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A young girl on the Cape Flats is gifted in exchange for a bottle of alcohol, a woman is beaten by her boyfriend and told to bezekela (persevere), a businesswoman is asked for sexual favours to secure a contract, while a child rapist is released on bail after three years...
South Africa is a country at war with its women. Rarely a woman can be found who has not been the victim of some kind of abuse or does not know a friend or a family member who has. Gender-based violence takes many different forms – emotional, financial, physical, sexual and structural – and it can be meted out by strangers, intimate partners or a family member.
Many women are overcome by a sense of shame when they are sexually or emotionally abused but sharing what was once a secret, helps to break shame’s hold. ‘I am not defined by the abuse I have suffered,’ writes Sue Nyathi. ‘I am not a victim; I am a survivor.’
In When Secrets Become Stories, women from all walks of life, across racial lines, age and income demographics, boldly speak out. With contributions by Lorraine Sithole, Desiree-Anne Martin, Mamokgethi Phakeng, Shafinaaz Hassim, Cathy Park Kelly and Olivia Jasriel, who as a child was sexually abused by tennis star Bob Hewitt.
Female Fear Factory is the much-anticipated follow up to the 2016 Sunday Times Alan Paton Award winner Rape: A South African Nightmare.
Where Rape: A South African Nightmare introduced strategies for disrupting rape culture at an individual level, Female Fear Factory offers an even bolder vision for collective action against all cultures of sexual violence.
Like the previous book on which it builds, Female Fear Factory fuses intellectual rigour and extensive research, written by one of South Africa's keenest minds, award-winning Professor Pumla Dineo Gqola.
‘Wathint’ Abafazi, Wathint’ Imbokodo’ – You strike the women, you strike the rock.
From the construction of gender under apartheid South Africa, to the impact of the pass laws, this book examines how history has shaped the conditions of women today. The book contributes to and extends the narrative of gender issues beyond the women’s march of 1956, and highlights and celebrates the important ways in which women have organised and continue to work around these socio-economic issues.
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.
Indigenous societies that are steeped in patriarchy have various channels through which they deal with abusive characteristics of relations in some of these communities. One such route is through songs, which sanction women to voice that which, bound by societal expectations, they would not normally be able to say. This book focuses on the nature of women’s contemporary songs in the rural community of Zwelibomvu, near Pinetown in KwaZulu-Natal. It aims to answer the question ‘Bahlabelelelani – Why do they sing?’, drawing on a variety of discourses of gender and power to examine the content and purposes of the songs.
Restricted by the custom of hlonipha, women resort to allusive language, such as is found in ukushoza, a song genre that includes poetic elements and solo dance songs. Other contexts include women’s social events, such as ilima, which refers to the collective activity that takes place when a group of women come together to assist another woman to complete a task that is typically carried out by women. During umgcagco (traditional weddings) and umemulo (girls’ coming-of-age ceremonies), songs befitting the occasion are performed. And neighbouring communities come together at amacece to perform according to izigodi (districts), where local maskandi women groups may be found performing for a goat or cow stake.
The songs, when read in conjunction with the interviews and focus group discussions, present a complex picture of women’s lives in contemporary rural KwaZulu-Natal, and they offer their own commentary on what it means to be a woman in this society.
Hermann Giliomee, pre-eminent South African historian, dissects the forces that shaped the Afrikaners into an unusual ‘maverick African’ nation.
He analyses long-term forces like the powerful legal position of Afrikaner women, the expanding frontier, and the struggles about race inside the church, along with more recent political history.
Magenge, We Need to Talk is bestselling author Melusi Tshabalala's call to men to open up, talk more, listen more and change.
The book is built around a series of conversations that Melusi's been having with his male friends, his Magenge, over the years. These round tables navigate the shitshow known as "adulting", through the lens of 40somethingyearold black men, trying to make sense of their place in the world. These intimate and often humorous convos embrace black fatherhood, black love, gender relations, gender based violence, racism, traditions and religion, hosted by the intrepid Melusi and his unique take on the wonky world black men find themselves in.
“We need to talk." Is there a more terrifying opening statement to any engagement? Whether it’s a wife, a girlfriend, your banker or lawyer – usually nothing good follows that suggestion."Now, if you have both a wife and a girlfriend," says the author, "we definitely need to talk."
The power of structural violence is that it tries to silence us. The power of feminism is that it gives us a voice. So much of our life experience is filtered through our bodies – norms, myths, and cultural standards continue to shape the way that we and the world feel about our bodies and how we see ourselves.
Feminism says these rules are bullshit. Our bodies can be tools to conform or a way to resist. Feminism is necessary to help us learn and unlearn things about ourselves and the world we live in. Feminism is for all of us, for every single body.
This collection take us from an examination of skin and hair, to an exploration of pleasure, sex, and safety. They explore the way our bodies change, our health, and how we become who we are. They examine the way that institutions can trap us, how we can trap ourselves, and the importance of our hearts in all of this.
As lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex identities increasingly secure legal recognition across the globe, these formal equality gains are contradicted by the continued presence of violence. Such violence emerges as a political pressure point for contestations of identity and power within wider systems of global and local inequality. Discourses of homophobia-related violence constitute subjectivities that enact violence and that are rendered vulnerable to it, as well as shaping political possibilities to act against violence. Blackwashing Homophobia critiques prevailing discourses through which violence and its targets are normatively understood, exploring the knowledge regimes in which multiple forms of othering are both reproduced and/or resisted.
This book draws on primary research on lesbian subjectivity and violence in South Africa examining the intersections of sexual, gender, race and class identities, and the contemporary politics of violence in a postcolonial context:
The book explores these questions and their implications for how violence, as an instrument of power, might be countered. Blackwashing Homophobia is a timely intervention for theorising the discourse of homophobia-related violence and what it reveals and conceals, enables and hinders, in relation to queer identities and political imaginaries in times of violence. The book's interdisciplinary approach to the topic will appeal to social and political scientists, philosophers and psychology professionals, as well as to advanced psychology undergraduates and postgraduates alike.
Khamr: The Makings Of A Waterslams is a true story that maps the author’s experience of living with an alcoholic father and the direct conflict of having to perform a Muslim life that taught him that nearly everything he called home was forbidden.
A detailed account from his childhood to early adulthood, Jamil F. Khan lays bare the experience of living in a so-called middle-class Coloured home in a neighbourhood called Bernadino Heights in Kraaifontein, a suburb to the north of Cape Town. His memories are overwhelmed by the constant discord that was created by the chaos and dysfunction of his alcoholic home and a co-dependent relationship with his mother, while trying to manage the daily routine of his parents keeping up appearances and him maintaining scholastic excellence.
Khan’s memories are clear and detailed, which in turn is complemented by his scholarly thinking and analysis of those memories. He interrogates the intersections of Islam, Colouredness and the hypocrisy of respectability as well as the effect perceived class status has on these social realities in simple yet incisive language, giving the reader more than just a memoir of pain and suffering.
Khan says about his debut book: "This is not a story for the romanticisation of pain and perseverance, although it tells of overcoming many difficulties. It is a critique of secret violence in faith communities and families, and the hypocrisy that has damaged so many people still looking for a place and way to voice their trauma. This is a critique of the value placed on ritual and culture at the expense of human life and well-being, and the far-reaching consequences of systems of oppression dressed up as tradition."
They Called Me Queer is a collection written by Africans who self-identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex and asexual (LGBTQIA+).
Across the continent, and throughout the world, South Africa has become known for its tolerance towards us, the LGBTQIA+ community. However, even if being who we are is legal, we live in a devastatingly segregated and unequal society, where the combination of race, class, gender and sexual identities still heavily impacts every part of our lives. This collection of stories is a testimony to who we are. It is an assertion of our struggles, but also our triumphs, our joys.
These are our stories of acceptance and rejection, of young love and old lovers, of the agonising thrills of coming out and coming into ourselves, of our sex lives, of our families and communities.
Writing by Haji Mohamed Dawjee, Lwando Scott, Ling Sheperd, Maneo Mohale, Chase Rhys, Wanelisa Xaba, Jamil F Khan, Khanya Kemami, Janine Adams, Craig Lucas and others.
Showcasing the work of more than 200 women writers of African descent, this major international collection celebrates their contributions to literature and international culture.
Twenty-five years ago, Margaret Busby’s groundbreaking anthology Daughters Of Africa illuminated the “silent, forgotten, underrated voices of black women” (Washington Post). Published to international acclaim, it was hailed as “an extraordinary body of achievement… a vital document of lost history” (Sunday Times). New Daughters Of Africa continues that mission for a new generation, bringing together a selection of overlooked artists of the past with fresh and vibrant voices that have emerged from across the globe in the past two decades, from Antigua to Zimbabwe with numerous South African contributors. Key figures join popular contemporaries in paying tribute to the heritage that unites them. Each of the pieces in this remarkable collection demonstrates an uplifting sense of sisterhood, honours the strong links that endure from generation to generation, and addresses the common obstacles women writers of colour face as they negotiate issues of race, gender and class, and confront vital matters of independence, freedom and oppression.
Custom, tradition, friendships, sisterhood, romance, sexuality, intersectional feminism, the politics of gender, race, and identity—all and more are explored in this glorious collection of work from over 200 writers. New Daughters Of Africa spans a wealth of genres—autobiography, memoir, oral history, letters, diaries, short stories, novels, poetry, drama, humour, politics, journalism, essays and speeches—to demonstrate the diversity and remarkable literary achievements of black women.
New Daughters Of Africa features a number of well-known South African contributors including Gabeba Baderoon, Nadia Davids, Diana Ferrus, Vangile Gantsho, Barbara Masekela, Lebogang Mashile and Sisonke Msimang.
What do African feminist traditions that exist outside the canon look and feel like? What complex cultural logics are at work outside the centres of power? How do spirituality and feminism influence each other? What are the histories and experiences of queer Africans? What imaginative forms can feminist activism take?
Surfacing: On Being Black and Feminist in South Africa is the first collection of essays dedicated to contemporary Black South African feminist perspectives. Leading feminist theorist, Desiree Lewis, and poet and feminist scholar, Gabeba Baderoon, have curated contributions by some of the finest writers and thought leaders. Radical polemic sits side by side with personal essays, and critical theory coexists with rich and stirring life histories. By including writings by Patricia McFadden, Panashe Chigumadzi, Sisonke Msimang, Zukiswa Wanner, Yewande Omotoso, Zoë Wicomb and Pumla Dineo Gqola alongside emerging thinkers, activists and creative practitioners, the collection demonstrates a dazzling range of feminist voices.
The writers in these pages use creative expression, photography and poetry in eclectic, interdisciplinary ways to unearth and interrogate representations of Blackness, sexuality, girlhood, history, divinity, and other themes. Surfacing is indispensable to anyone interested in feminism from Africa, which its contributors show in vivid and challenging conversation with the rest of the world. It will appeal to a diverse audience of students, activists, critical thinkers, academics and artists.
In the shattered fantasy of rainbow-nation South Africa, there are many uncomfortable truths. Among these are family secrets - the legacies of traumas in the homes and bones of ordinary South African families.
In this debut collection, feminist and Khoi San activist Kelly-Eve Koopman grapples with the complex beauty and brutality of the everyday as she struggles with her family legacy. She tries unsuccessfully to forget her father - a not-so-prominent journalist and anti-apartheid activist, desperately mentally ill and expertly emotionally abusive - who has recently disappeared, leaving behind a wake of difficult memories. Mesmerisingly, Koopman wades through the flotsam and jetsam of generations, among shipwrecks and sunken treasures, in an attempt at familial and collective healing.
Sometimes tragic, sometimes hilarious, she faces up to herself as a brown, newly privileged "elder millennial", caught between middle-class aspirations and social justice ideals. An artist, a daughter, a queer woman in love, she is in pursuit of healing, while trying to lose those last 5 kilograms, to the great disappointment of her feminist self.
200 women from a variety of backgrounds are asked the same five questions. Their answers are inspiring human stories of success and courage, love and pain, redemption and generosity. From well-known activists, artists, and innovators to everyday women whose lives are no less exceptional for that, each woman shares her unique replies to questions like “What really matters to you?” and “What would you change in the world if you could?” Interviewees include US Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, actor and human rights activist Alfre Woodard, and Nobel laureate Jodi Williams, along with those who are making a difference behind the scenes around the world, such as Marion Wright Edelman, head of the Children’s Defense Fund.
Each interview is accompanied by a photographic portrait, resulting in a volume that is compelling in word and image — and global in its scope and resonance. This landmark book is published to coincide with an immersive travelling exhibition and an interactive website, building on this remarkable, ever-evolving project. With responses ranging from uplifting to heartbreaking, these women offer gifts of empowerment and strength inviting us to bring positive change at a time when so many are fighting for basic freedom and equality.
Local interviewees include Graça Machel, Caster Semenya, Zelda la Grange, Mpho Tutu van Furth, Hlubi Mboya, Sahm Venter, Joanne Fedler, Ingrid le Roux, Gillian Slovo and Zoleka Mandela, among others.
A minimum of 10% of the project’s revenue will be distributed to organisations devoted to protecting and advancing the rights of women. Each interviewee can nominate an organisation (or themselves if they are in financial need) to receive their portion of the charitable pool or they can select the principal charitable partner, the Graça Machel Trust.
The presidential campaign in the USA grabbed the global imagination. It also grabbed the feminist imagination, presenting the hope that if a woman could become the president of the USA, women throughout the world would finally break through the reinforced glass ceiling. However, when it didn’t happen, the lost opportunity became the metaphorical kick in the feminist gut on a global scale. Through the subsequent misogyny, vulgarity, lewd comments, the pussy grabbing video, and the threats of the erosion of feminist activism in the trenches, worldwide a deep mourning arose from the feminist community. It was the name calling of “nasty women” that really smarted. Initial feelings of anger gave rise to empowerment of women — those who talk back to patriarchy — to embrace the label of “nasty women”.
The idea for the collection was born, cradled and nurtured between friends who wanted to create a space for writing and thinking about the marches. The group of feminists who contributed to this collection used the marches and the posters inspired by the marches as a vehicle which galvanised women into action to put pen to paper and show fervour for ongoing feminist activism.
The nexus of this beautifully written and evocatively illustrated collection is telling narratives that link very personal stories with deeply political issues. These are the stories told by nasty women who are making the personal political, who are seeking to live their lives in ways that resist and challenge patriarchy. Through their very intimate nature these are stories that speak to the creation of a different kind of social order, one based on equity, the promotion of human rights and social justice.
A message for today’s women – it is time for you to step into your starring role.
Being empowered is a choice; it is a daily decision that defines who we are and it is accessible to everyone. Meeting Your Power is a reminder that power is inside all of us, and that your journey to empowerment begins with you!
This is the story of two remarkable women, DJ Zinhle and Nokubonga Mbanga, who have experienced life’s ups and downs. They share the lessons learnt on their life journeys through inspirational words - words that will invoke your inner power, words that will help you return home to your essence, and words that will encourage you to return to the source of your power, the power that we are all born with.
Being an empowered woman is more than just doing, it is also about being. This book will show you how to look at power differently and will help you to unleash and harness your inner power with honest, simple and practical examples and advice. Most importantly, you will learn that your greatest empowerment project is being authentically you, every day. Prepare to meet your power and radiate your possibilities. Let’s ignite a movement of women and girls who understand the higher meaning of love for oneself and others, who appreciate and celebrate our collective growth; who nurture a solid mindset of achievement and who value creating, protecting and preserving our inner peace.
Rise and Raise!
Rosie Motene's story is about a young girl born to the Bafokeng nation during the apartheid era in South Africa.
At the time, Rosie’s mother worked for a white Jewish family in Johannesburg who offered to raise the child as one of their own. This generous gesture by the family created many opportunities for Rosie but also a trail of sacrifices for her parents. As she grew, Rosie struggled to find her true identity.
She had access to the best of everything but as a black girl she floundered without her own culture or language. This book describes Rosie’s journey through her fog of alienation to the belated dawning of herself discovery as an African.
A deeply moving and powerful biography of Fezekile Kuzwayo – better known as Khwezi – the woman the ANC tried to forget.
In August 2016, following the announcement of the results of South Africa’s heated municipal election, four courageous young women interrupted Jacob Zuma’s victory address, bearing placards asking us to ‘Remember Khwezi’. Before being dragged away by security guards, their powerful message had hit home and the public was reminded of the tragic events of 2006, when Zuma was on trial for the rape of Fezekile Ntsukela Kuzwayo, better known as Khwezi. In the aftermath of the trial, which saw Zuma acquitted, Khwezi was vilified by his many supporters and forced to take refuge outside of South Africa.
Ten years later, just two months after this protest had put Khwezi’s struggle back into the minds and hearts of South Africans, Khwezi passed away … But not before she had slipped back into South Africa and started work with Redi Tlhabi on a book about her life. How as a young girl living in ANC camps in exile she was raped by the very men who were supposed to protect her; how as an adult she was driven once again into exile, suffering not only at the hands of Zuma’s devotees but under the harsh eye of the media.
In sensitive and considered prose, journalist Redi Tlhabi breathes life into a woman for so long forced to live in the shadows. In giving agency back to Khwezi, Tlhabi is able to focus a broader lens on the sexual abuse that abounded during the ‘struggle’ years, abuse which continues to plague women and children in South Africa today.
Do you call yourself a feminist? What does this mean in your daily life?
In this book, South African feminists explore their often vastly different experiences and perspectives in accessible and engaging voices. Feminism Is touches on issues as wide-ranging as motherhood, anger, sex, race, inclusions and exclusions, the noisy protest and the quiet struggle.
It will challenge your thinking and inspire you to action, reaffirming the urgent necessity of feminism in South Africa today.
While some women seem to excel at making their money work for them, others battle from pay day to pay day. With this book, we tap into what these ‘smart women’ know that the rest of us can learn from.
Smart Woman will provide the necessary insights into how our personal view of money impacts on our financial behaviour and decisions; reveal who is competing for our money (retailers, online marketers, etc.); and look at why it is so hard to find money to invest (the first step to getting rich is having money to invest – money makes money). It also covers how major life events, such as marriage and divorce, impact on us and how we can make smart financial decisions at these times.
Smart Woman will show the reader how she can take control of her financial life by spending smarter, tackling debt and setting goals. It explains how money is made and how the financial markets work, as well as the universal principles behind growing wealth, irrespective of where one invests.
A must-read for every woman, at any age, who is serious about building wealth and obtaining financial independence.
For the last twenty years, Melinda Gates has been on a mission. Her goal, as co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, has been to find solutions for people with the most urgent needs, wherever they live. Throughout this journey, one thing has become increasingly clear to her: if you want to lift a society up, invest in women.
Candid and inspiring, in The Moment Of Lift, Gates traces her awakening to the link between women’s empowerment and the health of societies. She shows some of the tremendous opportunities that exist right now to 'turbo-charge' change. And she provides simple and effective ways each one of us can make a difference. Convinced that all women should be free to decide whether and when to have children, Gates took her first step onto the global stage to make a stand for family planning. That step launched her into further efforts: to ensure women everywhere have access to every kind of job; to encourage men around the globe to share equally in the burdens of household work; to advocate for paid family leave for everyone; to eliminate gender bias in all its forms.
Throughout, Gates introduces us to her heroes in the movement towards equality, offers startling data, shares moving conversations she’s had with women from all over the world – and shows how we can all get involved.
A personal statement of passionate conviction, this book tells of Gates’ journey from a partner working behind the scenes to one of the world’s foremost advocates for women, driven by the belief that no one should be excluded, all lives have equal value, and gender equality is the lever that lifts everything.
Reflecting Rogue is the much anticipated and brilliant collection of experimental autobiographical essays on power, pleasure and South African culture by Professor Pumla Dineo Gqola, author of the bestelling Rape: A South African Nightmare.
In her most personal book to date, written from classic Gqola anti-racist, feminist perspectives, Reflecting Rogue delivers fourteen essays of deliciously incisive brain food, all extremely accessible to a general critical readership, without sacrificing intellectual rigour.
Across the world, 2 billion experience menstruation, yet menstruation is seen as a mark of shame. We are told not to discuss it in public, that tampons and sanitary pads should be hidden away, the blood rendered invisible. In many parts of the world, poverty, culture and religion collide causing the taboo around menstruation to have grave consequences. Younger people who menstruate are deterred from going to school, adults from work, infections are left untreated. The shame is universal and the silence a global rule.
In It's Only Blood, Anna Dahlqvist tells the shocking but always moving stories of why and how people from Sweden to Bangladesh, from the United States to Uganda, are fighting back against the shame.
This groundbreaking, multi-genre anthology answers the question: what did the literary landscape look like in South Africa at the start of the twenty-first century?
It documents a slice of this landscape by bringing together the writings of over twenty contributors through literary critique, personal essays and interviews. The book tells the story of the seismic shift that transformed national culture through poetry and is the first of its kind to explore the history and impact of poetry by Black women, in their own voices. It straddles disciplines: literary theory, feminism, history of the book and politics – thus decolonising literary culture.
Our Words, Our Worlds covers expansive reflections: from the international diplomacy-transforming poem, ‘I Have Come to Take You Home’ by Diana Ferrus, to the pioneering publisher duduzile zamantungwa mabaso; from the self-confessed closeted poet Sedica Davids, to the fiery unapologetic feminist Bandile Gumbi; from the world-renowned Malika Ndlovu, to the engineer and award-winning Nosipho Gumede; from the formidable foursome Feela Sistah, to feminist literary scholars V.M. Sisi Maqagi and Barbara Boswell. The collective contributions are a testimony to the power of creativity and centrality of poetry in a changing society.
This book is an assertion of Black women’s intellectual prowess and – as Gabeba Baderoon puts it – black women’s visions of ‘a world made whole by their presence’.
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