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Archive for the ‘South Africa’ Category

African Wild Dogs by Brendan Whittington-Jones: Underdogs in the Face of Human Development

African Wild DogsJacana Media presents African Wild Dogs by Brendan Whittington-Jones:

450 is optimistically the number of free-ranging African wild dogs left in South Africa. If ever a charismatic, African species could be considered an underdog in the face of human development, the wild dog, Lycaon pictus is it. Available habitat is in short supply. An abundance of fences and roads cut the landscape. They are loved. They are despised. The immediate future of this dynamic, endangered, large carnivore is in the hands of a thinly spread, intensely committed network of conservationists, donors, state reserves and progressive landowners.

When an opportunity to study wild dogs through the Endangered Wildlife Trust presented itself to Whittington-Jones in 2007, he arrived in Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park naïve to the challenges of real wildlife conservation. The next seven years were a flood of lessons in the complexity and fascination of wild dog management, anger management, diplomacy, optimism, as well as being a wild dog travel agent. The camaraderie of the unconventional crew of devoted field staff and researchers who dedicate so much to keep the species running was a revelation.

This book lifts the gloss and illusion off a wedge of carnivore conservation, and reveals a snapshot of characters (human and canid) and organisations which tread the murky waters of trying to ensure the species’ persistence in South Africa. There is only hope through action; and remembering a cold beer at sunset and good bloody laugh can restore a little sanity.

About the book

Brendan Whittington-Jones cut his conservation teeth in the complex habitat of suburban Cape Town. Ignoring the lure of European starlings, pine trees, frigid rocky shores, Fynbos, dogs, cats and home, he chose to follow his older brothers to Rhodes University. In the valley bushveld of the Eastern Cape he studied Zoology and Entomology with the aim of doing something vaguely similar to David Attenborough or the men who led him and fellow school pupils on an iMfolozi wilderness trail in 1993. Following a brief study stop in Pretoria, and a period living the South African-graduate-in-Britain dream of minimum wage labour and travel, he settled into a manic and life-altering three years at a private game reserve in Zululand with iMfolozi Game Reserve just 20 kilometres away.

Curiously this Zululand chapter led to a swirl of years cleaning up after zoo animals in Iraq, the USA and Afghanistan before temporarily resettling in Cape Town. When the iMfolozi temptation resurfaced in the form of a wild dog research post, he grabbed it. Seven years of indulging in game reserve life assaulted his perceptions of conservation space and success, taught him to judge people based on whether they liked wild dogs or not, and allowed him privileged access into the ecological utopia of northern KwaZulu-Natal province. He developed an addiction to pies and midday braais. He currently lives in Oman.

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The Previously Unpublished Letters of Dora Taylor, Bessie Head and Lilian Ngoyi Presented in Everyday Matters

Everyday MattersJacana is pleased to present Everyday Matters, selected letters of Dora Taylor, Bessie Head and Lilian Ngoyi, edited by Margaret Daymond:

This important book brings together the previously unpublished letters of three women, Lilian Ngoyi, Bessie Head and Dora Taylor. While Ngoyi, Head and the lesser-known Taylor each made vital and perhaps under-appreciated contributions to the southern African struggle, these letters record their ordinary, domestic lives as well as touching on the socio-political struggles which they conducted from within their homes.

Bessie Head was a writer of novels, short stories and social history, and towards the end of her life was celebrated internationally. Dora Taylor, a white woman who was an early member of the Non-European Unity Movement (NEUM), was also a writer, but her longer work, was not published until after her death and she is still not a widely known public figure. Lilian Ngoyi was an ANC leader and one of the organisers of the 1956 Women’s March to the Union Buildings in Pretoria and she was repeatedly arrested for her involvement in trade union and political matters.

Each woman writes to one trusted friend or relative. Ngoyi, Head and Taylor did not know each other but are linked by their political sympathies, their comparable vocations and practices, and by the fact that each had to endure her own version of exile as a result of her activities. These letters record all three writers’ joys and sorrows as they struggled to live principled lives in adversity. As well as giving access to the thoughts of three remarkable women letter-writers, this timely book presents letters as literary artefacts, not just sources of information and opinion. It invites readers to taste the intriguing and sometimes disturbing pleasures of reading personal letters.

Extracts from the introductions in Everyday Matters:

On Dora Taylor:
“The connections with her scattered family and friends that Dora sustained through letters were her lifeline but she also felt that they were no substitute for living contact with her children and grandchildren, saying that she could achieve ‘only a shadowy contact through the pen’ (2 March 1961).”

On Bessie Head:
“When Bessie Head left South Africa for Botswana in 1964, letters became her lifeline. She had experienced rejection in South Africa and now she found herself a stateless, friendless refugee in her new world. With only the barest official recognition of her presence, and knowing no one in her new country, she had to rely on the exchange of letters for confirmation of her identity and her right to exist.”

On Lilian Ngoyi:
“Being banned meant that Lilian’s Orlando house became her prison, no longer her home … There must have been many days when she felt lonely and forgotten, so that the letters from abroad from friends and admirers, like Belinda Allan, were not only a source of material succour if they contained money, but were also an emotional lifeline.”

As well as giving access to the thoughts of three remarkable women letter-writers, MJ Daymond presents letters as literary artefacts, not just sources of information and opinion, and invites readers to taste the intriguing and sometimes disturbing pleasures of reading personal letters.

About the author

Margaret Daymond is professor emeritus in the English Department at the University of KwaZulu-Natal and a fellow of the university. Most of her research has been on women’s writing. She has edited fiction by writers such as Bessie Head, Lauretta Ngcobo, Frances Colenso and Goretti Kyomuhendo as well as major anthologies of women’s writing (Women Writing Africa: The Southern Region, New York 2003) and feminist criticism (South African Feminisms, New York 1996).

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Kelly Khumalo: I was Not About to Crawl into a Corner after Meyiwa’s Death (Video)

The Kelly Khumalo StoryKelly Khumalo was a guest on Your Late Mate With Nimrod Nkosi recently.

Khumalo was at the centre of some controversy last year when she attended the Feather Awards two weeks after her boyfriend and Bafana Bafana goalkeeper Senzo Meyiwa was killed. In the interview, she explains why.

“Who determines what soon is? People are hypocrites,” Khumalo says. “When Senzo passed on, people were like ‘Kelly doesn’t deserve to go to the funeral’. And then when I continue with my life it’s a problem. If Senzo was there he would have wanted me to continue with my life as I am living it now.

“I had my time to be at home and just sit and accept what had happened to me. At the end of the day I’m a mother of two and I’m in the industry, I had just released an album.”

Khumalo says she was not about to “crawl into a little corner, cry”.

Watch the video:

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Podcast: Janice Warman Wonders About the Parallels Between Now and the Height of Apartheid

The Class of 79Janice Warman recently visited the Rhodes University Journalism and Media Studies Department to discuss her book, The Class of 79: The story of three fellow students who risked their lives to destroy apartheid, with staff and senior students.

During a discussion on the theme “When the political becomes personal”, Warman asked many important questions and offered context to her interest in South African politics and media. Ettione Ferreira reported on the event and shared a podcast of the first part of the discussion.

“I feel, and please correct me if I’m wrong, there is anger, there is fear, there is real unease towards the government and I just wondered if there are any parallels to draw between now and the moral issues we faced at the height of apartheid?” Warman asked, explaining her motive in writing the book.

Listen to the podcast to hear her answer:

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Join Matshidiso Gule, with Basetsana Kumalo, for the Launch of Rough Diamond in Johannesburg

Rough Diamond invite

 
Rough Diamond: Your First-Class Ticket to the World of MentorshipMF Books and Exclusive Books would like to invite you to the launch of Rough Diamond: Your First-Class Ticket to the World of Mentorship by Matshidiso Gule.

Dineo Moeketsi will interview Gule at the launch, and Basetsana Kumalo will deliver the keynote address.

The event will be held at Exclusive Books Nelson Mandela Square on Wednesday, 25 March and starts at 6 for 6:30 PM.

Don’t miss it!

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Podcast: Vernon RL Head Talks Goshawks, Rare Birds and Books About Birds

The Search for the Rarest Bird in the WorldVernon RL Head recently joined Jenny Crwys-Williams in studio at Talk Radio 702 to discuss the remarkable success of his book, The Search for the Rarest Bird in the World, on The Book Show. Head, who is the chairperson of BirdLife South Africa, also shared some valuable insight for readers hoping to read Helen MacDonald’s much acclaimed H is for Hawk, offering incredible information on Goshawks.

“Rare creatures are incredibly resilient, and they are almost waiting for moments to reappear. They hide in these dark, pristine recesses of our world, waiting there, and if there’s a chance, or their habitats are rehabilitated and they are given a chance they will make their way back onto the stage,” Head told Crwys-Williams, discussing the philosophy behind his book.

Neither MacDonald nor Head’s books are entirely about birds. On the contrary, both authors offer captivating narratives. Listen to the podcast to find out more about these bird novels:

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Presenting Rough Diamond by Matshidiso Gule, with a Foreword by Basetsana Kumalo

Rough DiamondJacana presents Rough Diamond: Your First-Class Ticket to the World of Mentorship by Matshidiso Gule, with a forward by Basetsana Kumalo:

“Your distinct passion for your work is a great inspiration to me … you, my sweet ‘baby gal’, are a ROCKSTAR in a white coat! I have no doubt through this book you are going to pay it forward.” – Basetsana Kumalo

Written in an accessible and compelling style, Dr Gule explores the often misconstrued world of mentorship; the triumphs, despairs and complexities of woman empowerment in South Africa.

When despondent fourth year medical student Tshidi Gule dialled ace businesswoman and celebrated beauty queen Basetsana Kumalo’s number back in 2004, little did she realise that this seemingly small gesture would be the start of a profound mentorship relationship, spanning more than a decade.

This is an inspirational book designed to celebrate the unique experiences, lessons, values and pearls of wisdom mentorship relationships provide. It will ignite a conversation particularly among women on how they can best authentically thrive in a competitive environment as a collective rather than as defensive silos.

In her highly personal journey that sees her wrenched away from everything familiar – family, friends and safe spaces – Dr Gule explores new territories that most young South African girls born during her time once thought impossible.

Inspired by her mentor Bassie’s entrepreneurial vision, Dr Gule ventures into the corporate jungle, she is confronted head on by challenges like fear of failure, self-doubt and bankruptcy, learning hard and invaluable lessons that shed light on why so many fledgling businesses crumble in their first two years of infancy.

She also unpacks the South African landscape of job creation, challenges youth face when starting their small to medium enterprises and the innovative navigation required to succeed in the toughest economic climate. Dr Gule celebrates those who have risen to the challenge of inspiring youth away from entitlement towards self-driven success.

The book challenges young entrepreneurs to face their expectations, dig deeper into their emotional intelligence and dare to live a life that exemplifies hard work, talent and social integrity.

About the author

Dr Matshidiso Gule is a dynamic medical doctor and young South African entrepreneur who followed her passion and established the Medispace Lifestyle Institute in 2006. ‘Dr G’ is also an accomplished managing director, corporate speaker, medical consultant and employee wellness strategist serving on multiple corporate wellness entities. Her passion and road to success offer powerful insights for any rising entrepreneur.

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Didi Moyle Presents the Story of the AIDS Law Project in Speaking Truth to Power

Speaking Truth to PowerJacana is proud to present Speaking Truth to Power by Didi Moyle

Speaking Truth to Power is about the resurgence of activism in post-apartheid South Africa. A small legal NGO in Johannesburg, the AIDS Law Project (ALP), along with its allies in the Treatment Action Campaign, fought for more than a decade for the rights of people living with HIV/AIDS. Today South Africa has laws that protect the rights of people living with HIV/AIDS and the largest treatment programme in the world. This would not have happened without dedicated activism and a commitment to social justice. Speaking Truth to Power tells how people used the Constitution and the law in this struggle for social justice.

This book does three things. It records a momentous struggle for life and health. It pays tribute to the activists whose courage and foresight led to triumph in that struggle. And it poses a challenge to all of us – judges, lawyers, and activists – because the struggle is far from over. The book is well timed. It was commissioned by Gerald Kraak, a lionhearted champion of unpopular causes in the funding field. His tragically premature death, in October 2014, brings home how much of the work that he funded is unfinished. Yet this book is also a celebration. It memorialises how outspokenness, principled strategising and unflinching courage, combined with redoubtable energy, can challenge what seemed like immovable impediments to justice. – Edwin Cameron: Constitutional Court Of South Africa (13 November 2014)

The ALP’s history is part story of the epidemic in South Africa as well as the history of the broader struggle for human rights in South Africa. The ALP mobilised alliances with civil society, religious groups and trade unions (nationally and internationally) to take on the South African government, the global pharmaceutical giants and big business for the rights of people living with HIV/AIDS, and in particular their right to comprehensive treatment in the public health sector.

The ALP’s story is told through their clients and the major legal cases, which form the milestones in this struggle. It is a story about ordinary people who in their own way did some extraordinary things at an exceptionally difficult time. Their clients stood up against prejudice and disinformation because they felt strongly about their rights. For some it was discrimination against themselves; for others it was discrimination against their fellow citizens who were vulnerable because they were living with a disease that had no cure and they were often seriously ill, even dying. To add insult to injury the country’s president and, for some time, the government denied the scale of the epidemic. People’s rights were being violated, but the law gave them a way to reassert them, generating the first resurgence of civil society in post-apartheid South Africa. This book is about the power of people and their courage to speak the truth.

About the author

After a career in journalism and more than 13 years in government, Didi Moyle is now a freelance writer, strategist, researcher and life coach. Her next project is a case study of the 11 years she spent working in tourism. She lives in Johannesburg.

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Excerpt: Life, Young Love and The Struggle on the Cape Flats in What Will People Say, by Rehana Rossouw

What Will People Say: A NovelWhat Will People Say: A Novel by Rehana Rossouw captures the lives of members of the Fourie Family from Hanover Park.

Set in the Cape Flats during the height of the struggle era, What Will People Say tells the story of the churchgoing matriarch Magda, her husband Neville, the selfish older daughter Suzette, Anthony the doomed son and the smart and sensitive middle child Nicky.

In the following extract we meet Nicky and her friends, Kevin and Shirley. While Kevin is trying to convince Nicky to join a political movement against apartheid, Nicky is trying to help Shirley, whose mother is forcing her to leave school and take up a job in the factories.

Through the eyes of her friends Rossouw highlights the precocious nature of the young girl who bears the weight of the world on her shoulders. Read the excerpt:
 

* * * * * * * *

 
Kevin was waiting at the school gate when Nicky and Shirley strolled out arm in arm at the end of the school day. He stepped forward as they came near. “Greetings ladies, can I escort you today?”

     Shirley giggled. “Of course you can, right Nicky?”

     Nicky didn’t want Kevin walking with them. He was only after one thing. She hadn’t gone to the SRC meeting at second break; she was too busy sukkeling with Shirley’s problem. She still hadn’t found a solution. As she expected, it didn’t take long – two steps out of the gate and Kevin started on her.

     ”So Nicky, I was expecting to see you in the meeting this afternoon. There’s work to be done. We planning to bring the country to a stand still for the tenth anniversary of the ’76 uprising.”

     Thick, dark irritation filled her face. What must she do to get Kevin to leave her alone? Nicky didn’t want him to escort her anywhere. She wanted to be alone with Shirley; she was planning on going home with her. Shirley shouldn’t be alone on a kak day like this. “I had other things on my mind, okay?”

     ”What can be more important than the struggle?”

     Nicky stopped and planted her fists in her hips, staring daggers at Kevin. “A lot, you idiot. Shirley, for an example. She’s much more important than your blerrie struggle. She got a big problem. Her mother wants her to leave school and go work in the factory with her.”

     Kevin turned to Shirley, his face squeezed up like a lemon. “You’ll be a semi-skilled worker fed to the machine to become another alienated unit of capitalist labour.”

     Nicky felt like her head was about to burst open like a dropped watermelon, the irritation was so thick. No one could get to her like Kevin. “Speak English Kevin! This isn’t time for a political speech. Shirley needs help. She’s not an issue. She’s only sixteen and she must go work to feed her brothers. You such a blerrie fool!”

     Kevin looked like a foster child on his way back to the orphanage. “Of course I think that’s really kak, Nicky! There must be a way out. We must strategise, see what we can come up with.”

     Shirley smiled at him. “You think you can see a way out of it?” Kevin gave a couple of firm nods. “Let me think on it for a while. As Lenin would say: What is to be done? That’s what we must figure out.”

     Nicky stared at their backs as Shirley and Kevin walked away without her. That boy had a nerve! Didn’t he see he wasn’t wanted? She was going to come up with a solution for Shirley’s problem. They didn’t need him. Why was Shirley hanging onto his words like he was her saviour? She rushed to catch up with them. The girls’ route home took them past the taxi rank at the Hanover Park Town Centre. The rank fed routes into town, Claremont, Wynberg and Mitchells Plain. Gaartjies shouted out destinations and ushered people into revving sixteen-seaters; pushing flesh and parcels inside as they slid the doors shut.

     Nicky, Shirley and Kevin wove their way along the pavement between people streaming to the rank and the hawkers lining the sides.

     Most were selling vegetables, but there were also stalls with tinned goods, bags of bright orange chips and loose cigarettes. A bakkie blocked the pavement, its back piled high with snoek. A plump man covered with a red-stained, yellow plastic apron gutted and beheaded his silver, toothy catch while customers waited. The fish was wrapped in newspaper and exchanged for a five-rand note. Nicky could smell the sea on the bakkie as she walked past.

     A toothless, skinny man jumped onto the pavement and blocked their way. He waved a packet of ripe, red tomatoes in their faces. He flashed his gums and offered an invitation. “Squeeze my tomatoes. Feel how firm they are. They lekker like your tette.”

     Nicky jumped back as the hawker’s free hand reached out towards her breast. Kevin stepped forward and shoved his chest into the hawker’s. “Watch it, show some respect.”

     Nicky pulled him back. “Leave him Kevin, is okay. He does the same thing every day. He don’t mean nothing by it.”

     Another hawker pushed Kevin aside to wave a bag of onions in Nicky’s face. He promoted his goods in a singsong voice. “Uiwe, uiwe; juicy uiwe virrie meire.” The girls giggled. Kevin relaxed.

     Shirley bought tomatoes and onions. Kevin dug into his grey school pants and found enough coins for a bag of onions. Nicky walked behind Shirley and Kevin as they left the town centre, listening to their conversation. Shirley was planning a beef stew for supper. Kevin was giving advice. “The secret to a good stew is making a thick gravy. You must use at least two onions Shirley, maybe even three, ’cause your family’s bigger than mine. Braise it well at the start. The onions soak up the flavour from the meat. It melts as you cook and makes a lekker thick gravy.”

     Shirley shook her head. “I dunno if that will work. It’s near the end of the week. My mummy don’t have much left, so I got only bones for the stew.”

     ”It will still work, I’m telling you. If you got little meat then it’s more important to have a lekker thick gravy. The onions will catch the flavour from the bones.”

     There was nothing Nicky could add to the conversation. Mummy did most of the cooking. She and Suzette were only roped in on weekends; on weekdays they were expected to do their schoolwork. Mummy gave them the kak jobs like slicing onions and peeling potatoes. Most nights Mummy stood up from the supper table and started preparing the next night’s meal. She finished the food off when she got home from work.

     Kevin walked with them all the way to Shirley’s house. Nicky didn’t know where he lived; she hoped it wasn’t nearby. He bowed over Shirley’s hand like the Count of Monte Cristo and kissed it as he was leaving.

     Nicky finally had enough. Shirley had been talking nonstop with Kevin all the way home. She was all worked up about Shirley’s problem, but the blerrie fool was giggling with Kevin like she didn’t give a damn. Her irritation burst out and poured through her mouth. “Must you be so tarty, Kevin? You must see how you look. Like a blerrie fool.”

     Kevin wiped his smile off his face and took a step back. “Ladies, I’ll see you around.” Shirley turned on Nicky as he walked away stiffly. “Sjoe, how can you be so rude? Can’t you see he’s just trying to be nice?”

     Nicky stood her ground. “Why can’t he just leave us alone? Why must he interfere in everything? Every time I look up his face is in mine. Can’t he see I’m not interested in joining his struggle?”

     Shirley laughed. “He’s not in your face because of the struggle. He smaaks you. Everybody can see that. He smaaks you stukkend.” Nicky’s chest went cold. “Who’s everybody?” Shirley giggled. “Only everybody who looks in Kevin’s face when he talks to you. You so blind Nicky.”

     Nicky shoved her hand into Shirley’s chest, sending her off the pavement. “Don’t talk rubbish! Kevin’s got a one-track mind. He wants me to join Cosas. He wants me to get involved in the struggle.”

     Shirley sniffed. “There’s none so blind. The whole school knows he smaaks you.”

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Get More Meaning from Your Money with Retiremeant by Kim Potgieter

RetiremeantJacana Media is pleased to present Retiremeant by Kim Potgieter:

Are you daunted by the prospect of retirement? Do you and your partner have dreams for this major transition? Can you envisage a significant life beyond work?

Be inspired to create a significant future beyond retirement. While most books on retirement focus only on money and ways to ensure there is enough of it, Kim Potgieter believes that your finances are inextricably entwined with the dreams you have for your life.

Our relationship with money permeates our lives and needs to be continually addressed. Money either enables or limits the fulfilment of our goals, hopes, dreams and aspirations and this is especially true in retirement. Potgieter, with her psychological understanding and her coaching skills, together with her certified financial planner qualification, takes us on a journey, in which we recognise not only the obstacles but indeed the endless opportunities offered by retirement – provided we can change our perspective! Of course money is important; however, it is but one aspect of life. I invite you to use the skills and practical exercises in this book as invaluable tools to assist in identifying and achieving your dreams and goals.Dorianne Weil, AKA “Dr D”, clinical psychologist, radio and TV talk show host

The message of this book has been to preserve and enhance the greatest asset you have – you. We can’t choose how many years we live. But we can choose how much life these years will bring us. Change in life brings uncertainty but our ability to overcome will be determined by our attitude. So make the choice to actively participate in creating your best future. Retirement gives you the freedom to achieve unfulfilled dreams and goals – on your own terms and in your own time. So bring your “A” game to your retirement and make each day count, starting today.

Kim tells a very personal and powerful story of discovery. She has truly experienced the reality of what is needed to change your mindset to get new perspectives. She is an incredible person, with a unique breadth and depth of knowledge and experience, with an unwavering desire to live her passion and purpose. In the book she shares her own story and also shows us how she works with her clients so that they can get the same meaning out of their life. Reading the book will help you in the same way.Andrew Bradley, CEO of Old Mutual Wealth

Kim’s clear message is that creating your best life cannot be left to chance: she demonstrates that taking an active role in preparing for your retirement enables you to live without regrets. This is not the first book written on retirement. And it won’t be the last. But it is a book that offers you an opportunity to see things differently – to be open to learning, to be open to possibilities. And even to laughter.

About the author

Kim Potgieter is a director and head of Life Planning at Chartered Wealth Solutions. Kim’s vision is to change the way people view retirement in South Africa. She strongly believes that retirement should be seen as a new life chapter, encouraging her clients at Chartered Wealth Solutions to retire to something and not from something.

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