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Archive for the ‘South Africa’ Category

The first full account, from the 1950s to 1994: Thula Simpson’s Umkhonto we Sizwe: The ANC’s Armed Struggle

Umkhonto we SizwePresenting Umkhonto we Sizwe: The ANC’s Armed Struggle by Thula Simpson:

The armed struggle waged by the ANC’s military wing, Umkhonto we Sizwe (MK), was the longest sustained insurgency in South African history. This book offers the first full account of the rebellion in its entirety, from its early days in the 1950s to the inauguration of Nelson Mandela as South African president in 1994.

Vast in scope, this story traverses every corner of South Africa and extends throughout southern Africa, where MK’s largest campaigns and heaviest engagements occurred, as well as to the solidarity networks that the rebellion mobilised around the world.

Drawing principally from previously unpublished writings and testimonies by the men and women who fought the armed struggle, this book recreates the drama, heroism and tragedy of their experiences. It tells the story of leaders like Nelson Mandela, Oliver Tambo, Joe Slovo and Chris Hani, whose reputations were forged in the crucible of the armed struggle, but it is also a tale of martyrs such as Looksmart Ngudle, Ashley Kriel and Phila Ndwandwe, as well as of MK cadres such as Leonard Nkosi and Glory Sedibe, who would ultimately turn against the ANC and collaborate with the state in hunting down their former comrades.

Written in a fresh, immediate style, Umkhonto we Sizwe is an honest account of the armed struggle and a fascinating chronicle of events that changed South African history.

About the author

Thula Simpson is a senior lecturer in the Department of Historical and Heritage Studies at the University of Pretoria and an editor of the South African Historical Journal. His previous research on the ANC’s armed struggle has been published in a number of journals, including the African Historical Review, African Studies, the Journal of Southern African Studies, the South African Historical Journal and Social Dynamics, as well as in edited book collections published by Wits University Press and the University of Cape Town Press. Umkhonto we Sizwe: The ANC’s Armed Struggle is his first sole-authored book.

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Enough white noise – Evita Bezuidenhout considers racism, inequality and privilege

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“Hi, my name is Evita and I’m a racist” – Evita Bezuidenhout has written an article for The Guardian about white privilege.

In the piece, an edited version of a speech given to the Cape Town Press Club, Evita asks whether white South Africans are prepared to take the back seat in South Africa.

Read the article:

The only way for an alcoholic to confront the disease of alcoholism is to admit it: I drink therefore I will not drink. Then surely one way for a racist to confront that disease is to be honest: I am a racist therefore I will not be a racist.

I will not judge people because of the colour of their skin, or how they dress, or what they eat. I will not be a racist in the city traffic when the township taxi cuts in front of me. I will not be a racist when politics passes me by. I will not believe in the innate superiority of my race.

I was born in South Africa in 1935 into a racist family. I went to a racist school and a racist church. My God was a racist and so was his Son. I married into a racist family. I became the wife of a racist member of a racist parliament who served in the racist cabinet of a racist prime minister and praised by a racist press.

My children were brought up as racists. In fact, till my 59th year and the country’s first democratic election, if I hadn’t been a racist I would have been locked up in jail as a communist or a terrorist.

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Punchy, straightforward and practical: Business-To-Business Marketing: A Step by Step Guide

Business-To-Business MarketingPenguin Non-fiction is pleased to present Business-To-Business Marketing: A Step by Step Guide by Mark Eardley and Charlie Stewart:

The way businesses buy from one another has changed profoundly in recent years. Markets have evolved, disruptive technologies have sprung up and buyers’ expectations have changed.

But despite this, the fundamentals of business-to-business marketing have remained constant: today’s corporate decision-makers still need to know who you are, what you do and why you matter to them.

In Business-to-Business Marketing, Eardley and Stewart review the basic rules of B2B marketing. They offer guidance on how to:

  • motivate your markets to buy from you,
  • how to differentiate yourself from your competitors and
  • explain which tactics to use to reach your customers with the right messages at the right time.

Their step-by-step guide will help your marketing effort deliver three critical results -

  • increased sales,
  • rising market share and
  • rock-solid margins.

Written in straightforward, punchy language with simple, practical take outs at the end of each chapter, this is a must-have book for anyone involved – in any way at all – with attracting and retaining profitable customers.

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From party animal to ultra-trail-running superstar: Trail Blazer by Ryan Sandes

Ian: “You’re going to run how far?”
Ryan: “250 kilometres. But it’s over seven days, though.”
Ian: “And the furthest you’ve ever run is … ?”
Ryan: “42.2 kilometres … on the road. And on trail … 35 kilometres.”
Ian: “Ryan, I think you need to reassess this …”

Trail BlazerWhat does it take to run a six-day race through the world’s harshest deserts? Or 100 miles in a single day at altitudes that would leave you breathless just walking? More than that, though: what is it like to win these races?

South Africa’s ultra-trail-running superstar Ryan Sandes has done just that. Since bursting onto the international trail-running scene by winning the first multistage race he ever entered – the brutal Gobi March – Ryan has gone on to win various other multistage and single-day races around the globe.

Written with bestselling author and journalist Steve Smith, Trail Blazer: My Life as an Ultra-distance Trail Runner recounts the life story of this intrepid sportsman, from his experiences as a rudderless party animal to becoming a world-class athlete, and includes details on his training regimes, race strategies and aspirations for future sporting endeavours.

Sports enthusiasts will enjoy the adrenaline-inducing trials and tribulations of one of South Africa’s most awe-inspiring athletes, while endurance-sport participants – from beginners to aspirant pros – will benefit from his insights and advice.

As Professor Tim Noakes says in the Foreword to this book: “However much we might think we know and understand, there are some phenomena which now, and perhaps forever, we will never fully comprehend. We call such happenings ‘enigmas’. Or even miracles. Ryan Sandes is one such.”

About the authors

Ryan Sandes burst onto the trail-running scene seemingly out of nowhere in 2008 by winning the Gobi March, a seven-stage, 250-kilometre race across the brutal Gobi Desert. Proving this was no fluke, he would go on to become the first, and only, person to win every race in the 4 Deserts Race Series before turning his attention to the world’s great single-stage 100-milers. A sensational win at the high-altitude Leadville 100 in Colorado and victories in Australia, Hong Kong, the Canaries and Patagonia, as well as setting the fastest known time for the 209-kilometre Drakensberg Grand Traverse, have confirmed his status among the very elite of ultra-trail running.

Steve Smith is a successful magazine editor and writer who penned the bestselling sports autobiographies To the Point, for bad-boy cricketer Herschelle Gibbs, and SuperVan & I, for motor-racing legend Sarel van der Merwe. Steve is also an enthusiastic mountain-biker, having completed several multiday stage races. He is the editor of CAR magazine, and was previously at the helm of Red Bull’s magazine, The Red Bulletin, and Sports Illustrated.

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Join Steven Robins and Mark Gevisser for the launch of Letters of Stone at Kalk Bay Books

Letters of StoneKalk Bay Books and Penguin Random House invite you to the launch of Letters of Stone by Steven Robins.

Robins will be in conversation with Mark Gevisser.

The event will take place on Thursday, 3 March.

Don’t miss it!

Event Details

  • Date: Thursday, 3 March 2016
  • Time: 6:00 PM for 6:30 PM
  • Venue: Kalk Bay Books
    124 Main Road
    Kalk Bay | Map
  • Guest: Mark Gevisser
  • Refreshments: Come and join us for a glass of wine
  • RSVP:, 021 788 2266

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Cover reveal: Dutch Courage, the new novel from Paige Nick

Cover reveal: Dutch Courage, the new novel from Paige Nick

Dutch CouragePenguin Random House SA has revealed the cover for Dutch Courage, the new novel by Paige Nick.

Nick describes herself as a visual person, and says having a cover she loves is “unreasonably important to me”.

“For some reason, I’ve had traumatic cover-related experiences on all my novels,” she says. This time, however, was different:

I’ve been working on Dutch Courage for over four years, so this is a big one for me. It’s a novel set in a strip club in Amsterdam, where all the strippers are celebrity impersonators. So you can see how it might be tricky for a designer to strike the right note between the dark, dirty, neon-lit red light district where the book is set, and the comedy of a bunch of women from all over the world, dressed like Lady Gaga, Madonna, Paris Hilton, Cher and Rihanna, hanging out together and taking their kit off while they lip-sync to “Like A Virgin” or “Umbrella”.

So I waited nervously. But this time there was no cover email. It even slipped my mind for a while. Then one afternoon I met with my publisher, Fourie, to discuss the book. At the end of the meeting, he wordlessly pulled out an envelope and placed a cover layout on the table. Just like that. No email. No warning. No possible avoidance. And that’s when something remarkable happened, I liked it. Instantly.

So, tah dah, here it is. I hope you like it too.

The cover was designed Russell Stark from publicide and Dutch Courage will be available in stores from May.

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Jade Gibson reveals she is working on a sequel to Glowfly Dance

Glowfly DanceJade Gibson chatted to Sue Grant-Marshall recently about Glowfly Dance.

Gibson holds a doctorate in anthropology, with an academic background in biomedical science and fine art. Glowfly Dance is her debut novel and was shortlisted for the Dundee International Book Prize and the Virginia Prize for Fiction. It tells the story of an abusive stepfather, told through the eyes of a child.

Chatting to Grant-Marshall, Gibson says the book is her “life’s work”, and reveals that much of it is autobiographical. Gibson also reveals that she is working on a sequel “at her publisher’s insistence”.

Halfway through our interview, Gibson reveals that she is Mai, and has been writing this book since she was eight years old. “It’s a form of release. When people ask about my past, I find it almost impossible to relate so complex a matter. Maybe by putting readers into the body of this girl, so they can feel what she feels, they will understand her experience.”

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A powerful journey: Steven Robins talks about discovering the 100 letters that inspired Letters of Stone

Letters of StoneSteven Robins spoke to Morning Live presenter Samm Marshall on SABC Digital News recently about his new book, Letters of Stone.

Robins grew up in Port Elizabeth in the 1960s and 1970s, and was haunted by an old photograph of three unknown women, which stood on a table in the family dining room. He later learned that the women were his father’s mother and sisters, photographed in Berlin in 1937, before they were killed in the Holocaust.

Robin traveled to Berlin, and there discovered almost 100 letters that revealed the inner lives of these women.

“Suddenly I could read in their own words, I could get their voices, and I could learn about their experiences trapped in Berlin in the 1930s and early ’40s. And that opened opened up an entire world for me,” he says.

“Emotionally, I’ve been on a long journey. But what was particularly poignant was to begin to find out who my grandmother was, and to find out who my aunt was. Prior to that they were simply bare facts.

“That was the most powerful part of this whole journey.”

Watch the video:

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Masande Ntshanga reflects on the access to rare South African books he benefited from at UCT

Author pic of Masande Ntshanga


The ReactiveThe ReactiveMasande Ntshanga chatted to LIVE Magazine recently about writing, reading and Fees Must Fall.

Ntshanga won the 2013 Pen International New Voices Award and was shortlisted for the 2015 Caine Prize for African Writing. His debut novel, The Reactive, was published in October 2014, and has just been released in the United States.

When asked what his advice would be for aspiring writers, Ntshanga advises perseverance and a lot of reading, and quotes a character from the new David Gates novella: “Write through the self-loathing.”

Ntshanga completed his undergraduate degree and a Creative Writing MA at the University of Cape Town, and was asked how he feels about the Fees Must Fall protests that began last year. He cited the literary resources he was given access to as an important justification for inclusivity on South African campuses.

LIVE SA: What made UCT your university of choice? Any thoughts on #FeesMustFall?

Masande: Recently, while looking for a novel by Mbulelo Mzamane, I looked at my UCT Library e-shelf and realised I’d loaned out about 513 books from the library over the course of five years, which was an embarrassing number. In any case, looking back through that list I came to the realisation that over those years, I’d had access to a substantial number of Southern African novels that you can’t find anywhere else in this country, at the moment, or even abroad. For example, Philip Zhuwao and Alan Finlay’s The Red Laughter of Guns in Green Summer Rain doesn’t exist on Amazon.

This is all to say that the institution holds many resources when it comes to literature, among other things, and I see every reason to be in solidarity with a movement that proposes more inclusivity and a wider sharing of those resources.

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Times are tough: be smart and save with Jillian Howard’s Best Pocket Guide Ever series

Economically speaking, times are tough. Whether you find yourself in a tight spot or have some cash to spare, it is always a good idea to consult a financial planner to help you manage your money.

Jillian Howard is well known in this industry. Her Best Pocket Guide Ever series breaks down difficult and sometimes intimidating concepts such as family finances, wealth-building investment, debt and insurance. Visit her website – – to read articles she has written, sign up for her newsletter or get in touch and make use of her financial coaching services.

Some articles by Howard on financial topics:

Have a look at Howard’s books and consider them for your shelf so you can save, save, save:

The Best Pocket Guide Ever for Family FinancesThe Best Pocket Guide Ever for Wealth-building InvestmentThe Best Pocket Guide Ever for Eliminating DebtThe Best Pocket Guide Ever for Minimising InsuranceThe Best Pocket Guide Ever for a Financially Secure Retirement


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