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Archive for the ‘Misc’ Category

New: Thando Mgqolozana’s Third Novel Unimportance

UnimportanceJacana Media presents Unimportance, a new novel by Thando Mgqolozana:

One of the most original voices in literature today, Mgqolozana, author of A Man Who is Not a Man and Hear Me Alone, is releasing his third novel.

Unimportance is the gripping account of 12 anxiety-stricken hours in the life of Zizi, a university student and candidate in the upcoming SRC presidential election, and his struggle to balance his pristine public image with his darker private life.

On the morning of the presidential manifesto presentations Zizi delivers a speech no one could have expected and makes an extraordinary confession. As Zizi’s words fade, and a sense of shock lingers in the air, he is faced with the reality of his actions. As the students realise that they may vote a highly flawed man into office how will they respond? What will it mean, either way? In Unimportance, the university is successfully displayed as a microcosm of society as Mgqolozana yet again delivers to the reader a story written in his unconventional style.

“Thando Mgqolozana is perhaps South Africa’s most significant new writer from 2009.” – Percy Zvomuya, Mail & Guardian

“Surreal, challenging, cutting and funny.” – Rachel Zadok, author of Sister Sister (a Sunday Times Literary Award finalist)

“Beautifully complex and beautifully simple.” – Karen Jennings, author of Finding Soutbek (an Etisalat Prize for Literature contender)

About the author

Thando Mgqolozana is a Mandela Rhodes Scholar, a recipient of the Golden Key International Honour for Scholastic Achievement, and one of the Mail & Guardian’s Top 200 Young South Africans. He has previously worked as a researcher at the Human Sciences Research Council and is now based at the University of Cape Town. Thando is also the author of Hear Me Alone (2011) and A Man Who Is Not a Man (2009), a novel that enjoyed critical success and was long-listed for the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award.

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Mrs Ples to Mandela and Marikana Explored in South Africa: The Present as History

South Africa: The Present as HistoryNew from Jacana Media, South Africa: The Present as History, by John S Saul and Patrick Bond:

Saul and Bond trace South African history from early days through the long European conquest and into two decades of democracy. The current socio-economic paradox – one that finds inequality, unemployment and poverty worsening since 1994 – reflect Nelson Mandela’s early 1990s concessions, choices which reduced the pursuit of genuine socio-economic and political transformation to the mere realisation of what can best be termed ‘low-intensity democracy’. Analysing tensions exemplified by Marikana, the authors consider potential futures for an increasingly volatile society.

The world wanted South Africa’s true, liberated history – and the writing of it – to begin in 1994, but deep contradictions have quickly bubbled to the surface, revealing a society gripped in turmoil. The results of all this have been, of course, paradoxical: a series of elections since 1994 seemed to confirm the ANC’s hold, both popular and legitimate, on power. Yet, simultaneously, South Africa has found itself with one of the world’s highest rates of protest and dissent, expressed both in the work-place and on township streets, in universities and technikons (higher education institutions of technology), clinics and central city squares. 16 August 2014 saw the lives of nearly three dozen platinum mineworkers end prematurely and violently. The premeditated “Marikana Massacre” demonstrated to the world how little Mandela’s ANC had changed South Africa’s core power relations, notwithstanding the dramatic, heroic victory over racist rule in 1994.

About the Authors

John S Saul is professor emeritus of Social and Political Science and African Studies at York University in Toronto and Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, and also taught in Tanzania, Mozambique and South Africa. He formerly edited Southern African Report and has authored/edited 20 books.

Patrick Bond is a senior professor at the University of KwaZulu-Natal Centre for Civil Society in Durban. His books include Elite Transition; Cities of Gold, Townships of Coal, Unsustainable South Africa, Against Global Apartheid, Talk Left, Walk Right and Zuma’s Own Goal.

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Rajesh Sundaram Reveals the Story Behind the Launch of ANN7 in Indentured: Behind the Scenes at Gupta TV

IndenturedComing soon from Jacana Media, Indentured: Behind the scenes at Gupta TV, by Rajesh Sundaram

The scene: An Indian television journalist is drafted in to lead the setting up of a new 24/7 television news channel in South Africa. The goal: To create a world class news product. This is the story of the three months Sundaram, along with a small team of Indian television professionals, took to launch what was to be the biggest news channel in South Africa.

However, this launch was not without its wide range of challenges, catastrophes and social media entertainment. From capricious, micro-managing owners who had a political and commercial agenda to the shocking abuse of staff and violation of laws, finally resulting in a tempestuous and very public parting of ways, Indentured is the true story behind the launch of ANN7 – better known as Gupta TV. This is behind the scenes, disclosing a range of delicious stories about the Gupta brothers, and their relationship with Number 9. And yes; you’ll be told exactly why he is called Number 9.

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Ivor Blumenthal Exposes the Inner Workings of the Services SETA in 50 Shades of Greed

50 Shades of GreedForthcoming from Jacana Media, 50 Shades of Greed: The Services SETA, Warts and All by Ivor Blumenthal:

Who are the heroes and villains of the Skills Revolution? How have political parties and trade unions benefited from their association with the Services SETA? Is a democratic and peaceful transformation possible in the South African and African context?

50 Shades of Greed tells the story of Blumenthal’s experiences as the CEO of the Services SETA and seeks to provide the answers to these and other questions. Blumenthal presents a review of his time as the head of Services SETA and addresses the circumstances of his leaving, and the state of the Services SETA as he left it.

The former CEO of the Services SETA, who was forcefully removed from his position in the organisation, provides an untapped internal perspective of the Services SETA and the relationships between government, labour and business. Blumenthal discusses the support and hindrance available to the success of an organisation like Services SETA with the objective of sharing his internal perspective with the broader community.

50 Shades of Greed takes an in-depth look at the Services SETA and its successes, and the wide-scale redevelopment of the Skills Development Framework over the decade in which Blumenthal served as its CEO.

About the Author

Dr Ivor Blumenthal studied Law and Psychology at Wits, completing his Honours in Clinical and Counselling Psychology at RAU while clerking for a judge at the Supreme Court. Thereafter he completed a Postgraduate Diploma in Management at Wits Business School, working in HR in the banking and printing sectors. During that time he also served as a ward city councillor in Johannesburg. He went on to manage the Furniture Industry Training Board and thereafter the Services SETA, first as its chairperson and then, for 11 years thereafter, its CEO.

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Podcast: Michele Magwood and Christa Kuljian Discuss Sanctuary

SanctuaryChrista Kuljian joined Michele Magwood in studio to talk about her latest book, Sanctuary: How an Inner-city Church Spilled onto a Sidewalk.

Magwood’s TM LIVE Book Show streams online every Friday at 2 PM.

Sanctuary, Kuljian’s debut, chronicles how the Central Methodist Church in downtown Johannesburg, and its controversial Bishop Paul Verryn, came to offer refuge to thousands of people during the xenophobic violence of 2008. She says the book “is not an academic book; it’s trying to tell a story.”

Magwood calls Sanctuary “a landmark book in the history of the city”.

Listen to the podcast:

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View Photographs from Dear Edward, Paul Weinberg’s Exploration of His Family History

Dear EdwardIn Dear Edward: Family Footprints, photographer Paul Weinberg explores his family history by retracing their footsteps through South Africa.

Aerodrome has shared some of the pages from the book featuring photographs from some of the towns Weinberg visited along the way, including Kimberley and Kuruman in the Northern Cape:

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Images courtesy Aerodrome

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Hagen Engler Presents Marrying Black Girls for Guys Who Aren’t Black

Marrying Black Girls for Guys Who Aren't BlackWhite guy Hagen Engler had been married to his black wife for a couple of years before he realised he was still a racist! Marrying Black Girls for Guys Who Aren’t Black describes his journey from being the whitest person this side of a Smokie concert to being slightly blacker, if not visibly so.

Combining anecdotes, rhymes, essays and freestyle political discourse, the book charts a personal route to an integrated society in Unit 2, Sandown Court, Johannesburg. As the newly disenfranchised minority in his tongue, Hagen has gained a fresh insight into the struggles of the oppressed. Living with a gorgeous, militant black woman has helped this armchair liberal understand cultural and economic reality and also realise that while he can appreciate the kwaito-house works of Oskido and the later releases of Letta Mbuli, he will never enjoy Basketball Wives, Kenny Lattimore, or boiled tripe. The jury’s still out on umlequa too.

Once you make your peace with skin colour, does race even exist? Or is culture what distinguishes us? What happens when a surfer/bungee-jumper/rock ‘n roll goofball hooks up with a black-diamond struggle veteran and shoe fetishist? It’s hard to be a neoliberal hardliner when your partner’s real-life experiences undermines all your prejudices. It’s a cultural exchange over the TV remote, race relations in the contested space between the sink, the toaster and the microwave, as yet another mixed marriage cocks up the race debate.

Hagen Engler learns about himself and our emerging, common culture as much as his lovely black wife in Marrying Black Girls for Guys Who Aren’t Black. He has surfed Hawaii, run the Comrades, climbed Kilimanjaro, been sued by a clown and eaten a praying mantis. So a lot of the bucket-list boxes have been ticked.

About the author

Former editor of FHM magazine, Hagen Engler is a columnist, blogger, wordsmith and author from the mean streets of Sandton, South Africa. His skin might be white, but his soul is black. He types what he likes, braais hard and rolls deep on the interracial relationship scene. He is now out to boost his depleted feminist cred as househusband and nappie changer to the stars.

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Sarah Wild Named the Overall Winner of the Siemens Pan-African Profile Awards

Searching African SkiesSarah Wild, science editor at the Mail & Guardian and author of Searching African Skies: The Square Kilometre Array and South Africa’s quest to hear the songs of the stars, has been named the overall winner of the Siemens Pan-African Profile Awards. Wild also won the Sustainable Cities category for her article, “Technology Alone Cannot Solve Toilet Trouble”.

The awards ceremony was held on Wednesday last week at the Innovation Summit in Sandton. The Siemens Pan-African Profile Awards honours excellence in science journalism in Africa.

Mail & Guardian’s science editor Sarah Wild on Wednesday night walked away with the main prize in science journalism on the continent.

The Siemens pan-African Profile Awards, which honours excellence in science journalism in Africa, is held annually. “Since 2001, the pan-African Profile Awards competition has been recognising and rewarding journalistic excellence in the field of science and technology, with the aim of developing, nurturing and advancing journalism in this field,” it says on the website.

Book details

  • Searching African Skies: The Square Kilometre Array and South Africa’s quest to hear the songs of the stars by Sarah Wild
    EAN: 9781431404728
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Podcast: Liza Grobler Discusses the Response to Her Writing on Police Corruption

Crossing the LineLiza Grobler joined Jenny Crwys-Williams in studio at Talk Radio 702 to discuss her book, Crossing the Line: When cops become criminals.

The book started out as Grobler’s PhD thesis, which was awarded in 2006. She says that initially the police had reacted negatively when excerpts from her thesis were published in the newspapers in 2007 but that, since then, new police management in the Western Cape have come to understand and accept that they have a problem with corruption.

Grobler said that there are police stations in the Western Cape at which corruption is systemic, particularly in areas that have a high crime rate.

Listen to the podcast:

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Sarah Wild Discusses Zombie DNA and the Safety of Living in a City

Searching African SkiesSarah Wild, author of Searching African Skies and science editor at the Mail & Guardian, has written a Thought Leader column discussing two recent scientific studies – one that shows that unintentional injury death rates are 40% higher in rural areas than in cities and the other which describes the discovery of “zombie DNA” by researchers at Stanford University.

Whenever something goes wrong in my daily Johannesburg life, my mother — who I misguidedly call for words of comfort and solace — tells me that that’s what I get for “living in a place of wickedness”. (She harbours not-so-secret hopes of getting me to move to her bucolic paradise in deepest darkest Eastern Cape.)

However, I now have a trump card in my pocket: science, with a bit of hand-waving.

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