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Spring botanical art exhibition at the Irma Stern Museum to mark the 50th anniversary of her death

Botanical art exhibition at the Irma Stern Museum to mark the 50th anniversary of her death
Butterflies of East AfricaBaobabs of the WorldPocket Guide: Birds of East AfricaGiant StepsLandy

The UCT Irma Stern Museum in Cape Town will celebrate the arrival of spring with a botanical art exhibition, bringing together artwork from established artists of Cape flora with new artwork that has been commissioned for the exhibition.

The Western Cape floral kingdom, with its unrivalled diversity of plant species, has attracted explorers, artists and botanists for hundreds of years.

An exhibition titled “Flora Old and New” will be held at the Irma Stern Museum in September as part of the special public programme to mark the 50th anniversary of the death of the internationally renowned South African artist, Irma Stern.

The exhibition will run from 3 September to 1 October, with opening hours of 10 AM to 5 PM Tuesday to Friday, and 10 AM to 2 PM on Saturday.

The director of the Irma Stern Museum will be giving a special walkabout on 20 September at 10 AM.

Please RSVP by 15 September.

Enter the lucky draw at the exhibition to win a hamper of Struik Nature books. The winner will be notified at the close of the exhibition.

Special Walkabout Details

Book Details

Sex workers lead the way

Grace Bura (not her real name) came to South Africa three months ago from her home town of Dar es Salaam to set up a new business: sex work.  She is based in one of Durban’s biggest brothels and earns R70 per transaction. R240 of her earnings each day go to the brothel owner for rent. It’s hard and dangerous work, she says, but much more lucrative than the small clothing business she had at home. What’s more, the exchange rate works in her favour and the rands she earns here buy a decent living for her child, who lives back home with his grandparents.

Sex work in South Africa is particularly risky because of the high prevalence of HIV. Around 60% of sex workers are infected.   Fortunately for Grace, though,  her move here has  coincided with the launch of the most promising new HIV prevention tool yet.  In May this year, the Health Minister, Dr Aaron Motsaoledi, announced that 10 sites across the country would start giving pre-exposure prophylaxis (known as PrEP) to sex workers.  It comes in the form of a once-a-day pill, Truvada, which works by blocking an enzyme called HIV reverse transcriptase. By blocking this enzyme, it prevents HIV from making more  copies of  itself in the body. If taken every day, Truvada gives 99% protection against HIV infection.

One of the sites chosen to dispense PrEP is the TB/HIV Care clinic in eThekwini, which already provides comprehensive health care services to sex workers.

Grace first heard about Truvada from a TB/HIV Care counselor. “I know about this clinic because I have seen the ladies come to the brothel,” she said. “She called me and told me to come here to get tested. I agreed because I want to look after my health. Thank god I was negative.”

Grace started on Truvada on June 22. She returned to the clinic yesterday to get two months’ advance supply because she is going to work in Johannesburg for a while. “Work is slow here now,” she explains. “If you go away and then come back, they think you are new and you get more clients.”

If Grace keeps on taking her pill every day – and there is every indication she will – she will be able to protect both herself and her clients, as well as their partners.

This is a giant step towards defeating a virus that accounts for more than 30% of deaths in South Africa.

*This article first appeared on

The future of libraries in Africa - The New African Librarian: Perspectives from the Continent

The New African LibrarianUnisa Press presents The New African Librarian: Perspectives from the Continent edited by Buhle Mbambo-Thata, Jenny Raubenheimer and Gerhard van der Linde:

This book grew out of the African Library Summit, the first event of its kind, held in South Africa from 11 to 13 May 2011, and co-hosted by the Library of the University of South Africa, the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) Africa Section and the IFLA Regional Office for Africa. The purpose of the Summit was to bring together African library leaders to reflect on the roles of African libraries and librarianship in the production of knowledge and the dissemination of African research, with an obligation to develop libraries in the country of origin. Delegates from 24 African countries participated in the Summit, together with delegates from the United States, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Italy and Germany. Based on the proceedings of the first Summit, the papers have been reviewed by the editors for publication and were subjected to a peer review process. The contents cover current trends in librarianship, regional and country overviews, knowledge management, the role of library associations in the development and training of 21st century library and information professionals, and much more. The outcomes, accepted resolutions and the statement of commitment signed by the participants of the Summit are provided, with an overview of the future of African librarianship. The fruitful discussions on all these topics led to one inevitable question: what does it mean to be a librarian on the African continent? The answers provided reveal the advent of the new African librarian, dedicated to a new collaborative vision, with a commitment to quality, and confidence in the important role libraries have to play in the present and future of the continent. This book represents the arrival of an exciting phase in the history and development of African librarianship and is essential reading for understanding the background to the changes we are seeing and those to come.

Table Contents

List of figures vii
List of tables viii
Foreword ix
Acknowledgements xi
About the editors xiii
About the authors xv
Introduction xxi

1 Perspectives from the continent Buhle Mbambo-Thata

2 Library and information services: Trends at the start of the 21st century Ellen R Tise and Reggie Raju

3 African library associations in the development of the 21st century information science profession Helena Asamoah-Hassan

4 African librarianship at the start of the 21st century: The current situation in West Africa Zakari Mohammed and Victoria Okojie

5 African librarianship at the beginning of the 21st century: The current situation in Southern Africa John Tsebe

6 Developing the infrastructure of digital libraries in North African Countries Region: A case study of Egypt Shawky Salem

7 African digital libraries in the 21st century: Overview and strategic issues Felix N Ubogu and Michele Pickover

8 Understanding the past and the present to map out the future for the African academic library: The digital library approach Benedict A Oladele

9 Academic libraries in sub-Saharan Africa: Present and future Maria GN Musoke

10 Open access interventions in Portuguese-speaking countries: The case of Mozambique Aissa Mitha Issak

11 Training library and information professionals in Africa: The current situation Mabel Minishi-Majanja

12 Equipping African library leaders for 21st century librarianship Agnes Chitsidzo Chikonzo

13 Whoever’s heard of libraries? Researching perceptions of public libraries in six African countries Monika Elbert, David Fuegi and Ugne Lipeikaite

14 New developments in information literacy in the tertiary education system: An overview Vicki Lawal, Peter G Underwood, Rosemary Kuhn and Christine Stilwell

15 Strategies towards a sustainable and innovative framework for knowledge management in the African context Rachel Prinsloo

16 The future of African librarianship

Annexure A: Notes on the future of African librarianship: Overview and review AL Dick
Annexure B: Resolutions accepted at the African Library Summit
Annexure C: Statement of commitment by delegates of the African Library Summit

Book details

Special offer on all Struik Nature Pocket Guides

Struik Nature

The Struik Nature Club is running a special discount on all Struik Nature Pocket Guides until the end of June!

Save R50 on each book, plus free delivery in South Africa.


See the list of Struik Nature Pocket Guides here:

Pocket Guide: Butterflies of South Africa
Pocket Guide: Butterflies of South Africa by Steve Woodhall
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EAN: 9781920572471
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Pocket Guide: Insects of South Africa
Pocket Guide: Insects of South Africa by Charles Griffiths, Mike Picker
Book homepage
EAN: 9781775841951
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Mammals of Southern Africa
Mammals of Southern Africa : Pocket Guide by Chris Stuart, Tilde Stuart
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EAN: 9781770078611
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Pocket Guide: Mushrooms of South Africa
Pocket Guide: Mushrooms of South Africa by Marieka Gryzenhout
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EAN: 9781770077560
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Pocket Guide: Rocks and Minerals of Southern Africa
Pocket Guide: Rocks and Minerals of Southern Africa by Bruce Cairncross
Book homepage
EAN: 9781770074439
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Pocket Guide: Snakes and Other Reptiles of Southern Africa
Pocket Guide: Snakes and Other Reptiles of Southern Africa by Bill Branch
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EAN: 9781775841647
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Pocket Guide: Trees of Southern Africa
Pocket Guide: Trees of Southern Africa by Piet van Wyk, Braam van Wyk
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EAN: 9781920572020
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Pocket Guide: Birds of Southern Africa
Pocket Guide: Birds of Southern Africa by Ian Sinclair
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EAN: 9781770077690
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Pocket Guide: Wild Flowers of South Africa
Pocket Guide: Wild Flowers of South Africa by Braam van Wyk
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EAN: 9781775841661
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PE Book Launch: I'm the Girl Who Was Raped by Michelle Hattingh

I'm the Girl Who Was RapedMichelle HattinghFogarty’s and Modjaji Books invite you to the Port Elizabeth launch of I’m the Girl Who Was Raped, a memoir by Michelle Hattingh. The author comes from Port Elizabeth, so she is back in her home town talking about her incredibly courageous book.

“Compelling, clear and beautiful writing on such a necessary topic. She shatters rape myths on every page.” Jen Thorpe, gender activist and author of The Peculiars.

“Many people think middle class women are magically immune to rape or that if they are raped their easy access to the resources they need will be everything they need to recover completely. A book that discusses the cross cutting nature of the pain all women must feel when a man rapes them can only be welcomed in a time when communities across South Africa struggle with high rape rates.” Kathleen Dey of Rape Crisis

More about the book:
That morning, Michelle presented her Psychology honours thesis on men’s perceptions of rape. She started her presentation like this, “A woman born in South Africa has a greater chance of being raped than learning how to read …” On that same evening, she goes to a party to celebrate attaining her degree. She and a friend go to the beach; the friend has something she wants to discuss. They are both robbed, assaulted and raped. Within minutes of getting help, Michelle realises she’ll never be herself again. She’s now “the girl who was raped.”

This book is Michelle’s fight to be herself again. Of the taint she feels, despite the support and resources at her disposal as the loved child of a successful middle-class family. Of the fall-out to friendships, job, identity. It’s Michelle’s brave way of standing up for the women in South Africa who are raped every day.

About the author:

Michelle Hattingh was born in South Africa in 1988. She attended school in Port Elizabeth and studied Politics, Philosophy and Economics at Stellenbosch University. She went on to do her Honours in Psychology at Cape Town University and now lives in Cape Town. Michelle works as senior online content producer at Marie Claire SA. Her work has been published in Elle SA, Marie Claire SA and Mail & Guardian. I’m the Girl Who Was Raped is her first book.

Event Details

  • Date: Thursday, 12 May 2016
  • Time: 5:30 PM for 6:00 PM
  • Venue: GFI Gallery, 30 Park Drive, Central, Port Elizabeth
  • Guest Speaker: Emily Buchanan
  • Refreshments: Come and join us for a glass of wine and snacks
  • RSVP: Fogarty’s,, 041 368 1425

I'm the Girl Who Was Raped
Book Details

'A bit of bleeding but very little damage' - Johan Marais shares the story behind recent python photoshoot

python bite
Snakes and Snakebite in Southern AfricaSlange and Slangbyt in Suider-AfrikaA Complete Guide to the Snakes of Southern Africa'n Volledige Gids tot die Slange van Suider-Afrika

Johan Marais, internationally renowned herpetologist and author of Snakes and Snakebite in Southern Africa, has shared the story behind a recent photoshoot involving a python and a very bloody arm.

The shoot involved Shawn Hefer of the African Snakebite Institute being bitten “a few times” by a young python, resulting in “a bit of bleeding but very little damage”.

Have a look at the photographs, and check out the African Snakebite Institute on Facebook for more:



There is a great deal of myth about pythons, especially with regards to attacks on people. Pythons in Africa do kill people, but rarely so.

There are as few as 3 proven cases where people were killed by pythons in Africa in the past 100 years+. Attacks by pythons are often reported, especially when one has been killed and appears on the front page of a newspaper. But these attacks are seldom true and there is a likelihood that the snakes are being killed for the muti market.

During a study on python behaviour at Kwalata Reserve, the members of the Alexander Lab at Wits had two or three python bites in the wild but the snakes immediately released after biting, as if they realised their mistake. The wounds were superficial. Pythons do have a mouth full of razor-sharp teeth and have the ability to inflict very nasty bites, often resulting in stitches. The reason is that people pull the pythons off and the sharp teeth rip through skin.

I am busy with a program on pythons and we staged some photographs this morning where a young python latched onto Shawn Hefer’s arm a few times, causing quite a bit of bleeding but very little damage. Have a look at the photographs. Incidentally, the Southern African Python (Python natalensis) is projected in most provinces and is on the TOPS list but it is not an endangered species – in the Reptile Atlas it is listed as ‘least concerned’.

Related stories:

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