Your cart is empty
This extraordinary account of imprisonment shows with exacting clarity the awful injustices of the system. Sylvia Neame, activist against apartheid and racism and by profession a historian (see the three-volume, The Congress Movement, HSRC Press, 2015), has not written a classical historical memoir. Rather, this book is a highly personal account, written in an original style. At the same time, it casts a particularly sharp light on the unfolding of a policedominated apartheid system in the 1960s.
The author incorporates some of her experiences in prisons and police stations around the country, including the fabricated trial she faced while imprisoned in Port Elizabeth, one of the many such trials which took place in the Eastern Cape. But her focus is on Barberton Prison. Here she was imprisoned together with a small number of other white women political prisoners, most of whom had stood trial and been sentenced in Johannesburg in 1964–5 for membership to an illegal organisation, the Communist Party. It is a little known story. Not even the progressive party MP Helen Suzman found her way here.
Barberton Prison, a maximum security prison, part of a farm jail complex in the eastern part of what was then known as the Transvaal province, was far from any urban centre. The women were kept in a small space at one end of the prison in extreme isolation under a regime of what can only be called psychological warfare, carried out on the instructions of the ever more powerful (and corrupt) security apparatus. A key concern for the author was the mental and psychological symptoms which emerged in herself and her fellow prisoners and the steps they took to maintain their sanity. It is a narrative partly based on diary entries, written in a minute hand on tissue paper, which escaped the eye of the authorities. Moreover, following her release in April 1967 – she had been altogether incarcerated for some three years – she produced a full script in the space of two or three months. The result is immediacy, spontaneity, authenticity; a story full of searing detail. It is also full of a fighting spirit, pervaded by a sharp intellect, a capacity for fine observation and a sense of humour typical of the women political prisoners at Barberton.
A crucial theme in Sylvia Neame’s account is the question of whether something positive emerged out of her experience and, if so, what exactly it was.
Die motiewe agter gesinsmoorde is dikwels vreemder as fiksie. Tergende vrae kan deur psigiaters beantwoord word ... of dalk nie. Deur na verskeie gevalle van gesinsmoord te kyk gooi hierdie boek ’n bietjie lig in 'n baie donker plek. Met onder meer die stories van die Lotters wat gebreinspoel was tot moord op hul ouers en die Van Breda bylmoorde.
Successful businessman, Mkhuseli Khusta Jack, overcame incredible odds after being evicted from his farm home at the age of 6 with his 8 siblings. Desperate for schooling, he walked for kilometres, slept in outbuildings, begged for an education and eventually enrolled at the age of 10. But the political climate was volatile and he quickly became involved in politics.
As an activist, he was arrested on several occasions, most notably during the 1980 school boycotts. He helped establish the PE Youth Congress, one of the many organisations that joined the UDF. Jack was instrumental in organising the consumer boycott campaign (EC). He was arrested, jailed and tortured for his role in the movement. Before Mandela’s release, Jack was amongst the political consultants during the democratic negotiations but decided to finally finish his studies and chose education above politics.
A story of sheer determination and triumph with commendations by Thabo Mbeki, Dali Mpofu and Kgalema Motlanthe.
In April 1981, Landa Mabenge enters this world, trapped in a girl’s body. From an early age, Landa is aware that he does not relate to his female form, despite being socialised as a girl. In this groundbreaking and brutally honest memoir, Landa Mabenge establishes himself as a resounding and inspirational voice for anyone fighting to define themselves on their own terms. In mesmerising detail, Becoming Him lays bare Landa’s tortured world, growing up trapped in the wrong body, while unflinchingly tracing his transition from female to male.
His childhood in Umtata is brutally shattered, when at age 11 an angry woman and her zombie-like husband unexpectedly arrive to force him to accompany them to Port Elizabeth. Life in PE with ‘The Parents’ soon morphs into a Dickensian nightmare. Landa is subjected to horrific physical, emotional and psychological abuse as he descends into a world of isolation and shame. He recalls his prison of powerlessness: “I count the years I will have to remain a slave. There are seven before my redemption: 7 x 365 = 2555 days. Today is nearly at an end. By the end of tomorrow there will be 2554. By the end of the week, 2548. And so I will myself on. Eventually the day will come when I will be free.”
At 18 Landa is finally able to escape PE to study at UCT, where he tries to embrace life as a butch lesbian, but he remains tortured by his female body. After a close-to-death break down, Landa finally finds strength to embark on an arduous four-year-long journey to physically and legally become “him”, relentlessly researching what it will entail to embark on gender alignment. In 2014, Landa makes history by becoming the first known transgender man in South Africa to successfully motivate a medical aid to pay for his surgeries through the Groote Schuur Transgender Clinic.
Both heartbreaking and uplifting, Becoming Him is a unique story of torture and triumph, bravely opening the lid on cultural shame and abuse against those who choose a path less travelled.
In The Eight Zulu Kings, well-respected and widely published historian John Laband examines the reigns of the eight Zulu kings from 1816 to the present.
Starting with King Shaka, the renowned founder of the Zulu kingdom, he charts the lives of the kings Dingane, Mpande, Cetshwayo, Dinuzulu, Solomon and Cyprian, to today’s King Goodwill Zwelithini whose role is little more than ceremonial.
In the course of this investigation Laband places the Zulu monarchy in the context of African kingship and tracks and analyses the trajectory of the Zulu kings from independent and powerful pre-colonial African rulers to largely powerless traditionalist figures in post-apartheid South Africa.
Breaking a Rainbow, Building a Nation covers the university protests that took place in 2015–2016, better known as the #FeesMustFall protests. Rekgotsofetse (Kgotsi) gives us his first-hand account of what happened prior to the protests and what led to the events of October 2015 at the various university campuses and nationally.
This is a four-part retelling of what happened on the ground amongst the students, first at #RhodesMustFall, then moving to the university responses and management and what ultimately led to #FeesMustFall nationwide. Chikane then looks at student politics now and how they are different from 1976, specifically the fact that the protests were being led by so-called coconuts, who are part of the black elite.
The book poses the provocative question, can coconuts be trusted with the revolution?
Locked up for poaching abalone, Shuhood Abader began writing his life story. For over fifteen years, he had been a small cog in a criminal industry stretching from the Cape underworld to China’s luxury seafood market. As abalone – perlemoen, perly – vanishes from the South African coast, Shuhood’s first-person account takes us right into the heart of the crisis.
Kimon de Greef’s postgraduate research on poaching led him into journalism, and today he is the pre-eminent local expert on the illicit abalone trade. He contextualises Abader’s raw, immediate tale by showing how the system works: from desperate fishing communities via gang strongholds on the Cape Flats, tik, guns and police complicity to the harbours of Morocco and Hong Kong.
Journey with the authors through death-defying dives, blackmail, robbery, shark encounters, near-drownings, and chases by police and rivals.
Poacher tells the story of a deadly black market; but it is also the story of one man, deeply conflicted, committed to his faith and searching for a better way.
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 1980’s apartheid Cape Town, five-year-old Desiree-Anne is grappling with how she’s going to turn her tar baby doll’s skin into sweet, soft lily-white. What she has learnt is that Whites are better than "everyone else". She doesn’t know how to force her father to stop drinking or gambling or make her mother love her or get the boys and men to stop touching her in secret. She learns how to soothe the pain: through secret masturbation and lying.
As she grows up, she begins to understand the rules of living in her depressed family as well as in her fractured community.
In her teens, laden with the awkwardness of bushy, unruly hair, braces, and a body shorter and rounder than a Womble – and now firmly planted in a 'White School', Desiree-Anne is forced to confront her ‘Coloured identity crisis’. She turns to self-harm, disordered eating, the thrill of petty theft and escapism through books and acting. Although she wins a place to study drama at UCT, sensing her parents cannot afford the tuition, she opts to go to the UK where she gets lost in bars, clubs and pills. On her return to South Africa she embraces the “free love” Ecstasy trance club scene but when she meets Darren, a heroin addict, she turns to needles. Her search for love and acceptance descends into a self-destructive spiral as an intravenous smack addict.
This is a harrowing memoir on the darkness of addiction, but it is also a touching and sometimes humorous account of a little-girl-turned-woman’s deep need and reckless pursuit for love. When Desiree-Anne finally finds recovery years later, she uncovers her real voice to talk and write about things that were previously left unspoken.
Duduza. Bopha. Imbiza. Phapha. Asixoliseni. Amapopeye . . . What is the power of a single word?
Six days a week, advertising creative Melusi Tshabalala posts a Zulu word on his Everyday Zulu Facebook page and tells a story about it. His off-beat sense of humour, razor-sharp social observations and frank political commentary not only teaches his followers isiZulu but also offer insight into the world Melusi inhabits as a 21st century Zulu man.
Over the past few months he has built up a big and a loyal following that include radio host Jenny Crwys-Williams and Afrikaans author Marita van der Vyfer. He pokes fun at our differences and makes us laugh at ourselves and each other.
Melusi asks critical questions of everyone, from Aunty Helen, Dudu-Zille to Silili (Cyril Ramaphosa) and even Woolworths (why are their aircons always set on ‘jou moer’?). His fans love him for his honesty and commitment to pointing out subtle and overt forms of prejudice and racism.
Melusi’s Everyday Zulu holds up a mirror that shows South African society in all its flaws and its sheer humanity. Most importantly, he shows the power of words and that there’s umzulu in all of us!
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.
The healing power of life writing, one shared story at a time
This Is How It Is a “refreshing, poignant and wide-ranging” (Helen Moffett) collection of real life experiences: 52 stories, prose and poetry, that tell of a man who is anxious about an HIV test; a child with an alarming nose for gossip and a girl who is saved by the enemy in a war zone. Some of the writers are grieving the loss of a child or struggling with addiction, abuse, bullying or betrayal. Most of these writers have never been published before. They wrote these stories primarily to bear witness to their lives and the troubled times in which we live. Putting traumatic experiences down on paper can help people work through shame, guilt and fear, releasing them from the traps they lay. Writing is sometimes able to turn a painful incident into something more manageable, even beautiful.
Sharing stories can also heal both the writer and the reader. When we first meet a stranger, we make assumptions about them. When we hear of their life in their own words, we find that many of our negative assumptions are wrong. Often we discover that we are more alike than we are different. Our magnificent world is in trouble, much of it because we are not paying attention to what is right in front of us. When the facts don’t stir us to reconsider, story can. This anthology invites us to become curious and reflective rather than fearful and defensive. It encourages us to climb down from the ladder of hierarchy and competition and to join the circle of relationship and humanity by becoming vulnerable enough to share and listen to our own and each other’s half-hidden stories.
But equally importantly, Bongani Kona, 2016 Caine Prize finalist, reminds us: “We forget that the most daring thing we can do is to allow ourselves to be seen. To stand before the world and to say this is who I am. This is how it is.”
About THE LIFE RIGHTING COLLECTIVE: The Life Righting Collective (LRC) runs courses for anyone who wants to learn to write about their experiences. The approach promotes self-discovery, self-recovery and more effective communication. It raises funds to make courses available to those in need of sponsorship and to provide platforms for these life stories to be published. Sharing experiences with a wide readership can help reduce discrimination and promote mutual understanding. Visit the website: www.liferighting.com
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.
Most of the time, the road to riches is a closely guarded secret, until now. Jacana Media presents Mpho Dagada, one such young, self-made millionaire who in his memoir, Mr Bitcoin, shares his story of triumph and failure. He tells his story from the beginning: being brought up by business-minded and accomplished grandparents who planted in him the seeds of what it means to be successful in business.
Mpho Dagada’s interest in Bitcoin was ignited when he was in his first year at the University of Johannesburg in 2013 after opening his own laundry and cleaning service company. He invested his profits from this company in Bitcoin. He currently owns a logistics company, a chain of fast food restaurants and is in the process of developing the first black-owned cryptocurrency exchange platform.
This book is both motivational and practical, examining the errors and pitfalls that Dagada had to go through in his business pursuits. These included falling for Ponzi schemes like Kipi and losing his money on more than one occasion. Through these many lows were lessons of great value which ultimately led to the endless possibilities that Bitcoin presents for those interested in creating wealth through trading cryptocurrencies and running a successful business.
Dagada is confident in the viability of Bitcoin and ascertains that "we will never understand the money of the future without learning how money came about in the first place. Blockchain and Bitcoin are now pioneering a new online financial world. Cryptocurrencies will replace fiat money in the end, as they are faster, better and more convenient than all the earlier forms of currency."
Kan dwelms, jaloesie en geld ’n normale 20-jarige daartoe dryf om byna sy hele gesin met ’n byl uit te wis?
Die Van Breda’s van Stellenbosch was skynbaar die perfekte gesin. Skatryk, suksesvol en gewild. In die luukse De Zalze-landgoed het hulle ’n droomlewe gelei.
En toe verander alles in ’n oogwink. Die land is tot stilstand geruk deur die nuus van Martin en sy vrou, Teresa, en hul 22-jarige seun Rudi se grumoorde. Die blondekop tiener, Marli, het net-net oorleef, maar kan weens ’n breinbesering niks van dié noodlottige nag onthou nie.
Mettertyd word die ander seun, Henri, wat ongeskonde is en weet wat werklik gebeur het, aangekla van die driedubbele moord.
Dan begin familie en vriende een-vir-een praat. Hulle skets ’n prentjie van ouers wat raadop was met hul moeilike “eenkantkind”. Henri se dwelmverslawing het blykbaar tot “groot onmin” in die huis gelei en hy was glo “die moer in” vir sy ouers omdat sy broer, Rudi, voorgetrek is.
Kan dit wees dat die Van Breda’s se eie kind die byl gelig het?
200 women from a variety of backgrounds are asked the same five questions. Their answers are inspiring human stories of success and courage, love and pain, redemption and generosity. From well-known activists, artists, and innovators to everyday women whose lives are no less exceptional for that, each woman shares her unique replies to questions like “What really matters to you?” and “What would you change in the world if you could?” Interviewees include US Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, actor and human rights activist Alfre Woodard, and Nobel laureate Jodi Williams, along with those who are making a difference behind the scenes around the world, such as Marion Wright Edelman, head of the Children’s Defense Fund.
Each interview is accompanied by a photographic portrait, resulting in a volume that is compelling in word and image — and global in its scope and resonance. This landmark book is published to coincide with an immersive travelling exhibition and an interactive website, building on this remarkable, ever-evolving project. With responses ranging from uplifting to heartbreaking, these women offer gifts of empowerment and strength inviting us to bring positive change at a time when so many are fighting for basic freedom and equality.
Local interviewees include Graça Machel, Caster Semenya, Zelda la Grange, Mpho Tutu van Furth, Hlubi Mboya, Sahm Venter, Joanne Fedler, Ingrid le Roux, Gillian Slovo and Zoleka Mandela, among others.
A minimum of 10% of the project’s revenue will be distributed to organisations devoted to protecting and advancing the rights of women. Each interviewee can nominate an organisation (or themselves if they are in financial need) to receive their portion of the charitable pool or they can select the principal charitable partner, the Graça Machel Trust.
At the height of her journalism career, more than one million households across the country knew her name and her face. Her reportage on human suffering and triumph captivated viewers, and with it Vanessa Govender shot to fame as one of the first female Indian television news reporters in South Africa. Always chasing the human angle of any news story, Govender made a name for herself by highlighting stories that included the grief of a mother clutching a packet filled with the fragments of the broken bones of her children after they’d been hacked to death by their own father, and another story where she celebrated the feisty spirit of a little girl who was dying of old age, while holding onto dreams that would never be realised. Yet Govender, a champion for society’s downtrodden, was hiding a shocking story of her own. In Beaten But Not Broken, she finally opens up about her deepest secret – one that so nearly ended her career in broadcast journalism before it had barely kicked off.
She was a rookie reporter at the SABC in 1999. He was a popular radio disc jockey, the darling of the SABC’s Lotus FM, a radio station catering to nearly half a million Indian people across South Africa. They were the perfect pair, or so it seemed. And if anyone suspected the nature of the abusive relationship, Govender says, she doesn’t believe they knew the full extent of the horror that the popular DJ was inflicting on this intrepid journalist. The bruising punches, the cracking slaps, and the relentless episodes filled with beatings, kicking and strangling were as ferocious as the emotional and verbal abuse he hurled at her. No one would know the brutal and graphic details of Govender’s story … until now.
In Beaten But Not Broken, this Indian woman does the unthinkable, maybe even the unforgiveable, in breaking the ranks of a close-knit conservative community to speak out about her five-year-long hell in this abusive relationship. Her story also lays bare her heart-breaking experiences as a victim of childhood bullying and being ostracised by some in her community for being a dark-skinned Indian girl. Govender tells a graphic story of extreme abuse, living with the pain, and ultimately of how she was saved by her own relentless fighting spirit to find purpose and love. This is a story of possibilities and hope; it is a story of a true survivor.
When the Soweto uprisings of June 1976 took place, Sifiso Mxolisi Ndlovu, the author of this book, was a 14-year-old pupil at Phefeni Junior Secondary School. With his classmates, he was among the active participants in the protest action against the use of Afrikaans as a medium of instruction.
Contrary to the generally accepted views, both that the uprisings were ‘spontaneous’ and that there were bigger political players and student organisations behind the uprisings, Sifiso’s book shows that this was not the case. Using newspaper articles, interviews with former fellow pupils and through his own personal account, Sifiso provides us with a ‘counter-memory’ of the momentous events of that time.
This is an updated version of the book first published by Ravan Press in 1998. New material has been added, including an introduction to the new edition, as well as two new chapters analysing the historiography of the uprisings as well as reflecting on memory and commemoration as social, cultural and historical projects.
Everywhere she looked, the world was in poor shape. And because she’d quit drinking, she no longer had the comfort blanket of alcohol to tamp down her anxiety. How did sober people stay sane?
In recent times, the self-help industry has exploded into a multi- billion dollar global industry – and along with it has come every imaginable type of therapy, healing or general woo-woo. In the past, Rebecca scoffed at this industry, mocking its reliance on half-baked science and the way it appears to prey on the mentally fragile.
But as she searched for a meaning of life that did not involve booze, she found it increasingly hard to rationalize her default scepticism. This shit really seems to work for some people, she reasoned. And it’s not like I have any particularly solid alternatives.
Rebecca lives in Cape Town, the undisputed epicentre of ‘alternative’ paths to peace and enlightenment in South Africa. She decided that over the course of a year, she would embark on a quest for personal wellness, spiritual enlightenment and good old-fashioned happiness. She was willing, within reason, to try anything. She would open herself to even the most outlandish contemporary fads in self- improvement.
What followed was a twelve-month immersion in the world of auras, chakras, hallucinogenic drugs, sweat lodges, sangomas, past lives and more.
And by the end of it? Maybe she would find some new ways of thinking and living. Or maybe she would emerge with her prejudices untouched.
Either way, it would be a good story.
Like many other African countries, South Africa has performed well in women’s representation in parliament and government, but this has not necessarily translated to other sectors. What are the obstacles to women’s advancement, and what needs to be done about it?
Equal But Different is based on life story interviews from fourteen women from diverse backgrounds, all of whom have risen to top leadership positions. These include Phuti Mahanyele (exec chairman Sigma Capital), Coco Cachalia (CEO Grounded Media), Cora Fernandez (Head of Sanlam Investment Management), and Siza Mzimela (first black woman to lead a commercial airline company). It does an excellent job of illuminating the similarities as well as the differences in the women’s experiences in their struggle to the top.
While this book is mainly aimed at women, it also calls upon men to play an active role in encouraging aspiring female leaders.
“It is my strong belief that people are born equal but different. It is a belief that equity across gender, race, social class and sexual orientation will be attained in my lifetime.” - Dr. Judy Dlamini
Maverick. Leadership genius. Self-made millionaire. Dragon. The rock star of public speaking. Vusi Thembekwayo has been called many things.
Join him in his inspiring journey from the township to the top echelons of South African business, to becoming one of the youngest directors of a listed company and CEO of a boutique investment firm. As a Dragons' Den judge and a sought- after public speaker across the globe, Vusi doesn't just talk business – he lives it.
Now you can learn the secret of his success and how to shape your own destiny.
“Dad thinks lots of things are right-wing. He even thinks He-Man is right-wing. I ask Dad who we are and he says left-wing. Left is opposite to right. If right is bad, then we’re the opposite of that, which means we’re good.”
It’s post-independence Zimbabwe and an atmosphere of nostalgia hangs over much of Harare’s remaining white community. Hayden Eastwood grows up in a family that sets itself apart, distinguishing themselves from Rhodie-Rhodies through their politics: left is good; right is bad.
Within the family’s free and easy approach to life, Hayden and his younger brother, Dan, make a pact to never grow up, to play hide and seek and build forts forever, and to never, ever be interested in girls. But as Hayden and Dan develop as teenagers, and the chemicals of adolescence begin to stir, their childhood pact starts to unravel. And with the arrival of Sarah into their lives, the two brothers find themselves embroiled in an unspoken love triangle. While Sarah and Hayden spend increasing amounts of time together, Dan is left to deal with feelings of rejection and the burden of hidden passion alone, and the demise of a silly promise brings with it a wave of destruction.
Laced with humour, anger and sadness, Like Sodium in Water is an account of a family in crisis and an exploration of how we only abandon the lies we tell ourselves when we have no other option.
"My struggles with mental illness were in some ways like a child crying out for attention; more than that they were a cry for help from the mind I felt trapped in. There was a darkness in me that many times swallowed me whole."
This is how Keamogetswe Bopalamo introduces her account of her troubled early life. It is an intensely personal account, and yet it speaks to a reality much broader than itself. In the exciting whirl of South Africa’s post-apartheid society, there is this darker side: the confusions, the fears, the rebellions, the degradations and emotional pain.
How does a young black girl cope when her parents are taken away as political detainees, or when she is repeatedly expelled from schools and hostels, or when she ends up in a mental institution after trying once again to end her own life? What I Wore offers startling answers.
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.
You may like...
The People's War - Reflections Of An ANC…
Charles Nqakula Paperback
Tell Me Your Story - South Africans…
Ruda Landman Paperback (2)
The Chapter We Wrote - The City Press…
Len Kalane Paperback
Across Boundaries - A Life In The Media…
Ton Vosloo Paperback
Shéri: Just the way I am
Sheri Brynard, Colleen Naude Paperback
An Elephant in My Kitchen - What the…
Francoise Malby-Anthony, Katja Willemsen Paperback (1)
These Things Really Do Happen To Me
Khaya Dlanga Paperback
Reflecting Rogue - Inside The Mind Of A…
Pumla Dineo Gqola Paperback (3)
Not That Bad - Dispatches From Rape…
Roxane Gay Paperback (1)
This Is Me - Loving The Person You Are…
Chrissy Metz Hardcover