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Archive for the ‘South Africa’ Category

Video: Zelda la Grange gesels oor dien, Mandela-dag en Goeiemore, Mnr. Mandela

Goeiemore, Mnr. MandelaGood Morning, Mr MandelaZelda la Grange het op 18 Julie, bekend as Mandela-dag, in die Dagbreek-ateljee gekuier om te gesels oor die verskeie projekte waarby sy betrokke is asook haar boek, Goeiemore, Mnr. Mandela. Sy verduidelik ook waar die konsep van Mandela-dag ontstaan het en waarom dit belangrik is om te dien.

Sy noem dat Mandela goeheid in almal om hom geïnspireer het en dat haar jare as sy persoonlike assistent ‘n groot voorreg was. “Dít is hoekom ek die boek geskryf het: Ek voel ek het ‘n verpligting om daai mens wat ek geken het met mense te deel,” sê La Grange en vertel meer oor die “harde proses” van boekskryf.

Kyk na die onderhoud:

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Travelling in Jaisalmer: An Excerpt from Garden of Dreams by Melissa Siebert

Garden of DreamsMelissa Siebert’s debut novel, Garden of Dreams, follows 14-year-old Eli de Villiers as he travels to India from Cape Town with his mother, with plans to visit his father in Nepal after they’ve travelled a bit first. Visiting the places his mother went in her youth, they go to Jaisalmer where his mother, who swings from highs to lows, ends up sleeping a lot before telling him she has to cut the trip short and return to South Africa for work.

She encourages him to stay and travel to see his father on his own: “Things always go wrong, Mom, he wanted to tell her, feeling the dread closing in, choking him, making his chest and stomach ache. I need you to help them go right. If he pleaded with her, he thought, she might not go. He was too old to cry but felt he might.”

Eli’s feeling of dread is proven to not be misplaced as the owner of the guesthouse they’re staying in takes him on a camel ride before taking him to a strange house and giving him a drink that leaves him feeling drowsy:

Your father is making a map of the world, the boy’s mother had told him – the countries he has saved, those yet to save, the unredeemable. It’s funny how some countries don’t exist because you don’t think of them, the boy thought. He hadn’t really thought of India before a month ago,
when his mother suggested they travel east to find his father. Now here he was, in a shabby guest house on the edge of the Thar desert, at a
little round breakfast table being explored by flies. Alone, except for the woozy, heat-drugged flies and a waiter swishing around in a dirty white
dhoti, straightening tablecloths, ignoring him. Voices drifted through the small window carved from cool stone walls, strange children’s voices
and earthy smells he didn’t want to name. His mother was upstairs still sleeping, and he was desperate for her to wake up.

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Video: Sean Davison Discusses How Assisted Dying Gives People the Opportunity to Have a Dignified Death

Before We Say GoodbyeAfter We Said GoodbyeFollowing Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu speaking out in support of assisted dying, Dignity SA founder Sean Davison was interviewed by Jerusha Sukhdeo-Raath on News24.

Davison is the author of Before We Say Goodbye and After We Said Goodbye, which detail how he assisted his terminally ill mother’s suicide and was sentenced to house arrest in New Zealand as a result.

“The emphasis is on the word ‘dying’, the person needs to be towards the end of their life, terminally ill. In terms of the law change we have been seeking we are recommending a prognosis of 12 months. So, in effect, its not suicide, we call it assisted dying,” Davison explains. “The person is probably suffering, they’re near the end and this gives them the option to choose their time of death and have a dignified death.”

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SA Musical Legend PJ Powers Presents Her Memoir Here I Am, Written with Marianne Thamm

Here I AmPenguin Books presents Here I Am by PJ Powers with Marianne Thamm, out this August:

PJ Powers is one of the most loved and popular singers/songwriters in South Africa. Her career took her from a genteel, white middle-class home in Durban into the cauldron of the townships in the turbulent 1980s. It was here that her life as an artist was changed irrevocably by an unexpected performance she gave at Jabulani Stadium in Soweto on Republic Day in 1982. That day the crowd renamed her Thandeka (The Loved One) and so began a musical and political journey that saw PJ travelling across Africa, meeting with some of South Africa’s most illustrious stars and musical legends. Largely shunned by white South Africans and banned by radio stations, Thandeka went on to cultivate a massive and loyal fan base among Black South Africans who, to this day, continue to support her.

This memoir not only tracks PJ’s extraordinary life as a “crossover” artist but also her later personal struggle and triumph over alcoholism. Thandeka’s story is deeply intertwined with the contemporary politics of South Africa. It is a story of music and struggle told with insight and wit.

The author

Voted one of the top ten people brands in South Africa in 2011, PJ Powers is an icon of the people of South Africa. Famous since the eighties when she fronted Hotline, the largest selling band in South Africa, this success continued into her solo career. Powers’ career has spanned 33 years and she has produced 15 albums. The 16th is about to be released as she continues to enlighten South Africa with her exuberance and musical talents.

Marianne Thamm is a veteran and well respected journalist and author. A contemporary of Powers, she is the author of the best-selling biography I Have Life and her most recent book is on Paul O’Sullivan, To Catch a Cop. She is also a stand-up comedian and has written for ZA News. She also edits for Daily Maverick.

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Podcast: Good Morning, Mr Mandela Author Zelda la Grange Discusses How SA Has Changed

Good Morning, Mr MandelaGoeiemore, Mnr. MandelaWomen24 have shared an audio interview with Zelda La Grange from WF Howes, in which she discusses Good Morning, Mr Mandela and shares her thoughts on the changes that South Africa has undergone in the last 20 years.

“I think many South Africans have benefitted from freedom, from our democracy, but still people live in severe poverty and there’s not been a great change in the way people live in rural South Africa, children still lack access to quality education,” La Grange says. “But I think our democracy is alive and well and, as I say, your own perceptions change from the age of 24 to 43, so I see things, I see South Africa quite differently.”

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The Morning After the Night Before: An Excerpt from The Transkei Run by Michael Taljaard

The Transkei RunMichael Taljaard’s newly published novel, The Transkei Run, is a darkly funny tale of misadventure, following Jeremy “Spikes” Vorster and his friend Zachary Post as they leave for the Transkei, fleeing their half-remembered Friday night activities.

“This is not the sort of town you want to end up in late on a Friday night when the beer has been replaced with brandy,” Spikes says. “This is East London, South Africa, aka Buffalo City, aka Slummies.”

Spurred on by Zachary telling him to expect a visit from the cops after the unrecollected thing he did the previous night, a very hungover Spike agrees to go on a roadtrip.

Read the excerpt:

Check it. Saturday morning. Hung-over as fuck. The beer fear squirms through my belly with alien tendrils and I know with absolute certainty that I have done something unforgivable.

Something apocalyptic. Again.

I run a diagnostic. My head is pounding. There are cuts on my knuckles.The bed next to me is, thankfully, empty. Apparently Jeremy “Spikes” Vorster (yours truly) was too far gone last night to think about bringing a woman home. A brief, horrifying flashback reminds me why, simultaneously filling me with gratitude and shaking me to my core: overweight women with bad skin, their skimpy tops losing the battle to contain bulging breasts.

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Join Zelda la Grange for the Launch of Good Morning, Mr Mandela at Skoobs

Good Morning, Mr MandelaGoeiemore, Mnr. MandelaPenguin Books invites you to join them for the launch of Good Morning, Mr Mandela and Goeiemore, Mnr. Mandela by Zelda la Grange.

The event will be held on Tuesday 15th July at 6 PM. Please RSVP by the end of today at the venue, Skoobs, Theatre of Books.

See you there!

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Melissa Siebert Explains Why Writing Her Novel Garden of Dreams Was the Easy Way Out

Garden of DreamsMelissa Siebert, author of Garden of Dreams, spoke to Scenic South about what inspired her to write her novel.

Siebert, who was born in Boston but came to South Africa in 1988, has a long career as a journalist, covering “rights-based” stories such as forced removals during apartheid, human rights in Palestine and the exploitation of black blues musicians in Mississippi. She says these and other issues were the impetus behind Garden of Dreams.

Child trafficking is the worst abuse of those rights, with 1.2 million children being trafficked a year globally, the majority into sex slavery. It’s a tricky and dangerous subject to cover as a journalist, so I guess you could say I took the ‘easy’ way out and wrote about it in fiction. Though that’s only part of the novel. It’s also a coming-of-age story, the story of a fragmented family and the tough choices people make between the personal and the political in life. I’ve wanted to write a novel for years – but it seems I needed to live life to this extent to be able to write this book.

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Black Widow White Widow: De Wet Potgieter Tells the Unsettling Story of Al-Qaeda’s Presence in SA

Black Widow White WidowNew from Penguin Books, Black Widow White Widow by De Wet Potgieter:

When in 2013 he first published a report on the active presence of Al-Qaeda in South Africa, all hell broke loose for investigative reporter De Wet Potgieter. He was forced to retract before two more substantiating articles could be published.

Then the massacre at Westgate Mall hit Nairobi, which made the involvement of the so-called White Widow – operating on an illegally acquired South African passport – front-page news. Suddenly the world’s media was beating a path to Potgieter’s door.

Now, for the first time, he tells the full unsettling story of Al-Qaeda’s presence in this country. Not only is the veil lifted from this mysterious British woman, but the identity of another is disclosed: an Afrikaans-speaking counter-terrorist operative known as the Black Widow.

The book shows how, taking advantage of corrupt state machinery, Al-Qaeda factions launch attacks in other African countries. It discloses details of paramilitary and urban warfare training on a secluded farm and reveals disturbing details of the support they receive from various local extremist groups. Based on investigations spanning two years, Black Widow White Widow paints a frightening picture of the all too real possibility of future attacks from, or on, South African soil.

About the author

De Wet Potgieter
has been a reporter for 38 prolific years, working in English (Sunday Times) and Afrikaans (Beeld), and both in print and television. He is the author of Contraband – South Africa and the Illegal Trade in Ivory and Rhino Horn, Total Onslaught and The Eleventh Hour.

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Michael Taljaard Presents His Darkly Funny Novel of Misadventure, The Transkei Run

The Transkei RunNew from Penguin Books, The Transkei Run by Michael Taljaard:

On a painfully hungover Saturday morning two incorrigible small town scallywags, Jeremy “Spikes” Vorster and his impulsive but charismatic sidekick, Zachary Post, decide to flee their previous night’s regrets and the repercussions thereof in search of adventure in the rural Transkei.

A run-in with a local taxi gang sets in motion a series of events that unravel a tense and violent misadventure as the two young rebels are forced to defend themselves at all cost. What results is a gritty, uniquely South African undertaking, complete with sex, drugs and boerewors rolls, spiralling into complete and utter anarchy.

The book is also darkly, screamingly funny.

About the author

Michael Taljaard was raised in East London. He received his BA with English and Psychology from Unisa. He is currently a drifter without permanent residence, having returned to South Africa recently after a year and a half working abroad.

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