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“I Remember You from Our Days in Mozambique”: Jacob Zuma Responds to Mia Couto in an Open Letter #Xenophobia

Jaco Jacobs: "Tien boeke wat jou kleinding sal laat giggel, kekkel, proes, bulder of snork van die lag"

Jaco Jacobs, die skrywer van onder meer Professor Fungus en die jelliemonsters van Mars, Suzie se superdoeper-sjampoe en My ouma is ’n film-ster, het onlangs tien boeke voorgestel wat die jongspan sal laat skaterlag.

My ouma is ’n film-sterProfessor Fungus en die jelliemonsters van MarsSuzie se superdoeper-sjampoe

Op Jacobs se top tien-lysie van “boeke wat jou kleinding sal laat giggel, kekkel, proes, bulder of snork van die lag” is: “Oe la la, Lulu deur Fanie Viljoen, Karla Krullebol deur Theresa van Baalen, Grappe van A-Z deur Maritha Snyman en Wouter en die eienaardige eilandavontuur deur Philip Reeve en Sarah McIntyre.

Oe la la, LuluWouter en die eienaardige eilandavontuurKarla KrullebolGrappe van A-Z

Lees die artikel vir die volledige lys van skreeusnaakse kinderboeke:

Een van die groot lekkertes van lees, is wanneer jy ’n boek net nie kan neersit nie omdat die storie en karakters jou elke paar bladsye laat skater van die lag. Ek onthou hoe ek as kind nie kon wag om vir my gesin te vertel watter snaakse dinge karakters soos Pippie Langkous, Trompie of Tyl Uilspieël aangevang het nie.

Daar is een ding wat byna gewaarborg is om selfs die traagste leser te oorreed om aan te hou lees: ’n Boek wat hom/haar laat skater van die lag.


In memory of Richie Benaud

b. 6 October 1930 – 10 April 2015

Australian cricket captain (1958-1964); globally acclaimed commentator; reason for the South African cricket team’s “choker” tag.


This is an updated extract from 50 People Who Stuffed Up South Africa by Alexander Parker, with illustrations by Zapiro

50 People Who Stuffed Up South Africa (Revised Edition) low res

Let’s be straight up about this: Richie Benaud was an absolute legend. Never has an internationally respected authority on cricket combined such a gentlemanly and unassuming knowledge of the game with such a sartorially smashing collection of off-white sports jackets. Whether beige, cream, ivory, light tan, vanilla, bone, bamboo, sand, camel or cashew, Richie wore those jackets like a king, and in doing so he became one of the most loved and lovable names in all of sport. And an Aussie at that.

But the man right royally screwed us over. And by “us” I mean every cricket-loving South African who’s ever yearned for the sweet taste of World Cup victory.

Casual observers of the recent history of South Africa will often point to that fateful World Cup semifinal in Birmingham in 1999, when Lance Klusener took us to the brink of a sensational victory over Australia before it was tragically snatched from under our noses by a needless run-out, as the moment when we assumed the mantle of crunch-match chokers. The game ended in a tie, with the Australians progressing to the final on a superior run rate, and it’s no understatement to suggest that the psychological damage inflicted on South African fans that day cast a pall of gloom over the country for months, possibly years, to follow. Even today, the memory still raises a tremble of moisture in the eye. (And spare a thought for Klusener, one of the true legends of South African one-day cricket and a genuinely nice guy. In 2011 he admitted that he still thinks about the incident regularly. “I’ve asked the questions a thousand times, if not a million. Why did we run? Why didn’t I wait for the next ball,” he said. “It’s become a part of me and who I am. I’ll be asked about it for the rest of my life and I’ll always have to say
I’m sorry.”)

But our failure in key knockout matches goes back further than the Birmingham tie – to 22 March 1992 to be precise. The venue was the Sydney Cricket Ground and the match was another World Cup semifinal, this time against England. Back then, we were the new kids on the World Cup block, having recently returned to the international fold after years in the sporting wilderness, and no-one fancied our chances going in to the tournament. But we’d played out of our boots and somehow made our way to the semis on the back of a tight bowling attack, Peter Kirsten’s artful bat and Jonty Rhodes’s inspirational fielding.

The game was a cracker, hanging in the balance from start to finish. Donald got Gooch early, and Pringle bowled well, but the Zimbabwe-born Graeme Hick hit a fluid 83 before a late flurry from Reeve got England to 252 in 45 overs. South Africa hadn’t bowled the full 50 overs by the designated end-of-innings time, so the tournament rules – and here’s where Richie started getting involved, because he’s the man credited with devising them – necessitated that the five overs not bowled be simply lobbed off both the English and South African innings. An odd rule, many would have concluded at the time, but not as odd – or cruel – as that which governed the target re-calculation after a rain delay…

South Africa started the chase at a good clip, with Hudson hitting 46 off 52, but we lost wickets regularly and were struggling to keep up with the required rate by the middle overs. Rhodes then got the chase back on track with a typically live-wire 43, before he, too, lost his wicket, and it was left to stalwarts Brian McMillan and Dave Richardson to take us through the last critical overs. Then, with 22 required for victory off 13 balls and McMillan on strike, it started to rain. Not too heavily, mind you, just enough to get the players off the field. For 12 minutes. Twelve fateful minutes.

Once again, Richie’s rules kicked in, and when play resumed South African fans were aghast to see that our allotment of overs had been reduced by one while our target remained steadfast: 22 required off 7 balls, read the SCG scoreboard. Suddenly, a tricky situation had transmogrified into a Herculean task – a near-miracle was required, all because of a ridiculous formula that saw the runs scored in the least expensive over of the English innings, in this case a Pringle maiden, being deducted from the target. Meanwhile, the weather was now fine and the floodlights were blazing – there was all night to finish the game. But the farce was not yet complete: somewhere in the ground the minute hand on the relevant timepiece ticked over once more and it was deemed that yet another over had been lost, this time in conjunction with one run from the target: suddenly 21 runs were required off just 1 ball*. Now not even a miracle would suffice. A stone-faced McMillan prodded the last ball of the match away for a single, and we’d lost by 19 runs. A potentially brilliant climax had been reduced to absurdity; South Africa’s unlikely World Cup dream was over.

“Twelve minutes of rain was all it took to wreck a classic contest and produce the sort of farce that so often crops up when cricket’s regulations get themselves in a tangle,” wrote Cricinfo’s UK editor Andrew Miller, when reviewing the match some years after the fact. But those 12 minutes didn’t just wreck a classic match. In the years and competitions to come, it seemed that those 12 minutes had instilled in South African cricket the notion that, come the critical moment in a high-profile knockout match, the fates would conspire against us. First it was the bizarre rain ruling in Sydney; then it was one-man-team Brian Lara destroying us in the 1996 quarterfinal in Karachi (again by 19 runs); then that tragic run-out in Birmingham in 1999; then another debacle in the rain in 2003, this time against Sri Lanka in Durban, when poor Shaun Pollock and Eric Simons couldn’t get their maths right… By the time the 2007 World Cup rolled around, the team, now ingrained with angst-filled bewonderment at our inability to pull off the big victory that our world rankings suggested was our due, tried to just relax and not get expectations up – a strategy that saw us limp into the semifinals, only to be rolled over by Australia like the blind school’s 5th XI. Needless to say, the curse struck again in 2011: we were bundled out in the quarters by a very mediocre New Zealand – a team we’d beaten eight times in the previous ten encounters – having, at one stage, been cantering to victory.

And then, 2015. Back down under. And history repeating itself as the fated rain once again fell on South Africa in a World Cup semifinal… And though the rain rules had been updated by Messrs Duckworth and Lewis as a direct result of that 1992 debacle in Sydney, the new rules hadn’t kept up with the changing pace of limited-overs cricket (and may well be changed in the near future as a result). New Zealand were given the sniff they should never have had, and the legacy of 1992 decreed a nail-biting victory to the team that wasn’t South Africa. For those of us with “South Africa To Win Need 22 Runs Off 1 Ball” still seared into their memories 23 years later, we knew it was inevitable from the moment that first drop fell – though that didn’t stop us hoping till the very last ball…

After more than a decade as one of the top-ranked limited-overs sides in the world, what do we have to show for our endeavours? Well, we did win the inaugural ICC Champions Trophy in 1998 in Bangladesh… and that’s it. We haven’t won a World Cup, whether ODI or T20. We haven’t made it into a World Cup final. Amazingly, we have won only one knockout match at a World Cup: our 2015 quarterfinal against Sri Linka. (Which is something, at least.)

How is this possible? Why does it happen? No-one can say. But we’ve got to blame someone, and in the absence of any other contenders, it has to be Richie.

Richie Benaud – a champion himself, and the most marvellous of the modern commentators – passed away in April 2015. Go well, Richie, and may your ghost look more kindly on us at the next World Cup in 2019…

* The TV display and scoreboard incorrectly indicated 22 runs required.

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A Musical is Perfect for the Extravagant Characters of Madam & Eve (Video)

Send in the ClownsLyall Ramsden, the producer of the forthcoming Madam & Eve musical, was interviewed about his new project on kykNET.

In the interview, Ramsden explains how the idea for a musical got set in motion. He says that Stephen Francis and Rico, whose latest Madam & Eve collection is Send in the Clowns, absolutely loved the idea of making a musical.

Ramsden says that the “extravagant characters” of the cartoon lend themselves to a musical. South Africa, he says, offers a wide range of musical styles to work with, and a plenitude of creative inspiration.

Watch the video:

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Chester Missing Hopes Trevor Noah will Add Some isiXhosa to the Daily Show

Chester Missing's Guide to the Elections '14Chester Missing and his puppet-master Conrad Koch have congratulated Trevor Noah on his new job as host of the The Daily Show.

Comedy Central announced yesterday that Noah would take over the position from Jon Stewart, causing an eruption on local Twitter which has not yet abated.

Koch says Noah’s new position will be a positive move with respect to how South Africans are perceived overseas. Who know, perhaps we’ll get to play the good guy in a Hollywood movie …

Read the article:

South African ventriloquist Conrad Koch said it was a huge breakthrough for a comedian from the African country to make it on the international stage.
“It portrays South Africans as forward thinking, intelligent, progressive and in touch with the world,” he said. “It shows how stand up is becoming more and more relevant.”

Koch’s puppet, Chester Missing, said he hoped the comedian would deliver one of the episodes in Xhosa, Noah’s home language.

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Nia Magoulianiti-McGregor Describes the Difference Between Plumbers and Authors

How to Marry a Politician and SurviveNia Magoulianiti-McGregor, author of How to Marry a Politician and Survive, recently wrote a column for MB Life about the agonising process of writing a book.

In the column, Magoulianiti-McGregor speaks about how some famous authors dealt with self-doubt, writer’s block and procrastination. She then writes about her own writing process – it took two years to convince herself she was not a fraud, four years to prepare her material and a few weeks to actually get the job done.

Imagine if plumbers worked the same way …

See what mental machinations are involved to sidestep success? Imagine if your plumber needed a swig of his half-jack, then to “silence his inner critic” (inner critics being partial to just chilling inside both published and unpublished writers), light a candle (Jack Kerouac), or even lie on his stomach holding a blue pen (James Joyce) before he could fix your burst pipe?

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How to Marry a Politician and Survive: Nia Magoulianiti-McGregor's Tips for Next Year's SONA (Podcast)

How to Marry a Politician and SurviveAre you a woman with your sights set on Number One, or would you prefer his opposition, Julius Malema? Or maybe you’re looking for a working class hero, the head of Cosatu perhaps?

Nia Magoulianiti-McGregor recently shared a few tips on Power FM on how to ensnare an honourable member of parliament.

The author of How to Marry a Politician and Survive explains how she compiled profiles on the parliamentary candidates to help women sharpen their seduction skills in time for the red carpet at next year’s State of the Nation Address.

Magoulianiti-McGregor’s advice includes what to wear: “You can’t go looking to blingy, you know, that’s just embarrassing. Don’t wear all your Louis Vuitton and your Gucci and your whatever in one go.”

Listen to the podcast:


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