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Tie-in book to the film Vaya: Untold Stories of Johannesburg released

“This project represents hope and pride. I have endured and persevered to get here. My story matters.”
David Majoka – storyteller and writer

 

Vaya the film is based on the lives of four young men from the Homeless Writer’s Project: David Majoka, Anthony Mafela, Madoda Ntuli and Tshabalira Lebakeng, and rooted in their experiences of coming to Johannesburg. Vaya the book brings you the people and stories that inspired the award-winning film.

Through personal stories that are intimate and hard hitting, Vaya will both surprise and shock you. It offers a rare lens into life in Johannesburg and amplifies the voices of people who live on the city’s margins. The book will ignite conversations and debate about what the city means to millions of ordinary people who navigate its streets with courage and humanity.

Developed by the Homeless Writer’s Project, and containing accessible history, debates and interactive activities, here are the stories and people that inspired the award-winning film.

Vaya will both shock and inspire.

The Homeless Writer’s Project was started in 2010 by filmmaker Robbie Thorpe and joined soon after by Harriet Perlman. It gives a voice to the voiceless by creating opportunities for stories to be developed into films and published media. The group meets once a week to share stories and ideas and create a safe place for discussion. The film script for Vaya began in story workshops, where participants shared and told stories over a period of six years. These lived experiences were written down and crafted into a film script.

Book details

Wenners van kykNet-Rapport-boekpryse 2017 bekend

Die wenners van die kykNET-Rapport-boekpryse – die grootste pryse van hul soort in Afrikaans – is op Saterdag 30 September 2017 in Kaapstad bekend gemaak. Die Jan Rabie-Rapportprys vir die beste debuutroman in Afrikaans asook die twee kykNET-Rapportpryse vir boekresensent van die jaar is by dieselfde geleentheid oorhandig.

Hulde is gebring aan ontslape skrywers soos Karel Schoeman en PG du Plessis, maar die aand het behoort aan die huidige geslag skrywers, wat sulke geleenthede moontlik en gedenkwaardig maak. Hettie Scholtz, sameroeper van die drie hoofboekpryse, het die skrywers geloof vir boeke wat diep sny, diep delf, en ’n aar raak boor. “Dit het by my ’n insig van Chesterton opgeroep, sy geloof dat daar één ding is wat ’n helderheid aan dinge verleen: die vermoede van iets nét om die draai. Ek kan werklik nie wag om te sien waarmee hierdie skrywers volgende vorendag gaan kom nie! Hierby sluit ek die inskrywings vir die Jan Rabie-Rapportprys in.”

Die kykNET-Rapport-boekpryse met ’n gesamentlike prysgeld van R500 000 is toegeken aan die volgende skrywers:
- Fiksie: Huilboek, Ryk Hattingh (Human & Rousseau)
- Niefiksie: Emily Hobhouse: Geliefde Verraaier, Elsabé Brits (Tafelberg)
- Film: Al wat ek weet, Marita van der Vyver, (Lapa)

Die keurders het die fiksiewenner, Ryk Hattingh, geloof “vir sy sagkense behandeling van groot dinge, die subtiliteit van segging, die beskeie toon en algehele gebrek aan selfkoestering. Die manier waarop hy persoonlike pyn uiteindelik, sonder politieke grandstandery, vestig in die konteks van ’n hele land se trauma, is uitsonderlik en maak van Huilboek ’n prestasie in hoe groot kragte in beweging gestel kan word deur ’n minimum aan woorde en vertoon.”

Waardering is ook uitgespreek vir die niefiksiewenner, Elsabé Brits, se herbesoek aan ou bronne oor Emily Hobhouse “wat ons in staat stel om opnuut in hierdie merkwaardige vrou die eienskappe te sien wat aan die kern lê van ons universele menslikheid – die vermoë om te empatiseer met die onderdruktes, op te staan vir reg en geregtigheid selfs teen ’n hoë persoonlike en politieke prys, om nood en lyding te verlig ongeag waar dit voorkom. Sy skets Hobhouse as die vergestalting van verset soos dit in die woorde van die Nederlandse digter Remco Campert gedefinieer word: Om aan jouself ’n vraag te vra, daarmee begin verset – en om dit dan aan ’n ander te vra. Dit noop ons om in die Suid-Afrika van vandag weer hierdie kritiese vrae te vra oor menswaardigheid, gelykheid, en weerstand.”

Marita van der Vyver se jeugboek Al wat ek weet het van die prysaand ’n behoorlike rap-aand gemaak. Sy is geloof vir die ligte, vaardige hand waarmee sy die sensitiewe verhaal van ’n seun van gemengde afkoms stuur tot waar hy sy plek in die groter bestel van die lewe vind. En dit deur die skryf van rap songs waarmee hy sy verliese en woede transendeer en sy eie stem vind. “Dis ’n verhaal wat getuig van besondere vakmanskap, een wat smeek om verfilm te word,” sê keurder Herman Binge. “Dink – nét vir ’n oomblik – aan die nuwe Afrikaanse treffers wat hierdie film gaan oplewer, die eerste volwaardige hip-hop-fliek in Afrikaans!”

Die Jan Rabie-Rapportprys ter waarde van R35 000 is vanjaar toegeken aan Valda Jansen vir Hy kom met die skoenlappers (Human & Rousseau). Volgens die keurders is Jansen se debuutroman in vele opsigte meer as “’n elegie aan verlore liefde”, soos dit op die omslag bestempel word. Dit word “’n pynlik intieme en deurtastende verkenning van al die maniere waarop ’n hele lewe soos een byna noodwendig verspeelde kans kan voorkom . . . Jansen kleur nie dit wat persoonlik is ooit met groot politieke stellings nie, maar wys hoe onontwarbaar die persoonlike en die politieke in Suid-Afrika verstrengel is. Haar debuut gee ’n aangrypende en ontstemmende blik op ’n bevreemdende, bruin middelklas-ervaring van apartheid; ’n genuanseerde perspektief op ’n benarde posisie wat nog bitter min in Afrikaanse fiksie belig is.”

Die kykNET-Rapportpryse vir boekresensent van die jaar, vir die beste Afrikaanse resensies wat in 2016 oor ’n Afrikaanse fiksie- of niefiksiewerk onderskeidelik verskyn het, is ook oorhandig. Die wenners, wat elk R25 000 ontvang het, is:
- Fiksie: Danie Marais vir “Die ‘Kook en Geniet’ van oneerbiedigheid” (oor Anton Kannemeyer en Conrad Botes se Bitterkomix 17, Media24-dagblaaie, 4 Julie 2016), en
- Niefiksie: Emile Joubert vir “Die afkook van ’n vol lewe vind hier beslag” (oor Wat die hart van vol is deur Peter Veldsman met Elmari Rautenbach, Media24-dagblaaie, 31 Oktober 2016).

Die keurpanele vir die onderskeie pryse was: kykNET-Rapport-fiksieprys: Frederik de Jager, Elmari Rautenbach, Steward van Wyk en Gerrit Schoonhoven; kykNET-Rapport-niefiksieprys: Herman Wasserman, Irma du Plessis, Darryl David en Herman Binge; kykNET-Rapport-filmprys: Herman Binge en Gerrit Schoonhoven; kykNET-Rapport-boekresensentpryse: Bibi Slippers, Alfred Schaffer, Jomarié Botha en Yvonne Beyers; Jan Rabie-Rapportprys: Elna van der Merwe, Danie Marais en Kerneels Breytenbach.

Die seremoniemeesters vir die aand was Karen Meiring van kykNet en Waldimar Pelser van Rapport. Die prysfunksie is by die Dapper Coffee Company restaurant in Kaapstad gehou.

Boekbesonderhede

Huilboek

 
 
 
 
Emily Hobhouse

 
 
 
 
Al wat ek weet

 
 
 
 
Hy kom met die skoenlappers

 
 
 
 
Bitterkomix 17

 
 
 
 
Wat die hart van vol is

Get creative with pallets!

PaletteThis book offers 33 DIY pallet items in which the humble pallet is transformed into affordable, practical and eco-friendly furniture, decor, toys, garden products and gifts. Upcycling is the term that is used for the creative recycling of discarded materials or unusable or unwanted items to create new products.

The book is packed with full-colour photos and easy-to-follow, step-by-step instructions – from how to dismantle the raw pallet to planning and building your own projects, and paint techniques for finishing off your products. The difficulty of the projects varies, so the book is ideal for beginner crafters and DIY enthusiasts with more advanced skills. Some of the projects include: a wine rack, garden-tool rack, coffee table, easy chair, trousseau chest, book case, vegetable rack, photo frame, planters, toy kitchen, a toy trolley and a playhouse.

It is a great book for entrepreneurs who want to earn money from manufacturing pallet products.
 
 
Jason Kobrowisky is an experienced furniture designer and carpenter who owns a furniture factory in Johannesburg. Wood, and especially reclaiming wood, lies close to his heart. He is very fond of creating something beautiful from discarded wood. He has a modern approach to furniture and décor, using affordable materials.

Book details

Marilyn Gantana se kookboek is vars én anders

Marylin kuier en kook!

Marilyn Gantana het aan die verkeerde kant van die spoor grootgeword. Sy het ’n renons ontwikkel in die boodskap van die kerk wat nie tot haar werklikheid gespreek het nie. Die jonge Marilyn het gerebelleer.

Raai wat? Toe trou sy met ’n VGK-dominee en die jong egpaar word beroep na Loeriesfontein. Hulle is die eerste bruin egpaar in hierdie gemeente, in die kerk wat destyds nog bekendgestaan het as die NG Sendingkerk. Die ouer susters wat erg bekommerd oor die jonge Marilyn. Hulle het haar skeef aangekyk, want wat weet sy? Die jonger susters, aan die ander kant, het hierdie mooi jong dominee só gekyk en gedink, sjoe.

Marilyn kón kook, sy het by haar ma geleer. Tog het sy besef dat sy nog baie sal moet leer om met min hulpbronne vir báie mense kos te maak. Toe gaan soek sy raad by die einste susters wat haar so skeef kyk. Sy vra, sy probeer, en sy begin kook haar kritici se monde vol kos – en sy maak seker haar mooi jong man bly eet uit haar potte!

Haar eerste kookboek is vir die kerkgemeenskap uitgegee, en Kuier het haar raakgesien. Sy is toe vir twee jaar as Kuier-huiskok aangestel.

Marilyn kuier en kook! is haar eerste kommersiële kookboek en LAPA is baie trots om deel te wees hiervan.

Marilyn Gantana het oor die jare baie geleer, nie net by die kerksusters nie, maar ook as ma van drie. Sy hou deesdae boonop voltyds skool ook. Marilyn weet dus presies hoe kosbaar tyd is. In Marilyn kuier en kook! nooi sy ons om te deel in haar beste resepte wat sy al vir meer as 30 jaar bymekaarmaak en toets.

Daar is familieresepte wat sy tydens haar grootwordjare by haar ma en tannies geleer het, ook die wenresepte van die wonderlike staatmakers wat geliefde gemeentelede van Loeriesfontein en Grabouw met haar gedeel het. Ons deel in smulkos, soos gebraaide lamsribbetjies, pannekoekies met ’n hoendervulsel, mini-seekosquiches en roosterkoek. Alles word op ’n eenvoudige en bekostigbare manier berei. Die resepte is sonder fiemies, doenbaar en gou om te maak.

Marilyn is baie lief vir ’n lekker slaai. Hier is ook hoofstukke in met resepte vir sop, ligte etes en bygeregte, vis en seekos, maalvleis, hoender, rooivleis, soetgoed en gebak.

Boekbesonderhede

Garden tomes: Bridget Hilton-Barber on gardening books and happiness

Think of them as self-help books — they inform and inspire, and set you on the right garden path, writes Bridget Hilton-Barber for the Sunday Times

In the chaotic pile of books that lives next to my bed, at least three will be gardening books. Bedtime gardening is one of my favourite things, and about once a week I fall asleep alongside Bold Romantic Gardens or Jane’s Delicious Garden or How to Propagate, depending on whether I’m concerned about my aubergines, needing an escape or just playing part scientist, part philosopher. I have a thing for gardening books, and am lucky to have inherited a fine collection from my grandmother and mother, to which I keep adding. I’m happy to lend them out as long as they get returned. If not – as we gardeners say, with fronds like you, who needs anemones?

In my grandmother’s day, gardening books were illustrated with exquisite line drawings; these days they use full-colour photography and enormous imagery, Lord help us and our credit cards. It was Cicero who said that if you have a garden and a library you have everything you need. I’ll raise the game and say that if you have a garden and a library full of garden books you have more than your heart could desire.

Just what is it about gardening books that makes us happy?

Well they aren’t just about gardening, they’re about life, history, drama, travel, passion, escape and autobiography. One can pick a gardening book according to mood and genre. If I’m inclined towards local travel for example, I may take to bed Remarkable Gardens of South Africa (Nini Bairnsfather Cloete, Quivertree Publications, 2012) – and have an imaginary twirl around some of the most beautiful private gardens in the country, from the amazing food gardens of Babylonstoren in the Western Cape to the moody farm gardens of the misty KwaZulu-Natal Midlands.

For the reassurance of the value of beauty, I will go for something like The Classic Italian Garden (Judith Chatfield, Rizzoli Books, 1991); if it’s history I’m after, perhaps I’ll meander through Great Gardens of the World (Ronald King, Peerage Books 1985), taking in the Hanging Gardens of Babylon and the nymph-haunted gardens of classical Greece and Rome.

In a crime-solving mood? I’ll try What Rose is That? (Mary Moody, Weldon Publishing, 1992). After personal inspiration – hand me Pippa’s Organic Kitchen Garden (Pippa Greenwood, Dorling Kindersley, 2000) in which she transforms a patch of weeds into a glorious kitchen garden. And if I’m into a little eroticism, I’ll dip into Carrots Love Tomatoes: Secrets of Companion Planting for Successful Gardening (Louise Riotte, Storey Communications, 1975). There’s something deliciously racy in the slow unfurling of fronds, the skyward thrusting of velvety nosed shoots, the tangle of tendrils… As British author Sam Llewelyn wrote, in vegetable gardens beauty is a by-product. The main business is sex and death.

Garden books fulfil a variety of needs. You can read the real-life stories of those whose gardens were a series of losses set against a few triumphs, like life itself. You can lose yourself in the micro world of composting and mulch, or soar heavenward with a book on remarkable trees around the world, from the giant sequoias of Canada to the ancient baobabs of Madagascar.

There is an increasing and healthy trend towards indigenous and water-wise gardening and these books can be invaluable, covering everything from how to grow an urban edible garden to recycling water. Change is part and parcel of gardening history – which is why gardening books are so important. Not only do they offer inspiration, but they provide a record.

Stephen Coan reviews Commonplace, a new photographic book that provides a unique view of parallel universes which occasionally collide

A new photographic book provides a unique view of parallel universes which occasionally collide: life lived in a Johannesburg township and life on a farm near Estcourt in KwaZulu-Natal. STEPHEN COAN reports. Originally published in The Witness

A man opening a door with one hand, in the other a lit cigarette. He looks directly at the camera; at you. An invitation to enter the book you hold in your hands? Turn the page. A short explanatory text for what will follow. Turn the page. Another photograph: a man in shorts, in one hand a camera in the other a bunch of leaves. Behind him, not far along a rural dirt road, is a car dating the taking of the photograph to the 1950s.

The man in the first photograph is black, in the second, white. They are photographs from two collections, The Ngilima Collection and the Drummond-Fyvie Collection.

In 1905 Temple Lascelles Fyvie bought a plot of land outside Estcourt in the then Colony of Natal. In the 1930s Ronald Majongwa Ngilima left the Eastern Cape and headed for Benoni on the East Rand. “The photographic collections that grew out of these two moves form the basis of our book,” write Tamsyn Adams and Sophie Feyder, authors of Commonplace.

Tamsyn Adam
Sophie Feyder

 
“Their placement, side by side, starts to suggest the varied ways in which lives lived in different times and places, and under very disparate circumstances, might nevertheless be tied to each other – if not in a common place then at least in their commonplaces.”

“Collection” may seem a rather formal word to apply to these photographs but Adams and Feyder were trying to find an alternative to “archive” and opted for “collection” as, according to Adams, “the word implied a sense of the messiness, especially of the Drummond and Fyvie photos – which were rather an ‘accumulation’ as opposed to a formal ‘collection’.”

In the latter case the old-fashioned word “snaps” would likely have been applied by the two families (united by marriage in 1941) to describe their “collection” however the Ngilima Collection had more deliberate beginnings. When Ngilima obtained one of the new houses in the location of Wattville outside Benoni in 1952 he set up a dark room in the bathroom. Otherwise employed at the Leonard Dingler tobacco company in Boksburg Ngilima took photographs in his spare time, cycling around the townships with his camera to take photographs of people in their own homes while others came to “Mr. Snappy”, as he was popularly known, in his home-based studio.

Location unknown, mid-1950s. Photo: Ronald Ngilima, Ngilima Collection.

 

Scottburgh, 1930s. Photo: Drummond-Fyvie Collection

 
When Ronald Ngilima died suddenly in 1960 his son Thorence took over and ran what had become a small business until his work for the ANC became all consuming. A street in Wattville is named after him.

Meanwhile 25 boxes of negatives were kept safe in the family home where Ronald’s grandson Farrell came across them in 1999. Realising their historical value he was instrumental in their being stored at the Historical Papers archive at University of the Witwatersrand and thus making them publicly accessible.

Scottburgh, 1930s/1940s. Photo: Drummond-Fyvie Collection

 

Wattville, Benoni, early 1960s. Photo: Thorence Ngilima, Ngilima Collection

 
The photographs in the Drummond-Fyvie Collection date back to the 19th century and were probably stored without any particular consideration other than being family photographs from whenever until Adams similarly realised they possessed an importance that went beyond “family snaps”.

Both Adams, who has a fine arts background, and Feyder began working with the collections collaboratively as part of a joint doctoral research project between the History and Anthropology departments of the University of Leiden in the Netherlands.

Location unknown, 1930s. Photo: Drummond-Fyvie Collection.

 

Wattville, Benoni, early 1960s. Photo: Thorence Ngilima, Ngilima Collection

 
Feyder, from Luxembourg and now resident in Brussels, Belgium, had long had an interest in southern Africa and studied political science and development. “But I realised you needed history to understand the situation today; to understand colonialism. I had a background in photography and at Leiden in the African Studies Program I was able to combine African history and photography.”

Feyder first encountered the Ngilima Collection in 2008 and arranged its digitization. Subsequently she and Adams worked with other colleagues from Leiden organising a conference in Johannesburg built around the relatively new discipline of visual studies. Their contribution would be to present their work with the two collections.

“We wanted to say that private archives, family photographs, are also interesting to look at in terms of history,” said Feyder. “They also have something to tell us; historic photographs are not just the famous photographs of iconic figures or of violent protests.”

At first Adams and Feyder intended presenting images from the collections separately but then decided it would be interesting to combine these seemingly non-political images within a larger context. Would it be possible to see apartheid reflected in these private photographs?

The answer was a qualified “yes”, according to Adams. “Putting the two collections together suggests another way of understanding them. It draws attention to the specific political context in which the photographs were taken. But it also highlights similarities in a way that hopefully doesn’t try to resolve the underlying tensions.”

Glenroy, near Estcourt, 1950s. Photo: Drummond-Fyvie Collection

 

Suburbs of Benoni, mid-1950s. Photo: Ronald Ngilima, Ngilima Collection

 

The resulting exhibition, Sidetracks: Working with Two Photographic Collections, went on display at the Market Photo Workshop in 2013. “For the book we drew on the same photographs but we worked with them in a slightly different way,” said Adams. “We also emphasised more social pictures. There is a perception that photographs from this period should focus on struggle – we were trying to give a different view.”

Feyder agrees. “Private photos like these suggest what it was like to live at the time. People did not go to the photographic studio to “resist” apartheid, they went there because it was fun. But you can say that it was part of a strategy of resilience, to construct a positive image of oneself in a context where you are being constantly told that you are inferior for not being white.”

Whereas the exhibition featured text and maps the book is determinedly minimal. Commonplace is a photographic book and the photographs dominate. Apart from those opening few words other text is to be found at the back of the book. Nor are there captions to the photographs; they too are at the back below thumbnail reference images.

Davies Social Centre, Benoni location, mid-1950s. Photo: Ronald Ngilima, Ngilima Collection.

 

Fyvie Farm near Estcourt, 1930s. Photo: Drummond-Fyvie Collection

 

The absence of captions was quite a leap for Adams and Feyder. “We were both reluctant at first,” recalled Feyder, “but Oliver Barstow, the book’s designer, encouraged us to keep it simple. As scholars the idea of having no captions horrified us, but we were also aware that scholars write all sorts of things about the images they are working with while forgetting to really look at them. “

For the viewer a lack of captions forces direct engagement with the images. You also discover how captions, when and if you refer to them, exert power and add bias thus mediating and manipulating your response. For example, you find that a full-length portrait photograph of a teenage Temple Fyvie in the late 1900s was taken shortly before he died, thrown by a horse. Does that knowledge add or detract to the image? It certainly changes how you “read” it. On a more prosaic level you discover the cigarette held by the man in that very first photograph has an added dimension: he is opening the door of the Leonard Dingler tobacco factory.

The many and various images in Commonplace either stand alone or on facing pages, such as the coy “pin-ups” of white women posing on sandy holiday beaches juxtaposed with those of black women on beds in their township homes; black or white their poses echo those of models in the swim- or underwear advertisements of the day.

Individuals, adults and children, couples, groups. Family photographs. In Adams case the family is her own. “Yes, they are private family ‘snaps’– and I feel protective of them in that sense – but they also bear witness to a particular past. In both the book and the exhibition we wanted to keep that sense of conflict.”

Feyder acknowledges the shared aspects of the photographs drawn from the two collections but the similarities are serendipitous rather than schematic. “There are similarities,” said Feyder, “but we are not out to make some redemptive statement about our shared common humanity with the book. We are more interested in the grey areas.”

Commonplace

Book details