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The daring author of A Man Who is Not a Man has challenged the conventional once again with his wonderfully original second novel, Here Me Alone. Sticking to his non conventional themes, in Hear Me Alone Mgqolozana offers a possible alternative to the story of the conception and the birth of Jesus as we know it in the synoptic texts. In the narrative Epher returns to Nazareth, where he meets his childhood sweetheart, Bellewa Miriam, who reveals she has been promised for marriage to the woodwork merchant, old man Joseph, and has been visited by an angel, who informed her that she would conceive on that night. Many years later, when the son of Bellewa Miriam had come and gone, Epher writes a letter to his patron and friend, Theophilus, telling him what happened on the night he met Bellewa Miriam, recounting the consequences suffered as a result of this meeting, which he hopes will be included in the bible.
“I think people who take the awarded status of importance with grace first have to accept that they are important. You have to be very conceited to think that of yourself. If I should accept that I am in some way important, I should also accept that there are others who aren’t. How do I live with myself with that sort of rubbish in my head? Do you know what I wish for? “What?” “To be good and unimportant.” There was silence. “So I have made my decision. I am going home. By the end of today I will be free and unimportant.” In 12 hours, your life could change forever, as Zizi discovers. On the night preceding his Student Representative Council presidential manifesto, and not for the first time, Zizi physically abuses his cheating girlfriend, Pamodi. But Pamodi flees. During a night that turns out to be the longest in Zizi’s memory, instead of writing the manifesto speech, the reader follows the anxiety-stricken politician in his race against time and cover of the night, as he searches the campus for his missing girlfriend. While Zizi is haunted by the fear that Pamodi might expose him for what he really is, forever damaging his pristine image as the favourite presidential candidate, Pamodi evades detection, and is nowhere to be found. In the morning, the speech he delivers is not anything anyone could have expected from an SRC star: it is a litany of confessions for his questionable integrity and violence. As Zizi’s words fade, and a sense of shock lingers in the air, he is faced with the reality of his actions; as they realise that they may vote a highly flawed man into office, how will these students vote? What will it mean, either way?
Nurses are often said to be the backbone of health services, but in South Africa their profession itself is in need of care. This monograph considers the profile, image and status of nursing today and the nature and role of nursing education. A major concern is that, although nursing still attracts many more students than there are places available, the gap between the large numbers who complete their training and the relatively small growth in the professional registers, indicates high attrition rates. The decline in the role of the public sector in the training of nurses is another worrying trend. Through interviews and focus groups, the study explores issues that are contributing to the state of the nursing profession and airs the concerns of nursing students, academics and qualified nurses who are leaders in the field. These are concerns which managers and policy-makers in the health sector must address if the nursing profession is to regain the respect it once enjoyed, and if South Africa's public health sector is to address the serious challenges it faces. This study forms part of a broader project on professions and professional education within the HSRC Research Programme on Education, Science and Skills Development (ESSD). The research focus of ESSD is wide, spanning three major social domains: the education system, the national system of innovation and the world of work. The programme is distinctive in that it is able to harness research work at the interface of these three key social domains, to produce comprehensive, integrated and holistic analyses of the pathways of learners through schooling, further and higher education into the labour market and the national system of innovation.
In South Africa, the controversial topic of botched traditional circumcisions has been very much in the news of late. A Man Who Is Not A Man recounts the personal trauma of a young Xhosa initiate after a rite-of-passage circumcision has gone wrong. With frankness and courage, author Thando Mgqolozana's powerful novel details the pain and lifelong shame that is experienced as a result of not just the physical trauma, but the social ostracism of being labeled 'a failed man.' He decodes the values and mysteries of this deep-seated cultural tradition and calls to account the elders for the disintegrating support systems that allow such tragic outcomes to happen. But it is also through this life-changing experience that his protagonist is forced to find his strength and humanity, and reassess what it really means to be a man.
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