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Don't miss the launch of There Should Have Been Five by Marilyn Honikman at Love Books

Invitation to the launch of There Should Have Been Five by Marilyn Honikman

There Should Have Been FiveTafelberg and Love Books invite you to the launch of There Should Have Been Five by Marilyn Honikman.

There Should Have Been Five is based on the true story of Job Maseko, a South African hero of World War I who was almost forgotten for 50 years.

Honikman has written his story as a novel, showing how one seemingly insignificant soldier was able to contribute to the Allied cause.

The event will take place on at 3:30 PM on Saturday, 4 June, at Love Books in Melville. Award winning author and historian Luli Callinicos will be in conversation with the author.

Don’t miss it!

Event Details

  • Date: Saturday, 4 June 2016
  • Time: 3 for 3:30 PM
  • Venue: Love Books
    The Bamboo Lifestyle Centre
    53 Rustenburg Road
    Johannesburg | Map
  • Guest: Luli Callinicos
  • RSVP: Love Books,, 011 726 7408

Book Details

2016 Media24 Books Literary Awards shortlists announced

2016 Media24 Books Literary Awards shortlists announced

Alert! The shortlists for the 2016 Media24 Books Literary Awards have been announced.

The awards recognise the best work published by Media24 Books – including NB Publishers and Jonathan Ball – during the previous year. An exception occurred in 2014, when Dominque Botha’s Valsrivier, published by Umuzi, was deemed too strong not to be included and the won Jan Rabie Rapport Prize.

The winner in each of the six categories receives R35,000, with the MER Prize for Illustrated Children’s Books being shared by the author and illustrator. Independent panels of judges compiled the shortlists.

The prizes will be awarded in Cape Town on 22 June, 2016.

Last year’s six winners were Willem Anker, Michiel Heyns, Antjie Krog, Mark Gevisser, Andre Eva Bosch and Fiona Moodie.

* * * * *

2016 Media24 Books Literary Awards shortlists

WA Hofmeyr Prize for Afrikaans Fiction (novel, short stories or drama)


Wonderboom by Lien Botha (Queillerie)
Brandwaterkom by Alexander Strachan (Tafelberg)
Vlakwater by Ingrid Winterbach (Human & Rousseau)

* * * * *

Recht Malan Prize for Afrikaans or English Non-Fiction

Black Brain, White BrainA Perfect StormShowdown at the Red Lion

Black Brain, White Brain by Gavin Evans (Jonathan Ball)
Perfect Storm by Milton Shain (Jonathan Ball)
Showdown at the Red Lion by Charles van Onselen (Jonathan Ball)

* * * * *

Herman Charles Bosman Prize for English Fiction (novel, short stories or drama)

The FetchThe Shadow of the Hummingbird

The Fetch by Finuala Dowling (Kwela)
The Shadow of the Hummingbird by Athol Fugard and Paula Fourie (Human & Rousseau)

* * * * *

Elisabeth Eybers Prize for Afrikaans and English Poetry


Vry- by Gilbert Gibson (Human & Rousseau)
Takelwerk by Daniel Hugo (Human & Rousseau)
Bladspieël by Marlise Joubert (Human & Rousseau)

* * * * *

MER Prize for Afrikaans and English Youth Novels

Elton Amper-Famous April en Juffrou BromBambaduzeSwemlesse vir 'n meermin

Elton amper-famous April en juffrou Brom by Carin Krahtz (Tafelberg)
Bambaduze by Derick van der Walt (Tafelberg)
Swemlesse vir ’n meermin by Marita van der Vyver (Tafelberg)

* * * * *

MER Prize for Illustrated Children’s Books in Afrikaans and English

Hendrik LeerdamDie Dingesfabriek: Jannus en Kriek en die tydmasjienProfessor Sabatina se wetenskapboek

Hendrik Leerdam: Kaap van storms by James Home en Peter Mascher (ill.) (Tafelberg)
Die Dingesfabriek 4: Jannus en Kriek en die tydmasjien by Elizabeth Wasserman and Astrid Castle (ill.) (Tafelberg)
Professor Sabatina se wetenskapboek by Elizabeth Wasserman, Astrid Castle (ill.) and Rob Foote (ill.) (Tafelberg)

The prizes will be awarded in Cape Town on 22 June 2016.

Book details

The story Job Maseko - a true South African hero of WWII: There Should Have Been Five by Marilyn Honikman

There Should Have Been FiveNew from Tafelberg: There Should Have Been Five by Marilyn Honikman:

Two children visit the Museum of Military History in Johannesburg and are intrigued by a painting of a black serviceman at the top of the stairs …

There were 354,000 South Africans of all races, including 25,000 women, who volunteered to serve in South Africa’s defence force and nursing services in the fight against Hitler, the Nazis and the Italian Fascists in World War II.

This book tells of one of these men, Job Maseko, whose heroic deed was almost forgotten for 50 years: He managed to destroy a German vessel with a homemade bomb while imprisoned in Tobruk. Why was he not awarded the Victoria Cross for his bravery?
About the author

Marilyn Honikman was the sales and marketing director at The Weekly Mail and Mail & Guardian, has run marketing and reader research workshops and marketed books of independent publishers Ravan Press and David Philip. She lives in Newlands, Cape Town.

Book details

Finish your manuscript with the ‘250 Words a Day' challenge and enter the 2017 Sanlam Prize for Youth Literature

Sanlam Prize
OnderwêreldDo Not Go GentleTaking ChancesDeath By CarbsThis Book Betrays my BrotherSister-Sister
To Quote MyselfBroken MonstersThe Big StickI am Incomplete Without You


Alert! The 2017 Sanlam Prize for Youth Literature is open for entries, and budding writers are invited to join the “250 Words a Day” challenge to complete their novel by the closing date.

Paige Nick, author, Sunday Times columnist and advertising copywriter, says: “Writing a whole book can feel daunting, but anyone can write just 250 words a day, right?”

Nick is part of the team of published authors acting as mentors for the “250 Words a Day” campaign. Others include Futhi Ntshingila, Fanie Viljoen, Sicelo Kula, Kagiso Lesego Molope and Rachel Zadok.

Published authors have also been sharing valuable writing advice and glimpses into their working life on the page, including Lauren Beukes, Richard de Nooy, Khaya Dlanga and Iain Thomas.

The Sanlam Prize for Youth Literature is presented in six categories: Afrikaans, English, Nguni languages, Sotho languages, Tshivenda and Xitsonga, with two prizes in each category, Gold (R12,000) and Silver (R6,000).

Submitted work should be suitable for young readers (between 12 and 18 years) and at least 25,000 words.

The closing date for entries is 7 October, 2016 – so get writing!

Press release:

2017 Sanlam Prize for Youth Literature launched alongside “250 Words a Day” campaign

Entries for the 2017 Sanlam Prize for Youth Literature are now open!

However, writing a whole book can be daunting …

Elena Meyer, senior sponsorships manager at Sanlam, says: “As Wealthsmiths, we have a deep understanding and respect for what it takes to turn 26 alphabetic letters into something that can make you cry, scared or make you love. A process that talks to commitment and determination, yet achievable for any person that has a love for the word.

“It is from this understanding that our campaign of ’250 Words a Day’ was born. We want this competition to be accessible not only to established authors, but also to young and upcoming writers.”

By joining the “250 Words a Day” campaign on Facebook, entrants will have access to a panel of renowned and established authors who will act as writing mentors. Would-be authors are encouraged to write 250 words every day. If they commit to this, they should have a manuscript ready to submit by the closing date. Not only will advice, inspiration and helpful writing tips be offered, but mentors will also read segments of manuscripts and respond to writers with useful feedback. Mentors include among others Paige Nick, Cat Hellisen, Fanie Viljoen, Redi Tlhabi and Kagiso Lesego.

According to Michelle Cooper, publisher of children and young adult fiction at Tafelberg, the Sanlam Prize for Youth Literature is vital in finding and developing new talent and to create literature of high quality for readers between 12 and 18 years of age: “We are excited about the 250 Words a Day campaign and are looking forward to discovering talented new writing voices!”

The Sanlam Prize for Youth Literature was launched in 1980 and is awarded every second year. It is open to entries in all 11 official languages. Gold and silver prizes are awarded in the categories for African languages (Tshivenda, Xitsonga and Nguni & Sotho languages), Afrikaans and English.

A panel of readers will compile a shortlist of 18 manuscripts which will then be judged by representatives from the educational and trade book sector, librarians and academics. Manuscripts are judged anonymously so that debut writers are able to compete with established authors.

Over the years around 78 novels that were awarded the Sanlam Prize for Youth Literature have been prescribed as setwork books in schools, while some have even been made into films — Lien se lankstaanskoene by Derick van der Walt and Die ongelooflike avonture van Hanna Hoekom written by Marita van der Vyver.

The total prize money amounts to R54,000: R12,000 for the winner (gold) and R6,000 for the runner-up (silver) in each category.

The prize-winning books will be available in bookshops and in ebook format. The closing date for entries is 7 October, 2016.

To join the “250 Words a Day” campaign, visit

Download the entry form at


Related stories:

Book details

  • I am Incomplete Without You: An Interactive Poetry Journal from the Author of I Wrote This for You by Iain Sinclair Thomas
    EAN: 9781612435329
    Find this book with BOOK Finder!

Give Allister and Stick a sporting chance

THE appointment of Allister Coetzee and Mzwandile Stick to the Springbok team represents an opportunity to align rugby with contemporary SA. Let’s not blow it.

Both bring considerable social and political capital. Each has proved himself to be a game-changer. At Western Province, Coetzee showed that you could field a team with eight or nine players of colour and still be the best in the country. In his eight years at the helm, he led the Stormers to the top of the South African conference three times, and won the Currie Cup twice.

Almost half the players in Stick’s Under-19 team, which went on to win the Under-19 Currie Cup, were black, most of them from the Eastern Cape.

Neither came from a culture that privileged whiteness, and they gave the lie to the prevailing wisdom in parts of South African rugby: that black players weaken a team and are the tax you pay to appease the politicians.

Stick grew up in a Port Elizabeth township with a mother who frequently struggled to put food on the table. He attended the local township school, and yet still managed to make it to the top, captaining the Sevens team that won the World Series title in 2008-09.

Coetzee grew up in Grahamstown. He has a vivid memory of watching white boys at nearby Kingswood College play rugby with the best equipment, while he had to walk to the much poorer coloured school down the road. His father died while he was very young and his mother struggled to provide for him and his three siblings.



ALTHOUGH a talented and ambitious scrumhalf, his race precluded him from playing for SA.

Stick and Coetzee reflect the tough life experiences common to the majority of South Africans, and their elevation to the upper echelons of the game must make it seem much more accessible than it has in the past.

Neither has a chip on the shoulder, or sees himself as a victim. Their victory against the odds they were born into shows character and emotional resilience.

These qualities came in handy when dealing with their respective managements.

Stick answered to the deeply dysfunctional Eastern Province Rugby Union, and Coetzee endured eight years of frequently erratic and interfering management under the Western Province Rugby Union.

But the pressures on the Springbok coach, in particular, are way more intense and, without proper support, Coetzee will struggle.

The South African Rugby Union (Saru) has done well to appoint Coetzee and Stick. But it now needs to prove that this is not window-dressing. It needs to give their new Bok coach all the resources he needs to succeed. Otherwise, his appointment will be seen to be a cynical one, setting him up to fail.

Similar privileges to those accorded to Heyneke Meyer would be a good start.

Saru forked out substantial sums at the start of Meyer’s tenure to enable him to bring his own management team from the Bulls. He was then allowed to add more coaches, such as breakdown specialist, Richie Gray.

As yet, Coetzee does not appear to be similarly indulged. There is no evidence that he has picked any members of the team announced on Tuesday.

Given that he has already been disadvantaged by being appointed three-and-a-half months late, Saru needs to do all it can to help him, otherwise it risks being accused of not giving the same opportunities to a black coach as it gave to a white, Afrikaans one.

The corporate world should come to the party: any new sponsorship deals should be predicated on better governance, which would include equal opportunity for all employees, regardless of colour.

There has been talk of the Super Rugby coaches forming a Bok “selection committee”. This must be rapidly scotched. Meyer fought for — and won — the right to have ultimate say over selection. Rightly, he argued that if he were to be held responsible for winning every game, he needed to be able to pick his team.

The Super Rugby franchises need to play their part and put petty provincial rivalry aside.

The initiative introduced in Meyer’s term of systematically resting key Springbok players during Super Rugby must be continued.

Super Rugby coaches should also give more players of colour some proper game time to increase the pool available to Coetzee.

Fans need to give the new coaching team the benefit of the doubt. A bit of generosity of spirit would go a long way. Fans, particularly those who flock to Ellis Park for the iconic All Black derbies, should learn the first verses of the national anthem so that we are no longer subjected to the dramatic amplification of sound when English and Afrikaans verses are sung. It’s not that difficult. Make an effort.



DESPITE the autumn chill in the air, there is a sense of spring-time, of new beginnings, about rugby. Unlike Meyer, who looked to seasoned troops right from the start of his campaign, Coetzee will have to start afresh. Most of last year’s team have either retired, are approaching retirement, or are playing abroad.

This should not be a problem for Coetzee, who has proved that he is happy to trust youngsters.

Stick is something of a specialist in turning rookies into stars, given his track record with the Eastern Province Under-19s.

Transformation, which is viewed as a burden by Meyer, will come naturally to Coetzee.

At the Stormers, Coetzee displayed the ability effortlessly to forge racially and culturally diverse teams. Boys of colour were given every opportunity, but so were white players. Schalk Burger, Jean de Villiers, Eben Etzebeth flourished in his time, as did Siya Kolisi, Scarra Ntubeni, and Nizaam Carr.

There is a good chance that, with Coetzee and Stick at the helm, the sense of marginalisation that has plagued black Springboks will be a thing of the past. Under Meyer, Afrikaans was used for team talks, which was alienating for black players. The new Bok set-up hopefully will better reflect our diversity of languages.

Stick’s Under-19s also brought a vibrant culture from their Eastern Cape schools — with traditional isiXhosa war and struggle songs borrowed from their elders.

Some infusion of this into Bok culture could only enrich it.

• McGregor is author of Springbok Factory: What it Takes to be a Bok, and a visiting researcher at the Institute for the Humanities in Africa at the University of Cape Town.

*This column first appeared in Business Day


Read an excerpt from Joanne Macgregor's Fault Lines, the latest in the Samantha Steadman Eco-Warrior series

Fault LinesPresenting Fault Lines, the third book in the series by Joanne Macgregor:

Fault Lines can also be read as a stand-alone. Both Turtle Walk (2011) and Rock Steady (2013) were very popular and Turtle Walk was reprinted in 2014.

The eco-warriors are now in Grade 10 at Clifford House boarding school but this year, cracks are beginning to appear in their friendships, romances and their belief in themselves.

When Samantha Steadman joins ecological activists to block fracking in the Karoo, she expects that her best friends will be right alongside her in the fight. But Nomusa takes a very different view of the controversial issue and Jessie, under the influence of a glamorous new girl at the school, is too obsessed with her weight and appearance to care about ecology. Samantha feels very alone as she tries to deal with pressure from boys, school and her poison dwarf of a science teacher, all while uncovering a personal mystery from the past and struggling to save the Karoo – as well as her friendships – from splitting down their fault lines.

About the author

A born and bred Joburger, Joanne Macgregor is a Counselling Psychologist in private practice, where she works primarily with victims of trauma and crime. She started her professional life as a high school English Teacher and has always been in love with words.

Read an excerpt from Fault Lines:

Playing cool

The room looked like a beauty bomb had been detonated. Clothes lay strewn across the bed and floor, the smell of deodorant filled the air, and make-up, brushes and toiletries littered the dressing table.

Sam stood in front of the full-length mirror and narrowed her eyes at her reflection. This was her third change of clothing and she was still not satisfied. She wanted to look perfect – pretty, but casually so – for Apples’s arrival. First, she’d dressed in denim shorts and a blue tank top, but a glance at her appearance had her second-guessing her choice. Maybe it was too skimpy? Next up had been jeans and a T-shirt, but it had looked – and felt – much too hot. The midday summer sun was baking the semi-desert outside and she didn’t want to be a hot, sweaty mess when she finally saw Apples for the first time in five weeks. Off came the jeans and on went a sky-blue cotton sundress. It looked pretty and brought out the colour of her grey eyes, but it also looked like she was trying too hard, so she stripped and put the shorts and blue top back on again. It would just have to do.

Shoving the scattered clothes back into the wardrobe, she gave her sandy brown hair another quick brush, grabbed the book she had been reading and ran downstairs. From the shady front verandah she could keep an eye on the sand road which led up to the guest lodge. She’d see the tell-tale cloud of dust signalling the arrival of the boys long before she heard the car’s engine over the distant bleating of sheep. Her brother Dan and his best friend, Alistair Appleton, had caught an intercity bus from Jeffrey’s Bay to Graaff-Reinet and Sam’s father had set off an hour previously to go fetch them from the sleepy little town.

Hamish the parrot was bouncing on his perch at one end of the verandah. “Red card, red card!” he squawked, as he always did when he wanted a treat. Sam looked around, saw that a half-eaten sweetcorn cob lay on the floor below his perch and went over to retrieve it. When she offered it to the parrot, he took it between the finger-like claws of one foot and screeched, “He scores! Go Bokke!”

“You’re welcome,” said Sam.

She parked her butt in one of the cane chairs on the verandah and sipped a glass of iced water. Although way too excited to read, she kept the book open on her lap as a prop, hoping it made her look as laid-back as she didn’t feel.

“Tackle him, tackle him!”

This time Hamish was objecting to the meerkat who had crept cautiously up the side of the verandah and now stood upright with his long tail pressed against the red cement floor for balance. For a few seconds he alternated his wary gaze between Sam and the pellets of food in the dog bowl. Sam held herself still until, by some silent signal, the meerkat indicated to the rest of his family that it was safe, and a clutch of babies scrambled up onto the verandah, shepherded by another adult. They scurried over to the dog bowl and immediately began raiding the contents, seizing the pellets in their tiny hands and nibbling at them with sharp teeth.

The pups were adorable – all fuzzy hair and dark eyes and clumsy feet, clambering over one another to get to the food. Then a sharp bark sent them all scattering. Tripod, the farm’s three-legged Jack Russell terrier, was dashing across the sandy forecourt to defend her territory.

“Tackle him! Red card!”

In his excitement, Hamish had dropped the cob again and when she got up to retrieve it, Sam saw that a car was coming up the road to the lodge.

Fast as a meerkat, she ran inside to the mirror in the dresser by the front door. She bent over and then gave her hair a final flip back, applied another coat of tinted gloss to her lips and slapped her cheeks – half to give them some colour and half to smack some sense into herself. Then she ran back outside, flung herself into the chair in what she hoped was a relaxed pose and lifted her book just as the car came around the side of the massive shearing shed with a jaunty hoot.

Sam lowered the book slowly, gave a casual wave and eased herself out of the chair. The boys were already climbing out of the car, stretching their arms and cracking their necks. Tripod had now been joined by her sister, Quad, and both dogs were running circles around the car, barking madly and leaping up at the new arrivals. Even the sheep seemed excited. They ambled up to
the fence of their enclosure and bleated loudly.

“Well, check this out,” said Dan, looking unenthusiastically around at the sheep and sheds and dust.

Sam had eyes only for Apples. He was wearing skinny jeans and a T-shirt with the faded picture of a skeleton surfing an enormous wave. His thick black hair was longer than she had ever seen it and his eyes were a vivid blue against his tanned skin. He was gorgeous enough to make her forget how to speak.

“Hey, Sammikins, howzit,” said Dan, giving her a brief side-hug.

“Hey, Sam,” said Apples. He walked around the car and gave her a longer and tighter hug. “It’s good to see you.”

“You too. You got taller.”

“Ruck and roll, ruck and roll!” screeched Hamish from the verandah.

“Dan, Alistair, I’ll leave you boys to unpack. There’s a Coke inside with my name on it,” said Mr Steadman, heading inside.

“Man, but it’s hot here – it’s like the inside of an oven. Tell me there’s a pool, sis.”

“There’s somewhere to swim,” said Sam.

“Great, my brain’s already baking. Here, carry this for me.” Dan handed her a bag, then gave her face a double-take. “What’s that on your lips?”

Sam wiped at them self-consciously.

“And I’ve got to say,” said Dan, waving a disapproving hand at her shorts, “you’re not wearing enough fabric for a sister of mine.”

“Oh, I don’t know. I think she looks great,” said Apples with a wide smile.

Sam blushed but Dan just scowled at them both.

“Get a room, you two. No – wait, what am I saying? Don’t you dare!”

“Here, I’ve got that,” said Apples, his fingers brushing Sam’s as he took the bag from her hand.

“Offside! Are you blind, ref?” Hamish yelled in such a human voice that Apples looked around to see who had spoken.

“It’s the parrot,” said Sam. “He catches me out, too.”

“Lead the way there, Sammy,” said Dan. “Is it too much to hope for air-conditioning? I think I’ve started to melt. Let’s dump this stuff in our room and get changed and then you can show us the pool.”

“You’re upstairs and to the right,” said Sam as they walked through the front doors. “In the twin room just past the crocodile.”

“The what?” asked Apples.

“We’re sharing? Ag no, man. One day, when I’m rich, I’ll have entire suites to myself. Penthouses!” said Dan, climbing the broad, carpeted stairs. “With aircon and mini-bar fridges and jacuzzis. And babes in bikinis.”

“And what?” demanded Sam, outraged.

“You must be loving this place,” said Apples to Sam, running his eyes over the gallery of stuffed heads.

“Oh, yeah, it’s my best.”

“Hey, what’s with all the dead animals?” Dan said as he and Apples reached the first floor. “It’s like Pet Cemetery, Extreme Edition in here.”

“Wait ’til you see the baboon,” Sam called after them.

Book details