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Archive for the ‘Video’ Category

Watch: Hagen Engler visits Bridge Books to chat about his new book, In the Maid’s Room

In the Maid's RoomHagen Engler recently visited Bridge Books, a new independent bookstore in Johannesburg, to chat about his new novel, In the Maid’s Room.

Engler starts with a spoken word poem called “When talking, voting, swallowing your pride and patient hoping fails”:

The Last Poets, of Chuck D or not, were not right in this case. A revolution had been televised, since first the flu of freedom flew, as such things do tend to do, through our fragile neighbourhood.

Even we, freed before though we might have been, are not immune. Are those complaints, those demands of our North African semi-brethren, any different to ours? Do our youth have prospects any better than the million men in Tahrir square? Are their certificates any less useless? Less meaningless? Has economics failed them any less than it has us?

Are we not smoking cigarettes of silly, privileged apathy in flammable frustrated nations suffused with fumes of anger, crushed hopes, deferred dreams and any-minute-now igniting points?

In the Maid’s Room is set in Port Elizabeth, and tells the story of Disco, a South African hipster who’s battling to make the rent. He moves into the maid’s room on his property and rents out the main house to Sizwe.

Sizwe starts dating Disco’s ex-girlfriend, and get the media job Disco had his eye on.

“Disco’s this guy who feels like everything he’s entitled to is being taken from him, and he’s trying to deal with it,” Engler says. “Which is probably a quest that a lot of people are on.”

Watch the video:

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Betrayed by a friend and sold into human trafficking in Joburg: Grizelda Grootboom’s Exit!

Exit!Presenting Exit! – the story of Grizelda Grootboom’s life of prostitution and her ultimate escape from it all:

How does one enter an 18-year hell of drugs and prostitution? Through one of the world’s most evil and least-known criminal networks; human trafficking. Grootboom was one such victim, betrayed by a trusted friend and sold into the syndicate.

Click on the link below to watch Grootboom talk about her life experiences:

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Hers is not a one dimensional story; Grootboom offers us a layered South African narrative. Filled with complexity and painfully honest in its telling, we begin to understand the hopeless resignation that envelops so many women forced into this position. If you have been molested from the age of nine, if your whole life has been a never-ending story of poverty, family abandonment and dislocation, then when you find yourself trapped in the worst possible situation, the only way out seems to be to resign yourself to your plight.

But Grizelda found an Exit!

Right on time, the book arrives as government’s new national strategic plan for HIV prevention, care and treatment for sex workers is announced in March 2016. This is an issue that Grizelda deals with in her book.

About the author

Grizelda Grootboom is an activist against human trafficking who supports fellow survivors undergoing rehabilitation. She is currently working at Embrace Dignity, an NPO based in Cape Town. It is part of a growing global movement working to restore dignity for all people by advocating for law reform and public education to address commercial sexual exploitation and human trafficking.

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Racist Notions and People Like Penny Sparrow: Watch Panashe Chigumadzi’s TEDxTalk, “A New Self-identity for Africans”

Social media has been up in arms, and rightfully so, after a racist comment made by KZN estate agent Penny Sparrow in which she openly referred to black people as monkeys on her Facebook page:


Sparrow’s name has been trending on Twitter all day, with calls for action against blatant racists like her:


Sweet MedicineThe conversation that has been sparked by Sparrow’s offensive comment, and other similar social media posts, has reminded us of a point made by Sweet Medicine author Panashe Chigumadzi during the 2013 TEDxJohannesburg gathering.

In a lecture titled “A new self-identity for Africans”, Chigumadzi called for the “deprogramming of the colonised mind with programming”, reflecting on the racist notions that exist in post-apartheid South African media and society. South Africans, or more specifically black South Africans, suffer from a 300 year old negative colonial narrative that has shaped not only how the world sees them, but in many ways also how they see themselves – as inferior citizens of the world. Case in point: Sparrow’s comment (and the words of those who ‘defend’ her).

Analysing results from a media monitoring project, Chigumadzi looked at messaging and the control of African media to see how black people are projected. Racist notions that exist include the following:

1. Blacks are criminals
2. Blacks are irrational
3. People act according to their ethnic identity

Chigumadzi defines the concept ‘sterotype threat’ and makes a call for Africans to take back the stereotypes that exist about them; she urges black people to exercise control over the way in which they are perceived.

Watch the video to see examples of how that has and can be done through media, including how to speak up when negative racial notions are encouraged by individuals and media organisations:

Let’s redefine what it means to be black and African and reaffirm ourselves in our identity. Let’s deprogram our colonised minds, with good, compelling content.

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Read more about Panashe Chigumadzi and her magnificent debut novel:


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“I Had to Learn to Close My Ears” – Melinda Ferguson Talks About Her Memoir, Crashed (Video)

CrashedJennifer Sanasie chatted to Melinda Ferguson on News24 recently about her new book, Crashed: How Trashing a Ferrari Saved My Life.

In 2013 Ferguson took a R3.2 million Ferrari California out on a test drive for the day, celebrating 14 years of sobriety. Minutes before returning it she crashed the luxury vehicle – an event that served as a catalyst for a number of life-changing events.

“Later I realised this crash was almost an inevitable thing, that I needed to take stock of my life and what I’d been doing and where I’d been going in my life, and so the crash, I suppose, is symbolic of just a whole lot of stuff gets crashed and then slowly gets rebuilt again,” Ferguson tells Sanasie. The aftermath was quite traumatic, with a lot of rumours and gossip about the reason for it.

“I had to learn to close my ears,” Ferguson says. “I felt very victimised, I must say, by all of the stuff and unable to engage with it.” However, owning what happened and writing about it gave her a sense of peace and closure with this chapter of her life.

Ferguson also chats about the things that were not right before the crash, how she worked through the post-traumatic stress after the accident and why she decided to write a book about the things that transpired afterwards.

Watch the video:

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I Wanted Piggy Boy’s Blues to Glorify the Eastern Cape: Nakhane Toure on 7 Years of Writing (Video)

Piggy Boy's BluesPolity’s Sane Dhlamini recently chatted to Nakhane Touré about his debut novel, Piggy Boy’s Blues.

In the interview Touré, who studied literature at Wits University, speaks about his dream of being an academic: “Initially I actually wanted to be a writer and I wanted to play music on the weekends and be one of those cool lecturers.”

A lack of funding, however, forced Touré to leave university, and this is when the music really started to happen. “I threw myself into the music because I had nothing else to lose.” That was seven years ago, during which time Touré didn’t stop working on Piggy Boy’s Blues.

“Writing literature is very slow, and very lonely,” Touré said about the process and his journey back to the Eastern Cape to finish the book. “I needed to go back to the Eastern Cape to write about it authentically and honestly,” he said. “I wanted the book to be a glorification of that space, because that space has gone through so much.”

Watch the video, in which Touré explains how and why he never stopped writing:

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Related links:


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Anton Kannemeyer vertel wat hy wil bereik met satiriese kuns (Video)

Pappa in DoubtAnton Kannemeyer het onlangs met kykNET se aktualiteitsprogram Flits gesels oor sy jongste kunsuitstalling, E is for Exhibition.

Kannemeyer, wie se jongste publikasie Pappa in Doubt vroeër vanjaar by Jacana verskyn het, gesels openlik oor sy werk, inspirasie en die drama wat dikwels met sy satires gepaard gaan. Hy vertel ook meer oor die strokiesprent oor Nelson Mandela en deel sy persoonlike Madiba-verhaal. Oor wat hy met satiriese kuns wil bereik, sê Kannemeyer:

“Ek voel ek moet doen die werk wat ek doen. Ek wil graag die reg hê om te sê wat ek wil sê, ek word deur die konstitusie beskerm om dit te doen. As satirikus maak ek die werk, ek sit die werk daar uit.

“Mense het hul opinies, ek dink hulle het hul absolute reg op opinies – as hulle dink dis verskriklik dan is dit hulle reg, as hulle dink dis wonderlik dan is dit hulle reg en as hulle wil praat daaroor is ek baie bly want dit is wat ek wil bereik met satiriese kuns. Ek wil hê mense móét praat daaroor.”

Kyk na die video:

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Lees ook:


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I was Lucky that Music Took Me to the World – Hugh Masekela Celebrates the Launch of Still Grazing

Still GrazingHugh Masekela’s autobiography Still Grazing was recently republished in an updated edition by Jacana Media, much to the delight of his devoted fans.

The book was first released in 2004, but disappeared more or less without a trace. The new edition wasn’t without it’s pitfalls, as on signing the contract Masekela explained how a chunk of the rewrites had been stolen from him on a train.

The book is infused with love and loss, sex and drugs, exile and revolution, and garnered praise from luminaries such as Mandla Langa, Nadine Gordimer and Don Mattera.

The jazz legend chatted about the book to SABC Morning Live.

“It’s about my life, and I lived during a very interesting era in the history of human being,” Masekela says. “Being an African and coming from South Africa, life was not necessarily that easy, you know. I was lucky that music took me to the world.

“I didn’t plan to be known. I just wanted to be in music.”

Watch the video:

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Watch Nakhane Toure Read an Excerpt from Piggy Boy’s Blues (Plus: Read an Interview)

Piggy Boy's BluesPiggy Boy’s Blues is award-winning musician Nakhane Touré’s debut novel, and he says although he has been working on the book for about seven years the unbelievable reality of having his words in print is still sinking in.

Touré recently read a section from his book for Jameson Indie Channel, and was interviewed by video director Dylan Culhane.

In the interview, Touré speaks about the similarities and differences between writing music and writing novels, and reveals a little bit about the story in Piggy Boy’s Blues

Read the interview:

You only got your first copy of the book last night. After such a long time it must be an amazing feeling holding a tangible record of all that hard work in your hands.

It’s interesting because I’m one of those people who understands their feelings later. So when my album came out, I saw it and I thought: “This is amazing,” but it really only sunk in and I really only understood the magnitude of it like a week or so later. So I’m seeing the book now and reading it and thinking: “Oh my God these are my words, I wrote this!” and I understand it’s really really big. But there hasn’t been this shift in my psyche yet. It’ll probably happen after everything has ended and I go home and I’m all alone.

Watch the video of Touré’s reading:

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The Apartheid Government Sold Their Ideology to the US like Coca-Cola – Ron Nixon (Video)

Selling ApartheidRon Nixon recently spoke to Polity presenter Sane Dhlamini about his new book, Selling Apartheid: South Africa’s Global Propaganda War.

This book tells the story of the apartheid government’s global lobbying effort in order to gain international support for their ideals, revealing the astonishing story of collaboration between South Africa and America. Nixon, a Washington correspondent for The New York Times and visiting associate in the Department of Media and Journalism Studies at the University of the Witwatersrand, notes that South Africa’s strategic minerals and the fact that the apartheid government presented itself as anti-communist contributed to the coalition.

“As I was writing this, it occurred to me that the people who were doing this on their behalf were selling an ideology in the way that you sell soap, or that you sell Coca-Cola, or that you sell product.

“Basically, what they did, they were selling this ideology to people by saying that it is a good thing – we’re anti-communist, we’re this white government and these communist blacks are trying to overthrow us and if they do then the Soviet Union will have access to all these minerals and strategic location at the tip of the African continent.

“That’s why they hired public relations and marketing firms – to sell this idea,” Nixon says, explaining the title of his book.

Watch the video to find out more about the process of writing this book, the interviews Nixon conducted to write it, the comparisons between modern South Africa and the USA, where black people are concerned, and why the author felt this story needed to be told:

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Goodnight Zzzuma – an Unauthorised Parody – to be Released in October (Plus Trailer)

Presenting Goodnight Zzzuma

Goodnight ZzzumaJacana is proud to announce the upcoming publication of Goodnight Zzzuma, an unauthorised parody:

Generations of children have been lulled to sleep with Margaret Wise Brown’s classic bedtime story Goodnight Moon (illustrated Clement Hurd) In 2008, Little Brown US published the New York Times bestseller, Goodnight Bush. It became a runaway bestseller and viral sensation. In 2009 Bush left office. Now it is Jacana’s turn, with Goodnight Zzzuma!

In a great green room, tucked away in bed, is President Jacob Zuma. “Goodnight room,” he says to all the familiar things in the softly lit room – to the pictures of his favourite wives, to the Guptas and the helipad, to the Karoo and fracking. To everything, one by one, he says goodnight.

The book does illicit a few chuckles, but it does hit hard, especially when Zzzuma says goodnight to:

A nation, a struggle

Reduced to a chuckle

And a grand old man

Whispering Eish!

Watch a teaser video about Goodnight Zzzuma:

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