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Writing What We Like: A snapshot of what smart young South Africans think

We still dream, but the innocence of the promise of freedom is lost.

Writing What We LikeNew from Tafelberg – Writing What We Like: A New Generation Speaks, edited by Yolisa Qunta, with contributions from Shaka Sisulu, Simphiwe Dana, Yolisa Qunta, David Kau, Loyiso Gola and Sivuyile Ngesi:

From the serious to the lighthearted, this book presents a snapshot of what smart young South Africans think about living in South Africa today. From black tax and whitesplaining, all the way to hip hop and kinky sex, it is provocative, fearlessly honest, and often very funny.

Shaka Sisulu tackles being black and privileged, Simphiwe Dana pleads for mother tongue education, Yolisa Qunta shares lessons learnt from taking the taxi, while David Kau, Loyiso Gola and Sivuyile Ngesi provide comic relief.

Writing What We Like will spark debates in workplaces, in bars, and around the dinner table both ekasi and in the suburbs for some time to come.

About the author

Yolisa Qunta is an associate editor at Jucy Africa and a columnist at All4Women. She spent her formative years in Zimbabwe and Botswana as a child to political exiles and returned to South Africa with her family in 1993.

She began writing after discovering that her childhood passion, being a flying doctor, did not really combine aviation and medicine. Qunta is currently completing a B.Com in economics through UNISA.

She is also an avid reader, overzealous oenophile and half-marathon runner. A wanderluster at heart, she plans to have her passport filled with stamps as she refines her plans for world domination.

Book details

PE Book Launch: I'm the Girl Who Was Raped by Michelle Hattingh

I'm the Girl Who Was RapedMichelle HattinghFogarty’s and Modjaji Books invite you to the Port Elizabeth launch of I’m the Girl Who Was Raped, a memoir by Michelle Hattingh. The author comes from Port Elizabeth, so she is back in her home town talking about her incredibly courageous book.

“Compelling, clear and beautiful writing on such a necessary topic. She shatters rape myths on every page.” Jen Thorpe, gender activist and author of The Peculiars.

“Many people think middle class women are magically immune to rape or that if they are raped their easy access to the resources they need will be everything they need to recover completely. A book that discusses the cross cutting nature of the pain all women must feel when a man rapes them can only be welcomed in a time when communities across South Africa struggle with high rape rates.” Kathleen Dey of Rape Crisis

More about the book:
That morning, Michelle presented her Psychology honours thesis on men’s perceptions of rape. She started her presentation like this, “A woman born in South Africa has a greater chance of being raped than learning how to read …” On that same evening, she goes to a party to celebrate attaining her degree. She and a friend go to the beach; the friend has something she wants to discuss. They are both robbed, assaulted and raped. Within minutes of getting help, Michelle realises she’ll never be herself again. She’s now “the girl who was raped.”

This book is Michelle’s fight to be herself again. Of the taint she feels, despite the support and resources at her disposal as the loved child of a successful middle-class family. Of the fall-out to friendships, job, identity. It’s Michelle’s brave way of standing up for the women in South Africa who are raped every day.

About the author:

Michelle Hattingh was born in South Africa in 1988. She attended school in Port Elizabeth and studied Politics, Philosophy and Economics at Stellenbosch University. She went on to do her Honours in Psychology at Cape Town University and now lives in Cape Town. Michelle works as senior online content producer at Marie Claire SA. Her work has been published in Elle SA, Marie Claire SA and Mail & Guardian. I’m the Girl Who Was Raped is her first book.

Event Details

  • Date: Thursday, 12 May 2016
  • Time: 5:30 PM for 6:00 PM
  • Venue: GFI Gallery, 30 Park Drive, Central, Port Elizabeth
  • Guest Speaker: Emily Buchanan
  • Refreshments: Come and join us for a glass of wine and snacks
  • RSVP: Fogarty’s, fogartys@global.co.za, 041 368 1425
    www.modjajibooks.co.za

I'm the Girl Who Was Raped
Book Details

The little postcard that could

When I asked Books Live Editor, Jennifer Malec, for her postal address, so I could send her a Dutch Courage postcard, she told me she generally has good luck with the post office. I raised an eyebrow. You can’t blame me, I think we’re generally all still a little cynical when it comes to the skills of our postmen and women. That brief postal strike that lasted most of 2015 may have something to do with that.

Turns out she wasn’t kidding.

Yesterday (Sunday 24th April), as Jennifer headed through the streets of her neighbourhood to play a spot of tennis (not something she does regularly I’m told, although I believe she still won) she spotted something. It was her postcard. Addressed to her, lying there, in the gutter. Which is appropriate I suppose since Dutch Courage is a book set in a strip club.

Sure, it had been driven over a few times and was looking a little worse for wear. But it was still in one piece. And even though it got a little lost and sidetracked along the way, it still found its way to her! What are the freaking odds of that?

 

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So are you feeling as lucky as Jennifer Malec?

If so, and you’d like me to post you a good old-fashioned postcard, in the mail, to your postbox (or I can do gutter deliveries too), then simply email your physical address to amillionmilesfromnormal@gmail.com and I’ll pop one in the post to you immediately.

AND if you post a postie (postcard selfie) to social media with the hashtag #DutchCourage you could win a copy of the book too, nogal. Bonus.

Here are some of the #DutchCourage entries so far (the rest are here):

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'The black writer is the least marketable in this country' - Khaya Dlanga responds to Rod MacKenzie

To Quote MyselfKhaya Dlanga has written a response to a recent piece by Rod MacKenzie titled “Can a white man tell Khaya Dlanga how to write a memoir?”

The article, published on the Mail & Guardian Thought Leader website, refers to Dlanga’s To Quote Myself, which was released in a new, updated edition this year.

MacKenzie asks: “why should the rise of yet another young man in the advertising world that could be anywhere on the globe [...] be of any interest, indeed, be publishable? Is it simply because Khaya is ‘black’ and therefore more marketable? Should a whitey be suggesting how Khaya should write his own memoir?”

In his response, “Telling black people how to tell their stories is a way of gate-keeping storytelling”, Dlanga says MacKenzie wrote what he thought were “some good points here and there and some fair criticisms”.

“Yet,” he adds, “there is thinly veiled racism that he can’t even pick up in his commentary. It was polite racism. Which is the worst kind.”

Dlanga continues: “It was precisely because I am a black writer telling his own black experience that I am not marketable.”

Read on:

It is miraculous that [To Quote Myself] made it on the bestseller list to begin with. But guess what? It was the only book on that list by a living black writer. That is disgusting. We are in a majority black country yet there was only one book on the list. Just one. And worse, it was dead last on that list. I felt like the Some of My Best Friends Are Black of books. Look how generous and nice we are, we allowed a black, oops, a black person in the club.

Rod MacKenzie must tell us how that makes me or any black writer more marketable. I am very curious. The black writer is the least marketable in this country. The system is stacked against them. If black writers were more marketable, why aren’t they on bestseller lists? Why are there so few published? Rob forgets his privilege.

 
Related stories:

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Enough white noise - Evita Bezuidenhout considers racism, inequality and privilege

Evita's BlackBessieEvita\'s Bossie SikelelaEvita se Bossie Sikelela

 
“Hi, my name is Evita and I’m a racist” – Evita Bezuidenhout has written an article for The Guardian about white privilege.

In the piece, an edited version of a speech given to the Cape Town Press Club, Evita asks whether white South Africans are prepared to take the back seat in South Africa.

Read the article:

The only way for an alcoholic to confront the disease of alcoholism is to admit it: I drink therefore I will not drink. Then surely one way for a racist to confront that disease is to be honest: I am a racist therefore I will not be a racist.

I will not judge people because of the colour of their skin, or how they dress, or what they eat. I will not be a racist in the city traffic when the township taxi cuts in front of me. I will not be a racist when politics passes me by. I will not believe in the innate superiority of my race.

I was born in South Africa in 1935 into a racist family. I went to a racist school and a racist church. My God was a racist and so was his Son. I married into a racist family. I became the wife of a racist member of a racist parliament who served in the racist cabinet of a racist prime minister and praised by a racist press.

My children were brought up as racists. In fact, till my 59th year and the country’s first democratic election, if I hadn’t been a racist I would have been locked up in jail as a communist or a terrorist.

Book details

A short A to Z idiot's guide to the Zulu psyche by Zulu Boy Gone Crazy author Fred Khumalo

Zulu Boy Gone CrazyResponses to a recent column by Fred Khumalo, author of Zulu Boy Gone Crazy: Hilarious Tales Post Polokwane, urged him to pen “an idiot’s guide” to the Zulu psyche.

Khumalo, who has just been announced as one of 11 Writing Fellows for 2016 at the Johannesburg Institute for Advanced Study, writes the article with his tongue firmly in his cheek – a style he is well known for. His book Zulu Boy Gone Crazy offers readers an extended sample of his enviable gift of being entertaining as he goes about disseminating these truths.

Read Khumalo’s article, entitled “The Zulu psyche — an idiot’s guide”:

Here, my friends, is a short A to Z idiot’s guide to the Zulu psyche.

A is for Asikhokhi — we are not paying! Everyone is talking about #FeesMustFall. How coy and apologetic. Are the fees going to fall by themselves? No, in my language we are direct: – asikhokhi.

B is for Bhaxabula — to beat a person vehemently, a favourite Zulu pastime. The synonyms are ukubhibiza, or ukudukluza, or ukubhonya. We might just bhaxabula those who want us to pay.

C is for (uku)Cula — singing. It’s a national pastime since the man from Nkandla came to power. He sings his troubles away.

Also read:

 

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