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If, as a Springbok rugby fan, you have always wondered what goes on behind the scenes – in the dressing room, at practice, in team talks and on tour – this book will provide the answer to those questions, and many, many more. Renowned rugby scribe Gavin Rich has interviewed a wide cross-section of Springboks from the post-isolation era and asked them a variety of questions, including pertinent ones about politics, the exodus of players overseas and about life after rugby.
In Our Blood Is Green, more than 40 Springbok rugby players talk about their careers: how they made it to the top of their profession, what it was like to face the pressures of playing for South Africa’s national team, how they dealt with the media, the officials, and yes, the coaches who didn’t know what they were doing! They answer questions like: is there still a divide between English- and Afrikaans-speaking players, does the ‘quota’ system work, is Bok rugby all about playing for the jersey or is it, as former All Black coach Graham Henry once said, nationalism that drives the South African team? And what is it like to play against the British & Irish Lions, or to face the haka, or sing our national anthem before an international Test …?
By allowing the players to tell their own stories in their own words, Rich offers readers a comprehensive view of the players’ personal experiences, as well as their thoughts on the game today and the way forward for rugby in this country. Our Blood Is Green is a compelling read for rugby fans of all ages.
When Siya Kolisi leads the Springboks out onto the field at the Rugby World Cup in September 2019, it will be the crowning glory of an incredible journey that began on the impoverished streets of Zwide, a township outside Port Elizabeth. As the first black South African to captain a Springbok rugby team, Kolisi’s remarkable story is unique and deserves to be heard.
His mother was a teenager when he was born. She left him in the care of his grandmother who brought him up until she died (in his arms) when Siya was twelve. He found love and acceptance playing junior rugby with the African Bombers club until his talent was spotted by the prestigious Grey High School who offered Siya a full scholarship that changed his life. He adapted well to the posh private school, but it was on the rugby field where he excelled. Siya was rewarded with a call-up the SA schools team and a contract to join the Western Province rugby union.
Author Jeremy Daniel tracks Siya’s journey from running wild on the streets of Zwide, through some crucial games in high school, into the Western Province rugby set-up and his fight to become Springbok captain. He goes deep inside the systems that identify junior talent, the characters who shaped his journey and the moments where he showed who he really was. Siya never forgot where he came from, and ultimately adopted his mother’s other two children after she died when he was in high school.
His life has not been without controversy, and his marriage to a fiery young white woman was a lightning rod for racial politics. But he is a shining beacon of hope for South Africa, he is massively popular and there is a huge appetite from the public to know about his life and to support him as Springbok captain.
Nolitha Fakude grew up as a shopkeeper’s daughter in the Eastern Cape, studied at the University of FortHare and then entered the workplace in 1990 as a graduate trainee at Woolworths. Subsequently, she has worked in very senior positions at some major blue-chip companies, including Woolworths, Nedbank and Sasol. She was also managing director and then president of the Black Management Forum (BMF).
Over a career spanning 29 years, Nolitha spearheaded programmes that ensure the development of women and marginalised communities in the workplace and society. A passionate advocate for diversity and inclusion, she has earned a well-deserved reputation as a corporate activist.
Nolitha is held in high regard within business circles and serves on numerous boards including the JSE Limited, Anglo American plc and Afrox Limited. Although Boardroom Dancing is her personal journey, it is also a lesson for South Africans committed to the transformation of boardrooms and the economy, and for women looking for role models as they climb corporate ladders and become thought-leaders
Nolitha Fakude was born in Cenyu a small village in the Eastern Cape outside Stutterheim and worked her way up from the shopfloor as a Graduate Trainee at Woolworths to become one of South Africa’s most respected and successful black business women. Nolitha is a humble leader who is widely respected as a pioneer who was at the forefront of transformation strategy, both within the companies she worked for and as a leader at the Black Management Forum where she worked with business, government and unions to drive change in South Africa.
Basetsana Kumalo shot to fame as a fresh-faced Miss South Africa in 1994 and soon became the face of South Africa’s new democracy. As the first black presenter of the glamorous lifestyle TV show Top Billing, she travelled the world and interviewed superstars like Oprah Winfrey, Michael Jackson, Jon Bon Jovi, Will Smith, the Bee Gees, Gloria Estefan and Luther Vandross. After a successful career in television, Bassie’s drive and ambition took her into the world of business. The street savvy that her entrepreneurial mother gave her stood her in good stead as she built a media empire. When she married the handsome businessman Romeo Kumalo in a fairytale wedding, they became South Africa’s sweethearts and ‘it’ couple.
Bassie: My Journey Of Hope recounts the stories of Bassie’s life as a celebrity, including her relationships with mentors like Nelson Mandela, Winnie Madikizela- Mandela and Graça Machel. She also shares the secrets of her success and all the lessons she’s learnt along the way, and opens up about the pressures of her high-profile marriage to Romeo, their heartbreaking struggle to have a family, and how they made sure that their loving and respectful union has lasted two decades.
Bassie also talks frankly about the domestic abuse she suffered at the hands of boxer Dingaan Thobela and the legal battles she had to fight to protect her name and her brand over the years. She gives her account of the stalker who harassed her for decades, and the nonexistent ‘sex-tape’ allegation that rocked her family and career, leading to painful experiences of cyber-bullying. It is an intimate, inspiring and entertaining account of a remarkable life.
Parcel of Death recounts the little-told life story of Onkgopotse Abram Tiro, the first South African freedom fighter the apartheid regime pursued beyond the country’s borders to assassinate with a parcel bomb.
On 29 April 1972, Tiro made one of the most consequential revolutionary addresses in South African history. Dubbed the Turfloop Testimony, Tiro’s anti-apartheid speech saw him and many of his fellow student activists expelled, igniting a series of strikes in tertiary institutions across the country. By the time he went into exile in Botswana, Tiro was president of the Southern African Student Movement (SASM), permanent organiser of the South African Student Organisation (SASO) and a leading Black Consciousness proponent, hailed by many as the ‘godfather’ of the June 1976 uprisings.
Parcel of Death uses extensive and exclusive interviews to highlight significant influences and periods in Tiro’s life, including the lessons learned from his rural upbringing in Dinokana, Zeerust, the time he spent working on a manganese mine, his role as a teacher and the impact of his faith in shaping his outlook. It is a compelling portrait of Tiro’s story and its lasting significance in South Africa’s history.
‘A biography of Onkgopotse Tiro, who was at once a catalyst and an active change agent in the South African struggle for freedom, is long overdue. For generations to come, this book will be a source of valuable information and inspiration.’ – MOSIBUDI MANGENA
'Next year I’m going to be 80 years old. My car will be 20 years old. Together we'll be 100. We’re going to drive to London.'
'And what route are you going to take?'
'I have no idea. I think I’ll keep to the right.'
When 80-year old Julia Albu calls in to her favourite radio show with a zany, half-baked idea, she has no idea that it will lead her to the adventure of a lifetime.
From helping push a 30-year-old Toyota bakkie up a precipitous mountain pass in Malawi to being 'adopted' by the riotous ex-pat South African community in Dar es Salaam and being fed mildly hallucinogenic 'herbs' by her Ethiopian driver-guide, nothing deterred 80-year-old Julia Albu from her quest to drive through Africa from the Cape to Cairo.
She and her 20-year-old Toyota Conquest, Tracy - a personality in her own right - travelled through 10 African countries, from South Africa to Egypt (and beyond). Julia was accompanied by a series of companions who added texture to her travels: three of her four grown-up children, her son-in-law, and at least one person who began as a complete stranger and ended up as a friend for life.
Reminiscing about her long and interesting life along the way, and maintaining a bright and upbeat outlook regardless of the circumstances, Julia proves that you're never too old to tackle that bucket list.
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.
“I saw my mommy walking to the court with a hoodie on and a scarf covering her face. She looked almost like someone that was poor. People were cursing at her… and that broke me. This is the woman who was there for me every day, making lunch for me and my friends when we came from school, and now here she is on television being called a criminal.”
The kidnapping of baby Zephany Nurse from the cot beside her mother’s hospital bed made headline news. Desperate pleas from her parents to return her safely went unanswered. There was no trace of the baby. For 17 years, on her birthday, the Nurse family lit candles and hoped and prayed.
Living not far away from the Nurses, 17-year-old Miché Solomon had just started Matric. She had a boyfriend. She had devoted parents. She was thinking about the upcoming school dance and the dress her mother was going to make for her. She had no idea that a new girl at her school, who bore an uncanny resemblance to her, and a DNA test would shake her world to its foundations.
Miché is now 22. This is her story – for the first time in her own words. Told with astonishing maturity, honesty and compassion, it is also a story of what it means to love and be loved, and of claiming your identity.
In Namibia the 1980s were a dark decade of human rights abuses by South African security forces. Judge David Smuts, then a young Windhoek lawyer, felt compelled to take on the system.
His gripping memoir details several dramatic cases, including the freeing of detainees that had been held secretly for six years, proving that torture was used to extract ‘confessions’ and that Koevoet knowingly killed civilians. Working with the likes of Sydney Kentridge, Geoff Budlender and Arthur Chaskalson, Smuts won legal victories and established a legal centre in the far North, where many misdeeds had taken place. Smuts also takes a fresh look at the assassination of Anton Lubowski, anti-apartheid activist and his close friend.
This highly readable real-life thriller about standing up for what is right sheds light on a shocking, largely untold part of our recent history.
With this singular book Nataniël tells the story of a childhood in three small towns and one large suburb, in an era during which rules were seldom questioned and of a young boy’s overwhelming fear of the ordinary. Look At Me is Nataniël's first full-length memoir.
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.
Once the owner of a diamond mine, a wine farm and the most expensive house in Cape Town.
Former chairman of South Africa’s largest retailer, director of the Reserve Bank and the richest man in the country. As a young man, Christo Wiese cut his teeth at Pep Stores. Over the years he built a mighty business empire, which included Shoprite and a number of other enterprises. His recipe for success: an endless love for cutting deals, a fearless appetite for risk and a keen eye for a bargain. This man of great charm has never been afraid of sailing close to the wind. Over the course of 50 years these calculated risks paid off, making him one of the most successful businessmen of his generation – until he encountered the furniture group Steinhoff, and things went awry. Business journalist and writer TJ Strydom tells the story of one of South Africa’s best-known business giants in a fresh, engaging way.
‘A fabulous, sweeping adventure read – almost a thriller – that chronicles the rags to riches rise of yet another giant of Afrikaner capitalism.’ – Peter Bruce
Mteto Nyati knew as a schoolboy in Mthatha, working at his mother’s store, that he wanted to fix and build things. After completing his studies at Natal University, he turned down a Rhodes scholarship and headed for Jo'burg to take up a position at Afrox. He was the only black engineer and the advice he received was ‘don’t mess up’.
He didn’t and today is one of South Africa’s top CEOs. This is his inspirational story.
A quest is never what you expect it to be.
Elizabeth Madeline Martin spends her days in a retirement home in Cape Town, watching the pigeons and squirrels on the branch of a tree outside her window. Bedridden, her memory fading, she can recall her early childhood spent in a small wood-and-iron house in Blackridge on the outskirts of Pietermaritzburg. Though she remembers the place in detail – dogs, a mango tree, a stream – she has no idea of where exactly it is. ‘My memory is full of blotches,’ she tells her daughter Julia, ‘like ink left about and knocked over.’
Julia resolves to find the Blackridge house: with her mother lonely and confused, would this, perhaps, bring some measure of closure? A journey begins that traverses family history, forgotten documents, old photographs, and the maps that stake out a country’s troubled past – maps whose boundaries nature remains determined to resist. Kind strangers, willing to assist in the search, lead to unexpected discoveries of ancestors and wars and lullabies. Folded into this quest are the tender conversations between a daughter and a mother who does not have long to live.
Taken as one, The Blackridge House is a meditation on belonging, of the stories we tell of home and family, of the precarious footprint of life.
Memoirs of a much-loved teacher and legendary headmaster of Pretoria Boys High.
Bill Schroder is the stuff teaching legends are made of. He was strict, yet kind; firm and consistent, yet creative and playful when needed. He knew the magical mix of discipline and care needed to ensure the loyalty of his students. In this warm-hearted, inspiring and often funny memoir, Schroder looks back on four decades as an English and Latin teacher and, later, headmaster, including 19 years at Pretoria Boys High.
His holistic approach to teaching earned him the respect of both teachers and students. Teaching is not only about conveying knowledge, he believed, but also about looking after the emotional needs of students. For Schroder, the institution was never more important than the individual – he always put his students first. As a headmaster he became known for doing things his own way. He gave students a voice where others wanted to silence them, he found creative ways to turn problem schools around and never allowed departmental admin to get in the way of teaching. In the early 1990s when schools were opened to all races, Pretoria Boys High under him played a leading role in transforming their school. In his retirement he also served as a consultant and a mentor to a school in a Pretoria township.
Here is a teacher who left an indelible mark on thousands of pupils from Cape Town to Pretoria.
The self-righteous, headstrong lawyering mother has a new and greater challenge. No longer seeking the approval of her successful mother, one of South Africa’s first women judges, Niki is out to find that elusive concept of the ‘work/life’ balance and some real, sustainable solutions.
Her journey takes her deep into feminist philosophies as she struggles to understand the unfolding media-driven drama of the Oscar Pistorius trial while researching issues of ethics in the legal profession. But in between life and children, Niki is also determined to navigate her own way around the new world of print and publishing and connect with her own identity as a writer. How is she going to survive all this?
Something In Between is a light-hearted non-fiction narrative about real issues in a changing world: issues of parenting and the legal profession, tertiary institutions and marriage institutions; issues about the old feminist debate and why it’s still unresolved and some lessons learnt about the world of books and book publishing. A memoir of her last three years and all of it absolutely true.
When working on the UNESCO Slave Route project in the early 2000s, Botlhale Tema discovered the extraordinary fact that her highly educated family from the farm Welgeval in the Pilanesberg had originated with two young men who had been child slaves in the midnineteenth century. She pieced together the fragments of information from relatives and members of the community, and scoured the archives to produce this book.
Land Of My Ancestors, previously published as The People Of Welgeval, tells the story of the two young men and their descendants, as they build a life for themselves on Welgeval. As they raise their families and take in people who have been dispossessed, we follow the births, deaths, adventures and joys of the farm’s inhabitants in their struggle to build a new community.
Set against the backdrop of slavery, colonialism, the Anglo-Boer War and the rise of apartheid, this is a fascinating and insightful retelling of history. It is an inspiring story about friendship and family, landownership and learning, and about how people transform themselves from victims to victors.
A new prologue and epilogue give more historical context to the narrative and tell the story of the land claim involving the farm, which happened after the book’s original publication.
When opportunity strikes, television producer Deon Maas joins the boatloads of migrants heading for Germany. Faced with the choice of taking all his possessions along or selling everything, he opts for the latter. With a duffel bag and his four dogs, he departs for the First World.
Decadent Berlin blows his mind but also leaves him at a loss for words. As he criss-crosses the city, scratching at its pulsating underbelly, he marvels at German idiosyncrasies, and is roped into this new world by an array of vegan anarchists, eclectic musicians, football hooligans and graffiti artists.
As he tries to settle in, he has to deal with everything from obnoxious bureaucrats to nosy neighbours. In the process, Maas debunks a few myths about the First World: it’s not a perfect place where everything works, and German efficiency is definitely overrated.
By confronting the loss of his support network and adapting to a different political and social context, he learns exactly how deep his African roots go and what it takes to find your place in Europe as a white African.
South Africa’s pre-eminent historian explains the spectacular rise – and probable demise – of the numerical minority that dominated 20th-century South Africa.
The Afrikaners are unique in the world in that they successfully mobilised ethnic entrepreneurship without state assistance, controlled the entire country, and then yielded power without military defeat. Award-winning author Hermann Giliomee takes a hard analytical look at this group’s dramatic ascent and possible disappearance as a nation in a series of well-argued thematic chapters. Topics range from ethnic entrepreneurship, the ‘coloured vote’ and ‘Bantu’ education to Nelson Mandela’s relationship with the last Afrikaner leaders.
It ends with a final chapter on the most likely future for this sometimes admired, often reviled group, which undoubtedly left the largest imprint on South African history in the 20th century.
Die oorlewingstog van 'n dapper vrou.
“ ŉ Kale vlakte waar my regterbors eens was. Ek maak my oë toe en laat my brein toe om te proe aan hierdie monumentale ding. Kanker schmanker, besluit ek. Ek is nog net soveel vrou soos voor die operasie. My vroulikheid het toe al die tyd nie in my bors gesit nie. Dit sit in my kop, in my hart, in daardie onmeetbare, onaantasbare iets wat die gees genoem word.”
In hierdie aangrypende boek deel die bekende spanningsverhaalskrywer Madelein Rust die intiemste besonderhede van haar reis met borskanker. Dit is ŉ brutaal eerlike vertelling wat haar belewenis van die siekte met patos en humor uitbeeld. Lesers verkry ŉ eiesoortige blik op die fisieke ervarings van borskankerstryders sowel as die ewig veranderende binnewêreld van dié wat teen die siekte veg.
Kanker schmanker! rus borskankerstryders toe met inligting wat nie altyd geredelik beskikbaar is nie en help hul geliefdes om die reis met kanker beter te verstaan. Dit is ŉ boek van hoop en triomf wat die leser hardop laat huil en laat lag. Dis 'n verhaal vir elkeen van ons wat ŉ stryd van enige aard stry.
Locked up for poaching abalone, Shuhood Abader began writing his life story. For over fifteen years, he had been a small cog in a criminal industry stretching from the Cape underworld to China’s luxury seafood market. As abalone – perlemoen, perly – vanishes from the South African coast, Shuhood’s first-person account takes us right into the heart of the crisis.
Kimon de Greef’s postgraduate research on poaching led him into journalism, and today he is the pre-eminent local expert on the illicit abalone trade. He contextualises Abader’s raw, immediate tale by showing how the system works: from desperate fishing communities via gang strongholds on the Cape Flats, tik, guns and police complicity to the harbours of Morocco and Hong Kong.
Journey with the authors through death-defying dives, blackmail, robbery, shark encounters, near-drownings, and chases by police and rivals.
Poacher tells the story of a deadly black market; but it is also the story of one man, deeply conflicted, committed to his faith and searching for a better way.
Multiple award-winning author Elsa Joubert's memoir about life after the death of her beloved husband. She must come to terms with the loss of independence, friends who die and the changes in her memory and bodily powers. Vivid memories of her eventful life as a celebrated writer are skilfully woven into her story. Filled with wisdom, compassion and humour, this book will leave no reader untouched.
Ming-Cheau Lin’s family emigrated to South Africa from Tainan, Taiwan when she was just three years old and stayed in Bloemfontein with a small East Asian community. Seen as an outsider, she struggled to understand her identity as a minority and immigrant and faced harsh realities of being ‘yellow’ in the western world in addition to the legacy of South Africa’s history.
After assimilating to the surrounding society, she is deemed ‘not Asian enough’ when she is unable to conform to the rules of first-generation Asian elders, yet too Asian for everyone else. Taiwanese or South African, teenager or rebel, creative or disappointment.. she shares her story and journeys to uncover the reasons why yellow people are treated the way they are in a space that doesn’t recognise them as part of the population
South African born-and-raised Hollywood screenwriter Helena Kriel is researching the ancient text of the Kama Sutra for a movie she’s writing. At the same time, she is travelling to India to meet with sages and find answers to the universal challenges of sex and love. While searching for love in her doomed relationships, little does she know she will find her answers in caring for her dying brother, Evan, in South Africa.
Set in the mid-1990s, South Africa is just emerging from the darkness of apartheid and bursting with vibrant chaos. The story zooms in on an intense year in the narrator’s life. It centres around the lively and eccentric South African Kriel family: Maya, the combative but inspired mother; Lexi, the sister recently returned from living in a temple in India; Ross, the younger brother diving with sharks; and Helena, the narrator, herself on a journey to understand love and death. At the heart of the story is Evan, her terminally ill 30-year-old gay brother, who has been keeping his illness a shameful secret. Conscious, sensitive, terrified and trying to hang onto sanity as his world changes, Evan becomes paralysed then finally goes blind as death draws ever closer. But it is Evan who leads the family through the fire.
In living through her brother’s fight to stay alive, the narrator finds herself at the heart of a savage story, one she would not have chosen. How could she know when she set out to India to find ancient solutions to the modern problems of our age that her brother’s approaching death would be her greatest teacher? How could she imagine that dying brings everything to life?
The Year Of Facing Fire is an astoundingly written memoir by one of South Africa’s finest writers. It traverses universal themes including love, death and sex, and finds value in the ordinary and great beauty in the uncertain.
In 1980’s apartheid Cape Town, five-year-old Desiree-Anne is grappling with how she’s going to turn her tar baby doll’s skin into sweet, soft lily-white. What she has learnt is that Whites are better than "everyone else". She doesn’t know how to force her father to stop drinking or gambling or make her mother love her or get the boys and men to stop touching her in secret. She learns how to soothe the pain: through secret masturbation and lying.
As she grows up, she begins to understand the rules of living in her depressed family as well as in her fractured community.
In her teens, laden with the awkwardness of bushy, unruly hair, braces, and a body shorter and rounder than a Womble – and now firmly planted in a 'White School', Desiree-Anne is forced to confront her ‘Coloured identity crisis’. She turns to self-harm, disordered eating, the thrill of petty theft and escapism through books and acting. Although she wins a place to study drama at UCT, sensing her parents cannot afford the tuition, she opts to go to the UK where she gets lost in bars, clubs and pills. On her return to South Africa she embraces the “free love” Ecstasy trance club scene but when she meets Darren, a heroin addict, she turns to needles. Her search for love and acceptance descends into a self-destructive spiral as an intravenous smack addict.
This is a harrowing memoir on the darkness of addiction, but it is also a touching and sometimes humorous account of a little-girl-turned-woman’s deep need and reckless pursuit for love. When Desiree-Anne finally finds recovery years later, she uncovers her real voice to talk and write about things that were previously left unspoken.
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