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Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Watch Malebo Sephodi’s TED Talk on the importance of self-care as tool of liberation

Upon encountering historian Laurel Thatcher Ulrich’s quote, ‘well-behaved women seldom make history’, Malebo Sephodi knew that she was tired of everyone else having a say on who and what she should be.

Appropriating this quote, Malebo boldly renounces societal expectations placed on her as a black woman and shares her journey towards misbehaviour.

According to Malebo, it is the norm for a black woman to live in a society that prescribes what it means to be a well-behaved woman. Acting like this prescribed woman equals good behaviour. But what happens when a black woman decides to live her own life and becomes her own form of who she wants to be? She is often seen as misbehaving.

Miss-Behave challenges society’s deep-seated beliefs about what it means to be an obedient woman. In this book, Malebo tracks her journey on a path towards achieving total autonomy and self-determinism.

Miss-Behave will challenge, rattle and occasionally cause you to scream ‘yassss, yassss, yassss’ at various intervals.

Here, Malebo discusses the complex relationship women have with themselves, societal pressure, the marginilisation of women’s bodies, balancing your domestic life with your professional life, and the importance of self-care as tool of liberation:

Miss Behave

Book details


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Watch: late SA jazz legend Ray Phiri discusses the iconic Bassline

Last Night at the Bassline

Legendary South African jazz musician Ray Phiri recently passed away from lung cancer. Phiri was a regular performer at the iconic live-music venue, Bassline, opened in 1994 by Brad and Paige Holmes. Bassline, situated in the bohemian suburb of Melville in Johannesburg, soon became synonymous with cigarette smoke, great jazz and nights you wished would never end.

They later moved the club to Newtown where it grew in prominence as the ultimate venue for live music, hosting amazing artists like Thandiswa Mazwai, Jimmy Dludlu, Lera, The Soil and Grammy
Award-winning group Ladysmith Black Mambazo.

In 2016 word spread like wildfire that everyone’s favourite club was closing its doors forever; this place that held all the promises of a new South Africa, a place where people of all races could come together, share a drink, dance and fall in love was to be no more.

But as Bassline starts its new journey with Live @ the Bassline, yet another great story begins with Last Night at the Bassline, in which Phiri features prominently.

In this book, esteemed music historian Professor David Coplan tells the story of Bassline and the Holmes’s journey in it, thus giving musicians and jazz fans something to hold on to even after its closure. This book is a tangible piece of the magic to take home and savour. And those who were never there will be given a chance to experience this dream.

With more than fifty iconic photographs from Oscar Gutierrez and other great photographers. The book is more than just a memoir. It is a gritty, smoky, passionate slice of time. Bassline will always be a reminder of what it feels like to live the impossible.

Here, Phiri discusses this iconic night club:

Book details


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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.


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“I wanted to understand my being a black person from a positive point of view” – Mongane Wally Serote on why he writes

Acclaimed South African author Mongane Wally Serote was recently awarded an honorary doctorate degree from the University of Johannesburg in recognition of his contributions to poetry, literature and philosophy in South Africa.

The following extract on Serote’s reasons for writing was published by Michelle Bao for City Press.

As a young boy, Mongane Wally Serote read a lot.

From novels to newspapers, he read everything he could get hold of while attending school in Alexandra in the 1950s.

But his favourite was always poetry. Reading the likes of William Wordsworth, DH Lawrence and John Keats, Serote was inspired.

“There was something about the manner in which they wrote and the content about which they wrote that inspired me to write,” Serote said.

“It made me want to write poetry for me.”

And so, at the age of 14, Serote started to write his own poetry.

Little did he know it would mark the start of a long and celebrated career as a poet, a writer and an activist both in the Black Consciousness Movement and in the South African struggle for liberation.

“I was inspired by English poetry, but then I discovered that I could write about our own situation and that’s what I set out to do: to write about South Africa and to write about the life that we live,” Serote said.

His critically acclaimed novel To Every Birth Its Blood (1981) deals with the 1976 Soweto uprising and its aftermath, and his celebrated poems, including City Johannesburg and Alexandra, explore the nuances of life under apartheid.

Serote’s vast body of work is often credited with introducing the voice of Black Consciousness to South African literature and advancing principles of social activism and resistance.

Serote was awarded The Order of Ikhamanga in Silver in 2007 for his “excellent contribution to literature, with emphasis on poetry, and for putting his artistic talents at the service of democracy in South Africa”.

And on Monday Serote received an honorary doctorate degree from the University of Johannesburg in recognition of his contributions to poetry, literature and philosophy in South Africa.

“Mongane Serote is a true African intellectual in the tradition of the African philosophic sage: a profoundly wise person.

“He is the embodiment of philosophy as the love of wisdom, in the context of both traditional and modern Africa,” said Alex Broadbent, a professor of philosophy and the executive dean of the faculty of humanities at the University of Johannesburg.

“Serote’s commitment to ‘intervene and disrupt racism in all fields of human agency’ is evident in his widely-celebrated contribution to the literature and poetry of black identity and resistance.”

But according to Serote, the purpose behind his prose is much more personal.

Continue reading here.
 

To Every Birth Its Blood

Book details


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Pitch your book to Jacana publishers!


 

From Pitch to Publication
Like many publishers who accept unsolicited manuscripts, we receive a large number of submissions every week. This means hours spent wading through many emails as we try to give every author feedback on their work. Writers often try to arrange meetings with publishers, convinced that meeting the publisher in person will persuade them to publish the book, but with only so many hours in a day this isn’t always feasible.

The Pitching Session
We are offering you the chance to participate in a twenty-minute session where you’ll be able to pitch your book to a panel comprising a media representative, three publishers and a high-powered bookseller. This is your chance to impress and persuade us in person to consider your work for publication. We realise this isn’t an approach that will work for all authors, but if you would like to be one of the twenty candidates who will present at the Live Pitching Session on 4 August 2017, we encourage you to submit an entry on our website.

You will need to tell us why we would be interested in hearing your pitch. Take a look at the following websites for some ideas:

http://sydfield.com/articles/the-art-of-pitching/
https://sites.google.com/site/darklitfestofdurham/darklit-fest-schedule/what-is-a-pitch-session

Accompanying your manuscript should be one page outlining:
• How you are going to help us sell your book?
• What target market can you reach with your book?
• How does your book fit into the Jacana brand?

We will consider pitches in the following genres:
• Lifestyle
• Children’s
• Fiction
• Politics/Current Affairs/History
• Memoir/Biography/Auto-Biography
• Natural History/Travel
• Cookery/Baking
• Business
• Self-help

Click here to submit your entry and for further information.

Queries can be emailed to: submissions@jacana.co.za

Please note that we will only be giving feedback on submissions that interest us after the pitching session has taken place. If you have not heard from us by the end of August 2017, please consider your submission unsuccessful.


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Hazel Crampton’s Dagga: A Short History cited in recent judgement on dagga use

‘In a world stalked by biltong, Hazel Crampton’s latest literary cultivation is an enthralling and educative reminder of another enduring South African staple. Her pioneering short exploration of dagga displays a fine eye for telling detail, covers a lot of ground at an enjoyably brisk pace, and satisfies the reader’s inquisitiveness in all kinds of knowledgeable as well as unexpected ways. This gem of a book is enough to make you flap your wings.’
– Professor Bill Nasson, Department of History, Stellenbosch University.

Dagga: A Short History is a conversation piece, a witty and thought-provoking overview of dagga in South Africa, its origins, background as a legal drug, and later criminalisation. An entertaining and informative take on the law and the current medical debate, it is an essential contribution to emerging issues such as licensing, legalisation and taxation.

Read the judgement here.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Hazel Crampton is the author of the bestselling The Sunburnt Queen (Jacana, 2004), The Side of the Sun at Noon (Jacana, 2014), and co-editor of Into the Hitherto Unknown: Ensign Beutler’s Expedition to the Eastern Cape, 1752 (Cape Town: Van Riebeeck Society, 2013). Dagga: A Short History (then, now and just now) is her fourth book. Hazel is an artist and lives in Grahamstown.
 

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Launch of It’s Me, Marah even livelier than expected!

Relatives, close friends and staunch admirers of iconic South African musician and actress, Marah Louw, recently congregated at Soweto’s Vilakazi Restaurant for the launch of Louw’s autobiography It’s Me, Marah.

Menus which read ‘Welcome to Mara’s Book Launch’ were positioned on exquisitely set tables. (In no way did the typo distract from the delicious authentic African dishes the attendees were treated to.)

The MC opened his introduction of Marah by stating that “today we celebrate a woman we haven’t had the opportunity to celebrate.”

And believe you me, celebrate we did…

Before the starter arrived, guests were treated to a live performance of a capella group The Harmony Singers; “they’re all my husbands,” Louw quipped during her surprise performance with the group at the end of the evening. (Eager to see the queen in action? Click here!)

The performance was followed by a poignant and meaningful speech by Thabiso Mahlaphe, founder of BlackBird Books, the publishers of It’s Me, Marah.

Two statements which stood out during Mahlape’s speech included her mentioning that she has heard many stories during her career as publisher, “yet Marah’s story will always stay with me. The reason I’m so fat is because so many stories stay with me,” she laughed.

Mahlape earnestly added that “I stand here with mixed emotions. As a young black woman I shouldn’t have waited this long for Marah to approach me; I should have approached her.”

The golden couple of South Africa’s musical theatre scene and age-old friends of Marah Louw, Des and Dawn Lindberg, were among the event-goers. The Lindbergs have known, travelled, and performed with Louw since the 1980s. Des entertained his fellow table members with stories of Dawn and Marah dancing with Mandela and De Klerk during the Newsmaker of the Year ceremony, and how Marah lost an entire suitcase during a cruise tour and had to dress in Dawn’s clothes for the remainder of their travels.

Guest speaker Elinor Sisulu initiated her discussion with Louw by asking her about the parts of her autobiography dedicated to her youth.

Louw candidly spoke about falling pregnant at 18, emphasising the significant role her high school principle played in supporting and urging her parents to allow her to continue her schooling..

Marah added that a lack of sexual education contributed to her unplanned pregnancy.

Whilst on the topic of education, Sisulu stated that “this book is about education. Our musicians are educators; it should be in every school in the country.”

Marah’s daughter Moratuwa spoke honestly about her mother’s past, asserting that “I’ve witnessed her abuse … She’s been through a lot. I watched her go on; she has no time for pity parties.”

Moratuwa also recalled her mother’s writing process, mentioning how Marah went through “many breakdowns, yet writing this book was a process of healing.

“I don’t think there’s a better shrink than what you did with this book,” Moratuwa concluded.

Nee, kyk. Judging by Louw’s fabulous attire, delightful demeanour and powerful mini-performance, this is one queen whose reign is far from over…

It's Me, Marah

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Two books to remember Ahmed Kathrada by

Ahmed Kathrada, former political prisoner and anti-apartheid activist, sadly passed away this week on Tuesday 28 March after a brief illness. Kathrada dedicated himself to the struggle and remained politically active until his death. The Ahmed Kathrada Foundation, which he founded, continues to work towards promoting ‘the values, rights and principles enshrined in the Freedom Charter and the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa’. He will be greatly missed.

Here are two books to remember him by:

A Free MindA Free Mind: Ahmed Kathrada’s Notebook from Robben Island

During his 26 years in jail, Ahmed Kathrada refused to allow the apartheid regime to confine his mind. Despite draconian prison censorship practices and heavily restricted access to the written word, Kathrada discovered a wealth of inspiring writings. A Free Mind presents extracts from poetry, novels, songs, sayings and letters that Kathrada transcribed and treasured as he served his life sentence in South Africa’s notorious Robben Island Maximum Security Prison. It includes quotes from Bertold Brecht, Mahatma Gandhi, Emily Brontë, Karl Marx, Olive Schreiner, Shabbir Banoobhai, Voltaire and many others.
 
 
 
 
 
 

Dear Ahmedbhai, Dear Zuleikhabehn
Dear Ahmedbhai, Dear Zuleikhabehn: The letters of Zuleikha Mayat and Ahhmed Kathrada 1979–1989

Dear Ahmedbhai, Dear Zuleikhabehn is the compilation of the beautiful letters sent between Rivonia trialist and political prisoner Ahmed Kathrada and Zuleikha Mayat, a self-described housewife, during apartheid’s last decade. These letters tell the story – all the more powerful for its ephemeral character – of a developing epistolary friendship between two people to whom history has brought different gains and losses. The collection is rich, not merely in historical content and stylistic interest, but in the experience it offers to the reader of an unfolding conversation, reflecting both the immediate worlds of its authors and a tumultuous period of South African history.
 
 

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Submissions for Dinaane Debut Fiction Award open

Jacana Media recently announced that submissions for the Dinaane Debut Fiction Award will open on the first of April.

Celebrating thirteen years of producing unparalleled South African literary talent, the Dinaane Debut Fiction Award is the perfect opportunity for any aspiring fiction writer to contribute to South African conversations.

Previous Dinaane winners include Andrew Miller (Dub Steps), Penny Busetto (The Story of Anna P, as Told by Herself), Ashraf Kagee (Khalil’s Journey), James Clelland (Deeper Than Colour), Zinaid Meeran (Saracen at the Gates), Megan Voysey-Braig (Till We Can Keep an Animal), Kopano Matlwa (Coconut), Fred Khumalo (Bitches’ Brew), Gerald Kraak (Ice in the Lungs), and Ishtiyaq Shukri (The Silent Minaret). Tammy Baikie was the recipient of the award in 2016 for her novel, Selling LipService. The book will be published in May 2017.

Coverage aside, the overall winner will be awarded R35 000, be published by Jacana Media and join Exclusive Books’ Homebru campaign.

Submissions will be open from 1 April 2017 to 31 May 2017. Enquiries can be directed to awards@jacana.co.za.

Visit Jacana’s website for more information on the award.

Dub Steps

Book details

 

The Story of Anna P, as Told by Herself

 
 

Khalil's Journey

 
 

Deeper Than Colour

 
 

Saracen at the Gates

 
 
 

Till We Can Keep An Animal

 
 

Coconut

 
 

Bitches' Brew

 
 

Ice in the Lungs

 
 
 

The Silent Minaret


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Want to learn how to write non-fiction? Join the Writing Masterclass with Christa Kuljian at Bridge Books

 

Join us for Jacana Media’s new series of Masterclasses for aspiring writers.

Christa Kuljian, author of Darwin’s Hunch and Sanctuary, will present the Masterclass at Bridge Books and share her insights on writing, non-fiction writing in particular.

Contact Bridge Books or visit bridgebooks.co.za for details.

Event Details

  • Date: Thursday, 30 March 2017
  • Time: 5:30 PM for 6:00 PM
  • Venue: Bridge Books, 85 Commissioner Street, Johannesburg
  • Guest Speaker: Christa Kuljian
  • Cover charge: R150
  • (includes a copy of her book)

  • RSVP: info@bridgebooks.co.za, 079 708 4461,
    https://bridgebooks.co.za/

 
 
 

  • Darwin's HunchBook details
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  • Sanctuary

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