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The Secret Thread is a strand of human history connecting people across barriers created by apartheid

The Secret Thread is a strand of human history connecting people across barriers created by apartheid.

It is a thread that drew people together, forcing them to face painful realities. It runs through the informal settlements, townships, suburbs and bantustans of South Africa, across the deserts and villages of Namibia, and the rural towns and inner cities of Europe.

Co-founded by Beyers Naudé in 1964, the Christian Fellowship Trust, a ‘legally subversive’ organisation, drove a ‘Trojan Horse’ into the citadel of apartheid theology.

The idea of travel is used as a transforming experience, more powerful than indoctrination: ministers of the Dutch Reformed Church and other individuals are exposed to life that questions everything they had been taught about skin colour as a marker of human worth and face contradictions that highlight the inequality and conflict of global injustices.

The Secret Thread is a historical reflection on facing the timeless challenges of being human in relation to other humans. It explores the value of solidarity and the redemptive power of taking responsibility for participation in systems that benefit the few no matter the suffering of the many. It affirms the human need to travel and to know our common history, as essential to the pursuit of justice and reconciliation.

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The 2018 South African Literary Awards winners announced


The 2018 winners of the prestigious South African Literary Awards were announced at a gleaming awards ceremony on the 6th November at UNISA.

Twenty-three South African authors were shortlisted for 2018 South African Literary Awards (SALA). The winners, which include authors, poets, writers and literary practitioners whose works are continuously contributing to the enrichment of South Africa’s literary landscape, were celebrated in an auspicious ceremony.

The SALA Awards have honoured over a hundred individuals in the past 13 years. 2018 marked the highest milestone of the awards, as the shortlist included, for the first time, two additional categories: Novel Award and Children’s Literature Award.

Following the passing on of the second National Poet Laureate, Prof Keorapetse Kgositsile, the prestigious South African Literary Awards announced liberation struggle poet and novelist Mongane Wally Serote as the successor.

Kelwyn Sole received the Poetry Award for his anthology Walking, Falling, whilst South African journalist, writer and publisher Sam Mathe got the Literary Journalism Award.

The Lifetime Achievement Literary Award was jointly awarded to author of historical and political Hermann Giliomee and award winning author Ronnie Kasrils.

The Chairperson Award was given to South Africa’s most distinguished award-winning photo journalist, Peter Magubane.

The Novel Award was awarded to Dan Sleigh for his book 1795, with Malebo Sephodi receiving the First-Time Published Author Award for her memoir, Miss Behave.

Nick Mulgrew and Nicole Jaekel Strauss were announced as joint winners for the Nadine Gordimer Short Story Award for The First Law of Sadness and As in die mond, respectively.

Jürgen Schadenberg was the recipient of the Creative Non-Fiction Award for his monograph, The Way I See It.

The Conference also took place at UNISA over two days, i.e. 6th and 7th November 2018 under the theme “Unifying Africa: Writing and Reading in African languages”, with keynote speaker Professor Kwesi Kwaa Prah, the renowned, highly respected scholar, prolific author and public speaker who is also the founder of the Center for Advanced Studies of African Societies in South Africa.

“Indeed, as it’s main aim, SALA continues to strive to become the most prestigious and respected literary accolades in South African literature,” said Morakabe Seakhoa, Project Director of the South African Literary Awards.

Founded by the wRite associates, in partnership with the national Department of Arts and Culture (DAC) in 2005, the main aim of the South African Literary Awards is to pay tribute to South African writers who have distinguished themselves as groundbreaking producers and creators of literature, while it celebrates literary excellence in the depiction and sharing of South Africa’s histories, value systems and philosophies and art as inscribed and preserved in all the languages of South Africa, particularly the official languages.

“We congratulate the 2018 winners for their sterling work and keeping South Africa’s literary heritage alive,” says Morakabe Seakhoa.

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1795 by Dan Sleigh
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EAN: 9780624073307
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Miss Behave

Miss Behave by Malebo Sephodi
EAN: 9781928337416
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The First Law of Sadness

The First Law of Sadness by Nick Mulgrew
EAN: 9781485625780
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As in die Mond

As in die Mond by Nicole Jaekel Strauss
EAN: 9780795801358
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The Way I See It

The Way I See It: A Memoir by Jürgen Schadenberg
EAN: 9781770105294
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Listen: Mohale Mashigo discusses Intruders with Africa Melane

Synonyms: trespassers, interlopers, invaders, prowlers, infiltrators, encroachers, violators

Orphan sisters chase monsters of urban legend in Bloemfontein. At a busy taxi rank, a woman kills a man with her shoe. A genomicist is accused of playing God when she creates a fatherless child.

Intruders is a collection that explores how it feels not to belong. These are stories of unremarkable people thrust into extraordinary situations by events beyond their control.

With a unique and memorable touch, Mohale Mashigo explores the everyday ills we live with and wrestle constantly, all the while allowing hidden energies to emerge and play out their unforeseen consequences.

Intruders is speculative fiction at its best.

Mohale Mashigo is the author of the widely acclaimed and best-selling novel, The Yearning, which won the University of Johannesburg 2016 Debut Prize for South African Writing in English, as well as of Beyond the River, a young adult adaptation of the movie of the same name. She is also an award-winning singer, songwriter and comic book writer for the Kwezi series.

Mohale recently discussed her foray into short story writing with Africa Melane on Cape Talk. Listen to their convo here!

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Woef! Maak ’n kinderhart bly met hierdie fassinerende boek oor honde

Ontdek alles wat jy nog altyd oor honde wou weet, van verskillende rasse, eienskappe en versorging, tot fassinerende inligting oor hoe honde met ons en met ander honde kommunikeer.

Hierdie boek is perfek vir enige iemand wat van honde hou, of jy nou reeds ’n honde-eienaar is, of daarvan droom om jou eie hond te kry.

Leer wat honde met hul liggaamstaal wys, waarvan hulle droom wanneer hulle slaap, en wat hulle vir ons probeer sê. Kom beleef die wonderlike wêreld van honde met hierdie nuttige gids propvol fantastiese foto’s en skattige feite oor honde.

Vind uit hoe verskillende rasse se unieke eienskappe van mekaar verskil, leer hoe om jou beste vriend te versorg sodat sy stertswaai-gelukkig en gesond bly en verstom jou aan hierdie wonderlike diere se supersintuie en ratse toertjies.


Death and Compassion - an original & highly informative study of scientific and nonscientific accounts of elephant ethics and ontology

Dan Wylie combines a lifetime of experience and meditation with specialist knowledge of debates in ecocriticism and animal studies.
— F. Fiona Moolla, Department of English, University of the Western Cape

Death and Compassion is an original and highly informative analysis of scientific and nonscientific accounts of elephant ethics and ontology.
— Kai Horsthemke, Chair of Philosophy of Education and Systematic Pedagogy, KU Eichstätt-Ingolstadt, Germany

Elephants are in dire straits – again.

They were virtually extirpated from much of Africa by European hunters in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, but their numbers resurged for a while in the heyday of late-colonial conservation efforts in the twentieth. Now, according to one estimate, an elephant is being killed every fifteen minutes.

This is at the same time that the reasons for being especially compassionate and protective towards elephants are now so well-known that they have become almost a cliché: their high intelligence, rich emotional lives including a capacity for mourning, caring matriarchal societal structures, that strangely charismatic grace.

Saving elephants is one of the iconic conservation struggles of our time. As a society we must aspire to understand how and why people develop compassion – or fail to do so – and what stories we tell ourselves about animals that reveal the relationship between ourselves and animals.

This book is the first study to probe the primary features, and possible effects, of some major literary genres as they pertain to elephants south of the Zambezi over three centuries: indigenous forms, early European travelogues, hunting accounts, novels, game ranger memoirs, scientists’ accounts, and poems.

It examines what these literatures imply about the various and diverse attitudes towards elephants, about who shows compassion towards them, in what ways and why.

It is the story of a developing contestation between death and compassion, between those who kill and those who love and protect.

Dan Wylie is a lecturer in the English Department at Rhodes University, Grahamstown. He has published three books on the Zulu leader Shaka; a memoir, Dead Leaves: Two Years in the Rhodesian War; two books in the Animal Series for Reaktion Books, Elephant and Crocodile, and several volumes of poetry.

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Launch: Wild Land by Peter and Beverly Pickford (18 October)

In more than 200 striking images, acclaimed South African photographers Peter and Beverly Pickford have created an epic, unparalleled portrait of some of our planet’s most untouched places: from the heat-beaten country of Namibia’s Skeleton Coast to Alaska and the Yukon’s abundance of water, in ocean, river and lake; from the subantarctic islands’ wind-tossed shores in the south to the Arctic’s immense expanses of cracked pancake ice in the north; and the dazzling juxtaposition of desert and water in Australia’s Kimberley to the remote, frozen peaks of Tibet and Patagonia.

Within these extreme landscapes, Beverly and Peter’s images illuminate and celebrate myriad forms of life: polar bears, rhinoceroses and bharal, as well as the humble lichen, are all evocatively pictured within the landscapes upon which they depend.

This is a wildlife book like no other, its images aching with what words struggle to describe: the resonance of wilderness in our inner being, the power of land to transform our emotion, and our ability to transcend the immediate to become sublime.

Wild Land’s stunning images are accompanied by a fascinating text in which Peter not only vividly describes the photographers’ adventures in pursuit of wild land, but also delivers a timely message that highlights the urgent need for these lands to be preserved for the future of the planet – a future on which humankind’s very survival is dependent.

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