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POWA Launches 7th Breaking the Silence Anthology Sisterhood at Museum Africa

Sipho Mthathi

The launch of POWA‘s 7th Breaking the Silence anthology, Sisterhood, was arguably the best attended in the short history of the annual publication. This event has taken place at various venues over the years, including in Sophiatown and at Xarra Books in Newtown. This time around, Museum Africa’s auditorium was packed, with latecomers having to sit in the aisles.

Linda MashininiBreaking the Silence: SisterhoodThe theme of “Sisterhood” arose out of a personal essay “Am I My Sister’s Keeper?” by Joy Lange which was featured in last year’s anthology, Love and Revolution.

Alongside short fiction, poetry and personal reflections, Sisterhood includes artwork that is the result of collaboration between People Opposing Women Abuse and the Curriculum Development Project Trust, facilitated by the late Charlotte Schaer, former CDP director, to whom the anthology is dedicated.

Emcee Linda Mashinini kept the event flowing, following a welcome and overview from POWA’s Sakina Mohamed. The enthusiastic audience was treated to readings by contributors Nomalanga Nkosi, Fortunate Sethoga, Karen Denise Lanie, Dipuo Edna Molapisi, Mbali Langa and Jayne Bauling. These were alternated with thoughtful and thought-provoking items from guest speakers and members of POWA.

Guest speaker Sipho Mthathi of The Coalition of African Lesbians (CAL) began her address by calling for a short silence to honour those who died in the shooting at Marikana. She then dissected the meaning of ‘sisterhood’ and its related terms. POWA’s Liz Trew, chair of the anthology’s five-member judging panel, spoke about the background to the POWA Women’s Writing Project and Anthology.

Karen Denise LanieNomalanga NkosiDipuo Edna Molapisi

Highlights of the launch included a description of the careful selection process from Editorial Board member Sixolile Ngcobo of Oxfam GB, and the announcement of the theme for the 2012/2013 Breaking the Silence anthology by Sakina Mohamed. Submit your entries for next year’s anthology, Perfectly Imperfect, by 29 March 2013.

The audience were also treated to a monologue by Tapuwa and two songs from Ayanda, while an impromptu musical insert from Sixolile Ngcobo had most of the crowd on their feet.

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