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Farah Ahamed and Sarah Waiswa joint winners of Gerald Kraak 2017 Award

Gerald Kraak

 

Sarah Waiswa and Farah Ahamed

 
The Other Foundation and the Jacana Literary Foundation recently hosted the presentation of the inaugural Gerald Kraak Prize and the launch of Pride and Prejudice: the Gerald Kraak Anthology of African Perspectives on Gender, Social Justice, and Sexuality, at Hyde Park’s Exclusive Books’ Social Kitchen and Bar.

The MC for the evening, Kojo Baffoe, proclaimed that “tonight is about celebrating Gerald Kraak’s legacy.”

Pride and Prejudice is a collection of the short-listed entries to the inaugural award, named after Gerald Kraak (1956–2014), who was a passionate champion of social justice and an anti-apartheid activist.

“This book is a shelter, a place where slums are not art, they are simply where we live. It’s a place where albinos are not unicorns, they are only beautiful and ordinary. And it’s a place where gays are pained and also completely conventional. In this book, strange choppers fly and Africa is a landscape not simply for the past but for projections of the future,” says Sisonke Msimang, Editor in Chief and Head Judge.

The Gerald Kraak Award is a joint initiative between The Other Foundation and the Jacana Literary Foundation.

A judging panel made up of distinguished gender activist Sisonke Msimang, prominent social and political analyst Eusebius McKaiser and leading African feminist Sylvia Tamale selected thirteen finalists.

“The stories in the anthology fight for what is just and right,” Baffoe asserted.

Research co-coordinator for The Other Foundation, Samuel Shapiro, announced that Pride and Prejudice is the first of five anthologies to come about celebrating the LGBTQI community in Africa.

After the attendees were treated to a performance by Danielle Bowler, Msimang delivered a televised message to all the entrants, lauding them for their creativity and “bad-ass” approach to discussing gender and sexuality in Africa.

Matele announced the joint winners for the anthology: Farah Ahamed (Fiction, Kenya) for her short story “Poached Eggs” and Sarah Waisman (Photography, Kenya) for her photo series “Stranger in a Familiar Land.”

“Poached Eggs” is described as a subtle, slow and careful rendering of the everyday rhythms of domestic terror that pays homage to the long history of women’s resistance; yet with wit and humour and grit, the story also sings of freedom, of resistance and the desire to be unbound.

“Stranger in a Familiar Land” showcases the best of African storytelling. The images take risks, and speak to danger and subversion. At the same time they are deeply rooted in places that are familiar to urban Africans. The woman in this collection is a stand-in for all of us.

All 13 entries which were shortlisted will be published in the anthology. The overall winner will receive a cash prize of R25 000.

Launch – Pride and Prejudice: African Perspectives on Gender, Social Justice and Sexuality

Pride and Prejudice: The Gerald Kraak Anthology African Perspectives on Gender, Social Justice and Sexuality

    The Other Foundation and the Jacana Literary Foundation invite you to be our guest at the presentation of the inaugural Gerald Kraak Prize and the launch of Pride and Prejudice, the inaugural edition of the Gerald Kraak Anthology of African Perspectives on Gender, Social Justice, and Sexuality. RSVP by Thursday, 25 May at 12PM.

    Pride and Prejudice is a collection of the short-listed entries to the inaugural award, named after Gerald Kraak (1956–2014), who was a passionate champion of social justice and an anti-apartheid activist.

    “This book is a shelter, a place where slums are not art, they are simply where we live. It’s a place where albinos are not unicorns, they are only beautiful and ordinary. And it’s a place where gays are pained and also completely conventional. In this book, strange choppers fly and Africa is a landscape not simply for the past but for projections of the future,” says Sisonke Msimang, Editor in Chief and Head Judge.

    The Gerald Kraak Award is a joint initiative between The Other Foundation and the Jacana Literary Foundation.

    A judging panel made up of distinguished gender activist Sisonke Msimang, prominent social and political analyst Eusebius McKaiser and leading African feminist Sylvia Tamale selected thirteen finalists.

    Event Details

Thabiso Mofokeng’s The Last Stop combines the gritty realism of the taxi industry with the magical

Set in the taxi industry, the story’s main characters are a poor taxi driver, a wealthy taxi owner and the taxi driver’s girlfriend.

Crime fiction featuring paranormal elements, The Last Stop combines gritty realism with the magical.

It shows what happens between people in times of taxi violence and deals with themes of lust, betrayal and revenge.

The Last Stop is an engaging, clever, interesting and darkly enjoyable read with an incredible plot twist at the end.

Thabiso Mofokeng was born in the Free State. He appears in various anthologies and journals in Sesotho and English. He completed his master’s in Creative Writing with distinctions at Rhodes University in 2015 and he has a PhD in English from the University of the Western Cape.

He has facilitated various workshops in poetry and prose, he is currently the chairperson of Metjodi Writers and he is the founder of Thabiso Mofokeng Writing Foundation. His magic realism novel is shortlisted for the Dinaane Debut Fiction Award 2016.

His poetry appeared in the Sol Plaatje European Union Poetry Award in 2013, 2015 and 2016. Some of his books are prescribed by the South African Department of Education for grade 8 and grade 10.

Book details

We Die Like Brothers highlights the story of the SANLC

The SS Mendi is a wreck site off the Isle of Wight under the protection of Historic England. Nearly 650 mean, mostly from the South African Native Labour Corps (SANLC), lost their lives in February 1917 following a collision in fog as they travelled to serve as labourers on the Western Front, in one of the largest single losses of life during the conflict.

The loss of the SS Mendi occupies a special place in South African military history. Prevented from being trained as fighting troops by their own government, the men of the SANLC hoped that their contribution to the war effort would lead to greater civil rights and economic opportunities in the new white-ruled nation of South Africa after the war.

These hopes proved unfounded, and the SS Mendi became a focus of black resistance before and during the apartheid era in South Africa.

One hundred years on, the wreck of the SS Mendi is a physical symbol of black South Africans’ long fight for social and political justice and equality and is one of a very select group of historic shipwrecks from which contemporary political and social meaning can be drawn, and whose loss has rippled forward in time to influence later events; a loss that is now an important part of the story of a ‘rainbow nation’.

The wreck of the SS Mendi is now recognised as one of England’s most important First World War heritage assets and the wreck site is listed under the Protection of Military Remains Act. New archaeological investigation has provided real and direct information about the wreck for the first time.

The loss of the Mendi is used to highlight the story of the SANLC and other labour corps as well as the wilder treatment of British imperial subjects in wartime.

John Gribble is an experienced diver who has explored the SS Mendi site and runs his own marine archaeology consultancy.

Graham Scott is an archaeologist for Wessex Archaeology.

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“The entire framework of prison existence is aimed at turning the prisoner into a passive object” – read an excerpt from Raymond Suttner’s Inside Apartheid’s Prison

First published by Oceanbooks, New York and Melbourne, and University of Natal Press, Pietermaritzburg in 2001, Raymond Suttner’s Inside Apartheid’s Prison was shortlisted for the Sunday Times Alan Paton award in 2002.

15 years later, Suttner’s account of his incarceration as political prisoner and anti-apartheid activist includes a new forward.

The following extract covers his first of two periods in prison:

Although this chapter of Inside Apartheid’s Prison covers more than seven years of my life, it is comparatively short. This is due, I think, to the sameness of prison life. All days in prison seem alike and it is difficult to accurately recall when things have happened. Outside, there are various rites of passage and landmarks that fix the phases of one’s life – the achievement of certain goals, changing relationships through marriage, parenthood, divorce and so on. This is not the case inside prison.

Even when one does have knowledge of a significant event – such as the birth of a child to a relative or close friend – it is impossible to relate to the event directly. The child, in the absence of a personal relationship and direct experience, remains just a name – like the name of a person in a novel or history book. While I was in jail, two of my brothers and one sister married and became parents. Over time, I received photographs of my new relatives, but it was impossible for me to relate to these changes as I would have done under normal circumstances.

The entire framework of prison existence is aimed at turning the prisoner into a passive object – an object whose every movement, whether inside or outside his or her cell, is either determined by others or severely limited. The prisoner’s number was said by officials to be the most important part of his or her identity and there was a pre-numbering period when prisoners were deemed to have no identity at all. To be allocated a prison number was to be saved from this nothingness.

The language of prisons expressed the view of prisoners being regarded as things – as objects whose management was in the hands of warders. Thus it was common to refer to prisoners in Afrikaans – the language of the prisons and police force – as eenhede, or units. You would often hear announcements directing a particular warder to come and collect his “units”. The words used for “collect” and “to bring” are afhaal and aflaai, and both are associated with the delivery or loading of things. Many of the ordinary criminal prisoners conformed to these expectations. They waited for their cells to be opened for exercise – and said nothing if this was later than regulations demanded. They waited to be asked before speaking, went back to their cells when told to do so, showered at the times allowed, accepted food when it was given and ate it hot or cold, all without complaint.

In “Maximum” [Maximum Security Prison where I was held immediately after conviction, and experienced further interrogation by security police, before joining the others], they returned to their cells at night, first putting their shoes and spoons outside the door, as was required for security reasons.

In February 1976, I was transferred from the Maximum Security section of Pretoria Central to Pretoria Local, where I joined a number of other political prisoners. Together, we challenged this dehumanised concept of prisoners and the prison world and generally prevented it from being applied to us.

For example, we did not hold out our numbered prison cards at “inspections.” In most prisons, a daily feature of life was to have the head of the prison inspect the prisoners. This was to see that everything was in order, that all the prisoners were present, that the prison had been cleaned and to hear complaints. Most prisoners stood to attention and held out their cards at these inspections, with their clothes neatly ironed and shoes shining. But the hearing of “complaints” or “requests” was generally a formality.

Denis Goldberg tells the story of how, when he was in Pretoria Central, he responded to a request for complaints. The officer was moving so quickly that he skidded some yards down the passage before he could come back to hear Denis.

As political prisoners, we were very conscious of our dignity and any attempt to undermine it. We expected, and demanded, respect. If they called us we would go, but we would not run or move with undue haste. It was common for warders to shout “Kom, kom, kom!” at prisoners; which in English literally means “Come, come, come!” But in Afrikaans it sounds much harsher and more degrading. If a warder shouted this at us – and new warders would sometimes try – we would normally object to being summoned as if we were dogs. The prison regulations made reference to treating prisoners in a civil manner – as we would never fail to remind officials who deviated from this rule.

Prisoners were expected to stand to attention when speaking to an officer. Our version of being at attention was by no means a military one. We would not fawn or beg, though we adopted various stratagems to win concessions that might improve our conditions.

Continue reading on the Daily Maverick’s website.

Book details

Cape Town launch: Son by Neil Sonnekus

Melinda Ferguson Books invites you to the launch of Son by Neil Sonnekus. Sonnekus will be in conversation with Jonathan Ancer, the best-selling author of Spy – Uncovering Craig Williamson.

Event Details

Book Details

In light of the death of Karabo Mokoena, read an excerpt from It’s Me, Marah in which Marah Louw writes about a similar experience

With the recent incident of Karabo Mokoena being killed and burnt by her boyfriend, Blackbird Books wanted to share the following excerpt from Marah Louw’s autobiography It’s Me, Marah, describing a similar incident of this horrific tragedy. Rest in peace, Karabo.

The beginning of May 1972 was the end of my family as we knew it. One morning around six, as I was getting ready to go to the technical college, there was a knock on the door. My father had already left for work but my mother was home. When we answered, David Mofokeng, my sister Mabasotho’s boyfriend staggered in. Both his arms were bandaged and he looked depressed and anxious. We had barely got over our shock when David started weeping and talking at the same time.

‘Dumelang mama.’

He continued to speak through his sobs, making it difficult for us to hear, let alone understand what he was saying. My mom pleaded with him to speak slowly and eventually, even though it was still hard to hear him, he said, ‘Re hlahetswe ke kotsi kwana ntlung Senaoane. Ho bile lekotsi ya setofo sa paraffin, Mabasotho o lemetse, le nna ke tjhele matsohong ke leka ho tima mollo.’

I looked him straight in the eye and asked him to repeat himself. My heart was beating fast and hard and I wanted to make sure that I had heard him right.

David and Mabasotho lived in an ordinary four-room house in Mapetla, a section of Soweto. Images of their house started flooding my head; I could not remember seeing a paraffin stove. They had electricity – all the houses in the township did – so where the hell did a paraffin stove come from? I had been to their house just two days earlier and remembered my sister cooking on the electric stove. Their house had two bedrooms, a dining room and a kitchen. The toilet was outside and there was no bathroom, just like the other houses in that township, and it was simply furnished.

I started shouting at David, demanding that he tell me where the paraffin stove came from. ‘Se tswa kae setofo sa paraffin maan?’

My rage would not let me wait for him to finish the story. I was already dressed for college, so I grabbed my bag and shot out of the door. All I could think of was that I had to get to Baragwanath Hospital.

Not much was happening in the streets besides a few people rushing to work. It was early in the morning and a bit misty; winter was coming. Instead of taking the train I was meant to catch to town, I sought a taxi that would get me to the hospital. Luckily, it was not a long wait. There are always taxis and buses passing below Mzimhlophe railway station, that part of Mzimhlophe called Ezi’Ndlovini. I flagged down one of the popular Chrysler Valiant taxis (the ordinary sedans). There was room for one more passenger. It was a bit squashed but I didn’t care; I needed to get to the hospital.

Baragwanath Hospital is the largest in the country. I arrived around 7am and since visitors are not normally allowed in at that time of day, I pretended to be a patient and security let me through.

I walked through the corridors, not sure where to go. At reception at the admissions ward, I spoke to one of the nurses, my heart racing. I told her my sister had been admitted that morning with burn wounds. I gave her my sister’s full name and surname. She told me to return during visiting hours but I insisted on seeing her. The nurse checked the registration book, found her name and directed me to the burns ward. It was a long walk, through other wards, and the smell was unpleasant. I didn’t really mind the smell though, because I needed to see my sister as soon as possible.

When I finally arrived at the burns ward a nurse pointed me to where my sister was, but I could not find her and started to panic, walking up and down, tears running down my face, talking to myself. I didn’t know what I was saying and struggled to even look at the many burn victims lying helpless on the beds. I returned to the nurse’s station, frustrated to the point of anger, and confronted one of them: ‘Nurse please ke kopa o mpontse hore Ausi wa ka o kae.’

She seemed a bit agitated with me and almost dismissive. I was tempted to shout at the nurses for traumatising me by watching me wander around the ward. Finally a nurse asked me to follow her. As we walked down the ward I started feeling weak at the knees, my feet tired, my shoes pinching my feet. I wanted to sit down and rest my legs but there was nowhere to sit.

I had little time to think about my sore feet, however, because she suddenly stopped and pointed at a person covered with bandages and lying elevated on the bed. My heart nearly stopped; I had walked past this person earlier.

I slowly approached this body of bandages, got as close to the ear as I could and whispered, ‘E be kewena Mabasotho Louw?’

With great difficulty, she managed to say yes. Her whole body, including her face, was covered with bandages. Only her mouth was exposed. Her lips were swollen. I wept as I spoke my name.

‘Ke nna Teboho.’

A nurse came up to me, pleading with me not to cry but to try to speak to my sister; she might respond to my questions.

I tearfully asked Trueblue, ‘Ho etsahetseng?’

She had difficulty breathing but murmured, ‘David.’

‘Abuti David? O entseng?’

It was a little while before she spoke again and said ‘Petrol.’

I was leaning so close to her that my face was almost touching her bandages. Her speech and breathing were laboured and I wanted to hear and understand her properly. Tears streaming down my face, I asked her once more, and then she says,‘O ntshisitseka Petrol,’ she said.

I felt numb as if my heart were about to stop beating. I was shaking, angry and in despair because I wanted to hug my sister but I was scared I might hurt her. I felt completely helpless. The nurse was still standing beside me and I asked her, ‘O lemetse hakakang?’

‘O na le,’ she said. ‘Third-degree burns.’

The emotions inside me intensified. My mind raced back to the time when my Trueblue was married to David Kunene and the physical abuse she endured. I was filled with anger and bitterness towards the men in her life, cursing everyone named David. I asked myself how I could have seen so much pain at a young age. I thought of my mother’s pain when, in a rage, Ntate had scarred her face with a broken mirror. It was too much to bear; I let out a loud cry, calling the nurses and asking them to call the police so they could take my sister’s statement. I begged God to spare her for me, weeping uncontrollably until the police arrived. I asked her to tell them what she had just told me.

A policeman asked Trueblue the same questions I had. She repeated her answers about David and the petrol. The policeman asked me if I knew the home address and I accompanied them in their van to the house.

Trueblue’s house was in Mapetla, Soweto. I didn’t have the keys, so we went around to the back of the house to try the back door. It was only partially closed. When I walked in I was hit by fumes and a strange smell I didn’t recognise.

‘Ke monkgo wa eng ona?’ I asked the police. They told me that ke monkgo wa ho tjha ha motho.

The curtains in the kitchen were burnt. There were pieces of what looked like flesh on the walls, even in the dining room. I told the police what David had told us – that a primus stove had burst and caused the fire. We could not find a primus stove. One of the policemen called us outside. He’d found a tin that smelt of petrol behind the outside toilet. I did not wait to see the rest; I told the police that David was at my home in Mzimhlophe, and we rushed there in the police van.

David was shocked to see the police. I wanted to hurt him so badly I ran out to the back of the house to fetch an axe. The police restrained me. A neighbour was already at the house and I told everyone what my sister had revealed at the hospital, and what we discovered at her house. David clearly hadn’t expected me to find my sister alive or in a condition to speak. The police arrested him immediately. There was so much sadness in the house.

I used a neighbour’s telephone to call my father at work. He came home and, together with my uncle the Reverend Mlibazisi Nkolongwane, they went to the hospital to visit my sister and see for themselves the condition she was in. They returned that afternoon with the news that she had died.

It was clear to me that God had kept her alive until someone in the family could hear the truth of what happened. I’m glad I got to the hospital in time to see and speak to her before she passed on, and for the police to hear the story for themselves so they could accompany me to the scene of the tragedy to gather evidence. We learnt the full truth of what happened that fateful night, however.

It was our family’s most traumatic week. Relatives arrived from Herschel and other parts of South Africa for the burial. Mabasotho Trueblue Louw’s funeral was something I will never forget. David came, escorted by the police. My family freaked out when they saw him and chased him away. We never attended the court case; my father refused, saying he couldn’t see the point because his daughter was gone. David was sentenced and spent a few years in jail. Many years later, I heard that he died there. Nobody from his family ever came to our house to pay their respects or show any sympathy.

Trueblue’s death left me with many unanswered questions.

It's Me, Marah

Book details

We have entered a digital, networked age. Future-proof your business with John Sanei’s What’s Your Moonshot?

We live in a disrupted world. A world on the brink of great transformation and exponential growth – in which:

- Wearable and embedded devices are no longer just fantasies in sci-fi movies; they have arrived;
- Drone delivery systems are not an April Fool’s joke;
- Off-grid electricity is becoming widely accessible;
- The “gig economy” is taking off;
- Hyper-convenient, hyper-personalised services are changing the way the world does business;
- Tech is disrupting every industry, be it travel, taxis, media, books… ;
- And this disruption is happening everywhere, be it in First World cities or among less affluent Third World markets. As examples of the first, think of Uber, Airbnb, Facebook and drone deliveries.

As of today, more than 3.5-billion people are connected to the internet; by 2023 that number will be around 7-billion.

The end of the monopoly of oil and coal power is nearing as renewable energy emerges.

Transport is being revolutionised with the arrival of driverless cars and autonomous drones.

Massive, transformative “moonshot” ideas are shaping our future.
 
 
People no longer want to pay for content, but they will pay to be emotionally invested in a product if it prioritises personalisation, convenience, trust and brand recognition – never before has it been as important to understand your customers’ needs. And now you must understand your employees’ needs, too.

People no longer want to commute to work, but they will work harder and smarter if you give them the right tools and opportunities.

In What’s Your Moonshot? trend and innovation strategist John Sanei invites you to prepare for this brave new world by understanding the digital, networked age we have entered and learning how to future-proof your business.

The first step is to get your internal strategy right: are you seeing yourself as a victim of the future, or an architect of it? The second step is to decipher which business strategies, trends and innovations are relevant to you as you create your moonshot ideas.

Strap in and get ready to become the new type of “billionaire”: one who possesses the courage to think bigger, aim higher and make a positive impact on billions of people.

John Sanei is a trend specialist, innovation strategist and public speaker, with a client list that includes De Beers, Microsoft, Dell and Standard Bank. He lives in Cape Town, but workcations regularly around the world – and puts his apartment on Airbnb when he does.

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The Wild Fluffalump: a bedtime story which delivers an important message about extinction

A muddy baby elephant goes to sleep under a tall Cottonseed tree, where the leopard’s child has been bouncing all night.

It wakes up as a giant white fluffy ball and doesn’t recognise itself.

The animals come one by one and pull and lick and tug, trying to figure out what it is.

The battle being fought by admirable souls to keep elephants from extinction is steady but slow. A change in mind set is perhaps needed in the formative years, when cuddly bears and koalas and penguins and seal-pups rate high on the Hug-o-meter.

Now what if children from Africa to China could learn to see rhinos and elephants as wonderful animals to cuddle and to feel protective towards for a lifetime …

Also available in Afrikaans, isiXhosa & isiZulu.

Bruce Hobson writes as Mwenye Hadithi (meaning ‘story teller’ in Swahili). Born in Nairobi, Bruce grew in a house with a wild garden, visited by gazelles and porcupines and warthogs. A crocodile once went to sleep by the ironing board, and a hippopotamus got stuck in the back gate. As a child he kept tarantula-like spiders as pets and at school they were often confronted by baboons on the hockey field. From there he went to Rugby School in England, and studied foreign literature at London University. This inspired him to write, stirred by those traditional oral stories from Africa where the foibles of village characters, thinly disguised as animals, would lead to a moral lesson.

However, publishers weren’t keen on stories where hyenas had their bottoms sewn up in order to eat a lot, so in the best tradition of storytellers the world over, he borrowed bits from the old stories and wove them in with fresh threads of humour and his own motifs, and the Hadithi series’ Greedy Zebra was published in 1984.

Adrienne Kennaway grew up all over the world, but spent most of her formative life in Kenya, where an interest in wildlife soon turned to art, especially painting animals. Ealing Tech in London and L’Academie Bella Arte in Rome honed her skill and she became notably successful with her vivid watercolour illustrations for Mwenye Hadithi’s African folktale series. She has illustrated over 30 children’s books and her illustrations for Hadithi’s Crafty Chameleon won the Kate Greenaway Prize. Adrienne now enjoys spending time in the Irish countryside, capturing the local wildlife on canvas.

Book details

Pride and Prejudice: an African anthology offering new perspectives on what it means to be marginalised, forgotten and stripped of one’s humanity

Pride and Prejudice is a collection of the short-listed entries to the inaugural award, named after Gerald Kraak (1956–2014), who was a passionate champion of social justice and an anti-apartheid activist.

“This book is a shelter, a place where slums are not art, they are simply where we live. It’s a place where albinos are not unicorns, they are only beautiful and ordinary. And it’s a place where gays are pained and also completely conventional. In this book, strange choppers fly and Africa is a landscape not simply for the past but for projections of the future,” says Sisonke Msimang, Editor in Chief and Head Judge.

The Gerald Kraak Award is a joint initiative between The Other Foundation and the Jacana Literary Foundation.

A judging panel made up of distinguished gender activist Sisonke Msimang, prominent social and political analyst Eusebius McKaiser and leading African feminist Sylvia Tamale selected thirteen finalists.

The winner will be announced on 25 May 2017 at the official launch of the anthology.
 
 

Book details

  • Pride and Prejudice: The Gerald Kraak Anthology African Perspectives on Gender, Social Justice and Sexuality compiled by Gerald Kraak Award
    EAN: 9781431425181
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