violence that was inflicted on her as a young teenager, was part of her healing process.
Mbalo, who gives talks for Rape Crisis and NICRO and at prison care centres, speaks about how writing about her past helped her to deal with it. She discusses the high rate of sexual violence in South Africa, saying that the government is not doing enough.
Encouraging other women to speak about their rapes and get counselling, Mbalo reminds them that they are survivors, not victims:
For the last two decades Karen Paolillo and her husband, Jean-Roger, have been living amongst the wild hippos they have fought to save at the Turgwe Hippo Trust. Paolillo has written about their journey to save these animals in A Hippo Love Story, but she recently shared a story with Care2 about the rescue of a different kind of animal at Turgwe: two leopard cubs that were trapped in their water tank.
Paolillo explains that both she and her husband had malaria at the time and when the man who came to start the water pump called them to say there was a leopard in the tank, only Jean-Roger was strong enough to go. At the tank he realised there was a mother leopard nearby in the bushes and two cubs in the large brick tank. Using the camera that she had insisted he take with him, he managed to take some great photos of the cubs as he helped them out of the tank using a tree they cut down.
Read Paolillo’s story, including how she forgot to put film in the camera before handing it to him …
The downside of living in Africa is not the supposed dangers of animals being red in tooth and claws but instead the little guy that can really bring you down. In this case the malaria mosquito. Normally both Jean-Roger and I get malaria at the same time, the mosquito having made sure it bites both of us! Once, Jean-Roger was nearly recovered but not up to heavy physical work, and I was still in that twilight zone, having to frequently return to a prone position. DaiDai, an African man, had come to start the pump installed in the Turgwe River. This pump used to pump water up a four hundred foot rocky hill into a large brick tank. Water then fed by gravity through another pipe line into man-made pans built for the wild animals.
That morning DaiDai told Jean: “Mr. Paolillo, there is a leopard in the tank and it’s making too much noise!” Well, to say Jean was flummoxed was an understatement, as at that moment DaiDai was pumping. So the eight feet deep tank was filling up and would drown the leopard. He told him to immediately turn it off.
Nothing Left to Steal by Mzilikazi Wa Afrika to be published by Penguin:
This tell-all memoir reveals the details behind Sunday Times journalist Mzilikazi wa Afrika’s exposure of the R1.7 billion lease scandal between police commissioner Bheki Cele and property tycoon Roux Shabangu, for which he was infamously arrested in 2010.
It is also the riveting account of how a neglected boy in an unknown village became one of South Africa’s most awarded investigative reporters and found himself at the receiving end of the corruption that had defeated those he helped put in power.
Fearless in the face of corrupt authorities with sinister political motives, and fervent about justice, Wa Afrika’s life was characterised by resistance to oppression and inequality from an early age. Destined to defend and uphold the principles of democracy, his story is the inspiring tale of an ordinary man, armed with a pen, who challenged the proverbial giant.
About the author
Mzilikazi wa Afrika has won more than a dozen awards locally and internationally for his work and is currently the chairperson of the Forum for African Investigative Reporters and sits on the board of the Global Investigative Journalism Network. He is also a musician, song-writer and producer and released a deep-house album, The Icon, in 2008.
The story of Brenda “MaBrrr” Nokuzola Fassie is not one that belongs to her exclusively. It is a story that exists in South Africa’s collective memory and is often best told by those willing to not forget it. Since stepping into the mainstream in the early 1980s, the legend of MaBrrr has been passed on like oral legends told to children.
It is an African tale, and Fassie knows it. “Thank you my Africa, I wouldn’t be what I am without you,” she belts out in the opening of her 1989 hit track Umuntu Ngu Muntu Ngabanta. The Brenda narrative is one of love found, love lost, lows and highs (most times induced by illegal substances).
Ben Trovato has written a typically amusing and cutting letter to Economic Freedom Fighters leader Julius Malema.
Trovato, whose true identity was revealed for the first time recently as Mark Verbaan in Incognito: The Memoirs of Ben Trovato, congratulates Malema on securing a job in parliament, although he suggests his sartorial decisions may be slightly misguided:
Dear Honourable Comrade Commander-in-Chief,
Congratulations on landing once again with your bum firmly in the butter.
If sheltered employment is what you’re looking for, you could do a lot worse than parliament. Hell, for a million rand a year, I’d also dress up in a fire engine red onesie and shiny plastic hat.
To be honest, I’m not sure red is your best colour. Sure, it brings out your eyes. But it makes you look … how can I put this sensitively? It makes you look fat. Enormous. If you were a Teletubby, even Tinky Winky would suggest you go on a diet.
Penguin Books and The Book Lounge take pleasure in inviting you to the launch of Here I Am by PJ Powers with Marianne Thamm.
The event will be held on Monday, 11 August, at 5:30 PM for 6 PM. Please RSVP by Friday, 8 August.
See you there!