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The 15 Best Local Book Covers of 2014: Do you agree with our selection?

The Wild Wonders of KwaZulu-Natal Captured on Instagram

KwaZulu-NatalPicturesque Durban and SurroundsPicturesque Drakensberg

Traveller24 has shared a list of natural wonders and fun family activities in KwaZulu-Natal, along with Instagram images. Fishing around Lake St Lucia, guided walks in the Mangrove swamps and surfing the amazing waves of the warm Indian Ocean are some of the attractions shown in the article.

Some of the images come from Roger de la Harpe’s extraordinary Instagram account:

#KosiBay in #kwazulunatal. What an awesome place. Photographed on the #GoPro #Hero3black and #dji #phantom #meetsouthafrica @gopro @djiglobal #outdoors #beautiful #travelphoto #instasafari

A photo posted by Roger de la Harpe (@rogerdelaharpe) on

For even more things to do and places to marvel at, check out Sue Derwent and De la Harpe’s books about KwaZulu-Natal: KwaZulu-Natal: Adventures in Culture & Nature, Picturesque Durban and Surrounds and Picturesque Drakensberg.

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Margate & Balito
We know the hipsters who surf for recreational purposes only all too well. These coastal towns, however, boasts with generational surfers who were born on their boards. Think the waves and surfing of Jeffrey’s Bay in the Eastern Cape, plus the laid back-ness of Coffee Bay – also in the EC – all combined in more tropical waters. This is the vacation experience that awaits you in Margate south of Durban, and Balito north thereof. Take note: It can get quite busy in the festive times, as Jo’burgers flood to this surfer’s town to get a piece of the good life.

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Tim Butcher: Louis Botha's Willingness to Compromise is Comparable to Nelson Mandela's

Louis Botha's WarIn a blog post celebrating the publication of his new book Louis Botha’s War, Adam Cruise shares part of the foreword, in which Tim Butcher compares Louis Botha’s spirit of compromise to that of Nelson Mandela.

Louis Botha’s War tells the story of the former prime minister of the Union who led South Africa in a campaign against the Germans during the World War I. The book also investigates the conflicts at home, as many South Africans refused to fight alongside Britain a mere 12 years after the South African War.

Botha’s challenge was not only to defeat the Germans, but to persuade his countrymen to forgive the English and rally for a common cause. According to Butcher, Botha’s willingness to compromise with his former enemy for the sake of the greater good can be compared to South Africa’s first democratically elected president, Mandela.

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As the accomplished author of Blood River, Tim Butcher, who also has just published a book on the Great War entitled The Trigger, states in the foreword to this book:

‘You will read a story of derring-do, of troops trekking for days on a diet of biltong and biscuit, of Botha’s indomitable wife rushing north to nurse her husband back to strength during the campaign, of forces who dared to traverse the Kalahari desert in full battle order.

But mostly, you will get to know better a man who, rather like Nelson Mandela later in the century, was willing to adapt, compromise and change, all in the name of peoples putting their differences behind them. Botha’s name might no longer be revered around the globe but after reading this book with its account of his tactical brilliance and political courage in the deserts of Namibia, one could be inspired to think how lucky South Africa has been to sire the greatest of leaders.’

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Video: How to Use the Internet Safely: 10 Top Tips from Project Isizwe

Really, Don't Panic!Moenie stres nie!Project Isizwe, an organisation founded by Alan Knott-Craig Jnr that provides free Wi-Fi to disadvantaged communities, has shared a video on internet safety.

Knott-Craig is a tech-entrepreneur and the author of Really, Don’t Panic! (also available in Afrikaans as Moenie stres nie!).

The video contains helpful tips for the new internet users who are benefiting from the project. It gives practical advice that is easy to understand, like making sure to only access secure websites by looking out for the green padlock in the address bar.

Watch the video:

YouTube Preview Image

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Six questions about art in South Africa after Marikana

Stacy Hardy

I asked several people six questions about art in south africa after Marikana.

The latsest respondents were musicologist Carina Venter, short story writer Stacy Hardy, novelist Deon-Simphiwe Skade, biographer Stephanus Muller, art critic Mary Corrigall and SACP stalwart Howard Smith.

Podcast: Bongani Madondo Discusses the Captivating Power of Brenda Fassie

I'm Not Your Weekend Special“I had to do what I had to do to free myself from the stronghold she had over me,” Bongani Madondo recently told CapeTalk’s Overnight Live presenter Joonji Mdyogolo, explaining why he wrote I’m Not Your Weekend Special: Portraits on the Life + Style and Politics of Brenda Fassie.

In the interview Madondo shares more about the timing of this publication, the relevance of Fassie’s legacy today and why he was so haunted by her memory. He also offers fascinating facts and insight into the Vulindela singer’s life and discusses the impact she had on the world music scene.

“Brenda doesn’t belong to me. She doesn’t belong to Bongani Fassie. She doesn’t belong to the Fassie family. Biologically she might, but her work was larger than life. Her work, her antics, her compositions, especially in pop culture, was far beyond what any of us can create,” Madondo says, telling Mdyogolo that he wanted to capture what could be written about her in this book.

Listen to the book:


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Q and A with Priscilla Holmes on Bruce Dennill's blog

Now I see youBruce Dennill caught up with Priscilla Holmes about her crime fiction novel, Now I See You

Tabisa Or Not Tabisa?, Or Of Xhosa It’s Ok To Take On Taboo Subjects
January 18,2015

Described as a “racy, pacy crime thriller,” Priscilla Holmes’ Now I See You has met with popularity and warm reception. Filled with the sights, sounds, and local flavor of the Eastern Cape especially, the book travels from the glittering restaurants of Johannesburg to the backroads of the rural Eastern Cape, from the corridors of financial and political power to the safe houses of rural tradition. It features a feisty and intelligent heroine, DI Tabisa Tswane, who, in her investigation into a series of robberies by masked, eerie-voiced gunmen, has to draw on her wits, courage, and self-awareness to navigate worlds dominated by men, culminating in a confrontation with her own troubled past.

Priscilla Holmes

To read the full interview, click here

Now I See You

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