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What is it like to be born dirt-poor in South Africa? Clinton Chauke knows, having been raised alongside his two sisters in a remote village bordering the Kruger National Park and a squatter camp outside Pretoria. Clinton is a young village boy when awareness dawns of how poor his family really is: there’s no theft in the village because there’s absolutely nothing to steal. But fire destroys the family hut, and they decide to move back to the city. There he is forced to confront the rough-and-tumble of urban life as a ‘bumpkin’.
He is Venda, whereas most of his classmates speak Zulu or Tswana and he has to face their ridicule while trying to pick up two or more languages as fast as possible. With great self-awareness, Clinton negotiates the pitfalls and lifelines of a young life: crime and drugs, football, religion, friendship, school, circumcision and, ultimately, becoming a man. Throughout it all, he displays determination as well as a self-deprecating humour that will keep you turning the pages till the end.
Clinton’s story is one that will give you hope that even in a sea of poverty there are those that refuse to give up and, ultimately, succeed.
Over the past few years, it has become clear that the path of transformation in schools since 1994 has not led South Africa’s education system to where we had hoped it could be. Through tweets, posts and recent protests in schools, it has become apparent that in former Model-C and private schools, children of colour and those who are ‘different’ don’t feel they belong.
Following the astonishing success of How To Fix South Africa’s Schools, the authors sat down with young people who attended former Model-C and private schools, as well as principals and teachers, to reflect on transformation and belonging in South African schools. These filmed reflections, included on DVD in this book, are honest and insightful.
Drawing on the authors’ experiences in supporting schools over the last twenty years, and the insight of those interviewed, A School Where I Belong outlines six areas where true transformation in South African classrooms and schools can begin.
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.
Do you call yourself a feminist? What does this mean in your daily life?
In this book, South African feminists explore their often vastly different experiences and perspectives in accessible and engaging voices. Feminism Is touches on issues as wide-ranging as motherhood, anger, sex, race, inclusions and exclusions, the noisy protest and the quiet struggle.
It will challenge your thinking and inspire you to action, reaffirming the urgent necessity of feminism in South Africa today.
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.
Can racism and intimacy co-exist? Can love and friendship form and flourish across South Africa’s imposed colour lines?
Who better to engage on the subject of hazardous liaisons than the students with whom Jonathan Jansen served over seven years as Vice Chancellor of the University of the Free State. The context is the University campus in Bloemfontein, the City of Roses, the Mississippi of South Africa. Rural, agricultural, insular, religious and conservative, this is not a place for breaking out. But over the years, Jansen observed shifts in campus life and noticed more and more openly interracial friendships and couples, and he began having conversations with these students with burning questions in mind.
Ten interracial couples tell their stories of love and friendship in their own words, with no social theories imposed on their meanings, but instead a focus on how these students experience the world of interracial relationships, and how flawed, outdated laws and customs set limits on human relationships, and the long shadow they cast on learning, living and loving on university campuses to this day.
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
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.
Steve Biko was not only considered a `brilliant political theorist', but is also considered `a formidable and articulate philosopher'. However, Biko is not simply and merely a philosopher in the manner in which Immanuel Kant was a philosopher, but a philosopher of a special kind, an important Africana existential philosopher. In Biko: Philosophy, Identity & Liberation the author adds another commonly ignored perspective on Biko, namely the philosophical dimensions of Biko's thought.
From Biko's writings, speeches and interviews it is easy to notice that in his view, philosophy is not a disembodied system of ideas nor is it a mechanical reflection about the world; rather, it is a way of existing and acting. To be a philosopher, especially an Africana existential philosopher, is not just to hold certain views, it is a way of perceiving and a way of being in the world, what Biko himself describes as `a way of life'.
This important perspective on Biko would be of value to many Africana philosophers of existence, African philosophers, political and social thinkers, social scientists, psychologists, cultural critics, political activists, students, critical race theorists and anyone interested in the ideas that Biko presents.
The issue of land rights is an ongoing and complex topic of debate for South Africans. Rights to Land comes at a time when land redistribution by government is underway. This book seeks to understand the issues around land rights and distribution of land in South Africa and proposes that new policies and processes should be developed and adopted. It further provides an analysis of what went so wrong, and warns that a new phase of restitution may ignite conflicting ethnic claims and facilitate elite capture of land and rural resources.
While there are no quick fixes, the first phase of restitution should be completed and the policy then curtailed. The book argues that land ownership and administration is important to rural democracy and that this should not be placed under the control of traditionalist intermediaries. Land restitution, initiated in 1994, was an important response to the injustices of the apartheid era. But it was intended as a limited and short-term process – initially to be completed in five years.
It may continue for decades, creating uncertainty and undermining investment into agriculture.
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.
Reflecting Rogue is the much anticipated and brilliant collection of experimental autobiographical essays on power, pleasure and South African culture by Professor Pumla Dineo Gqola, author of the bestelling Rape: A South African Nightmare.
In her most personal book to date, written from classic Gqola anti-racist, feminist perspectives, Reflecting Rogue delivers fourteen essays of deliciously incisive brain food, all extremely accessible to a general critical readership, without sacrificing intellectual rigour.
The re-emergence of debates on the decolonisation of knowledge has revived interest in the National Question, which began over a century ago and remains unresolved. Tensions that were suppressed and hidden in the past are now being openly debated. Despite this, the goal of one united nation living prosperously under a constitutional democracy remains elusive. This edited volume examines the way in which various strands of left thought have addressed the National Question, especially during the apartheid years, and goes on to discuss its relevance for South Africa today and in the future.
Instead of imposing a particular understanding of the National Question, the editors identified a number of political traditions and allowed contributors the freedom to define the question as they believed appropriate - in other words, to explain what they thought was the Unresolved National Question. This has resulted in a rich tapestry of interweaving perceptions.
The volume is structured in two parts. The first examines four foundational traditions - Marxism-Leninism (the Colonialism of a Special Type thesis); the Congress tradition; the Trotskyist tradition; and Africanism. The second part explores the various shifts in the debate from the 1960s onwards, and includes chapters on Afrikaner nationalism, ethnic issues, Black Consciousness, feminism, workerism and constitutionalism. The editors hope that by revisiting the debates not popularly known among the scholarly mainstream, this volume will become a catalyst for an enriched debate on our identity and our future.
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.
Upon encountering Historian, Laurel Thatcher Ulrich’s quote “Well behaved women seldom make history” – Malebo knew that she was tired of everyone else but herself having a say on who and what she should be. Appropriating this quote, Malebo boldly renounces societal expectations placed on her as a Black woman and shares her journey towards misbehaviour. According to Malebo, it is a norm for a Black woman to live through a society that will prescribe what it means to be a well behaved woman. Acting like this prescribed woman equals good behaviour. But what happens when a black woman decides to live her own life and becomes her own form of who she wants to be? She is often seen as misbehaving.
Miss Behave challenges society’s deep-seated beliefs about what it means to be a well behaved woman. In this book, Malebo tracks her journey on a path towards achieving total autonomy and self-determinism. Miss Behave will challenge, rattle and occasionally cause you to reflect on your own life – asking yourself the question – are you truly living life the way you want to?
"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.
A vivid story of the men and women who took a stand when sport mixed with politics.
In 1971, when the racially selected all-white Springbok rugby team toured Australia, it became a nation at war with itself. There was bloodshed as tens of thousands of anti-apartheid campaigners clashed with governments, police, and rugby fans - who were given free reign to assault protestors. Queensland premier Joh Bjelke-Petersen declared a state of emergency. Prime minister William McMahon called the Wallabies who refused to play 'national disgraces'. Barbed wire ringed the great rugby grounds to stop protestors invading the field.
Pitched Battle recreates what became of the most rancorous periods in modern Australian history - a time of courage, pain, faith, fanaticism, and political opportunism - which ultimately made heroes of the seven Wallabies who refused to play, played a key role in the later political careers of Peter Beattie, Meredith Burgmann, and Peter Hain, and ultimately led to the abandonment of apartheid.
America's foremost novelist reflects on the themes that preoccupy her work and increasingly dominate national and world politics: race, fear, borders, the mass movement of peoples, the desire for belonging. What is race and why does it matter? What motivates the human tendency to construct Others? Why does the presence of Others make us so afraid? Drawing on her Norton Lectures, Toni Morrison takes up these and other vital questions bearing on identity in The Origin Of Others.
In her search for answers, the novelist considers her own memories as well as history, politics, and especially literature. Harriet Beecher Stowe, Ernest Hemingway, William Faulkner, Flannery O'Connor, and Camara Laye are among the authors she examines. Readers of Morrison's fiction will welcome her discussions of some of her most celebrated books: Beloved, Paradise, and A Mercy. Morrison also writes about nineteenth-century literary efforts to romance slavery, contrasting them with the scientific racism of Samuel Cartwright and the banal diaries of the plantation overseer and slaveholder Thomas Thistlewood. She looks at configurations of blackness, notions of racial purity, and the ways in which literature employs skin colour to reveal character or drive narrative.
Expanding the scope of her concern, she also addresses globalization and the mass movement of peoples in this century. National Book Award winner Ta-Nehisi Coates provides a foreword to Morrison's most personal work of nonfiction to date.
A Darker Shade of Pale tells of Beryl Crosher-Segers' family and community life in apartheid-era South Africa. With a piercing narrative, she details the injustices, humiliation and challenges she faced under the brutal 1950s reign of the National Party.
Through her multi-racial heritage, Beryl was born into a life of inequality and hardship. This is the remarkable story of resilience and courage to power forward toward a better life, to love in the shadow of hate.
A Darker Shade of Pale is a story of hope in the face of despair and of courage when faced with insurmountable obstacles.
South African higher education students have for the years 2015 and 2016 stood up to demand not only a free education but a decolonised, African-focused education. The calls for decolonisation of knowledge are the ultimate call for freedom. Without the decolonisation of knowledge, Africans may feel their liberation is inchoate and their efforts to shed Western dominance all come to naught.
Over the years various African leaders including Steve Biko wrote about the need to decolonise knowledge. The call for decolonisation is largely being equated with the search for an African identity that looks critically at Western hegemony. Biko sought the black people to understand their origins; to understand black history and affirm black identity. These are all embedded in the struggle to decolonise and search for African values and identities.
The contributors in this book treat several but connected themes that define what Africa and the diaspora require for a society devoid of colonialism and ready for a renewed Africa. “The discussions we develop and the philosophies we adopt on Pan Africanism and decolonisation are due to a bigger vision and for many of us the destination is African renaissance”. Everyone has a role to play in realising African renaissance; government, churches, universities, schools, cultural organisations all have a role to play in this endeavour.
"Over the past two decades, Nene has gained a reputation both locally and internationally as a thought-leader in diversity and inclusion, values-driven leadership and transformation. She has authored numerous publications, including contributing to the book Leadership Perspectives from the Front Line. She is a member of the Diversity Collegium, a think tank of globally-recognised diversity experts. She is an associate lecturer at GIBS on Global Diversity and Unconscious Bias, as well as an associate lecturer on Transformation Strategy for the Stellenbosch Business School. She is a sought-after speaker for conferences around the world."
"The ideas and experiences shared by author Nene Molefi speak directly to the troubling prejudices and inequities that persist in our world. Diversity and inclusion are more pressing than ever. Injustices and deep social divisions persist, personally and systemically. Racism, sexism, homophobia, and other forms of fear and hatred are not isolated. They remain embedded and they demand courageous, deliberate work. In this book, Nene uses her own story to cast a bright light on the transformation journey. Nene’s book quite vulnerably takes the reader on Nene’s personal journey. In addition to the deeply personal content, each chapter ends with practical guidelines on how to lead inclusively. Nene’s book offers hope and substance in our vision of a diverse and inclusive and just society." —Justice Edwin Cameron
In 2002 Elke moved to South Africa to start a new phase of life. Having been a successful international business woman, she wanted to share her knowledge and resources. She knew little about the traumatic history of apartheid and the brutal impact of racism in the country. To serve to lead – supporting South African women to succeed was the motto of the social entrepreneurship organisation she created. The book is a powerful testimony of successful women entrepreneurs in spite of the huge challenges faced by them in a still deeply divided country.
Little did Elke know that soon she would face a deeply jarring crisis, profoundly challenging her white western identity and values which seemed ill gotten in the context of white society’s racism and the brutal exclusion and oppression of black South Africans. The book tells with shocking honesty how she reached a breaking point, realizing that once again she belonged to the culture of perpetrators. She struggles with white society’s denial, silence, blaming and selfish protection of false privilege; it felt so painfully similar to post Nazi Germany from where Elke fled as a young adult, feeling such shame and guilt about her parents participation and her struggle with ‘loving parents and their evil choices’.
The book describes a gripping journey towards the healing power of dialogue. She meets amazing black South Africans, generous, dignified and accomplished who offer her guidance and embrace her in friendship and love. In that process, Elke shifts from anger and resentment into taking responsibility beyond shame and guilt as a descendant of Nazi parents and today as an undeservedly benefitting white South African. Together with a deeply committed Jewish educator Elke starts inter-racial dialogue sessions with school groups, students, teachers and scholars at the Holocaust Centre in Cape Town. Elke’s narrative is an moving account of conversations between people of diverse backgrounds, sharing their deep seated pain and shame.
The remarkable story of how Anthony Ray Hinton spent 30 years on death row, for crimes he did not commit.
The Sun Does Shine is a powerful and compelling true story that brings to life deep, human questions about suffering and redemption.
Anthony Ray Hinton was poor and black when he was convicted of two murders he hadn't committed. For the next three decades he was trapped in solitary confinement in a tiny cell on death row, having to watch as - one by one - his fellow prisoners were taken past him to the execution room. Eventually his case was taken up by the award-winning lawyer, Bryan Stevenson, who managed to have him exonerated, though it took 15 years for this to happen.
How did Hinton cope with the mental and emotional torture of his situation? The Sun Does Shine throws light not only on his remarkable personality but also on social deprivation and miscarriages of justice.
Priscilla Jana is a legendary figure in South African revolutionary politics. As an Indian woman who had experienced racial oppression first-hand, she decided to use her degree in law to fight for the rights of her fellow people and do all she could to bring down the Apartheid state - who saw her as a very real threat. At one time she represented every single political prisoner on Robben Island, including both the late Nelson Mandela and his wife Winnie. Priscilla spent her days in court, fighting human rights case after human rights case, but it was at night when her real work was done. As part of an underground cell, she fought tirelessly to bring down the hated government. This activism, however, came at a price. One of South Africa's infamous 'banned persons', for five years Priscilla was unable to take part in any political activities, enter any place where a large number of people were gathered, and had her movements severely restricted. Worse, her own home was attacked with petrol bombs on multiple occasions. Undeterred, Priscilla Jana continued her work, even adopting the baby daughter of a client imprisoned on Robben Island, bringing here up, educating her, and providing a loving home. Finally, upon Mandela's release and the political revolution of her beloved country, Priscilla's work was rewarded, as she was elected as a member of South Africa's first democratic parliament. Later, she was to become an ambassador to both The Netherlands and Ireland. Now retired and living in Cape Town, Priscilla still works and waits for her most fervent desire: the true healing and unification of South Africa.
Colour Bar is the true story of a love which defied family, Apartheid, and empire - the inspiration for the major new feature film A United Kingdom, starring David Oyelowo and Rosamund Pike.
London, 1945: the heir apparent to the kingship of Bechuanaland (later Botswana) arrives in Britain to complete his legal studies. Seretse Khama, an urbane 24-year-old, educated like Mandela at Fort Hare, is welcomed into the elite world of the Inner Temple in London. But then, in 1947, he does something that will change the course of his life, and that of his country, forcing him into to six long years of exile: he falls in love with a white British woman, Ruth Williams.
Drawing on a mass of previously classified records, Susan Williams tells Seretse and Ruth's story – an astonishing account of how the British Government conspired with apartheid South Africa and Rhodesia to prevent the mixed-race royal couple returning home. This is a shocking account of a shameful period in British history: of overt racism on the streets of London and the corridors of Whitehall, and of appeasement to apartheid South Africa.
But it is also an inspiring, triumphant tale of hope, courage and true love, as with tenacity and great dignity Seretse and Ruth and the Bangwato people overcome prejudice in their fight for justice.
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