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A deeply moving and powerful biography of Fezekile Kuzwayo – better known as Khwezi – the woman the ANC tried to forget.
In August 2016, following the announcement of the results of South Africa’s heated municipal election, four courageous young women interrupted Jacob Zuma’s victory address, bearing placards asking us to ‘Remember Khwezi’. Before being dragged away by security guards, their powerful message had hit home and the public was reminded of the tragic events of 2006, when Zuma was on trial for the rape of Fezekile Ntsukela Kuzwayo, better known as Khwezi. In the aftermath of the trial, which saw Zuma acquitted, Khwezi was vilified by his many supporters and forced to take refuge outside of South Africa.
Ten years later, just two months after this protest had put Khwezi’s struggle back into the minds and hearts of South Africans, Khwezi passed away … But not before she had slipped back into South Africa and started work with Redi Tlhabi on a book about her life. How as a young girl living in ANC camps in exile she was raped by the very men who were supposed to protect her; how as an adult she was driven once again into exile, suffering not only at the hands of Zuma’s devotees but under the harsh eye of the media.
In sensitive and considered prose, journalist Redi Tlhabi breathes life into a woman for so long forced to live in the shadows. In giving agency back to Khwezi, Tlhabi is able to focus a broader lens on the sexual abuse that abounded during the ‘struggle’ years, abuse which continues to plague women and children in South Africa today.
In this riveting new book, John Laband, pre-eminent historian of the Zulu Kingdom, tackles some of the questions that swirl around the assassination in 1828 of King Shaka, the celebrated founder of the Zulu Kingdom and war leader of legendary brilliance: Why did prominent members of the royal house conspire to kill him? Just how significant a part did the white hunter-traders settled at Port Natal play in their royal patron's downfall? Why were Shaka's relations with the British Cape Colony key to his survival? And why did the powerful army he had created acquiesce so tamely in the usurpation of the throne by Dingane, his half-brother and assassin?
In his search for answers Laband turns to the Zulu voice heard through recorded oral testimony and praise-poems, and to the written accounts and reminiscences of the Port Natal trader-hunters and the despatches of Cape officials. In the course of probing and assessing this evidence the author vividly brings the early Zulu kingdom and its inhabitants to life. He throws light on this elusive character of and his own unpredictable intentions, while illuminating the fears and ambitions of those attempting to prosper and survive in his hazardous kingdom: a kingdom that nevertheless endured in all its essential characteristics, particularly militarily, until its destruction fifty one years later in 1879 by the British; and whose fate, legend has it, Shaka predicted with his dying breath.
On 2 February 1959, a musical about the life and times of heavyweight boxing star Ezekiel Dhlamini (known as 'King Kong') opened in Johannesburg to a packed audience that included Nelson Mandela. King Kong was not just South Africa's first ever musical, but one that grew out of a collaboration between black people and white, and showcased an all-black cast.
It was an instant hit, bursting through the barriers of apartheid and eventually playing to 200,000 South Africans of every colour before transferring to London's West End. Pat Williams, the show's lyricist, was at the time an apolitical young woman trying to free herself from the controls and prejudices of the genteel white society in which she lived. Here she recounts her experience of growing up in a divided South Africa, her involvement in the musical, and its lasting impact both on herself and on the show's cast, many of whom went on to find international fame, like South African jazz legends Miriam Makeba and Hugh Masekela. Her memoir takes the story up to the present day.
It is both a vivid evocation of a troubled time and place as well as a celebration of a joyous production, in which a group of young people came together in South Africa's dark times - to create a show which still lives on today.
In 2016 South African film audiences were mesmerised by the film Noem My Skollie, which was written by - and based on the life of - John W. Fredericks. In this book Fredericks tells the full story on which the film was based.
Growing up in a dusty township on the Cape Flats, Fredericks formed a gang with his friends, and at the age of seventeen he was arrested for robbery and sentenced to two years in Pollsmoor prison. There the number gangs vied to initiate him into their ranks, but he resisted their advances, offering instead to help them push their time by telling stories. And so he became the prison ‘cinema’, drawing on his storytelling abilities and cementing his ambition to become a writer.
Life after prison became a nightmare when he was arrested for a murder he hadn’t committed, his childhood friends were sentenced to die on the gallows, and a gang boss tried to kill him. Slowly he turned his life around, getting a job and building a family, but society kept judging him as a gangster. Struggling to deal with his past, he turned to storytelling again, and painstakingly learnt the art of scriptwriting. The result was Noem My Skollie, which was watched by almost 90 000 people and won numerous awards.
Written in a powerful and authentic voice, Skollie is a gripping memoir of life on the Cape Flats, of prison and gangs, and of one man’s struggle to survive all this by telling stories.
Everyone remembers the Springboks big matches, the tries and the glory. But few people know what was said in team meetings, which music was played on the team bus and what went down in the dressing rooms afterwards.
In Springbok Glory, sports writer Stephen Nell not only tells the story of South African rugby's best moments on the field, but also lifts the lid on events behind the scenes. He goes and delves for the stories from players, coaches and officials that were at the coalface, giving the reader an in-depth view of Springbok rugby. Among those interviewed are Bryan Habana, Nick Mallett, Jake White, John Smit, Brendan Venter, Chester Williams, Gary Gold and the late Louis Luyt.
Nell's fascinating stories about South African rugby's golden moments since the return from isolation in 1992 will elicit many a nostalgic smile.
Born Karoline King in 1980 in Johannesburg South Africa, Sara-Jayne (as she will later be called by her adoptive parents) is the result of an affair, illegal under apartheid’s Immorality Act, between a white British woman and her black South African employee. Her story reveals the shocking lie created to cover up the forbidden relationship, and the hurried overseas adoption of the illegitimate baby, born during one of history’s most inhumane and destructive regimes.
Killing Karoline follows the journey of the baby girl (categorised as ‘white’ under South Africa’s race classification system) who is raised in a leafy, middle-class corner of the South of England by a white couple. It takes the reader through the formative years, a difficult adolescence and into adulthood, as Sara-Jayne (Karoline) seeks to discover who she is and where she came from. Plagued by questions surrounding her own identity and unable to ‘fit in’ Sara-Jayne (Karoline) begins to turn on herself, before eventually coming full circle and returning to South Africa after 26 years to face her demons. There she is forced to face issues of identity, race, rejection and belonging beyond that which she could ever have imagined.
She must also face her birth family, who in turn must confront what happens when the baby you kill off at a mere six weeks old, returns from the dead.
Meet the rebels, artists, troublemakers, athletes, dancing queens and freedom fighters that shaped our past – and are changing our future.
An A To Z Of Amazing South African Women tells the stories of 26 trailblazing South African women through accessible stories and illustrations that are as bright and bold as the women they depict. From Fatima Meer to Caster Semenya, Natalie du Toit to Dope St Jude, this is a book about women who ask too many questions, who defy injustice, who refuse to take no for an answer. It is a celebration of the courage and determination of the activists, scientists and storytellers who have gone before us – as well as a recognition of the everyday heroism of ordinary South African woman doing extraordinary things.
The book takes its inspiration from the worldwide bestseller An A To Z Of Rad American Women and is the work of writer Ambre Nicolson and illustrator Jaxon Hsu, a husband and wife team based in Cape Town.
The Fifth Mrs Brink is Karina M. Szczurek’s memoir of her life before, during and after her marriage to André P. Brink.
Polish-born Karina was twenty-seven when she met the acclaimed writer, forty-two years her senior, and they spent a decade together. Here she chronicles their relationship, from their first encounter in Vienna, Austria, and moving across continents to be with each other, to finding calm and stability in their married life in Cape Town, and finally facing the challenges of André’s deteriorating health in the last year of his life.
This soul-baring account is also the story of two interwoven writing lives, Karina’s burgeoning and André’s in its final phase. It is a diary of creative dissolution and knitting back together, a homage to a marriage reality tragically cut short but also to a love to last a lifetime.
Piet Matipa is jonk, swart, gay en Afrikaans. Sy rubrieke in Beeld is baie gewild omdat dit aan ’n sonderlinge lewensuitkyk uitdrukking gee. Hy praat vanuit ’n perspektief wat jy nie sommer in Suid-Afrika kry nie. Sy siening van die wêreld is gevorm deur interessante bestemmings waar sy lewenspad aangedoen het. As skolier aan Hoërskool Waterkloof en student aan die Pukke het Piet uitgeblink. Sy skryftande is geslyp as joernalis in Beeld se misdaadkantoor en as sepieskrywer vir 7de Laan , waar hy steeds werksaam is. Nie sleg vir iemand wat in ’n kinderhuis grootgeword het nie!
Afrikaans het sy lê op ’n unieke manier in Piet se mond gekry. En vir één ding deins hy nie terug nie: dit is om sy mond verby te praat. In Dwarsklap laat Piet hom uit oor aangeleenthede wat alle Suid-Afrikaners raak. Misdaad en taxi-bestuurders is groot klippe in die skoen. Wenke oor gewigsverlies word gegee, en ook hoe om ’n ontkleedanser by ’n henneparty te kry. En oor liefdesavonture kan jy vir Piet min vertel, veral wanneer sosiale media betrokke is.
’n Hoogs vermaaklike boek wat die donkerte van die lewe in ligte skakerings laat glim.
The remarkable, and often touching, friendship between Winston Churchill and Jan Smuts is a rich study in contrasts.
In youth they occupied very different worlds: Churchill, the rambunctious and thrusting young aristocrat; Smuts, the ascetic, philosophical Cape farm boy who would go on to Cambridge. Brought together first as enemies in the Anglo-Boer War, and later as allies in the First World War, the men forged a friendship which spanned the first half of the twentieth century and endured until Smuts’s death in 1950. Richard Steyn, author of Jan Smuts: Unafraid of Greatness, examines this close friendship through two world wars and the intervening years, drawing on a maze of archival and secondary sources including letters, telegrams and the voluminous books written about both men.
This is a fascinating account of two remarkable men in war and peace: one the leader of the Empire, the other the leader of a small fractious member of that Empire who nevertheless rose to global prominence.
In Rule Of Law, Glynnis Breytenbach reflects back on her career as a prosecutor, including specific cases she has tried, and on her life to provide a fascinating commentary on the importance of the independence of judicial institutions and the precariousness of this independence.
Her current challenges are directly linked to how outspoken she is and how she continues to campaign fiercely for the rule of law in this country.
In this autobiographical account of a lifetime spent observing, researching and photographing birds, Peter Steyn shares experiences that span some 70 years.
His story starts and ends in Cape Town, South Africa, but in between we read about:
His detailed and fascinating memoir captures the author’s great enthusiasm for birds and their role in his shaping his life and experiences.
Kingdom of Daylight: Memories of a Birdwatcher is well illustrated and features more than 400 photographs taken during Peter’s lifelong journey with birds.
In A Short History Of South Africa, Gail Nattrass, historian and educator, presents the reader with a brief, general account of South Africa’s history, from the very beginning to the present day, from the first evidence of hominid existence, early settlement pre- and post-European arrival and the warfare through the 18th and 19th centuries that lead to the eventual establishment of modern South Africa.
This readable and thorough account, illustrated with maps and photographs, is a culmination of a lifetime of researching and teaching the broad spectrum of South African history, collecting stories, taking students on tours around the country, and working with distinguished historians.
Nattrass’s passion for her subject shines through, whether she is elucidating the reader on early humans in the cradle of humankind, or the tumultuous twentieth-century processes that shaped the democracy that is South Africa today. A must for all those interested in South Africa, within the country and abroad.
Paul Kruger: Toesprake en korrespondensie van 1881–1900 probeer om die klem te plaas op minder bekende briefwisseling en optredes van Kruger om sodoende ’n verteenwoordigende beeld van staatspresident Kruger se werksaamhede en standpunte aan te bied. Die teks is deeglik toegelig met ophelderende voetnote. Verder is ’n algemene inleiding, agtergrondsinligting en -ontleding verskaf by elke toepaslike breër tydperk in Kruger se lewe tot 1900.
Die beeld wat van Kruger na vore kom uit ’n deeglike ontleding van veral sy minder bekende korrespondensie en toesprake, verskil dikwels ingrypend van dit wat oor ’n lang tydperk in publikasies oor hom aangebied is. Hierdie publikasie vervul daarom ’n belangrike behoefte: Dit stel die leser in staat om regstreeks deur die lees en bestudering van Kruger se standpunte tot eie en nuwe gevolgtrekkings te kom.
Shéri Brynard has reached many remarkable milestones, although she was born with Down Syndrome. She talks about how love and acceptance from her family and friends formed her. She tells of her adventures, her pain and the harsh realities she has to face as an adult with Down Syndrome. Her mother tells the tale of living in Shéri’s shadow, speaking without holding back about her crisis of faith when she heard that her daughter had Down Syndrome. A touching tale.
Jacana Media is proud to make this important book available again, now with a completely new introduction. First published by Oceanbooks, New York and Melbourne and University of Natal Press, Pietermaritzburg in 2001, the book was short-listed for the Sunday Times Alan Paton Award in 2002.
In the public imagination the struggle that saw the end of apartheid and the inauguration of a democratic South Africa is seen as one waged by black people who were often imprisoned or killed for their efforts. Raymond Suttner, an academic, is one of a small group of white South Africans who was imprisoned for his efforts to overthrow the apartheid regime. He was first arrested in 1975 and tortured with electric shocks because he refused to supply information to the police. He then served 8 years because of his underground activities for the African National Congress and South African Communist Party.
After his release in 1983, he returned to the struggle and was forced to go underground to evade arrest, but was re-detained in 1986 under repeatedly renewed states of emergency, for 27 months, 18 of these in solitary confinement, because whites were kept separately and all other whites apart from Suttner were released. In the last months of this detention Suttner was allowed to have a pet lovebird, which he tamed and used to keep inside his tracksuit. When he was eventually released from detention in September 1988 the bird was on his shoulder. Suttner was held under stringent house arrest conditions, imposed to impede further political activities. He, however, defied his house arrest restrictions and attended an Organisation for African Unity meeting in Harare in August 1989 and he remained out of the country for five months. Shortly after his return, when he anticipated being re-arrested, the state of emergency was lifted and the ANC and other banned organisations were unbanned. Suttner became a leading figure in the ANC and SACP.
The book describes Suttner’s experience of prison in a low-key, unromantic voice, providing the texture of prison life, but unlike most ‘struggle memoirs’ it is also intensely personal. Suttner is not averse to admitting his fears and anxieties.
The new edition contains an introduction where Suttner describes his break with the ANC and SACP. But, he argues, the reason for his rupturing this connection that had been so important to his life were the same – ethical reasons – that had led him to join. He remains convinced that what he did was right and continues to act in accordance with those convictions.
A companion volume to the highly successful Field Guide to the Battlefields of South Africa, this features the pivotal sieges that characterised the Cape Frontier, Anglo-Zulu, Basotho and Anglo-Boer wars in one volume.
Accounts of 17 sieges over the last two centuries explore in detail the historical context in which they occurred, the day-to-day military actions that sustained the investments and the conditions both soldiers and civilians faced while defending their territory against a hostile force. The siege descriptions are animated by maps and a variety of information boxes and human-interest stories, gleaned from diaries, letters and eye-witness accounts, while longer features focus on the practical aspects of siege warfare, such as artillery, medicine, food, and the psychological effects of besiegement. The book also provides practical information for visitors who wish to explore these historical sites.
A fascinating read that will appeal to anyone interested in the volatile history of the country – armchair historians and travellers alike.
Pushing Boulders tells the extraordinary story of a Cape Town man born in an old police station during apartheid, who struggles to overcome immense political and social odds to become one of the first people ever to graduate with master’s degrees from five of the world’s top universities, including Harvard, MIT and Oxford. At the height of his successful international business career, at the age of 40, he foregoes wealth and status, sells his Lamborghini, Rolls Royce, Jaguar and other luxury cars, to pursue his mission to use education to enable and inspire others to thrive.
With frequent references to his diaries and letters, the book is written with frankness and candour so often absent in autobiographies. It offers readers a rare insight into the life of a uniquely talented and accomplished person, revealing his doubts and heartaches as well as the secrets to his immense ability to pick himself up and soldier on. The book reveals how his compassion for others changed his life and gave it purpose.
Pushing Boulders is a story about pursuing dreams. It shows that, with self-belief and resilience, you can push aside the boulders that block your path to success. It tells a powerful and inspirational story that will leave you believing that even your most outrageous dreams are possible, and leave you energised to begin pursuing them.
Almal onthou die Springbokke se groot wedstryde, die driee en die glorie. Maar min mense weet wat werklik vooraf in spanpraatjies gese is, watter musiek op die spanbus gespeel is en wat na die tyd in die kleedkamers afgespeel het.
In Bokspronge vertel sportskrywer Stephen Nell nie net die verhaal van Suid-Afrikaanse rugby se beste dae op die veld nie, maar lig hy ook die sluier op gebeure agter die skerms. Hy gaan soek die stories by afrigters, spelers en beamptes, en gee lesers so 'n ryke en diepe blik in Springbokrugby. Aan die woord is, onder andere: Bryan Habana, Nick Mallett, Jake White, John Smit, Brendan Venter, Chester Williams, Gary Gold en wyle Louis Luyt.
Nell bring naas die interessante stories ook 'n nostalgiese glimlag oor die Springbokke se oorwinnings en gloriemomente sedert Suid-Afrikaanse rugby se terugkeer uit isolasie in 1992.
It probably took a fraction of a second from the knock - a single bang - to the opening of the door and the entry of an unexpected visitor into the room. They had just finished their lunch. The unannounced visitor ...simply pretended that everything was normal. There he stood - unfazed and somehow gigantic in his presence. The room had suddenly been invaded by a man who was to be a landmark in the lives of the trainees...
The book opens in China, 1962. Andrew Mlangeni is one of a small select group undergoing military training. The unannounced visitor is Mao Tse-Tung. While still at school, Andrew Mlangeni joined the Communist Party of South Africa and also the ANC Youth League. These were the organisations that shaped his values. Decades of resourceful activism were to lead to his arrest and life sentence in the Rivonia trial. Mlangeni's lifelong commitment to the struggle for liberation reverberates with other biographies of leading figures. His perspective comes from a somewhat ambiguous position in the hierarchy of liberation leaders. Mlangeni was selected as one of the first-ever six members who received military training in China before the formation of Umkhonto we Sizwe. He seems to have been chosen because he was a dedicated, intelligent and dependable operative, rather than a leader.
Even after his release after 25 years on Robben Island, Mlangeni was not given a senior position in the post-apartheid democratic government. 'I was always the backroom boy,' says Andrew Mlangeni about himself. This story of an ANC elder is a rigorously researched historical record overlaid with intensely personal reflections which intersect with the political narrative. Above all, it is one man's story, set in the maelstrom of the liberation struggle.
This biographical project has been developed for, and published in conjunction with, the June and Andrew Mlangeni Foundation.
Bending The Rules is a colourful collection of anecdotes from Rafique Gangat’s extraordinary life.
South Africa’s first diplomat of colour, Gangat first worked for Foreign Affairs under the NP and then for the ANC government, straddling the transition. This book documents Gangat’s battles against bigotry and prejudice, but also includes a healthy dose of sex, drugs and rock ‘n roll: illicit liaisons across the colour bar, experiments with dagga, and ground-breaking ventures in music and radio.
Herman Mashaba rose from humble beginnings to become one of South Africa’s wealthiest and best-known entrepreneurs, as well as Mayor of Johannesburg.
His remarkable story begins in a small village in Gauteng, where we meet the cocky youngster who refused to settle for a future that offered nothing. Forced to drop out of university, the determined young man fought to establish the first black-owned haircare company in South Africa. Mashaba struggled every day of his life – against apartheid, with its demeaning laws, and against his competitors to grab market share for his business. In the process, Mashaba learnt lessons that few business schools teach today.
This is a story of survival, and of determination in adversity. It is also a love story between Herman and Connie, his wife of 35 years, who embarked on this journey together. Mashaba shows the importance of having a vision, daring to dream it, and then making it happen. This inspiring book will leave you with the question: “If he did it, why can’t I?”
It is well known that the African National Congress was formed in 1912 and is considered the oldest political organisation on the African continent. What is often not widely known is that the person who founded it was one Pixley ka Isaka Seme, a thirty-year-old black South African from Inanda outside the city of Durban.
What is remarkable about Seme’s achievement in founding the ANC is not only that he succeeded where most had failed at forging black political unity. It is also the speed at which he did it. He had just returned to South Africa from the United Kingdom and the United States of America, where he had been a student since he was a teenager. In slightly over a year the founding conference of the ANC was convened and he was at its helm as the main organiser.
Seme also established a national newspaper, became one of the pioneering black lawyers in South Africa, bought land from white farmers for black settlement right at the time when opposition to it was gaining momentum, became a sought-after adviser and confidant to African royalty, and was considered a leading visionary for black economic empowerment. And yet, when he became president general of the ANC in the 1930s, he brought it to its knees through sheer ineptitude and an authoritarian style of leadership. On more than one occasion he was found guilty for breaching the law, which partly led to him being struck off the roll of attorneys.
This book discusses in detail Seme’s extraordinary life, from his humble beginnings at Inanda Mission to his triumphs and disappointments across the continents, in his public and private life. When Seme died in 1951 he was bankrupt and his political standing had suffered greatly. And yet he was praised as one of the greatest South Africans ever to have lived. For all this, he has largely been forgotten. This biography brings the remarkable life of this extraordinary South African back to public consciousness.
In 1994, Brad and Paige Holmes opened a small, live-music venue in the bohemian suburb of Melville in Johannesburg. They called it Bassline, which very soon became synonymous with cigarette smoke, great jazz and nights you wished would never end. They later moved the club to Newtown where it grew in prominence as the ultimate venue for live music, hosting amazing artists like Thandiswa Mazwai, Jimmy Dludlu, Lira, The Soil and Grammy Award-winning group Ladysmith Black Mambazo.
In 2016 word spread like wildfire that everyone’s favourite club was closing its doors forever; this place that held all the promises of a new South Africa, a place where people of all races could come together, share a drink, dance and fall in love was to be no more. But as Bassline starts its new journey with Live @ the Bassline, yet another great story begins with Last Night At The Bassline.
In this book, esteemed music historian Professor David Coplan tells the story of Bassline and the Holmes’s journey in it, thus giving musicians and jazz fans something to hold on to even after its closure. This book is a tangible piece of the magic to take home and savour. And those who were never there will be given a chance to experience this dream.
With more than fifty iconic photographs from Oscar Gutierrez and other great photographers, the book is more than just a memoir. It is a gritty, smoky, passionate slice of time. Bassline will always be a reminder of what it feels like to live the impossible.
This story of a middle-class white South African family unfolds between the years 1939 and 1964 - a transformative period in South Africa’s political landscape.
It is told through the eyes and experiences of the younger son and his rite of passage into a country of racial segregation that gradually opens his eyes to the many injustices imposed upon the majority of the country’s population, coupled with a realization that his white privileges are sustained at the brutal expense of others.
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