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Join Hloni Bookholane on his journey of becoming a doctor: from student to intern at the world-famous Groote Schuur Hospital in Cape Town to the best school of public health in the world across the Atlantic, and back home amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
There are highs and lows – learnings and unlearnings – about the personal versus political as he discovers how government policy, socioeconomics and more influence disease and medicine.
Major-General†Jeremy Vearey, ex-MK cadre, is†deputy provincial commissioner of the Western Cape SAPS. He†starts his 'police memoir' with the old apartheid police and ex-freedom fighters meeting for the first time.
Action ranges from the secretive Operation Saladin to anti-gang policing with the 'skollie patrollie'. Underworld figures and gangsters loom large, as does the constant fear of death. Painting†a vivid portrait of policing, politics and criminality in the Western Cape, this is also an intimate account of what it means to reach the highest ranks of policing, having been a revolutionary.
The ‘dark stream’ is the price that the author has paid for following his calling.
Growing up in extreme poverty in Messina (today Musina) in the early 1980s, Lovemore Ndou was forced to start boxing to protect himself and his family. At an early age, he experienced the injustices of the apartheid system when his arm was broken during a beating in a police cell and he saw his best friend gunned down in a protest march.
Through sheer determination, he managed to persevere and soon the Black Panther (his name in the ring) started winning matches. He left the country for Australia in the mid-1990s, made a name for himself internationally, and eventually became a triple-world champion despite setbacks and challenges. A number of big names in local and international boxing circles feature in the book, including Floyd Mayweather, with whom Ndou sparred during a stint in the USA.
Never knocked out in 64 professional bouts, he transitioned from combats in the ring to confrontations in the courtroom in a successful post-boxing career as a lawyer. Today he has his own practice in Sydney, Australia.
Gwen Lister is a world-renowned journalist, political activist and free-press advocate. Born in South Africa, she moved to Namibia to pursue her journalism career. She launched (with Hannes Smith) the†Windhoek Observer†and later,†The Namibian.
This memoir chronicles her remarkable life, brave journalism and political activism.†
Jonathan Ball, the founder of Jonathan Ball Publishers, died on 3 April 2021 after a short illness. This collection of essays, commissioned in tribute to him, is edited by Michele Magwood.
Jonathan Ball left a deep impression on many different people in different ways. The forty or so essays reflect the many facets of Jonathan. The chapter headings would read husband, father, businessman, friend, brother, colleague. But it is in the subheads that we begin to understand the shape of him: publisher extraordinaire, history expert, gourmand, liberal thinker, suitor, philosemite and so on.
It cannot be exaggerated how deep an imprint Jonathan has left on the political and cultural life of South Africa, too. The shelves of Jonathan Ball Publishers are weighted with serious history and biographies of eminent figures, with books that other publishers didn’t have the boldness, the sheer guts, to take on. But there are many smaller, more finespun stories that tell us too who we are as a people and as a nation.
In 1969, while a student at Wits University, John Schlapobersky was arrested for opposing apartheid and tortured, detained and eventually deported. Interrogated through sleep deprivation, he later wrote secretly in solitary confinement about the struggle for survival.
In this exquisitely written memoir, written half a century after the event, the author reflects on the singing of the condemned prisoners, the poetry, songs and texts that saw him through his ordeal, and its impact.
He transformed his life - guided by a sense of hope - working as a psychotherapist with a continuing focus on rehabilitation with others. Apartheid and its resistance come to life in this story to make it a vital historical document, one of its time and one for our own.
Kojo Baffoe embodies what it is to be a contemporary African man. Of Ghanaian and German heritage, he was raised in Lesotho and moved to South Africa at the age of 27. Forever curious, Kojo has the enviable ability to simultaneously experience moments intimately and engage people (and their views) sincerely, while remaining detached enough to think through his experiences critically. He has earned a reputation as a thinker, someone who lives outside the box and free of the labels that society seeks to place on us.
Listen to Your Footsteps is an honest and, at times, raw collection of essays from a son, a father, a husband, a brother and a man deeply committed to doing the internal work. Kojo reflects on losing his mother as a toddler, being raised by his father, forming an identity, living as an immigrant, his tussles with substance abuse, as well as his experiences of fatherhood, marriage and making a career in a fickle industry. He gives an extended glimpse into the experiences that make boys become men, and the battles that make men discover what they are made of, all the while questioning what it means to be ‘a man’.
It is not easy. Having a dream, having talent and being faced with a world that wants you to have neither – it is not easy.
This is not an easy story. This is a book about difficult odds, about cruelty, about broken families and addiction. This is also a story about hope. This is a tale of bravery and the undefeatability of the spirit of South African women. This is a story about football, but it is a story about so much more. This is a tale about the fearless women who carry the sport on their back, told through the eyes of the best player on the African continent.
This is the story of a little girl who rose out of the tough streets of Mohlakeng and went on to become a champion of the world.
A deeply felt account of the relationship between a mother and son, and an exploration of what care for the dying means in contemporary society.
The book is emotionally complex – funny, sad and angry – but above all, heartfelt and honest. It speaks boldly of challenges faced by all of us, challenges which are often not spoken about and hidden, but which deserve urgent attention. This is first and foremost a work of the heart, a reflection on what relationships mean and should mean.
There is much in the book about relationships of care and exploitation in southern Africa, and about white Jewish identity in an African context. But despite the specific and absorbing references to places and contexts, the book offers a broader, more universal view.
All parents of adult children, and all adults who have parents alive, or have lost their parents, will find much in this book to make them laugh, cry, think and feel.
1 Recce: Behind Enemy Lines takes the reader into the ‘inner sanctum’ of the Recces. In their own words, Recce operators recount some of the life-threatening operations they conducted under great secrecy in the late 1970s.
Those who were there give first-hand accounts of the tension, anticipation, fear, adrenalin, exhaustion, thirst and grief they experienced, but also of the humorous moments and the close bonds of friendship that were forged in situations of mortal danger.
Join Ivan Johnson in this memoir of an identity crisis as a high-spirited boy from a close-knit family on the Cape Flats becomes a man amid the turmoil of The Struggle.
Joining the lily white advertising industry, he ghosts from group to group, fitting in everywhere but belonging nowhere.
Told with flair and irreverence, Ivan’s sharp eye and zest for life gives both food for thought and great entertainment.
How I Accidentally Became a Global Stock Photo and Other Strange and Wonderful Stories is part memoir, part travelogue and part love letter. Shubnum Khan takes the reader on a journey around the world. Whether it is teaching children in a remote village in the Himalayas, attending a writers’ residency where the movie The Blair Witch Project was shot, getting pulled out of the ocean in Turkey or becoming a bride on a rooftop in Shanghai, Shubnum is quirky, moving and vulnerable in what she shares.
Shubnum offers an introspective reflection on what it means to be a woman, particularly a single Muslim woman in South Africa, trying to find herself in a modern world. The stories are drawn from her life journey, which has been full of unexpected twists and turns, and are interspersed with reflections on culture and religion as well as musings on family, relationships and love.
The Mindy Project meets Bridget Jones’s Diary with a side of Keeping Up With The Kandasamys, this is a book about holding onto hope and a reminder that once ‘you step off the edge, anything can happen’.
After an extraordinary four-year battle, Gabi Lowe lost her beautiful, talented 20-year-old daughter, Jenna Lowe, on 8 June 2015 to pulmonary arterial hypertension, a rare degenerative lung disease, following a double lung transplant.
Jenna was young, bright and articulate. She was LEAD SA’s Youth Hero of the Year in 2015. Her death was mourned by thousands of people whose lives she had touched. During her short but full life, Jenna and the Lowe family raised much-needed awareness around this rare and devastating disease, highlighting the dire need for access to medication and organ donors locally. Although desperately ill, Jenna became the face for organ donation in South Africa through the hugely successful #GetMeTo21 campaign in which she invited all South Africans to attend her twenty-first birthday celebration by clicking on a link to become an organ donor. Tragically, Jenna died four months before reaching her milestone.
Brilliantly written, riveting in all its terrible truth and pain, in this brutally honest memoir Gabi Lowe shares her family’s desperate fight to save Jenna’s life. Get Me to 21 will inspire us to believe that the ability to face even the darkest, and most unimaginable, lives deep within us all.
Robert Hamblin's much awaited memoir is a tale of a human who refuses to live in a box, confronting and healing from gender confines and racism.
It's about excavating the truth in violent Apartheid South Africa where law and church decide which body can love another, based on colour or gender, brilliantly exploring the confines of the straight trajectory.
One of the greats of South African rugby shares the many layers of his colourful and eventful life. From rugby legend to businessman, wine farmer, cultural custodian, musician, father and grandfather, Schalk Burger’s memoir is an intensely personal and honest journey of the triumphs and hardships that have shaped the life of a much-loved South African.
Burger is a storyteller extraordinaire and he’ll have you snorting into your beer as you read about run-ins with officialdom, fisticuffs on the field, how he became the first white Springbok selected from a Coloured team, and the day Cheeky Watson asked to wash his feet.
This is a glimpse into the life and times of one of the country’s most recognised figures, and told in the stories of the many lives that intersected with his. “Who am I, and how do I live? That is something this story will bring out of me.”
Jan Smuts, one of the most infamous South Africans of the twentieth century remains a controversial figure. Was he one of the outstanding statesmen of his time or was he perhaps a traitor of Afrikaner interests and possibly a racist? Today there are still strong opinions on Smuts’s role.
Like Paul Kruger at the end of the nineteenth century, and Nelson Mandela as the twentieth century drew to a close, it was Jan Smuts who stood head and shoulders above his contemporaries in the first half of the twentieth century; he was a leader of extraordinary stature and his statesmanship is recognised internationally. And yet, the NP and ANC governments have downplayed his contributions for decades, because it did not endorse their Afrikaner and black nationalist versions of South African history. A reappraisal of Smuts will fill a gap in the literature on the history of South Africa in the first half of the twentieth century. Many of the biographies and other works on Smuts appeared during his lifetime or soon after his death. Today, a few generations later, we have a better perspective on his contributions within the historical context of his time. New evidence continues to come to light, making it possible to reach a more informed opinion on questions about Smuts, issues which previously could not be answered conclusively.
The purpose of the book, written almost three generations after his death, is to recall and re-evaluate Smuts’s contributions in various fields and in this way introduce him to the younger generation. It is important that Smuts be judged in the context of his particular time and circumstances. As far as his outlook on war and peace, civilisation, race and class differences, the capitalist system and South Africa’s place in the wider world are concerned, Smuts was certainly a product of his time. It would be unfair to measure him and his contemporaries against today’s norms and values. To do justice to him, his supporters, as well as his opponents and critics, due consideration should be accorded to how they lived, thought and reasoned in that era.
Hans van Rensburg se magnetiese persoonlikheid en sy sterk
teenkantingteen Suid-Afrika se deelname aan die Tweede WÍreldoorlog het
Afrikaners sů aangegryp dat die Ossewabrandwag (OB) binne drie jaar na
sy stigting by die 300 000 lede gehad het.
Op 15 Julie 1932 sterf CJ Langenhoven skielik. Dat hy ’n jong Joodse vrou, die vurige rooikop Sarah Eva Goldblatt, as eksekuteur van sy literÍre nalatenskap benoem, kom as ’n verrassing. Dominique Malherbe was van kleins af gefassineer deur die familiefluisteringe oor diť groottante van haar en haar verhouding met Langenhoven. Uiteindelik besluit sy om antwoorde te soek† oor Saartjie se lewe, haar werk en die raaisel rondom haar babaseun.’n Ongewone en boeiende literÍre liefdesverhaal.
By the time Shana Fife is 25 she has two kids from different fathers. To the coloured people she grew up around, she is a jintoe, a jezebel, jas, a woman with mileage on the p*ssy. She is alone, she has no job and, as she is constantly reminded by her family, she is pretty much worthless and unloveable. How did she become this woman, the epitome of everything she was conditioned to strive not to be?
Unsettlingly honest and brutally blunt, Ougat is Shana Fife’s story of survival: of surviving the social conditioning of her Cape Flats community, of surviving sexual violence and depression, and of ultimately escaping a cycle of abuse. Exploring themes of sexuality, marriage and motherhood, rape, drugs and depression and cultural identity, Shana describes – with the self-deprecating humour her followers love so much – what it means to be a coloured woman, who gives coloured womanhood meaning and, ultimately, how surviving life as a coloured woman means being OK with giving a giant ‘f*ck you’ to the norm.
A powerful, fresh and disarming new voice – Shana’s writing is like nothing you’ve read before.
Andile Gaelesiwe is the adored Khumbul' ekhaya host. She was raped by her father at the age of 11. The second rape was by a taxi driver who beat her up. Andile entered the music scene with the big hit of the late 90s,†Abuti Yo. She started Open Disclosure for rape survivors. This fierce, at times funny memoir, an insight into Andile’s consciousness that keeps reviving her will reverberate in young and adult readers.
In the 1990s, deep-cover police agent RS536 took on the Durban underworld as part of a new organised crime intelligence unit. He rubbed shoulders with drug lords, smugglers and corrupt cops, and was instrumental in busting an international drug ring and foiling a bank heist, among many other dangerous engagements.
But then, as the country’s new democracy birthed a struggle between the old and the new guard in the South African Police Service, his identity and his life came under threat. In this action-packed account, Johann van Loggerenberg describes how, as a young policeman, he worked closely with the investigative team of the Goldstone Commission to uncover the ‘third force’ – apartheid security forces that supplied weapons to the Inkatha Freedom Party to destabilise the country.
He also delves into how and why, at the height of state capture at the South African Revenue Service in 2014, he was falsely accused of being an apartheid spy, a lie that persists up to today. Here, finally, is the truth behind deep-cover police agent RS536.
South Africa’s past quarter century has been shaped by the decisions
and reach of one of the oldest political alliances in southern Africa,
that between the African National Congress and the South African
Jeremy Maggs has been a journalist and a television and radio presenter
for over 30 years, with a front-row seat to major news events in the
run-up to and during the birth of South Africa’s democracy and beyond.
He was also the host of the hugely successful television show, Who
Wants to Be a Millionaire?, and so became a household name.
The story of the Springboks 2019 Rugby World Cup victory is one of the
most inspiring in South African sporting history.
Brent Meersman’s memoir of a humble yet eccentric upbringing in a Milnerton, Cape Town, flat in the 1970’s and 1980’s reads as a stirring eulogy to his schizophrenic mother, yet also as a vivid snapshot in time.
His adoring mother, a horse-loving artist, received only rudimentary treatment and Brent, his brother and father had to look to each other for support. His father battled alcoholism and unemployment, at one point taking the whole family to Belgium, where he had found work, only for them to return a year later, defeated. Traversing a home environment constantly on high alert for something to go wrong, waiting for his mother’s fragile mental stability to shatter, not finding support in his father, whose drinking and absences from home took a punishing toll on the family, bred in the author an almost heroic resilience.
This delicate yet brutal memoir, filled with wry humour, will resonate with many readers.
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