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Archive for the ‘South Africa’ Category

Zelda la Grange Shares Key Lessons and Memorable Moments from Working for Nelson Mandela

Good Morning, Mr MandelaGoeiemore, Mnr. MandelaZelda la Grange, author of Good Morning, Mr Mandela (also available in Afrikaans as Goeiemore, Mnr. Mandela), recently spoke at a function held by Gauteng Women in Insurance.

Michelle Coetzee has written a report on La Grange’s talk for Fulcrum, in which she outlines La Grange’s journey from a mere typist in the presidential office to Madiba’s “confidante” and “honorary granddaughter.”

In her talk La Grange spoke about Madiba’s unique outlook on life, his key values and some of the memorable and humorous moments she experienced working for him.

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Zelda recalled an incident shortly after she started working for Madiba: “I went into his office one day to serve him tea and he said, ‘I want you to go to Japan with me.’ I didn’t understand much about the mechanics of government at the time and I thought it was grossly inappropriate for a president to approach his typist like that, so I replied, ‘Thank you very much, Mr President, but unfortunately I don’t have the money to go to Japan.’ And he just burst out laughing. It was clear I had no idea about international protocol!”

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“South Africans are as Obsessed with Skin Colour as Ever”: Christopher Hope on Jimfish

JimfishSue Grant-Marshall has written an article for Business Day about her recent interview with Christopher Hope, author of Jimfish.

Grant-Marshall says Hope’s latest book “is as much a travelogue as it is a fierce commentary on politics and abuse of power across Africa, Europe and Russia”.

In the article Grant-Marshall outlines the plot and the issues dealt with in this novel. Hope says he wanted to satirise South Africa’s obsession with race and deal with his anger at being exiled by the apartheid government.

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“South Africans are as obsessed with skin colour as ever they were,” he remarks. It is a topic he sends up as effectively as he does the searing violence he believes is embedded in our cellular structure.

Skin colours the opening lines of his novel. A young man is hauled from the Indian Ocean at fictitious Port Pallid in 1984 and is taken to a police sergeant whose job it is to sort the locals by their hue. He sticks a pencil into the youth’s hair, “as one did in those days, waiting to see if it stays there or falls out before he gives his verdict”, writes Hope.

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Oscar Pistorius Hopes to Coach Underprivileged Children After Release

Chase Your ShadowOscar Pistorius, who is currently serving five-year sentence for culpable homicide, hopes to be allowed to work with underprivileged children when he gets out of Kgosi Mampuru II prison.

The Daily Mail reports that Pistorius believes coaching children will help him along the road to putting his life back together after the tumult of the last three years, some of which is narrated in Chase Your Shadow: The Trials of Oscar Pistorius by John Carlin.

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The athlete’s solicitor, Rohan Kruger, said: ‘He is managing in jail. He’s isolated but hanging in there and praying to keep up his strength.

‘He is keen to become involved in assisting children in whatever opportunity comes up.’

He said that ideally his client would like to guide or mentor youths, adding that Pistorius is struggling to adjust to life in jail.

He said he has still not come to terms with ‘what has happened to him.’

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Chase Your Shadow: The Trials of Oscar Pistorius by John Carlin Shortlisted for the British Sports Book Awards

Chase Your ShadowChase Your Shadow: The Trials of Oscar Pistorius by John Carlin has made the shortlist for the British Sports Book Awards in the biography category.

The aim of the awards, which have been running since 2003, is to recognise and highlight excellent sports books. There are 10 categories, and the winners of this year’s awards will be announced on 3 June, at a gala dinner at Lord’s Cricket Ground. The public can vote for the overall winner online.

The 42 has shared the shortlists, all of which are undoubtedly great reads.

Read the shortlist:

Biography of the Year

Alone: The Triumph & Tragedy of John Curry – Bill Jones
Bobby Moore: The Man in Full – Matt Dickinson
Chase Your Shadow – John Carlin
One Day as a Tiger – John Porter
Scream: The Tyson Tapes – Jonathan Rendall
Shadows on the Road – Michael Barry

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“A Profound Sense of Loneliness” – An Analysis of Leaving Before The Rains Come by Alexandra Fuller

Leaving Before The Rains ComeJulie Hakim Azzam recently wrote an article for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette about Alexandra Fuller’s latest memoir, Leaving Before The Rains Come.

Fuller was due to present a lecture at the Carnegie Music Hall in Oakland the following day and in her article Azzam provides an overview of Leaving Before The Rains Come in anticipation of the event.

Azzam writes: “Leaving is a divorce memoir, but it’s also about making peace with the past, finding home and having the courage to face difficult situations and make the right decisions.” She analyses the story’s sense of place, loss and identity and reflects on Fuller’s moments of profound loneliness.

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“Leaving” circles back to Africa and the events of childhood, including her mother’s alcoholism, mental illness and the death of her sister, Olivia. When the author was 9, she was put in charge of looking after her 2-year-old sister. When she got distracted, Olivia wandered off and later was found drowned in a pond.

“The death of Olivia never leaves me. And the older I get, that death reflects light in different ways. And my reflections of war have similarly shifted with age. I’m deeply suspicious of the ways our leaders justify violence and much more aware of how war affects soldiers, noncombatants and children long after the peace treaties have been signed,” she said.

Ms. Fuller’s own journey into parenting allowed her moments of joy but also a profound sense of loneliness. As a young mother whose family remained in Africa, she became her own “mother ship” because her mother was not available to her.

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Blocked by the Minister of Sport – Tom Eaton Analyses Fikile Mbalula’s Twitter Account

TexasThe De Villiers CodeTom Eaton recently wrote a post on his blog about his Twitter war with the Minister of Sport and Recreation, Fikile Mbalula.

The columnist and author of Texas and The De Villiers Code relays the events that lead to Mbalula blocking Eaton from his Twitter account.

Eaton writes that he’d been heckling the minister on social media for a while, until he called Mbalula out for his attempts at humour.

The Twitter interaction that got Eaton blocked by the Minister of Sports:


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But of course this wasn’t government or the ANC or even politics in general. This was just Mbaks being Mbaks. This is how he rolls. Scrambling up onto his moth-eaten high horse, wagging his little cyber-finger at me, he declared that Twitter was a way of engaging with people. And yet his reputation as someone who blocks first and asks questions later suggests that when it comes to Twitter, the only engagement he’s interested in involves a ring and Beyoncé.

Oh well. That was that. It was all over. Or was it?

Seconds after being cast into the outer darkness my Twitter mentions started lighting up.

Could Fikile have said something about me after blocking me? No. No adult, let alone an adult public servant, could be that petulant or juvenile.

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Win a Once-in-a-lifetime Adventure and a Gareth Crocker Book Hamper, Including The Last Road Trip

Penguin Random House and Experience Gifts Online Store are giving away a once-in-a-lifetime adventure to three lucky readers.

The Last Road TripKingNever Let GoJourney from DarknessFinding Jack

The competition is inspired by Gareth Crocker’ most recent novel, The Last Road Trip, which tells the tale of four old-timers who go on an epic trip around South Africa.

To win a journey you won’t forget visit the PRH website and submit your details before Sunday, 31 May. The three lucky winners will also receive a hamper containing five of Crocker’s books – King, Never Let Go, Journey from Darkness, Finding Jack and The Last Road Trip.

There are also five runner-up prizes up for grabs, so seize the moment and enter today!

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“Don’t Listen to the Professionals” – Cartoonist Jerm Explains Why

“Don’t listen to the professionals. They were all amateurs once.”

This was the advice offered by cartoonist Jeremy Nell, aka Jerm, when asked by Nolan Stevens what his ultimate advice would be to aspiring journalists.

Comedy ClubJerm Warfare

Stevens interviewed Jerm for JHB Live‘s “Kultcha” column, asking him about his journey and work which can be viewed in Comedy Club and Jerm Warfare. They also spoke about his artistic process, what inspires him, where people can see his work and whether or not he sees himself as a satirist.

Read the article to find out more about Jerm, and see some of his magnificent work:


JHBLive: Can you tell me more about these awards you’ve won?

Jerm: In 2011 it was the regional and national Vodacom Journalist of the Year Award. The Mail & Guardian Top 200 Young South Africans in 2012. Then the Media Magazine Top 40 Under 40 in 2013. Not forgetting both the Men’s Health Most Inspirational Men and the Standard Bank Sikuvile Journalism Awards last year.

JHBLive: Nice one. After scooping all of those would you say you are a satirist or a cartoonist?

Jerm: I am a cartoonist who uses satire in my work.

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Join Emma Sadleir for the Hearts of Hope Ladies Breakfast Fundraiser at The Capital Empire Hotel

Don't Film Yourself Having Sex: and Other Legal Advice For the Age of Social MediaHearts of Hope invites you to a special ladies breakfast fundraiser with guest speaker Emma Sadleir, social media expert and co-author of Don’t Film Yourself Having Sex: and Other Legal Advice For the Age of Social Media.

The breakfast will take place in The Coloseum Room of the The Capital Empire Hotel on Saturday, 9 May, and will start at 9 for 9:30 AM.

Tickets cost R450 per person and include coffee, tea and a scrumptious breakfast. All proceeds will go to Hearts of Hope for the care of orphaned and vulnerable children.

Don’t miss it!

Event Details

  • Date: Saturday, 9 May 2015
  • Time: 9 for 9:30 AM
  • Venue: The Capital Empire Hotel
    The Coloseum Room
    177 Empire Place
    Sandton | Map
  • Refreshments: Tea, coffee and a scrumptious breakfast
  • Cover charge: R450
  • RSVP: Deborah, 082 458 2677,

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Blind Date at a Funeral: Coming-of-age Stories by Best-selling Author Trevor Romain

Blind Date at a FuneralTrevor Romain’s latest book, Blind Date at a Funeral, will be published by Penguin this month:

Blind Date at a Funeral is a collection of coming-of-age stories by bestselling author Trevor Romain, which he recorded in journals, notebooks and on beer-stained bar napkins over the years and is retelling now. Trevor takes us on a tour of his own memories, filled with anecdotes about foolish endeavours, dumb decisions, army adventures and the searing pain of losing the love of your life.

Each story is accompanied by one of Trevor’s classic drawings and carefully crafted with a pitch-perfect combination of humour and nostalgia. Both entertaining and deeply moving, this is a book about what it really means to be proudly South African.

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