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Few people have courted as much controversy or evoked such strong and divergent emotions as Winnie Madikizela-Mandela. Adored by some, abhorred by others, she bears a name famous throughout the world, yet not many people know the woman behind the headlines, myths and controversies, or the details of the fascinating story that is her life. This biography reveals the enigma that is Winnie Mandela, by exploring both her personal and political life.
The reader is given a rare glimpse into Winnie's strict yet happy rural upbringing, where the foundations were laid for her faith, compassion and indomitable resolve. As a young social worker in 1950s Johannesburg, her beauty, style and character captivated the political activist and Tembu prince, Nelson Mandela. Together, they personified the rising aspirations and political awakening of their people, and, in so doing, inspired a nation. Through her fierce determination and dauntless courage, she survived her husband's imprisonment, continuous harassment by the security police, banishment to a small Free State town, betrayal by friends and allies, and more than a year in solitary confinement – all the while keeping the struggle flame alight and the name of Nelson Mandela alive.
A sensitive and balanced portrayal, the title nevertheless thoroughly investigates and honestly examines the controversies that have dogged Winnie Mandela in recent years - the allegations of kidnapping and murder, her divorce from Mandela, and the current charges of fraud.
The first ever memoirs from the Number One global bestselling adventure author.
Wilbur Smith has lived an incredible life of adventure, and now he shares the extraordinary true stories that have inspired his fiction. From being attacked by lions to close encounters with deadly reef sharks, from getting lost in the African bush without water to crawling the precarious tunnels of gold mines, from marlin fishing with Lee Marvin to near death from crash-landing a Cessna airplane, from brutal school days to redemption through writing and falling in love, Wilbur Smith tells us the intimate stories of his life that have been the raw material for his fiction.
Always candid, sometimes hilarious, and never less than thrillingly entertaining, On Leopard Rock is testament to a writer whose life is as rich and eventful as his novels are compellingly unputdownable.
Once, chef Brett Ladds was given a cigar by Fidel Castro, he talked weightlifting with Swazi king Mswati III and his cooking made Quincy Jones sing. For many years he also served Nelson Mandela many cups of rooibos tea and made him his favourite meals.
Ladds was the executive chef of the SA government and manager of the presidential guesthouse at Bryntirion Estate in Pretoria from 1994-1999 where he served both Mandela and Thabo Mbeki. It was a naive and star-struck 21-year-old Ladds who started working at the guesthouse in the months before the first democratic election. During this time he was always in the background when struggle stalwarts like Steve Tshwete, Joe Modise and Dullah Omar met Mandela to discuss the future of the country.
This heart-warming book tells of a young man’s coming of age at a turning point in our history. His stories about meeting kings and queens, presidents, rock stars and even the pope are laced with his unique, self-deprecating sense of humour. Of Queen Elizabeth he says it felt like speaking to his gran. “I asked myself, how does all that power fit into this lovely, caring lady?” Of Robert Mugabe: “He never moaned about a thing.”
Then there are the Russian diplomats and their drinking habits and the Saudi-Arabian sheik who had 8 television sets installed in his room and bought 20 blankets at R5000 each for his stay.
It’s a book to make you laugh and cry. And Madiba’s favourite champagne? Pêche Royale . . .
When the Cradock Four's Fort Calata was murdered by agents of the apartheid state in 1985, his son Lukhanyo was only three years old. Thirty-one years later Lukhanyo, now a journalist, becomes one of the SABC Eight when he defies Hlaudi Motsoeneng's reign of censorship at the public broadcaster by writing an open letter that declares: "my father didn't die for this".
Now, with his wife Abigail, Lukhanyo brings to life the father he never knew and investigates the mystery that surrounds his death despite two high-profile inquests.
Join them in a poignant and inspiring journey into the history of a remarkable family that traces the struggle against apartheid beginning with Fort's grandfather, Rivonia trialist and ANC Secretary-General Rev James Calata.
In Sorry, Not Sorry, Haji Mohamed Dawjee explores the often maddening experience of moving through postapartheid South Africa as a woman of colour.
In characteristically candid style, Dawjee pulls no punches when examining the social landscape: from arguing why she’d rather deal with an open racist than some liberal white people, to drawing on her own experience to convince readers that joining a cult is never a good idea. In the provocative voice that has made Dawjee one of our country’s most talked-about columnists, she offers observations laced throughout with an acerbic wit.
Sorry, Not Sorry will make readers laugh, wince, nod, introspect and argue.
Iman Rappetti is an award-winning journalist who has been involved in print, radio and television. She worked as a young journalist in South Africa and then abandoned it (along with all her worldly possessions) when she became Muslim. She lived in the Islamic Republic of Iran for two years, where she also worked on a current affairs TV show for the state broadcaster before returning to South Africa and resuming her life here.
She describes herself as `the youngest of five children. One Rasatafarian brother (passed away), one ex-con brother (who can dance the pants off any woman and has a wicked sense of humour), another brother who's a big shot in the marine engineering industry (he makes a mean curry), and a sister who has the thankless task of staying at home and raising the rugrats (she has a way with words, and also makes a kick-ass briyani)'.
In this moving and entertaining memoir, Iman shares stories and what she has learned from her colourful journey through life.
An inspiring story of one man’s rise from poverty and oppression to success and fame in the international world of opera...
It is a difficult undertaking for any human to escape the cycle of poverty, but to do so from one of the world’s most complex political systems, with a brutal history of segregation and deprivation, is nothing short of a miracle. Yet Musa Ngqungwana’s story doesn’t end there. Not only did he manage to extricate himself from his impoverished past, but he found his way to the great opera houses of the world, attaining immense success in an affluent art form that bears no resemblance to his upbringing or culture. Musa’s life and career are proof that any human can overcome the devastating effects of discrimination and poverty.
Odyssey Of An African Opera Singer chronicles Musa’s journey from the townships of South Africa to the world stage. It is a story of hope, showing how humans, no matter their situation, have the opportunity to claim their gifts, develop them and use them to help others in need. A captivating story that will inspire anyone who has ever had a dream...
The Love Diary of a Zulu Boy is a fable of lust, love, sex, obsession, loss, friendship, betrayal and fantasy. By turns erotic, romantic, tragic and comic, it is inspired by the real-life drama of a romantic relationship between a Zulu boy and an Englishwoman.
A series of diary entries takes us on a whirlwind tour of a relationship that has not only survived, but thrived for 17 years. As the author reflects on love across the colour line, it triggers memories of failed affairs and bizarre experiences: love spells, wet dreams, infidelity, sexually transmitted diseases, a phantom pregnancy, sexless relationships, threesomes and prostitution.
A unique book for the South African market, The Love Diary of a Zulu Boy is written with an honesty rarely encountered in autobiographical writing.
'I was made in Coffee Bay. Right there on the beach, in the sand.'
From the opening lines, we are drawn in and engrossed by this startling memoir of a singular childhood. Suzan is adopted as a newborn in the late 1960s into a seemingly loving and welcoming family living in Pietermaritzburg. But Suzan is set on a collision course with, most particularly, her adoptive mother, and society, from her very beginning. Suzan's relationship with her mother is fraught with drama, which veers over into a level of emotional abuse and needless cruelty that is shocking.
At the age of thirteen, Suzan is sent to a place of safety as a ward of the state, effectively 'orphaning' her. From there, she spirals out of control – fighting to survive in a world of other neglected, abandoned and abused children. She becomes a 'runner', escaping at every opportunity from her various places of confinement, grabbing her schooling in snatches, living on the edges of a drug and prostitution underworld, finding love wherever she can.
Suzan’s young life was the stuff of movies, but it is her writing, in a voice that is unforgettable and true, that transforms her memories into something magical rarely matched in South African literature. A new classic.
Chris Barnard needed the help of exceptional men and women to stay ahead of the fast-developing science of transplantation. One of these exceptional men were Winston Wicomb, the darker brother of the famous Randall.
He had to be hidden as a child to prevent the Apartheid inspectors from discovering his family’s racial identity. He had to endure the rampant racism that existed in South Africa at school and in the army… Winston, who had to fix cars in the backyard to make ends meet, had a curious encounter with Chris Barnard and got appointed in his research laboratory. Winston had to develop an apparatus with which hearts could be kept alive to enable transport.
This is the story of an unlikely hero; a man who changed transplantation forever, and a South African citizen who never got the recognition he deserved.
It’s a story of perseverance. And hope. Even... love.
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 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.
In this new biography of Chris Barnard we not only learn about the life of South Africa’s most famous surgeon, from his Beaufort West childhood through his studies locally and abroad to his prominent marriages – and divorces – but James Styan also examines the impact of the historic heart transplant on Barnard’s personal life and South African society at large, where apartheid legislation often made the difficulties of medicine even more convoluted.
The role of black medical staff like Hamilton Naki is explored, as is the intense rivalry that arose between other famous heart surgeons and Barnard. How did Barnard manage to beat them all in this race of life and death? How much did his famous charisma have to do with it all? And in the light of his later years, his subsequent successes and considerable failures, what is Barnard’s legacy today?
Styan covers it all in this fascinating new account of a real heartbreaker that coincides with the 50th anniversary of the first heart transplant.
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 her much anticipated memoir, Sisonke Msimang writes about her exile childhood in Zambia and Kenya, young adulthood and college years in North America, and returning to South Africa in the euphoric 1990s. She reflects candidly on her discontent and disappointment with present-day South Africa but also on her experiences of family, romance, and motherhood, with the novelist’s talent for character and pathos.
Militant young comrades dance off the pages of the 1970s Lusaka she invokes, and the heady and naive days of just-democratic South Africa in the 1990s are as vividly painted. Her memoir is at heart a chronicle of a coming-of-age, and while well-known South African political figures appear in these pages, it is an intimate story, a testament to family bonds and sisterhood.
Sisonke Msimang is one of the most assured and celebrated voices commenting on the South African present – often humorously; sometimes deeply movingly – and this book launches her to an even broader audience.
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.
Jonathan Kaplan, celebrated international rugby referee and former world record-holder for most Test caps, had his fair share of challenging moments on the field. He was known for his commitment to fair play, ability to defuse tense situations, and courage in making difficult, and sometimes controversial, decisions. All this would stand JK in good stead and come back into play when, at the age of 47, he made two life-changing decisions. The first was to blow his whistle for the last time and end his career as a professional rugby ref. The second was to become a parent – and a solo parent at that.
This is the story of JK’s decision to have a baby by surrogate, the two-year fertility process that followed, and the subsequent birth of his son Kaleb. Winging It draws on the insights of key role-players in JK’s journey, including the extraordinary experience of the surrogate mother herself.
Exchanging rucks for reflux, mauls for milk bottles, scrums for storks (and other stories about Kaleb’s conception), this account of how JK navigates the choppy waters of parenthood is disarmingly frank and scrupulously honest. At times poignant and tender, and at others downright funny, this is a thoroughly contemporary take on what constitutes a family and how we dare to build one.
Written like a thriller in the engaging style of his previous best sellers about the liberation struggle, this book takes up the tale in 2004 when Ronnie Kasrils became Minister of Intelligence, and continues to the present day.
Kasrils fought against the lies and abuses of state resources at the cost of his party popularity. His struggle for the truth, for that is what the book is about, covers the tumultuous years that saw Mbeki’s overthrow and replacement by Zuma at the ANC’s Polokwane Conference, the scandal around the Nkandla property, growing militarisation of the police resulting in the Marikana Massacre, the outrageous appointment of flunkies to high office, the present “state capture” report and the unseemly relationship with the Gupta group. The confusion engendered by Zuma has led Kasrils to explain theenigma and contradictions of the man giving rise to the book’s title. But uppermost in his mind is to explain that corruption and the abuse of power does not begin with Zuma. His thesis points to the compromises on the economy going back to Mandela and the negotiations of the 1990s which he refers to as a “Faustian Pact.” Political power but not control of the economy occurred.
The latter factor has given rise to the problems of inequality, unemployment, poverty, protest and frustration that besets the country. Kasrils argues that the scandalous corruption and crony capitalism under Zuma is symptomatic of underlying contradictions. Merely replacing Zuma without dealing with the economic factors will not solve the problem and time is running out. Kasrils suggests firm remedies to urgently turn around the situation in the interests of all.
A Simple Man: Kasrils And The Zuma Enigma is a gripping page-turner that courageously exposes the intrigues underway and threats to our young democracy. A stark warning rings out of what may face us all if urgent systemic remedies are not taken.
65 Years Of Friendship tells the heartrending story of a remarkable friendship between two remarkable men: world-renowned human-rights lawyer George Bizos, and Nelson Mandela.
George and Madiba met as students at the University of the Witwatersrand in 1948. They would later become legal colleagues, and Mandela would become George Bizos’ most famous client soon after, for it was Bizos who formed part of his legal defence during the famous Treason Trial, and again during the Rivonia Trial, when Mandela and others faced the death penalty for plotting to overthrow the state. After seeing his friend sentenced to life imprisonment instead, Bizos became Mandela’s lifeline, navigating the complicated network of the Struggle.
Working tirelessly, be it by secretly meeting Oliver Tambo in exile or arguing for the abolishment of the death penalty in the Constitutional Court years later, Bizos offered his unwavering support to Mandela on his long walk towards a democratic South Africa. In this touching homage to their friendship, George Bizos tells a fascinating tale of two men whose work affected the lives of all South Africans.
With tears in my eyes I took a last glimpse at No. 22 Cross Street as we turned into Stuckeris Street. ‘Sala kahle, District Six,’ I whispered.
Nomvuyo Ngcelwane grew up in the heart of District Six. In beautiful detail, she tells of life in a bustling community, of their interesting social lives and the vibrant atmosphere one has come to associate with District Six.
Twenty years since original publication, Ngcelwane’s story is still relevant today and paints a captivating history of black people living in District Six before forced removals took place. She writes with great honesty, warmth, humor and heart. More than fifty years since forced goodbyes, Ngcelwane’s memoir reiterates the need for social justice and casts a light on the memories forgotten by some.
“Sala Kahle, District Six is free of posturing. It has great documentary value. The fact that it is the memoir of a Black woman adds to its already considerable interest.” Vincent Kolbe
Well-known television anchor and media personality Ruda Landman talks to a wide variety of South Africans about their life choices and how change has affected them.
A colourful mosaic of diverse experiences emerges as people share life stories and lessons. The book includes insights by the likes of John Kani, Ferial Haffajee, Pieter-Dirk Uys, Katlego Maboe, Gugu Zulu, Zapiro, ProVerb, Arno Carstens, Mam' Khanyi (who takes in street children and orphans), Nick Binnedell and Marc Lottering.
Revealing, sad, funny and filled with hope as well-known and ordinary people equally show how each one of us always has options and can make a difference by how we respond to what we encounter.
Vir die vroue wat hy met sy rolprentsterglimlag betower het, was Chris Barnard ’n hartebreker. Vir sy pasiënte ’n harteheler.
Dié nuwe biografie oor Suid-Afrika se beroemdste hartsjirurg vertel nie net van Barnard se kinderjare in Beaufort-Wes, sy prominente huwelike (en egskeidings) en flambojante lewe nie. James Styan ondersoek ook die impak van die historiese eerste hartoorplanting op Barnard se persoonlik lewe en op die Suid-Afrikaanse gemeenskap in die algemeen, waar apartheidswetgewing dikwels die probleme van geneeskunde nog ingewikkelder gemaak het. Die rol van swart mediese personeel soos Hamilton Naki word bespreek, sowel as die intense wedywering wat tussen ander beroemde hartsjirurge en Barnard ontstaan het.
Hoe het Barnard dit reggekry om hulle almal in dié resies om lewe en dood te wen? Hoeveel het sy welbekende sjarme daarmee te doen gehad? En wat is Barnard se nalatenskap vandag, in die lig van sy latere suksesse en aansienlike mislukkings? Styan dek dit alles in dié fassinerende nuwe blik op Chris Barnard wat uitgegee is om saam te val met die 50ste herdenking van die eerste hartoorplanting.
Joey Evans has always loved bikes, from his first second-hand Raleigh Strika at the age of six to the powerful off-road machines that became his passion later on in his life. His dream was one day to ride the most gruelling off-road race in the world, the 9000km Dakar Rally. In 2007 his dream was shattered when he broke his back in a racing accident. His spinal cord was crushed, leaving him paralysed from just below his chest. Doctors gave him a 10 per cent chance of ever walking again. Many would have given up and become resigned to life in a wheelchair, but not Joey Evans.
Not only would he get back on his feet and walk, but he would also keep his Dakar dream alive. It was a long and painful road to recovery, involving years of intensive rehabilitation and training, but he had the love and support of both family and friends and an incredible amount of determination. Joey shares the many challenges he and his family faced, relating the setbacks, as well as successes, along the way to the Dakar start line. But the start line was only the first goal – his sights were set on reaching the finish line, which he did in 2017 – the only South African to do so.
From Para To Dakar is so much more than the story of one man reaching the Dakar finish line. It is a story of friendship and respect, compassion and kindness. It is about defying the odds to reach a dream, it is about grit, endurance and raw courage, and it is inspiring in its true heroism.
Die eiesoortige vriendskap tussen Winston Churchill en Jan Smuts is ’n studie in kontraste. In hul jeug het hulle uiteenlopende wêrelde bewoon: Churchill was die weerbarstige en energieke jong aristokraat; Smuts die asketiese, filosofiese Kaapse plaasseun, wat later aan Cambridge sou gaan studeer. Daar sou hy die eerste student word wat albei dele van die finale regskursus in dieselfde jaar neem en al twee met onderskeiding slaag.
Nadat hulle in die Anglo-Boereoorlog eers as vyande, en later in die Eerste Wêreldoorlog as bondgenote byeengebring is, het die mans ’n vriendskap gesmee wat oor die eerste helfte van die twintigste eeu gestrek het en tot Smuts se dood in 1950 voortgeduur het. Richard Steyn, die skrywer van Jan Smuts: Afrikaner sonder grense, bestudeer dié hegte vriendskap deur twee wêreldoorloë aan die hand van ’n magdom argiefstukke, briewe, telegramme en die omvangryke boeke wat oor albei mans geskryf is.
Dit is ’n fassinerende verhaal oor twee besonderse individue in oorlog en vrede – die een die leier van ’n groot ryk, die ander die leier van ’n klein, weerspannige lid van daardie ryk.
The Detainees’ Parents Support Committee (DPSC) was started in 1981 in Johannesburg, South Africa. It was set up by the parents, spouses and families of activists who were detained and had no recourse to legal intervention. Many in this movement had not been politically involved.
Members of the DPSC stood on street corners with placards calling for the release of their children. They organised food, clothing and legal representation for detainees across the country, and they supported the detainees’ families. DPSC activists marched, petitioned, argued, wrote and protested for the release of all detainees. They made public the brutal operations of the security establishment.
The DPSC helped to draw international attention to the atrocities being perpetuated against children – some as young as nine – by the apartheid state. And the evidence amassed by the DPSC helped to lay some of the groundwork for South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC).
The Knock On The Door tells the story of the DPSC and of how the anti-detention movement became part of the mass uprising that brought down apartheid. It is an inspiring account of ordinary people coming together to stand up against racism and the abuse of power.
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