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In the first half of the nineteenth century, Southern Africa was a jumble of British colonies, Boer republics and African chiefdoms, a troublesome region of little interest to the outside world. Into this frontier world came the Reitz family, Afrikaner gentry from the Cape, who settled in Bloemfontein and played a key role in the building of the Orange Free State.
Frank Reitz, successively chief justice and modernising president of the young republic, went on to serve as State Secretary of the Transvaal Republic. In 1899, he stood shoulder to shoulder with President Paul Kruger to resist Britain’s war of conquest in Southern Africa. At the heart of this tale is the extraordinary life of Deneys Reitz, third son of Frank Reitz and Bianca Thesen. The young Reitz’s account of his adventures in the field during the Anglo-Boer War (1899–1902), published as Commando, became a classic of irregular warfare. After a period of exile in Madagascar, he went on become one of South Africa’s most distinguished lawyers, statesmen and soldiers. Martin Meredith interweaves Reitz’s experiences, taken from his unpublished notebooks, with the wider story of Britain’s brutal suppression of Boer resistance.
Concise and readable, Afrikaner Odyssey is a wide-ranging portrait of an aristocratic Afrikaner family whose achievements run like fine thread through these turbulent times, and whose presence is still marked on the South African landscape.
Without much fanfare Ahmed Kathrada worked alongside Nelson Mandela, Walter Sisulu and other giants in the struggle to end racial discrimination in South Africa. He faced house arrest and many court trials related to his activism until, finally, a trial for sabotage saw him sentenced to life imprisonment alongside Mandela and six others.
Conversations with a Gentle Soul has its origins in a series of discussions between Kathrada and Sahm Venter about his opinions, encounters and experiences. Throughout his life, Kathrada has refused to hang on to negative emotions such as hatred and bitterness. Instead, he radiates contentment and the openness of a man at peace with himself. His wisdom is packaged within layers of optimism, mischievousness and humour, and he provides insights that are of value to all South Africans.
"Why walk when you can soar..."
These are the opening words on Tracy Todd’s website and they are a powerful affirmation of the person Tracy is today – a sought-after inspirational speaker whose uplifting presentations have inspired and given hope to many people. But it is difficult to imagine what she has overcome in a tough and often lonely journey.
At the age of twenty-eight her life was turned upside down when a horrific road accident left her a quadriplegic, paralysed from the neck down. Her life as an athletic, marathon-running young mother and teacher was abruptly shattered. Despite months of rehabilitation, Tracy often found herself wondering if her life was worth living. Everything she had taken for granted was now beyond her reach and frustration at her helplessness threatened to overwhelm her. Against the odds, Tracy chose to live.
Her strength of character and determination prevailed and, sustained by the support of her son, family and friends, her care assistants, and an unbelievably caring community, she set about gaining the independence to rebuild her life and reclaim her identity – which she has done, with dignity and grace. Brave Lotus Flower Rides The Dragon is an honest, inspiring and engaging memoir in which Tracy’s natural warmth and humour are tangible and, most importantly, she embodies what the human spirit can achieve.
Die gesprek oor Afrikaans en die bruin mense wat die skrywers in hierdie boek aanroer, is tydig in die opsig dat ná al die ambivalensie oor die Afrikaans van ons hart en die onverkwiklike manier waarop ons in hierdie taal verdruk en misken is, ons ons vry heid gekry het – wat ook verantwoordelikheid meebring om minstens onder mekaar klaarheid te vind oor wat nou vorentoe met ons taal moet gebeur.
Dit is onomstootlik so dat ons as bruin mense die aard van die Khoisan en swart African met ons saamdra. Dit is net so waar dat ons ook Europees in die Anglosaksiese sin van die woord is. Ons is tewens ook trots bewus van ons Asiatiese herkoms. Afrikaans is ook die taal van ons slawevoorouers.
Ons moet al hierdie tradisies vir onsself toe-eien.
In 2011 the world was shocked when the news broke that Joost van der Westhuizen, known for years as the golden boy of South African rugby and a former Springbok captain, had been diagnosed with motor neuron disease (MND).
This rare condition attacks the central nervous system, causing progressive disability. There is no known cure. All who have seen Joost in action will know that he is not one to give up without a fight. His game-changing prowess as a brilliant scrum half is now focused on a battle for survival and, more importantly, on making a difference to the lives of others with the disease. In a race against time, Joost has a dream to fulfil. He says: “In the beginning you go through all the emotions and you ask, ‘Why me?’ It’s quite simple. ‘Why not me?’ If I have to go through this to help future generations, why not me?” His acceptance of his symptoms is equally pragmatic: “One day you can’t move your arm, another day you don’t have speech. Every day you are reborn and you take the day as it comes.”
Glory Game – The Joost van der Westhuizen Story is a compelling narrative of redemption set against the backdrop of an illustrious career in rugby. It is the story of a modern-day warrior forced to face his own human frailty. Joost shows us that beyond ambition, success and fame lies the true wealth of family and friends, and that within a ravaged body the spirit can remain invincible.
Skollie, saint, scholar, hippest of hippies, imperfect musician with a perfect imagination, Syd Kitchen was, like all great artists, born to enrich his art and not himself.
Plagued by drugs, alcohol and depression, too much of an outlaw to be embraced by record companies, he frequently sold his furniture to cover production costs of his albums, seduced fans at concerts and music festivals worldwide with his dazzling ‘Afro-Saxon’ mix of folk, jazz, blues and rock interspersed with marvellously irreverent banter, and finally became the subject of several compelling documentaries, one of which - Fool in a Bubble - premiered in New York in 2010.
The compelling, inspiring, and comically sublime story of one man’s coming-of-age, set during the twilight of apartheid and the tumultuous days of freedom that followed
Trevor Noah’s unlikely path from apartheid South Africa to the desk of The Daily Show began with a criminal act: his birth. Trevor was born to a white Swiss father and a black Xhosa mother at a time when such a union was punishable by five years in prison. Living proof of his parents’ indiscretion, Trevor was kept mostly indoors for the earliest years of his life, bound by the extreme and often absurd measures his mother took to hide him from a government that could, at any moment, steal him away. Finally liberated by the end of South Africa’s tyrannical white rule, Trevor and his mother set forth on a grand adventure, living openly and freely and embracing the opportunities won by a centuries-long struggle.
Born A Crime is the story of a mischievous young boy who grows into a restless young man as he struggles to find himself in a world where he was never supposed to exist. It is also the story of that young man’s relationship with his fearless, rebellious, and fervently religious mother—his teammate, a woman determined to save her son from the cycle of poverty, violence, and abuse that would ultimately threaten her own life.
The stories collected here are by turns hilarious, dramatic, and deeply affecting. Whether subsisting on caterpillars for dinner during hard times, being thrown from a moving car during an attempted kidnapping, or just trying to survive the life-and-death pitfalls of dating in high school, Trevor illuminates his curious world with an incisive wit and unflinching honesty. His stories weave together to form a moving and searingly funny portrait of a boy making his way through a damaged world in a dangerous time, armed only with a keen sense of humor and a mother’s unconventional, unconditional love.
From campus radio to host of South Africa’s biggest youth breakfast show to pioneering his own online hub, Gareth Cliff has always claimed the headlines with his brand of strong opinion and whiplash wit. He has been suspended from the airwaves or crucified by his critics more times than he can remember – whether for interviewing himself as Jesus or comparing Shaka Zulu to Cecil John Rhodes.
Most recently, Cliff was fired by M-Net as one of the Idols judges after facing accusations of racism over the Penny Sparrow incident. He fought back, employing the services of the EFF’s Dali Mpofu, and was reinstated.
In Cliffhanger, South Africa’s controversial shock jock goes behind the scenes to give you a first-hand account of the highs and lows of the past two decades.
Internationally-renowned historian Hermann Giliomee has himself been intimately involved in the unfolding drama of South Africa’s history, as participant at the Dakar talks with the ANC, as outspoken commentator for the English press, and as leading thinker on the Afrikaners. Giliomee’s lucidity and original insights make this more than just his own story. It is also a gripping narrative, filled with anecdotes and revealing inner workings of the Afrikaner establishment.
Just who is Radovan Krejcir? Known as “Baas John” to his underlings, he arrived in South Africa in 2007 under a false passport. He was a fugitive, a powerful Czech multimillionaire, who escaped from prison on fraud charges and fled to the good life in the Seychelles. But a bid by the Czech Republic to have him extradited saw Krejcir coming to South Africa. He was arrested at the airport, but an alleged bribe kept him in the country. Within a few years Krejcir had amassed great wealth and his name began being associated with underworld gang members such as Cyril Beeka and Lolly Jackson. It was the murder of Lolly Jackson that brought Krejcir’s name into the limelight and revealed his dealing with crime intelligence boss Joey Mabasa and small time criminal George Louka.
Over the next three years 10 more deaths took place, each one more dramatic than the next. He was also the victim of a bizarre James Bond style shoot out. His business Moneypoint exploded when a bomb left inside a bag blew up, killing two associates. Soon afterward Krejcir was arrested, but in true Krejcir fashion even a jail cell could not hold him down. Police foiled a plan to murder top cop Colonel Nkosana Ximba and forensic investigator Paul O’Sullivan and to stop numerous escape attempts.
He has been found guilty and sentenced for kidnapping, attempted murder and attempted drug possession. He also faces charges for the murder of Sam Issa, the conspiracy to murder investigators and the murder of Phumlani Ncube, a hit man-turned informant. But Krejcir reveals why we have not heard the last of the worst crime boss South Africa has ever seen.
Jan Christiaan Smuts was ’n soldaat, staatsman, intellektueel en een van Suid-Afrika se grootste leiers. Tog word daar vandag min oor hom gepraat of geskryf, al beleef ons tans skynbaar ’n leierskapsvakuum.
In Jan Smuts: Afrikaner Sonder Grense voer Richard Steyn aan dat ons hierdie indrukwekkende kryger-staatsman se lewe en denke moet herbesoek, omdat daar soveel te leer is uit sy merkwaardige prestasies. Die hoogs leesbare verslag ondersoek onder meer Smuts se rol as politieke leier, as adviseur van wêreldleiers, sy spirituele en intellektuele lewe en sy verhoudings met vroue. Sy unieke bydraes op ŉ verskeidenheid ander terreine, insluitend botanie, bewaring en filosofie, word ook bespreek.
Jan Smuts: Afrikaner Sonder Grense skram egter nie weg van die paradoksale in Smuts nie. Hoewel hy een van die argitekte van die Verenigde Nasies en ŉ groot kampvegter vir menseregte was, kon hy nie so ver kom om die plaaslike swart meerderheid politieke regte te gun nie.
Patriots & Parasites, completed just days before Smuts’s unexpected death in 2016, is her account of the momentous period known as the Transition Era, through the lens of her 25-year career as a key opposition MP and a respected legislator.
With ambitious breadth and rare insight, she examines:
Solidarity Road tells the story of Jan Theron’s involvement in the Food and Canning Workers Union (FCWU) during apartheid South Africa. Part memoir, part history this fascinating tale will reveal what working conditions were like in the 1970’s. It outlines the very beginnings of the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU).
Theron states, ‘Solidarity in a trade union does not simply mean standing by your members, or by organised workers. It means solidarity with your class. At the time, in 1976, the working class was fragmented. Working for a trade union was part of a project to unite a fragmented class, and to give it a voice. This was the historical project to which a number of people from a certain intellectual background were drawn. This would be our contribution to the struggle: what we did to end apartheid. It was a struggle for democracy, but democracy did not just mean everyone getting to vote every so often in national elections. People also had to eat.
The most obvious way in which the working class was then fragmented was in terms of race. The Union put its commitment to solidarity into practice by uniting workers of different races in factories manufacturing food. To do so it had to overcome divisions among workers created by the ways in which government had structured employment, in terms of the law, which the bosses were able to exploit. Nowadays ‘bosses’ seems like a dated term, yet this is the term workers used to refer to the people for whom they actually worked. It is also no less important today than it was then to differentiate between those who control the factories and mines and those who operate at their behest.
Helen Zille’s long-awaited autobiography is one of the most fascinating political stories of our time.
Zille takes the reader back to her humble family origins, her struggle with anorexia as a young woman, her early career as a journalist for the Rand Daily Mail, and her involvement with the End Conscription Campaign and the Black Sash. She documents her early days in the Democratic Party and the Democratic Alliance, at a time when the party was locked in a no-holds-barred factional conflict. And she chronicles the intense political battles to become mayor of Cape Town, leader of the DA and premier of the Western Cape, in the face of dirty tricks from the ANC and infighting within her own party.
This is a story about political intrigue and treachery, floor-crossing and unlikely coalitions, phone tapping and intimidation, false criminal charges and judicial commissions. It documents Zille’s courageous fight against corruption and state capture and her efforts to realign politics and entrench accountability. And it describes a mother’s battle to raise children in the pressured world of South African politics.
This book is as frank, honest and unflinching as Helen Zille herself, and will appeal to anyone interested in the story of South African politics over the past fifty years.
Reuben At Home offers readers a glimpse into the life and loves of Reuben Riffel when he’s not cooking in restaurant kitchens, when he’s not running successful restaurants and when he’s not behind the TV cameras. This is a personal, honest account of how Reuben feels about food and the way in which he chooses to feed his family and friends in his own home.
It is an unpretentious, accessible, heartfelt recipe book aimed at those wanting to know more about their favourite chef as well as those wanting to cook delicious wholesome food for their families. These recipes, all created by Reuben, were inspired by his memories of happy family meals as well childhood-remembered flavour favourites.
These are tastes he remembers from his past and which he now chooses to share with those he loves.
As uitgesproke kommenatator wat voor en na 1994 met die regering gebots het, een van die Dakar-gangers wat al in die 1980s die ANC gaan ontmoet het en wereldkenner van die Afrikaners, is Giliomee ten nouste betrokke by ons land se geskiedenis – en hoe ons dit verstaan. Hier verweef hy sy eie lewensverhaal met die van die land en die mense wat hom fassineer in leesbare, narratiewe vorm, vol staaltjies en onvertelde verhale.
The life story of Coretta Scott King―wife of Martin Luther King Jr., founder of the Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change (The King Center), and singular twentieth-century American civil and human rights activist―as told fully for the first time, toward the end of her life, to Rev. Dr. Barbara Reynolds.
Born in 1927 to daringly enterprising parents in the Deep South, Coretta Scott had always felt called to a special purpose. While enrolled as one of the first black scholarship students recruited to Antioch College, she became politically and socially active and committed to the peace movement. As a graduate student at the New England Conservatory of Music, determined to pursue her own career as a concert singer, she met Martin Luther King Jr., a Baptist minister insistent that his wife stay home with the children. But in love and devoted to shared Christian beliefs as well as shared racial and economic justice goals, she married Dr. King, and events promptly thrust her into a maelstrom of history throughout which she was a strategic partner, a standard bearer, and so much more.
As a widow and single mother of four, she worked tirelessly to found and develop The King Center as a citadel for world peace, lobbied for fifteen years for the US national holiday in honor of her husband, championed for women's, workers’ and gay rights and was a powerful international voice for nonviolence, freedom and human dignity.
Coretta’s is a love story, a family saga, and the memoir of an extraordinary black woman in twentieth-century America, a brave leader who, in the face of terrorism and violent hatred, stood committed, proud, forgiving, nonviolent, and hopeful every day of her life.
When Johan Booysen hears that the new Provincial Police Chief takes backhanders from a Durban businessman, he decides to give her the benefit of the doubt. But the evidence becomes impossible to ignore and he soon gets dragged down the corridors of power and politics into a web of intrigue, deceit and betrayal that, at times, he has trouble making sense of.
Only when he is arrested, handcuffed and tossed into a cell does Booysen realise just how ruthless those opposed to him are – an opposition he comes to call the ‘cabal’ – and whom he believes have more blood on their hands than the so-called Cato Manor Death Squad with which he is closely associated.
Blood On Their Hands traces Johan Booysen’s life and career – from patrolling the streets of Amanzimtoti in the 1970s to his rise in 2010 to major general and head of KZN’s Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation unit, the Hawks. But his tenure is short-lived. When Booysen decides to take on those so determined to be rid of him, each legal battle he wins is met by hostility and further efforts to shut him out of the of the criminal justice system. But capitulating is not in his DNA…
An anecdotal, bitter-sweet, tongue-in-cheek meander through a boyhood on a Karoo farm and town school, from footpaths to highways, farmers to teachers, getting to know Mom, Dad, the family and friends; religious and identity conundrums, schoolboy pranks, from tears to belly-laughs, slander to hero-worship, from the classroom to the sportsfields.
But it is mostly about friends.
When Bridget Hilton-Barber got on a train to Grahamstown in 1982 to study journalism at Rhodes University, she had no idea of the brutal drama that would unfold.
A rebellious young woman, she became politically involved in anti-apartheid organisations and was caught up in the massive resistance and repression sweeping the Eastern Cape at the time. She ended up spending three months in detention without trial, and after her release discovered she had been betrayed by one of her best friends, Olivia Forsyth, who was a spy for the South African security police.
Thirty years later, a horrific flashback triggers Bridget’s journey back to the Eastern Cape to see if she can forgive her betrayer and finally let go of the extraordinary violence she encountered in the final days of apartheid. This is her powerful story.
In this finely observed memoir, Kenneth de Kok writes tenderly yet humorously about the relationship between fathers and sons, about family life, and about childhood.
The work unearths the physical and psychic landscape of Stilfontein, a small mining community in the Western Transvaal, in the 1950s. The narrator gives voice to his own secret pleasures and fears, while vividly recreating the topography that dominates his world.
A sensitive and rare account of the hierarchies, privileges and prejudices of white mining experience, as seen through the eyes of a boy.
In 2009, Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band performed at the Super Bowl’s halftime show. The experience was so exhilarating that Bruce decided to write about it. That’s how this extraordinary autobiography began. Over the past seven years, Bruce Springsteen has privately devoted himself to writing the story of his life, bringing to these pages the same honesty, humor, and originality found in his songs.
He describes growing up Catholic in Freehold, New Jersey, amid the poetry, danger, and darkness that fueled his imagination, leading up to the moment he refers to as “The Big Bang”: seeing Elvis Presley’s debut on The Ed Sullivan Show. He vividly recounts his relentless drive to become a musician, his early days as a bar band king in Asbury Park, and the rise of the E Street Band. With disarming candor, he also tells for the first time the story of the personal struggles that inspired his best work, and shows us why the song “Born to Run” reveals more than we previously realized.
Born To Run will be revelatory for anyone who has ever enjoyed Bruce Springsteen, but this book is much more than a legendary rock star’s memoir. This is a book for workers and dreamers, parents and children, lovers and loners, artists, freaks, or anyone who has ever wanted to be baptized in the holy river of rock and roll.
Nomavenda Mathiane stumbled upon her grandmother’s story well over a century after the gruelling events of the Battle of Isandlwana that formed her life. Astounded to hear how her grandmother had survived the 1879 Anglo-Zulu War between the British and Zulu nations as a young girl, Mathiane spent hours with her elder sisters reconstructing the extraordinary life of their grandmother. The result is a sweeping epic of both personal and political battles.
Eyes In The Night is a young Zulu woman’s story of drama, regret, guilt and, ultimately, triumph – set against the backdrop of a Zululand changed beyond recognition.
A true story almost lost, but for a chance remark at a family gathering.
A fresh, nuanced look at an extraordinary woman and her lifelong fight for justice. Defying the constraints of her gender and class, Emily Hobhouse travelled across continents and spoke out against oppression. A passionate pacifist and a feminist, she opposed both the 1899-1902 Anglo-Boer War and World War One, leading to accusations of treason. Elsabe Brits travelled in her footsteps to bring to life a colourful story of war, heroism and passion, spanning three continents.
Undoubtedly the most famous scientist on the planet and the very face of physics over the last half-century, Stephen Hawking is remarkable for many reasons, not least because he has continued to strive to achieve so much while being hamstrung by debilitating illness. He has demonstrated categorically that if you put your mind to it, you can achieve anything, no matter your physical state. Of course, it helps if you happen to possess a mind such as his.
His work on black holes put him on the map, and he became globally famous for his "A Brief History of Time," communicating the most difficult scientific ideas at a period when he'd lost the ability to speak. How To Think Like Stephen Hawking reveals the key motivations, desires, and philosophies that make Hawking one of the world s most enduring talents.
Studying how he overcame great adversity, fought his demons as well as his detractors, and looked back to the origins of the universe, and with quotes and passages by and about him, you too can learn to think like the man who claims he can think in 11 dimensions.
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