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Archive for the ‘South Africa’ Category

11 Lessons on Life and Success to Be Learned from Elon Musk by Ashlee Vance

Elon MuskBloggers Brian Robben and Randy Mayeux recently shared the life lessons they learned after reading Elon Musk: How the Billionaire CEO of Spacex and Tesla is Shaping Our Future by Ashlee Vance.

Robben discovered five tips that can help anyone in their chosen careers, which he shared on the Take Your Success website.

These lessons include working incredibly hard, surrounding yourself with the right people and staying true to your vision regardless of what the critics may say.

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1. Always continue learning

As a kid, Elon read every book he could find at his home, the library, and local bookstores. Because he enjoyed learning to that high of a degree, Elon moved on to reading encyclopedias after he ran out of new books in his school’s library.

Now as CEO of a rocket company and an electric car company (both not his formal background), he drills his top engineers with questions until he understands the core concepts and technologies of projects.

Mayeux writes about the six snippets of wisdom he took away from Elon Musk, for example being brave enough to take big risks and cultivating a tenacious work ethic.

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#1 – Who you were definitely shapes who you are – a difficult (horrendous) childhood, and a lone reader, became the stick-to-it learner/dreamer.
#2 – The over-riding purpose has to be great to accomplish things as great as SpaceX and Tesla.
#3 – Making it genuinely big, in a way that holds great promise to make a big difference, may require great – really great – risk. At least it did for Elon Musk.

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Eerie Prescience, Burning Snapshots: An Interview with Mathews Phosa about His Poems in Chants of Freedom

Chants of FreedomKevin Ritchie, for Daily News, recently spoke to Mathews Phosa about his new poetry anthology, Chants of Freedom: Poems Written in Exile.

Ritchie gives some background information about the collection and the context in which it was written. Phosa wrote these poems in 1984, when he was in exile. Ritchie says of the poems: “they’re angry, burning snapshots of a bloody civil war that is fast being airbrushed”.

In the course of the interview, Phosa paints a compelling portrait of his life at that time and the lasting impressions it has made on him. He comments on the unsettling similarities between that time and contemporary South Africa:

“When I look at Marikana for example, the shooting of black people by black people and killing them, it brought the guts out of Sharpeville. It scares me, it mustn’t happen again. You don’t want to hear that a human right is being violated in any manner whatsoever, you want to promote human rights all the time.

“We live in a constitutional state, you don’t want to hear that someone is trampling on the constitution. The National Party did that and removed the coloureds from the voters roll. They walked on the constitution, so when you attack the judiciary you start to move in that direction and you have to be careful. People say the faces are black, black managers, but the behaviour is the same.”
With eery prescience, Phosa writes in Boys and Girls are back, 22 years ago, of the work that must be done to create a new society, one of harmony and peace, one of service.

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Video: Justin Bonello Shows Suzelle DIY How to Make Banana Splits on the Braai – with Brandy of Course!

Road TrippingJustin Bonello and Suzelle DIY are well-known for their expertise in and outside the kitchen – so what happens when two firecrackers collide? Sparks fly!

Suzelle invited Bonello to show her how to make Braaied Banana Brandy Splits, or if you’d prefer Suzelle’s name for Bonello’s recipe, Braaied Brandy Banana Splits. (Hers makes more sense, doesn’t it?)

To cook like Bonello, you will need: Bananas, brandy, a braai and syringes (don’t worry, this recipe is 100 percent safe).

In the video, Bonello demonstrates how to inject the brandy into the bananas and at the end the two cooks show their results. You can decide which dessert looks more appetising.

Watch the video:

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How will the Public React to Oscar Pistorius’ Release from Prison on Friday? – John Carlin Explains

Chase Your ShadowOn Friday, 21 August, Oscar Pistorius will be released from prison after serving only 10 months of his five-year prison sentence.

In a recent article for The Telegraph, Gillian Parker wrote that although Pistorius will be “living in luxury” in his uncle’s mansion in the wealthy suburb of Waterkloof in Pretoria, the athlete will experience public outrage at his short stint in prison.

John Carlin, journalist and author of Chase Your Shadow: The Trials of Oscar Pistorius, told Parker that Pistorius will be a “pariah to a significant sector of society” and that he will be “anxious to know how the media will respond to his release and how ordinary people will relate to him”.

Read the article:

“He might run again but he will never find within himself either the personal drive or the physical condition required to make it anywhere near the peak he achieved in London in 2012,” said Mr Carlin. “Besides, if he were to try competing in serious race meetings, crowds would boo him, events would be boycotted that he participated in.”

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How to Eat Sushi Without Pulling a Face – Koos Kombuis Chats about His New Book Ver in die Wereld, Sushi

Ver in die wêreld, sushiKoos Kombuis’ latest collection of Afrikaans columns, Ver in die wêreld, sushi, has just been released by Penguin Random House South Africa and provides a critical look at sociopolitical issues in our country.

A famous author, poet, musician and commentator, Kombuis is well known for his astute satirical observations of daily life. Ver in die wêreld, sushi interrogates the irrational fears of Afrikaners, the strange utterances made by politicians and takes a look at those South Africans who pride themselves in being a part of the global village, marked by their ability to eat sushi without pulling a face!

Just prior to the release of his collection, Kombuis spoke to The Beard about music, writing and being inspired by Deep Fried Man: “Last time I played at one of these open air gigs, I watched the set by Deep Fried Man, and he inspired me to write a satire of an old Marianne Faithful song, and dedicate it to Victor Matfield. The younsters made me realise that literally everything is possible.”

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6. Do you play around with any new music styles?

I’m too old to learn new music tricks, but I do experiment with new topics.

7. Is there something interesting you are working on at the moment, music or otherwise?

My new collection of Afrikaans columns will be out shortly at Penguin SA, look out for it! It’s called Ver in die Wereld Sushi.

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There’s It! Win a Copy of Road Tripping in a Justin Bonello and Suzelle DIY Hamper

Justin Bonello and Suzelle DIY competition

Road TrippingPenguin Random House South Africa is giving away a copy of Road Tripping by Justin Bonello and Helena Lombard, along with goodies from Bonello and Suzelle DIY.

The hamper includes a Suzelle DIY mug, all the ingredients to prepare Petrus Madutlela’s Upside Down Banana dessert and a “braai master” mystery prize.

To stand a chance to win, all you have to do is enter your details on the company’s website:

Competition closes 4 September, 2015.

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“We Will Meet Again, PRIN-CI-PAL!” – Read Part 2 of an Extract from Nkosinathi Sithole’s Debut Novel, Hunger Eats a Man

Hunger Eats a ManNkosinathi Sithole’s debut novel, Hunger Eats a Man, is set in the village of Ndlalidlindoda – “Hunder-Eats-a-Man”, and tells the story of Father Gumede, aka Priest, who loses his job as a farm worker.

The loss of income and ability to provide for his family leaves Priest enraged and he swears to cut off all ties with the church and the community, determined to make a living by any means necessary.

In the previous extract, Priest marched to the school to give the principal a piece of his mind, after his 15-year-old son told him that all the children must bring R50 to school to pay the privately paid teachers and the security guards.

In the following excerpt, shared by Penguin Random House South Africa, Priest confronts the principal and a conversation about rich and poor ensues.

Read Part 2 of the extract:

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He knocks violently at the door and makes his grand entrance after he is invited in by a voice that disapproves of the way he has knocked. Seeing that it is Priest, the principal feels remorse for the way he has shouted at the representative of God and begins to apologise.

      “I came here not as a priest but as a dissatisfied citizen. I came here as an unhappy taxpayer,” Priest says in a voice that the principal does not recognise.

     The principal directs a surreptitious glance at the man in front of him and sees a priest all over. He sees an embodiment of the colour black. He sees Father Gumede. But who has just spoken to him? The principal looks again and realises that there is nobody else. Whoever has spoken to him has used the respectable voice of Father Gumede. He tries to figure out what the matter is, but to no avail. So he decides to start from the beginning, as he knows it. “Good morning, Father Gumede.”

      “Yes. A good morning indeed, Mr Hadebe,” Priest responds in a grim tone and the principal realises that one way or the other, he has displeased the gods.

     It pains the principal to consider what wrong he may have done. He can find no answer. He feels like someone who was too drunk the previous day to remember what wrong he may have committed. He soon realises that whatever the fault is, the only way to find it out is by asking Priest.

      “Can I help you, Father Gumede?”

     Priest is still busy trying to organise his words. There is too much to say and last night he did not sleep for trying to rehearse his speech. Now all his words have deserted him. But prepared or not prepared, he has to speak: “There is too much crime and unemployment is rife in this country. Why should common people suffer like this when those on top have everything? Hhe?”

     The noise the children are making, the teachers loitering around not doing their work, all come between the two of them. The principal is frightened. His weak mind seems to have stopped working. But his memory is better, so he still recalls what Priest has said. “Yes, that is true. There is too much crime and many people are without employment.” He feels inferior as he speaks.

      “I happen to be one of those who are unemployed,” Priest says triumphantly, as if being unemployed is the best thing that can befall any human being.

      “Yes. Let’s hope things will change for the better. It can’t go on like this.”

      “This is not a matter of hope, Principal.” Priest’s voice is high. “It is too serious. Maybe you do not know that, because you are working and have money to take care of your family and yourself.”

     Priest’s words hurt the principal. It is true: he has a good job and is able to support his family. He also knows that leading a healthy life among people who do not is sometimes viewed as some kind of weakness or betrayal. But what is he supposed to do? Must he quit his job and add to the statistics?

      “Now, these children you are teaching here,” Priest starts after a little hiatus, “where are they likely to find employment?”

     The principal wishes he could take this question as a rhetorical one, but it is not intended to be so. A look in the visitor’s eyes tells him that an answer is needed. “You said you did not come here as a priest?”

      “Yes. I’m nothing but a dissatisfied citizen.”

      “But still I want to ask you a question that may require your biblical knowledge.” The principal does not give Priest a chance to respond, “Do you think that God loves everybody equally? The rich and the poor, the leaders and the led?”

     Priest is taken aback by this question. He wants to leave God out of this. What does he know about God? What does he know about anything any more? Yet he cannot say that to the principal. So he decides to misunderstand the question. “Are you asking that because you are rich and I am poor?”

      “No,” the principal stammers, “I was just … I was just … asking.” He wishes he could withdraw his words. “I’m sorry.”

      “Do you know how it is to be poor?” Priest shouts.

      “You know,” the principal starts sadly, “I am not very rich myself. I know how it feels when you want something and you cannot afford it.”

      “But you want us to pay for unnecessary things like the security guards and the privately paid teachers? Where do you think we will get the money from?”

     Only now does the principal realise the reason for Priest’s surprising and disturbing visit and, now that he is aware of the cause of his predicament, he begins to feel better. “The security guards and the privately paid teachers are very important, Father Gumede. There is a shortage of teachers and the government cannot afford to pay for all those we need.” The principal feels strong again. He begins to feel again the clothes he is wearing, something he ceased to do as soon as Priest came in.

     ”But how do you think we will pay if we do not have the money? Why don’t you tell the poor souls to go home, plough the fields and wait for God to bring rain?”

     The situation is tense in the principal’s office. Priest is getting angrier and angrier while the principal is now less afraid to speak his mind. This is Father Gumede, who knows nothing about how the school is managed.

      “You were not in the meeting where we agreed about this. Now what do you want me to do?”

      “I want you to tell me where am I supposed to get the money to throw into the water?”

      “I think it’s better for you to leave now, Father Gumede. We have wasted a lot of each other’s time and it looks like our conversation is taking us nowhere.”

      “I’m not satisfied yet. I’m not leaving until I am satisfied. I am still as unhappy as when I came in here.”

     Priest’s refusal to leave makes the principal realise that he must take drastic measures if he is to free himself from this man who is so keen on torturing him. As he is busy thinking about the way out, the bell, which marks the end of the current period and the beginning of the new one, rings. The principal takes some papers and prepares to leave, intimating to Priest by a motion of his hand that he should do likewise.

     Priest contemplates the practicality of refusing to go and decides that it would be in vain. He stares straight into the eyes of the principal with such doggedness that the other man flinches. Priest is happy to see that. He is making his point.

      “We are not finished yet!” he says grimly. “We will meet again, PRIN-CI-PAL!”


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Read the first half of the excerpt:

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Extracted from Hunger Eats a Man by Nkosinathi Sithole (Penguin)

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“Play With Changing the Voice” – Taiye Selasi at the 2015 Iceland Writers Retreat (Video)

Ghana Must GoGhana Must Go author Taiye Selasi was one of the facilitators at the second annual Iceland Writers Retreat (IWR) where writers help writers be better writers.

The 2015 retreat took place during four days in April in Reykjavik, one of only a few cities to be recognised as an UNESCO City of Literature. Selasi presented two workshops, titled “Hearing Voices” and “Final Draft”.

One of the IWR attendees, Jeanine Barone, wrote a reflection on her time spent in Reykjavik for Huffington Post, including her experience of Selasi’s two workshops. She describes why the retreat, and city which hosts it, is so magical and shares her personal highlights which included learning from Selasi.

Read the article:

Taiye Selasi, a prominent British-born writer and photographer, brought her vibrancy, warmth and insight to both workshops I attended. In “Final Draft,” we read a bit of “Little Miss Sunshine,” learning how a screenplay can help sharpen our prose. “With just a handful of details: seven-year-old Olive wears glasses, is slightly plump, has frizzy hair, is big for her age and is watching a beauty pageant on TV, we know everything about this character,” Selasi noted. For three minutes, she had us write a snapshot about a character of our choosing. This turned out to be one of Selasi’s invaluable “get yourself unstuck” methods, as I call them. “Telling your reader only what they can see constrains you to action, emotion and circumstance; look at conveying circumstance through action and emotion.”

Her second workshop, “Hearing Voices,” was not about psychosis but, rather, how the first, second and third person (singular and plural) each convey a different perspective; a different sense of intimacy or authority. In one exercise, we wrote bits of autobiographical information on slips of paper that Selasi shuffled, redistributed, and then had each of us read in a different narrative point of view (my name is; your name is; his or her name is; our name is). What happens when we hear ourselves referred to in the third person? It feels distant. The second person? A bit accusatory. And the first person singular? Very personal. In another quick but revealing writing assignment, we described a scene using the first person plural, “we”. I chose to recount my experiences accidentally eating the traditional and much maligned (by tourists) Icelandic snack: ammonia-tainted fermented shark meat. Reading this paragraph aloud evoked a sense of inclusiveness, as if all of us had endured the odiferous, sinus-exploding tidbit. Selasi suggested using this “we” voice to get unstuck: “Play with changing the voice. You can unlock something for your creative muscle.”

IWR have created a beautiful video with highlights from the 2015 event. Watch it:


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“Ek wou ’n boek skryf oor iemand wat heeltemal van sy trollie afbliksem” – Tinus Horn oor Boas Mei is verward

Tinus Horn en metgesel

Boas Mei is verward“Ek het gevlug van my lewe af, daar het te veel stuff met my gebeur. Ek het net tyd op my eie nodig gehad.” Só het Tinus Horn onlangs aan Deon Maas vertel by die bekendstelling van sy jongste roman, Boas Mei is verward.

Nadat Horn Johannesburg se liggies vir die platteland verruil het, het hy eendag ‘n versoek van Penguin Random House SA gekry om ‘n boek te skryf. “Frederik de Jager het my uit vergetelheid gered,” vertel hy.

Horn het vier maande gehad om die boek van 50 000 woorde te voltooi. “Ek is heeltemal ongedissiplineerd, behalwe as dit kom by skryf.” Horn skryf 1 000 woorde per dag, 5 000 woorde ‘n week. In die vier maande het hy boonop ook Zelda la Grange se topverkoper, Good Morning, Mr Mandela na Afrikaans as Goeiemore, mnr. Mandela vertaal.

Tinus Horn en Deon MaasSo waaroor gaan Boas Mei is verward nou eintlik? “Ek wou ‘n boek skryf oor iemand wat heeltemal van sy trollie afbliksem,” sê Horn. Boas Mei besef eendag dat daar iets groot fout met sy kop is, en word summier in die hospitaal opgeneem. In sy haas om sy tasse te pak, kry hy sy boksers nêrens te vinde nie, en trek hy maar sy eks-meisie se eina-klein broekie aan. Vir die eerste 20 bladsye worstel hy met dié broekie wat te styf sit, vertel Maas aan die skaterende gehoor. “Wanneer sy broekie deurgesny word, haal jy saam met hom asem.”

Oor die struktuur van die boek, wat luidens Maas in ‘n vakuum afspeel, sê Horn: “Die sentrale figuur is Boas Mei en hy is nuts. Die manier hoe hy sou dink, is hoe ek wou hê die boek moes werk.” Op Maas se vraag of hy daarvan hou om met die lesers se kop te smokkel, sê Horn: “Ek hou daarvan om met my eie kop te smokkel.”

“Jy skryf baie interessante karakters,” sê Maas. “Hulle is nie mense wat ek na my huis toe sal nooi nie.”

“Ek is nie ‘n sepieskrywer nie,” antwoord Horn. “Ek wil iets nuut en vars maak, ek het geen belangstelling in realisme nie, alles is inventions.”

Op ‘n vraag uit die gehoor of Horn kennis het van sielkunde sê hy: “Nee, ek het dit ervaar in my mind en my lyf, ek was daar, I took notes.” Hy voeg by: “Ek is die luiste researcher in the history of writing.” Alhoewel hy slegs 12 minute op Wikipedia spandeer vir sy navorsing is Horn uiters gesteld op skoon kopie. Hier kom sy jarelange ervaring as joernalis en redakteur hom goed te pas. Hy vertel dat hy altyd vir homself ‘n maand oorlos om sy werk te redigeer, wat hy dan binne ‘n week voltooi.

Horn was vroeër ‘n rugbyskrywer vir The Star en sê om fiksie te skryf is harde werk: “Ek word heeltemal boekbehep.” ‘n Goeie vriend was eendag briesend vir Horn omdat hy nie sy siekbed besoek het nie. “Dis ‘n intense ervaring, ek’s nie ‘n goeie mens terwyl ek dit doen nie.”

Maas het hier die gesprek afgesluit en die gehoor het hul boeke laat teken. Die Bamboo Lifestyle Centre het gegons met Horn se vriende, familie en bewonderaars wat verder met die skrywer sou gesels oor wat als in sy kop aangaan.


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Annetjie van Wynegaard (@Annetjievw) het regstreeks met #livebooks getwiet:


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Posted by Books LIVE on Wednesday, 12 August 2015


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Join Emma Sadleir for a Social Media Law Discussion at the ICFP Breakfast in Parktown

Don't Film Yourself Having Sex: and Other Legal Advice For the Age of Social MediaThe Institute of Commercial Forensic Practitioners (ICFP) would like to invite you to join them for an industry breakfast event at KPMG, Parktown on 2 September.

Don’t Film Yourself Having Sex: and Other Legal Advice For the Age of Social Media co-author Emma Sadleir will be sharing some of her vast knowledge of all aspects of print and electronic media law, with a particular focus on social media law.

Tickets are R185 and can be booked by contacting Madeleine du Preez via There will be ample opportunity for you to connect and collaborate with other fraud practitioners during and after the event which starts at 7:30 AM and will be finished by 10 AM.

Don’t miss this!

Event Details

  • Date: Wednesday, 2 September 2015
  • Time: 7:30 to 10 AM
  • Venue: KPMG
    KPMG Crescent
    85 Empire Road
    Parktown, Johannesburg | Map
  • Refreshments: Breakfast
  • Tickets: R185
  • More information: ICFP
  • RSVP: Madeleine du Preez,, 021 664 6795


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