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Archive for the ‘Video’ Category

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.”

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Great stories are found in unexpected human contact, not online – Rahla Xenopoulos

Rahla Xenopoulos

 
How is the online world depriving us of great storytelling? Do you think we can’t find good stories online? Why is truth so important in good storytelling? Should brands apply the same principles to their storytelling?

TribeAt the 2015 Digital Edge Live conference, African adverising mouthpiece Adlip sat down with writer Rahla Xenopoulos to ask these important questions.

“I think, as human beings, we are losing one another. We’re losing the connection that we need to have with one another to find great stories,” Xenopoulos says.

“I think you find the great stories in the eye contact you get with the man who sells homeless talk on the side of the road; you find the great stories in the coincidental account you have with the woman who packs your groceries at Pick n Pay.

“It’s unexpected meetings, where you have communication, where you find unexpected great stories.”

However, she is not dismissive of all time spent online. The author goes on to say that she believes there are aspects of great stories online, vignettes even, but warns that real inspiration can only really be found “with one another”.

Xenopoulos’s latest book, Tribe, was published by Umuzi last year. In this video, she explains how the book highlights the negative side of our ever-expanding digital addiction and how it offers a possible solution to the problem.

“We need to disconnect in order to be human, and in order to connect. The book I brought out now is very much about a group of people who are trying to connect in a disconnected world and they know that they have to plug out to in order to plug in with one another.”

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Listen to Claire Robertson reading to commemorate International Day of the Imprisoned Writer

The Spiral HouseThe Magistrate of Gower

 
Claire Robertson took part in a PEN South Africa event commemorating the International Day of the Imprisoned Writer in December.

Finuala Dowling was master of ceremonies, and other authors involved included Sindiwe Magona and Jim Pascual Agustin.

The aim of the event was to draw attention to the plight of all detained authors, but especially to the five specially selected cases of 2015:

1. Raif Badawi (Saudi Arabia)
2. Amanuel Asrat (Eritrea)
3. Juan Carlos Argenal Medina (Honduras)
4. Patiwat Saraiyaem and Pornthip Munkonge (Thailand)
5. Khadija Ismayilova (Azerbaijan)

That week was also the 120th anniversary of Oscar Wilde going to jail. Robertson read from Wilde’s De Profundis as well as Robert Musil’s Flypaper.

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Robin Brown reveals how Cecil John Rhodes was nearly kicked out of Oxford

The Secret SocietyRobin Brown chatted to Morning Live’s Sam Marshall recently about his new book, The Secret Society: Cecil John Rhodes’s Plan for a New World Order.

Marshall asks Brown about Rhodes’s character.

“Rhodes was very driven, but he was also very devious,” Brown says. “He invented different characters.

“The most classic one was, Rhodes carried around in his pocket the Meditations of Marcus Aurelius, and when he was in Kimberley – in the early days, he got there when he was 19 – he was always seen brooding, and he got the reputation of a great swot. So he goes to Oxford, aged 20, paying for it himself, because he’s made enough money out of the diamond mines.

“So he goes to Oxford, and what does he do? Nothing! He becomes a complete playboy. He goes drinking at the Bullingdon Club, he dresses in Oxford bags, he has a little pouch of diamonds which he shows and boasts with to all his pals. He hardly gets a decent degree at all, and is very nearly kicked out for not going to enough lectures and going to the races.”

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“The mashup is a wonderful thing” – Lauren Beukes on her new comic book series, Survivors’ Club

Lauren Beukes and Joey Hi-Fi

 
The exciting new comic book series by Lauren Beukes, Dale Halvorsen (Joey Hi-Fi) and Ryan Kelly – Survivors’ Club – is growing strongly, with the third and fourth instalments available for your reading pleasure!

This series takes its inspiration from various 1980s horror films, picking up the pieces where they left off. It’s the story of six people who survived terrible things as children – from being possessed by a poltergeist to having a killer doll – who meet on the internet, drawn together by the horrors they experienced in 1987 when a rash of occult events occurred around the world, with fatal results. Now there are indications that it may be happening all over again. Is it possible that these six aren’t just survivors – but were chosen for their fates?

When describing the series, Beukes says: “The mashup is a wonderful thing!” Survivors’ Club has some of everything, from blood and guts to spirits and monsters.

The fifth and sixth instalments of this horror series will be on sale in February and March respectively.

 
Last year, while Beukes and Halvorsen were in the US to promote the series at various events, the duo met up with the guys from the indie geek culture movement Geek and Sundry to talk about their work on Survivor’s Club and elsewhere. What followed was a riveting interview with The Pull Whitney Moore covering everything from Halvorsen’s amazing book cover designs and Beukes’ bestsellers to bad jokes, superheroes and an interesting card game.

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The Shining GirlsBroken MonstersMaverick

 

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Throwback Thursday: Elon Musk’s First Fast Car, and the “Series of Poker Games” He Played in 1999 (Video)

Elon MuskAbout 15 years and many millions of dollars ago, Elon Musk was a young millionaire excitedly awaiting the delivery of his McLaren F1.

In 1999, when Musk was just 28, he was featured in a documentary about millionaires. The video shows Musk accepting the delivery of his sports car, which the documentary narrator calls “his golden pay off, his prize for paying his dues in the valley”.

The young Musk speaks about his early success creating profitable internet programmes. He had just sold zip2, a software company “which enabled newspapers to publish online”, for 400 million dollars.

“I could go buy one of the islands in the Bahamas and turn it into my personal fiefdom. I’m much more interested in trying to build and create a new company.” He goes on to explain the concept for X.com, which later merged with PayPal.

“It’s all like a series of poker games,” he says describing how he transitions between ventures, “and now I’ve gone on to a more high-stakes poker game, and just carried those chips with me.”

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“Walking the Walk: Standing up Against Racism”: Watch Zelda la Grange’s TEDxAmsterdam Talk

Good Morning, Mr MandelaGoeiemôre, mnr. MandelaZelda la Grange, former personal assistant to Nelson Mandela and author of Good Morning, Mr Mandela, recently presented a talk on standing up against racism at TEDxAmsterdam. Her book is also available in Afrikaans as Goeiemôre, mnr. Mandela.

In the video, La Grange tells the story of how she got the job in Mandela’s office. She only applied to work there because it was conveniently close to her family home. She says: “It was a bit of a dilemma for me. I didn’t see myself working for this new government because it was everything I opposed. But I thought ‘I’ll take a chance’.”

Two weeks into her new job, she says, she met “the man my people feared” – President Mandela. Being young and inexperienced, she “wanted to run away immediately”. But her learned fear and hatred of Mandela evaporated almost moments after meeting him.

Watch the video:

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Read more about La Grange’s talk on the TEDxAmsterdam website:

“It is hard to overcome the damage of the past. It’s a long-term process. Just look at the aftermath of World War II or the reunification of Germany. This is 70 and 25 years ago – recent history. In Europe you can sense the scar tissue formed by these events. Our nation is still too young to present a shared history to the world. We are still too damaged and the scars of apartheid will take centuries to heal. One should never forget that history will judge what you do. History will teach us what is right and wrong, who was right and who was wrong. Today’s heroes can be tomorrow’s villains.”

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I Love to Feel Words Run Through My Hands, Like Water – Recipes for Love and Murder Author Sally Andrew

Recipes for Love and Murder: A Tannie Maria MysterySally Andrew has shared a video in which she chats about her deep connection to the Karoo and her love of writing.

Recipes for Love and Murder: A Tannie Maria Mystery is Andrew’s debut novel, and has already been published in 17 countries, with more to come. It is also available as an audiobook, read by Sandra Prinsloo.

“Writing is a huge joy to me,” Andrew says. “I love to play with words, to feel them run through my hands, like water. Writing this book has been one of the biggest pleasures of my life.”

Andrew also speaks about the themes of the book: recipes, murder, mystery and love.

“This book is predominantly a murder mystery, but I guess the theme closest to my heart is love: love of the Klein Karoo, love of food, love of justice, love between friends.”

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Watch “Echoes of Apartheid” – Mzilikazi wa Afrika and Stephan Hofstatter Investigate Police Brutality

Nothing Left to StealSunday Times journalist and author of Nothing Left to Steal Mzilikazi wa Afrika, with his colleague Stephan Hofstatter, has been investigating police brutality in South Africa for the past five years.

Hofstatter and Wa Afrika have presented their investigation of assault and murder by police in an episode of Al Jazeera’s Africa Investigates. Their episode, which is called “South Africa: Echoes of Apartheid”, unpacks the story of one of the most notorious death squads in the country.

Media Update reported on Hofstatter and Wa Afrika’s episode of the award-winning show:

Echoes of Apartheid investigates a string of suspect killings allegedly committed by the Cato Manor organised crime unit in Durban, under the ultimate command of provincial Hawks head Major General Johan Booysen.

Wa Afrika and Hofstatter’s investigation has established that four squad members close to Booysen – Willie Olivier, Anton Lockem, Eugene van Tonder, and Paul Mostert – are linked to dozens of suspicious killings stretching back more than a decade. All have been indicted for murder.

Hofstatter wrote an article for Al Jazeera about why he and Wa Afrika began the investigation. It started with Wa Afrika’s first-hand experience of bad, politically motivated policing:

It all started with the arrest of my colleague Mzilikazi wa Afrika on August 4, 2010. This came just days after we’d published a story exposing the involvement of South Africa’s chief of police in an illegal real estate deal with a friend of President Jacob Zuma. Wa Afrika later sued the state for wrongful arrest and won.

Immediately after his release, the phones started to ring off the hook. Disgruntled police officers from different divisions throughout the country were contacting us with tip-offs for stories about the police, ranging from top-level corruption to day-to-day police brutality.

Several of these officers told us about “a police unit gone rogue”, controlled by one Major General Johan Booysen, a well known leader of the Hawks, an elite police crime-fighting division.

Watch the video:

Warning: viewers may find some of “South Africa: Echoes of Apartheid” disturbing

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President Jacob Zuma Opens the Anti-rhino Poaching Joint Operations Centre at Kruger National Park (Video)

Operation Lock and the War on Rhino PoachingKilling for ProfitPresident Jacob Zuma recently gave a speech about rhino poaching at the Kruger National Park as part of government’s anti-poaching awareness campaign.

President Zuma, who donned a San Parks uniform for his speech, honoured rangers who have lost their lives working the country’s rhinos safe, and affirmed the importance of remaining steadfast the fight.

He calls the Kruger National Park “the epicentre of the poaching crisis” and commends “the brave men and women who stand between poachers and our rhino”.

SABC News has shared a video of the event:

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On the same occasion, Zuma officially opened the Joint Operations Centre at the Kruger National Park. The centre will be used the SAPS, the SANDF and San Parks officials to co-ordinate the fight against poaching:

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The Kruger National Park has released a statement on the event:

“We are pleased to announce that joint situational awareness through electronic means and live-streaming of information now informs in-time decision making, faster reaction and more often proactive operations,” said President Zuma. “This enables us to employ resources more intelligently and to be one step ahead of the poachers and their bosses.”

The President emphasised that battle against rhino poaching cannot be won without partnerships.

“The nature of this challenge requires our collective efforts as government working with the private sector, communities, civil society and the business sector to ensure the Integrated Strategic Management approach is successful, not only in South Africa, but also within Africa and in the rest of the world,” he said.

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