Alan Knott-Craig Jnr, co-author of Mobinomics: Mxit and Africa’s Mobile Revolution and editor of Really, Don’t Panic!, is the founder and CEO of Project Isizwe, a non-profit company aimed at bringing free Wi-Fi to South Africans.
Social Media Week Johannesburg, an annual week long conference that took place in September this year, invited Knott-Craig to share his company’s vision during one of their events. AFK Insider has shared a short clip of him explaining the basic concepts of the project.
Despite having the best intentions, this project has not been met with open arms. It has taken Knott-Craig and his team a lot of convincing to get the government to agree with their idea that “access to the internet should be treated as water and electricity”, he says, emphasising that it has become a basic necessity.
Watch the video to find out more about Project Isizwe:
Johan Vlok Louw het met sy uitgewer, Fourie Botha, oor sy jongste boek, Die sirkel van bekende dinge, gesels by die Protea Boekwinkel in Stellenbosch.
Louw verduidelik dat die Karoo-dorp in die boek ’n samevoeging is van al die Karoo-dorpe wat hy al besoek het. “Jy plaas jou karakters in ’n spesifieke omgewing, en die omgewing het dan ’n spesifieke invloed op die karakters.”
Die skrywer sê sy karakters beheer die boek: “Ek is eintlik maar ’n instrument wat die karakters vorm gee.”
Louw gesels ook oor sy kinderdae en die manlike figure in sy lewe wat hom beïnvloed het. “Hulle was baie moeilike mans gewees,” vertel Louw. “Hulle het hier in Voortrekkerstraat af kop gestamp van die een hotel na die ander hotel.”
Die sirkel van bekende dinge is ook in Engels beskikbaar as Karoo Dusk.
Luister na die klankopname van die gesprek:
Get It Hartbeespoort het by skrywer Karen Adendorff gaan kuier om meer uit te vind oor wat haar kreatiwiteit krag gee.
Adendorff het al agt boeke geskryf oor hekel en brei, onder andere Alles oor hekel, Hekel vir die lekker, 35 Kruisiesteekpatrone en Hekel nog lekkerder.
Die skrywer het gesê naaldwerk is beslis weer deesdae in die mode: “Daar was ’n tyd toe handwerk uit die mode was en daar half neergesien is op tuisgemaakte produkte, maar soos die tendens wêreldwyd, is daar beslis oor die afgelope paar jaar in Suid-Afrika ook ’n oplewing in die gewildheid van handwerk soos hekel, brei en borduur.”
Adendorff het gesels oor haar skooljare en hoe sy haar huidige loopbaan gevind het:
Karen het haarself as linkshandige van YouTube-videos af leer hekel en reken enigiemand kan leer as hulle wil. “Die lekker van hekel is dat dit goedkoop en maklik is om te begin. Jy het nie duur masjinerie of toerusting nodig nie. Dit is boonop verslawend!,” lag sy.
Sy beveel nuwelinge aan om met ’n dik hekelnaald en dik hekeldraad af te skop. “Al wat jy dan nog nodig het, is ’n goeie gids om die basiese hekeltegnieke en –steke te leer. Daar is vandag wonderlike plaaslike hekeldraad van natuurlike vesels beskikbaar, wat vroeër jare ook nie so geredelik bekombaar was nie.”
Presenting Third World Child: Born white, Zulu bred by GG Alcock, coming soon to Jonathan Ball Publishers:
Third World Child is about living in South Africa in the time of apartheid and also living here today about being truly African even as a white person. It is about the adventures, the cultural challenges and the future possibilities of South Africa.
The author, GG Alcock, believes that we have moved on from hand wringing apartheid stories and Third World Child avoids the groupie style or historical style of the books written about apartheid. And yet, at the same time, this book is about the legacy of apartheid for a white person living in a black world.
The story is about the huge diversity of this country from savage Zulu warriors to sophisticated urban black empowerment recipients and a fair bit in between. It is about a unique life thrust upon GG as the child of extraordinary parents, Creina and Neil Alcock, who were unique in their time.
Alcock’s story mirrors that of many of his people, the journey of a tribal society learning to embrace the first world. He does not shy away from the violence and death that coloured his childhood years surrounded by savage faction fighting, nor how they affected his adult life. His story is one of heartbreak and tragedy and, paradoxically, of vibrant hope and compassion. A restless energy and sardonic humour permeate his writing, which is compelling in its honesty and spontaneity.
GG’s parents, Creina and Neil, were humanitarians who gave up comfortable lives to move to rural Zululand. In a place called Msinga they lived and worked among the Mchunu and Mthembu tribes, fighting for the rights of people displaced by the apartheid government’s policy of ‘forced removals’. They also fought against the corruption of police and government officials, as well as local farmers, which did not sit well with their white fellow citizens.
When GG was fourteen his father was assassinated by rival tribesmen.
GG’s early life in rural Zululand in the 1970s and 80s can only be described as unique. He and his brother Khonya, both initially home-schooled by their mother, grew up as Zulu kids, herding goats and playing with the children of their neighbours, learning to speak fluent Zulu, learning to become Zulu men under the guidance of Zulu elders, and learning the customs and history of their adopted tribes. Armed with their father’s only legacy – the skills to survive in Africa – both young men were ultimately forced to move into the ‘white’ world which was largely unknown to them.
This is the story of GG’s world or, more accurately, the worlds in which he lives.
Watch the book trailer:
Aerodrome has shared an extract from Sixolile Mbalo’s Dear Bullet: Or A Letter to My Shooter.
In this excerpt the female protagonist wakes up in the hospital to her grandmother’s ardent prayers after she was raped, shot and left for dead.
The doctors are surprised that she survived, but what is survival? The community suffers alongside the orphan, who has to rebuild her life after a terrible suffering.
Read the extract:
My grandmother seldom spoke directly to me about her feelings. It was only when she prayed that I could hear how she felt. So, in hospital that first day, and for many months afterwards, I heard how she felt. She would begin by thanking God that I survived, because I could so easily have died. This she said over and over again. Sometimes she would ask God straight out what he thought she should have done if I had died. How could she ever look after another child if this happened to the one she was looking after with an involved heart? All of this I heard in her prayers.
I also heard the doctors expressing their surprise: why did the bullet not go through my head and blow open the other side?
Adam Habib, author of South Africa’s Suspended Revolution, which has been translated into three South African languages, has co-written an article with his colleague Christine Woods on online university education programmes, also known as massive open online courses (MOOCS).
Habib and Woods write: “Online university education programmes, and massive open online courses – MOOCs – in particular, may be considered disruptive technological developments with the potential to be useful in the struggle to address the challenges of higher education in the 21st century. But this will only be realised if we avoid the twin evils of cynicism and evangelism.
“The former disables us from thinking imaginatively about educational pedagogies and new modes of education delivery. The latter allows us to be blinded by the challenges of our unequal world and the difficulties associated with the new innovation itself.”
Discouraging this approach, Habib and Woods describe the 21st century educational challenges and propose a response to MOOCS:
The response to these challenges is not to deny the value of MOOCs and-or online education.
Rather, we should think through how to mobilise these technological developments, through a non-profit entity, to enable collaborative education between universities in different parts of the world.
In this model MOOCs could be used as a supplement to existing face-to-face educational experiences, rather than a replacement of them (as is suggested in the notion of democratising education).
In addition, there is an opportunity to gain insights into how students engage (or not) with MOOCs and their online peers in transnational contexts, drawing on scholarly research generated from this kind of educational experience that will lead to greater insights into both face-to-face and online learning.