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PJ Powers to Perform with Former Hotline Bandmate George van Dyk in Florida, USA

Here I AmPJ Powers, South African icon and author of the autobigraphy Here I Am, will be performing at The Funky Biscuit in Florida in the United States.

Powers will be sharing the stage with special guest George van Dyk, who played the bass for Powers’ band Hotline in the 1980s.

The event will take place on Thursday, 13 August at 8 PM at The Funky Biscuit in Boca Raton.

Don’t miss the chance to see PJ Powers live in Florida!

Event Details

  • Date: Thursday, 13 August 2015
  • Time: 8 PM
  • Venue: The Funky Biscuit
    303 SE Mizner Blvd
    Royal Palm Place
    Boca Raton
    Florida | Map
  • Guest Speaker: George van Dyk

Book Details

Penguin Random House SA Launches New eBook Store Powered by Snapplify

Penguin Random House South Africa (PRHSA) today announced the launch of their new eBook Store, in partnership with the digital publishing platform, Snapplify.

The eBook store will have a range of local titles on offer: fiction and non-fiction, lifestyle and nature, and much, much more. The official launch will take place at the South African Book Fair, which starts tomorrow.

Mark Seabrook, digital director of PRHSA, says the aim of the eBook store is to offer readers “ongoing value and a high quality digital reading experience across all platforms and devices”.

Wesley Lynch, CEO of Snapplify, says Snapplify is proud to be associated with PRHSA: “We look forward to our teams working together to innovate in the South African eBook market.”

To access the store, simply follow the link, and access your favourite titles today:

Low Carb is LekkerSasol Birds of Southern AfricaChallenging BeliefsArctic SummerKilling for Profit


This morning, Seabrook and Lynch participated in a panel discussion on the shift in eBook business models at the Footnote Summit in Johannesburg. Joining them on the panel was Ben Williams, Sunday Times Books Editor and founder of Books LIVE, and Melvin Kaabwe, Digital Manager of Van Schaik Bookstores.

Here are a few tweets from the discussion. Follow the hashtag #FootnoteSummit for more:


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Press release:

Penguin Random House South Africa (PRHSA), the largest trade publisher in the country, has just launched a new eBook store for the South African market, focused on local titles.

The eBook store offers the publisher’s full catalogue. Readers can choose from leading SA fiction, non-fiction, lifestyle and nature titles including: Low Carb is Lekker, Sasol Birds of Southern Africa, Challenging Beliefs, Arctic Summer and Killing for Profit.

Mark Seabrook, digital director of PRHSA, said: “We believe there is an opportunity within the eBook retailer landscape to focus on local titles. The Snapplify technology gives us the ability to engage directly with readers, offering them ongoing value and a high quality digital reading experience across all platforms and devices.”

The eBook store seamlessly integrates with a complete suite of eBook reader apps for mobile (iOS and Android), desktop (Mac and PC) and web. Purchases are automatically synced to your app library, and the reader app allows searching, notes, highlights and bookmarks. Reading progress is synced across devices, so readers can easily pick up where they left off.

“Snapplify is proud to be associated with Penguin Random House SA and their list of bestselling titles and authors. We look forward to our teams working together to innovate in the South African eBook market,” said Wesley Lynch, CEO of Snapplify.

The eBook store officially launches at the South African Book Fair taking place in Johannesburg from 31 July to 2 August 2015. Customers who register at the PRHSA stand during the Book Fair will get a free eBook to get their digital library started.

For more information, contact Luyanda Sibisi at or 011 327-3550. For more information, visit


Book details

“And What’s Your Group, Young Man?” – Jimfish Meets the President of South Africa (Excerpt)

JimfishJimfish by Christopher Hope tells the remarkable tale of an impossible adventure.

Hope names his protagonist Jimfish – a derogatory term for a black man which is also used as a form of address, according to the Oxford Dictionary of South African English.

Jimfish emerges from the sea one day, a slippery, fairy-tale character, who embarks on the “odyssey of a South African everyman” and becomes a symbol of the bizarre nature of apartheid.

In this excerpt from the first chapter of the novel, shared by Penguin, we meet the young Jimfish and witness his encounter with the President of South Africa, who warns him not to become a rebel like Nelson Mandela.

Read the extract:

* * * * * * * *


Spying an oddly coloured boy in the crowd, the President asked: ‘And what’s your group, young man?’

     Jimfish did not hesitate: ‘I’m with the fish, sir. That’s my name and that’s my calling.’

     The President was impressed. ‘Good for you, Jimfish. If we all stuck to our own school, shoal, tribe, troop and territory we’d be a lot happier. Those like Nelson Mandela, who oppose me, will stay in jail. There will be no mixing of the colours, no turning back and no going forward. In fact, no movement of any sort, not while I am in charge.’

     The loyal Pallidians cheered him to the echo and felt very lucky to be led by a man so strong, so well-armed, so furious, and they sang him on his way:

Good old Piet, he’s the one;
We die for him till kingdom come;
Given to us by God’s own grace:
Viva the champion of our race!

And off went the new President to buy more weapons and do more crushing of anyone who dissented, demurred or disagreed.

     ‘See what we are up against?’ Soviet Malala asked his pupil. ‘War is on the way. We will drive the colonial settler entity into the sea. Take back what he stole from us. Confiscate his farms, reclaim the mines, nationalize the seas and abolish the banks. Viva the struggle! Viva the lumpenproletariat!’

     When Jimfish said he wasn’t sure if he qualified for the lumpenproletariat, his teacher told him: ‘Think of the insulting name hung around your neck and you’ll be as angry as a snake in no time at all.’

     Jimfish promised to do his best and walked home longing to feel true rage, but knowing he was more fish than snake.

Related links:

Book details

Extracted from Jimfish by Christopher Hope (Penguin)

Don’t Take Your Messy Divorce to Twitter, Warns Social Media Lawyer Emma Sadleir

Don't Film Yourself Having SexEmma Sadleir was recently quoted in an article on celebrity couples’ tendency to air their dirty divorce laundry on social media platforms.

The article focuses on Morgan Deane and Graeme Smith’s messy break-up, and the series of accusations that Deane published on Twitter about the cricketer.

Sadleir, author of Don’t Film Yourself Having Sex: and Other Legal Advice For the Age of Social Media, says that from a legal perspective couples who take their domestic spats to Twitter could land up in trouble with the law.

Read the article:

“What the courts are saying about domestic social media spats is that, even if the allegations are true, they cannot be published because they are not for the public benefit. The courts have been at pains to emphasise the distinction between what is interesting to the public as opposed to what is in the public interest. You cannot air your dirty laundry in public.”

Book details

Penguin Random House to Publish Helen Zille’s Memoir

The memoir of Helen Zille is the most anticipated political biography in South Africa, and Penguin Random House South Africa (PRHSA) is immensely honoured to be this iconic politician’s publisher of choice.

Zille signed the book deal with PRHSA late last week. Of this publishing highlight, Steve Connolly, managing director of PRHSA, said: “Helen Zille has undoubtedly transformed the political landscape in South Africa today and Penguin Random House is delighted and proud to publish what we believe will be one of the most important political autobiographies to be published in many years.”

As can be expected, the memoir will be a candid and to-the-point account of her life, both political and personal.

Zille said the following about her planned biography: “It is a lot of fun, and a great challenge to write a book that weaves together my personal life story with the political transformation of the country.

“I am honoured that Penguin Random House was interested in publishing it and I look forward to working together.”

The publication date will be announced at a later stage.

Image: Democratic Alliance

Doing Foolish Things in the Name of Love: An Extract from Blind Date at a Funeral by Trevor Romain

Blind Date at a FuneralPenguin has shared an excerpt from Trevor Romain’s latest book, Blind Date at a Funeral, a collection of coming-of-age stories which the author recorded in journals, notebooks and on beer-stained bar napkins over the years.

In the extract below, the narrator recalls the “pretty dumb things” he did as a young man when it came to dating. One of these incidents occurred when he was in the army in Potchefstroom and fell in love with a photograph of his tent-mate’s cousin.

One day his tent-mate informed him he was in luck – his great uncle had just died and it would be the perfect opportunity for the narrator to meet his cousin. It wasn’t that easy though, when they arrived at the funeral a burly rugby player stood between him and everlasting love.

Read the excerpt:

* * * * * * * *



(Soundtrack: ‘Hold the Line’ by Toto)


Her eyes were as blue as the sea around the Greek isles.

     I was in love with her.

     In my mind we were already married. The whole idea was quite absurd because I had not even met her yet.

     As a youngster, I did some pretty dumb things when it came to dating.

     I once went on the Breakfast Run on the back of a motorcycle driven by a girl I fancied. She dropped that bike so low on corners that I just about had a heart-a-fi t. I clung to life for three hours, and I almost needed a crowbar to pry my fingers loose from the back of the seat when we finally stopped. Upon arrival she threw herself all over a huge Hells Angels dude who was crisscrossed in home-made prison tattoos. He was packing a smirk and a snarl that would have made a pit bull run away whimpering.

     I hitchhiked back to Johannesburg.

     I once helped a girl secretly move out of her boyfriend’s fl at while he was at work. I had high hopes of being her future boyfriend. Not so. I got the old ‘I love you but I’m not in love with you’ story from her. I also almost got turned into a eunuch by her ex-boyfriend when she moved back in with him and told him I had helped her move out!

     No, I did not help her move back in.

     The one that really takes the cake happened when I was at Fourth Field Regiment in Potchefstroom during my army days. One of my tent-mates showed me a picture of his cousin and I fell in love. She was an Afrikaans girl studying at the teachers’ training college in Potch.

     I kept the picture of the girl in my wallet and almost convinced myself I was already dating her before we even met.

     My friend tried a few times to organise a chance meeting, without her knowing that it was all a set-up, but those opportunities never came to fruition.

     Finally, one afternoon, he came rushing into the tent and gave me the thumbs up.

     ‘My great-uncle died,’ he said, smiling.

     ‘I’m so sorry …’ I began.

     ‘It’s perfect,’ he said. ‘You can meet her at the funeral.’

     And that spelled the beginning of something very special.

     I honestly tried talking my way out of going to the service. I truly did. I told him I would stick out like a sore thumb. A Joburg joller in a Herman Charles Bosman story. An Orange Grove boy at nagmaal. But he would have nothing of it.

     ‘You’re going! Finished and klaar,’ he said.

     So, I put on my army step-outs. Polished my shoes. Made sure my beret sat nicely on my head (and didn’t look like a chef’s hat). And I went to the memorial service.

     And not surprisingly, my suspicion was validated. I did indeed step into a Herman Charles Bosman story. The memorial ceremony was actually a wake. It took place at a farmhouse outside Potch.

     I felt more out of place than Keith Richards at a Narcotics Anonymous meeting.

     I must say, I was welcomed with open arms, even though my Afrikaans wasn’t nearly good enough to understand most of what people were saying to me. (My Afrikaans did improve immensely during my stint in the army.)

     Within ten seconds of my arrival, a shot of witblits, home-made alcohol, was shoved into my hand. And we drank in the old man’s honour. The rest of the night was pretty much a blur.

     I do remember a few pertinent details though:

     The first and most sobering one was that the girl was indeed stunning. She was gorgeous. But she arrived with a date. I do believe his name was Rampie and he was a genuine farm-raised provincial rugby player. The guy’s paws were enormous. He shook my hand so firmly that my eyes almost popped out of my head and I think my tongue popped out too. But that may have been because she was so beautiful.

     The second thing was the incredible story her other great-uncle, the one who hadn’t died, told me. And, not surprisingly, it was a Herman Charles Bosman story.

     The old oom looked like one of the characters in a Bosman book, with booze-flushed cheeks, a magnificent white moustache, a freshly pressed safari suit and long socks with veldskoene, topped off with a felt hat with a leopard-skin band around it. He took a long swig of what looked like peach brandy and recited the first paragraph of the Bosman story, verbatim.


     ‘… Oh yes, there are two varieties on this side of the Limpopo. The chief difference between them is that the one kind of leopard has got a few more spots on it than the other kind. But when you meet a leopard in the veld, unexpectedly, you seldom trouble to count his spots to find out what kind he belongs to. That is unnecessary. Because, whatever kind of leopard it is that you come across in this way, you only do one kind of running. And that is the fastest kind.’

     I must say, I really wanted to run away from that gathering when I first arrived and saw the burly rugby player between me and my future with the pretty girl. There would be no connecting with her – no dating, and no enduring romance.

Book details

Extracted from Blind Date at a Funeral by Trevor Romain (Penguin)

Mathews Phosa: Chants of Freedom is a Rendition of the Struggle as It Unfolded (Podcast)

Chants of FreedomJenny Crwys-Williams and Redi Thlabi recently invited Mathews Phosa to The Book Show on Talk Radio 702 to talk about his first anthology of English poetry, Chants of Freedom: Poems Written in Exile.

In the interview, Phosa tells the tale of how he lost and found the poems he wrote while he was a commander of Umkhonto we Sizwe (MK) in Mozambique.

He wrote his poems in the library of Rob Davies, now the Minister of Trade and Industry, and when he was called back to South Africa to commence negotiations with former president FW de Klerk he did not have time to pack his poetry. Subsequently it was lost, and only recently discovered again when professor Philip Bonner from the University of the Witwatersrand convinced him to write a biography. When they sifted through 40 boxes from Phosa’s private archive they stumbled onto his English poems.

Responding to Thlabi’s question of how people relate to poetry in our own literature, Phosa says: “If you write about people’s experiences they will relate to that literature much better than if they don’t understand those experiences.”

Phosa describes his anthology as “a rendition of the Struggle as it unfolded as I looked at it”.

Listen to the podcast:

Book details

Kom vier die bekendstelling van Ver in die wêreld, sushi met Koos Kombuis en Bibi Slippers in Philadelphia

Uitnodiging na die bekendstelling van Ver in die wêreld, sushi

Ver in die wêreld, sushiPenguin nooi jou graag na die bekendstelling van Koos Kombuis se jongste rubriekversameling, Ver in die wêreld, sushi.

Bibi Slippers sal op Sondag, 9 Augustus in die Boereverenigingsaal met die skrywer gesels oor sy boek. Die gesprek begin om 11:30 en is deel van die De Malle BoekBazaar in Philadelphia. Kaartjies kos R40 per persoon.

Ver in die wêreld, sushi is ’n keur uit die rubrieke wat tussen 2005 en 2015 verskyn het in publikasies soos Rapport, De Kat, Taalgenoot en op LitNet en Netwerk24.



Elon Musk’s Dad Speaks Out Against SA’s Rugby Culture, Saying it Enables Bullying

Elon MuskThe father of the world-renowned inventor and entrepreneur, Elon Musk, recently told News24 that the rugby culture in South African schools enables bullying and creates people like Oscar Pistorius.

Errol Musk blames what he calls the “jock culture” for the bullying that his son had to endure, arguing that schools do not always take action against bullies, because they play for the schools’ rugby teams.

In the article, Musk senior explains why boys shouldn’t be forced to play rugby, saying that violent behaviour, for example in the case of Pistorius when he shot and killed Reeva Steenkamp, starts at school.

For more insight into the life of the entrepreneur, read his biography, Elon Musk: How the Billionaire CEO of Spacex and Tesla is Shaping Our Future, written by Ashlee Vance.

Read the article:

“It is about whether they can play rugby or not,” Errol Musk told News24, following comments he recently made about Elon once being beaten up so badly in Grade 8 that he did not immediately recognise him.

“If boys grow up like that, they end up being like Oscar Pistorius who shoots his girlfriend, and shoots out of a car and at a restaurant. It starts at schools.”

Book details

Kom vier die bekendstelling van Boas Mei is verward met Tinus Horn en Deon Maas in Johannesburg

UItnodiging na die bekendstelling van Boas Mei is verward

Boas Mei is verwardPenguin nooi jou graag na die bekendstelling van Boas Mei is verward deur Tinus Horn.

Deon Maas sal met die skrywer gesels op Donderdag, 30 Julie in The Bamboo Lifestyle Centre om 19:30. RSVP by Lorienne Brown teen Dinsdag, 28 Julie om teleurstelling te vermy.

Horn se jongste roman vertel die verhaal van Boas Mei wie se lewe in duie stort wanneer hy in die hospitaal beland. Kom vind uit hoekom hy verward is, en hoe hy sy nuwe storie met ‘n koki-pen teen die kamermuur skryf.

Moet dit nie misloop nie!