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Book launch - Between Two Fires: Holding the Liberal Centre in South African Politics by John Kane-Berman

Exclusive Books & Jonathan Ball Publishers invite you to the launch of Between Two Fires: Holding the Liberal Centre in South African Politics by John Kane-Berman. John will speak on South Africa: The State We Are In.

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Between Two Fires is also available as an eBook.

Albie Sachs in conversation with Shamim Meer at Cape Town launch of Fatima Meer: Memories of Love and Struggle

Fatima Meer: Memories of Love and Struggle will be launched in Cape Town on 12 April 2017. Shamim Meer will be in conversation with Albie Sachs.

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Cape Town launch: Cult Sister by Lesley Smailes

Tafelberg Publishers and The Book Lounge invite you to the launch of Cult Sister by Lesley Smailes. Lesley will be in conversation with Shado Twala.

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"It brought me closer to her," says Shamim Meer on writing mother Fatima's memoir

Hyde Park’s Exclusive Books recently played host to the launch of writer, academic and anti-apartheid activist Fatima Meer’s memoir, Memories of Love and Struggle.

Sisonke Msimang was in conversation with Meer’s daughter, Shamim Meer, who wrote her mother’s memoir.

Msimang lead the conversation by asking Shamim Meer about her mother’s feminist principles, adding how crucial it is for African woman writers to be heard nowadays.

Shamim Meer replied that “she [Fatima] would never have called herself a feminist, but her whole life has been a feminist life; she was a woman who couldn’t be controlled.

“She was a woman to be reckoned with.”

Msimang mentioned Meer’s founding of the Federation of South African Women (FEDSAW) in 1954, the first inclusive women’s federation in South Africa, to which Shamim Meer asserted that her mother was “very conscious about racial unity,” even as a young child.

The subject of Meer’s youth was a recurring topic, as Shamim Meer regularly stated how much she learned about her mother’s childhood. The process of writing her mother’s memoir and discovering so much about her turbulent childhood was emotionally taxing, yet “it brought me closer to her.

“I saw the vulnerability of the child.”

Msimang remarked that, according to Memories of Love and Struggle, Meer couldn’t cook at all. This comment was met with laughter by the audience, yet prompted Meer’s youngest daughter, Shenahz Meer, who attended the launch, to stand up and proclaim:

“To us, as children, it appeared that there was nothing our mother couldn’t do. She could march, she could write, and she could cook!”

Meer’s statement was received with applause.

Msimang was curious to know what Meer’s stance would be on the current political climate of South Africa, especially in the light of nationwide anti-government protest marches which were to take place the following day (April 7).

“She would be in the frontline!” a relative laughed from the audience.

Shamim Meer replied that her mother would have said “let’s get up and continue, shouting, no matter how old or young you are.”

The audience made their agreement known by applauding, and interjecting with a few ‘whoops’.

Head of NB Publisher’s non-fiction department, Erika Oosthuysen, concluded the evening by thanking both Msimang and Meer, and declaring Memories of Love and Struggle an “amazing” book.

“Next time, we want to read your story,” Oosthuysen said to Shamim Meer.

To which we can only reply with a resounding ‘yes, please’.

Fatima Meer

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Listen to Lindiwe Hani discuss her father and the aftermath of his death at the launch of Being Chris Hani's Daughter

This was a different launch. It was live on air – on Kaya FM. John Perlman interviewed Lindiwe Hani at the launch of her book Being Chris Hani’s Daughter, written with Melinda Ferguson. The crowd came to hear her talk about her life – dealing with the loss of her father, bearing the burden of his legacy, her addiction to cocaine and alcohol, and eventually coming face to face with the two men that murdered her father – Janusz Waluś and Clive Derby-Lewis.

Listen to the podcast:

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Book launch and exhibition: Traces and Tracks: A Thirty-Year Journey with the San by Paul Weinberg

Jacana Media and Origins Centre invite you to the launch and exhibition of Traces and Tracks – A Thirty-Year Journey with the San.

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