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In many ways GG Alcock’s story mirrors that of many of his people, the journey of a tribal society learning to embrace the first world. He does not shy away from the violence and death that coloured his childhood years surrounded by savage faction fighting, nor how they affected his adult life. His story is one of heartbreak and tragedy and, paradoxically, of vibrant hope and compassion. A restless energy and sardonic humour permeate his writing, which is compelling in its honesty and spontaneity. His parents, Creina and Neil, were humanitarians who gave up comfortable lives to move to rural Zululand. In a place called Msinga, a dry rock-strewn wilderness and one of the most violent places in Africa, they lived and worked among the Mchunu and Mthembu tribes, fighting for the rights of people displaced by the apartheid government’s policy of ‘forced removals’. They also fought against the corruption of police and government officials, as well as local farmers, which did not sit well with their white fellow citizens. When GG was fourteen his father was assassinated by rival tribesmen. GG’s early life in rural Zululand in the 1970s and 80s can only be described as unique. He and his brother Khonya, both initially home-schooled by their mother, grew up as Zulu kids, herding goats and playing with the children of their neighbours, learning to speak fluent Zulu, learning to become Zulu men under the guidance of Zulu elders, and learning the customs and history of their adopted tribes. Armed with their father’s only legacy – the skills to survive in Africa – both young men were ultimately forced to move into the ‘white’ world which was largely unknown to them.
Whispers from the depths is more than just the story of the building of the Kariba Dam in the mid-1950s. Built in just five years against overwhelming odds, the dam is a monument to engineering excellence. Shrouded in political undertones, the construction of the dam was vital for the hydro-electric power it would provide for Zambia’s burgeoning copper industry. Little thought, however, appears to have been given to the future of the human and animal populations who lived in the valley that would be inundated when the dam was completed. The question has to be asked: Was this awe-inspiring man-made creation achieved at too high a cost in terms of the human suffering and environmental devastation it caused? Central to the story of Kariba was the fate of the Tonga people who had for centuries lived in the Gwembe valley, due to be flooded when the sluice gates were finally closed to halt the flow of the mighty Zambezi River. Approximately 57 000 people were forced to move from their ancestral homes, abandoning family graves and spiritual sites to the depths of Kariba's water. They became a dispersed people who have never been able to reunite as a cohesive society, never again been able to live peacefully on the banks of the river which gave them life. Animals, too, perished in their thousands despite the gallant efforts of wildlife personnel who mounted a hastily planned rescue mission known as Operation Noah. Whispers from the depths gives a voice to the all but forgotten BaTonga. It celebrates their unique culture but deplores the price they paid for progress – a price from which they themselves derived no benefit whatsoever.
Environmentalist, independent researcher and author, Gareth Patterson has spent his entire adult life working tirelessly for the greater protection of African wildlife and, more particularly, for that of the lion. Born in England in 1963, Gareth grew up in Nigeria and Malawi. From an early age he knew where his life’s path would take him – it would be in Africa, and his life’s work would be for the cause of the African wilderness and its wild inhabitants. His is an all-encompassing African story.
From his childhood in West and East Africa to his study of a threatened lion population in a private reserve in Botswana to his work with George Adamson, celebrated as the ‘Lion Man’ of Africa, we witness Gareth’s growing commitment to his life’s mission. This is nowhere more evident than in his account of his life as a human member of a lion pride, experiencing life and death through its eyes, as he successfully rehabilitated three famous orphaned lion cubs back into a life in the wilds. At considerable risk to his own personal safety, he exposed the sordid canned lion ‘industry’ in South Africa, bringing this shameful practice to international attention.
After moving to the Western Cape he took up the fight for the African elephant, notably the unique endangered Knysna population, and published his astonishing findings in his 2009 book The Secret Elephants. Perhaps unsurprisingly, given the stressful nature of his work, Gareth suffered a massive physical and mental breakdown in his forties, which he discusses here for the first time with an openness that underlines his courage. Lesser men might have been broken, but his ‘lion’s heart’ fought back and he ultimately overcame his illness.
Gareth Patterson’s long-awaited autobiography is a moving account of one man’s single-minded dedication to the preservation of Africa’s wildlife. It is also a stark reminder that if the human race does not want to lose Africa’s priceless wild heritage there is no time to waste.
‘This is the story of my world or, more accurately, the worlds in which I live.’ GG Alcock’s parents, Creina and Neil, were humanitarians who gave up comfortable lives to move to rural Zululand. In a place called Msinga, a dry rock-strewn wilderness and one of the most violent places in Africa, they lived and worked among the Mchunu and Mthembu tribes, fighting for the rights of people displaced by the apartheid government’s policy of ‘forced removals’. They also fought against the corruption of police and government officials, as well as local farmers, which did not sit well with their white fellow citizens. When GG was fourteen his father was assassinated by rival tribesmen. GG’s early life in rural Zululand in the 1970s and 80s can only be described as unique. He and his brother Khonya, both initially home-schooled by their mother, grew up as Zulu kids, herding goats and playing with the children of their neighbours, learning to speak fluent Zulu, learning to become Zulu men under the guidance of Zulu elders, and learning the customs and history of their adopted tribes. Armed with their father’s only legacy – the skills to survive in Africa – both young men were ultimately forced to move into the ‘white’ world which was largely unknown to them. In many ways GG Alcock’s story mirrors that of many of his people, the journey of a tribal society learning to embrace the first world. He does not shy away from the violence and death that coloured his childhood years surrounded by savage faction fighting, nor how they affected his adult life. His story is one of heartbreak and tragedy and, paradoxically, of vibrant hope and compassion. A restless energy and sardonic humour permeate his writing, which is compelling in its honesty and spontaneity.
In the 1970s Hennie Keyter was an angry young man, fresh out of military service for the apartheid government of South Africa, unsure of his path in life and deeply uneasy about his faith. When God revealed to him that He had a purpose for him and a calling on his life, at first Hennie was not ready to hear it. When he finally accepted and understood his mission, a flame was lit in his heart that nothing could have extinguished. But nothing could have prepared him either for the extraordinary spiritual journey he was about to embark on which would take him wherever God wanted him to go: from Malawi, ‘the warm heart of Africa’, to Mozambique at the height of its civil war, where he was sentenced to death and faced a firing squad, from a less than welcoming beginning in Zanzibar, to the United Nations base at Lokichokio on the border between Kenya and Sudan (where on one trip he discovered that he had a price of US 10 000 on his head). Desiring only to do the will of God and to spread the Gospel, Hennie took up the challenge of taking the Gospel to many of the countries on the African continent and in the Middle East, building up leaders and planting churches in poverty stricken areas, lands devastated by years of conflict and deprivation, and war zones where soldiers seemed to have lost everything, even hope. Through the bushfire of mass evangelism and his dedicated teams of volunteers, supported by the love and faith of his wife Rita and his children Anton and Mari, in His Call, My All: An African Drumbeat – A Missionary’s Heartbeat Hennie Keyter looks back at his life in the service of the Lord and forward to continuing His work for as long as God requires it of him.
Paige’s father has Alzheimers, and her fiancé is shot and killed in an armed robbery. Paige fights her depression and pulls herself out of the dark place that she has succumbed to, with monumental effort and a new-found determination to live her life to the fullest, doing things that both terrify and exhilarate her.
When Paige meets Adam, the attraction is immediate. Adam grew up in an orphanage and has no recollection of his life before the age of six. Paige falls head over heels in love and embraces a happiness she never dreamed possible. Until the day she finds Adam in bed with another woman.
Wanting nothing more to do with him, Paige cuts Adam out of her life, until she receives a mysterious visitor, who reveals secrets about Adam’s past that shock Paige to her very core.
Determined to fight for the man she loves, Paige finds herself on a journey that will change her life forever.
Howard Feldman was a high-flying commodity trader, living a seemingly perfect life, with a perfect wife and perfect children, in an unbelievably perfect world. His tie was Hermes and belt Ferragamo (until the Hermes belt with the H became the item of choice), suits were Boss or Armani (little else would do unless it is custom made, but only in London and not by the tailors in Hong Kong as everyone knew that they aren’t up to par). Shoes were Prada. Rolex was passe unless it was the Daytona. IWC was always acceptable, Hublot - too in your face, Cartier worked and Panerai said “I have class, have money and I am aware of the latest trends”. Ties needed to be skinny, unless you were not. Louis Vuitton luggage was “showy” unless plain black. Tumi roll-on, in black, with the briefcase that slides over the handle was a pre-requisite. Check-in baggage is embarrassing and very un-cool even though you have more weight allowance than God…But then this “King of Chrome” gets attacked. And attacked again. Then he gets sick. His business folds. And his carry-on baggage simply gets too heavy to hold. As Howard unpacks his bags – both literal and metaphorical – he unravels all the “perfect” banners he has raised to the world, his family, his community and himself. He measures their value against a new benchmark of success, and reconsiders his life’s travels from Zug to Zimbabwe, New York to Tel Aviv. Returning home to South Africa, he discovers not just the meaning of home, family and friendship, but also himself.
You will find a real life, gritty account of drug addiction in the pages of Rocks – One Man’s Climb from Drugs to Dreams.
Set in the leafy suburbs of Joburg in the 90s, and at the height of the Johannesburg Rave Culture, this book brings to life the agonising heartache of the drug addicted Marco Broccardo, and that of his family members including the dirty details of the daily life of an addict – the close encounters with the law, moments of insanity and rock bottom desperation. But amidst all the despair, there is a moment of liberation and hope. Hope that addiction can be beaten through the right decisions and the over-arching idea of love.
This book will take you on a journey – from the despair of being rock bottom to the elation of the mountain-tops of Kilimanjaro.
In defeating Eric Dane, Rebecca believed that the war would be over. She couldn’t have been more wrong. Now Rebecca faces a new enemy, one far more dangerous than Eric ever was. A faceless adversary, lurking in the shadows and pulling all the strings.
With her father missing and the man she loves believed dead, Rebecca has to look inside herself and find the will to go on, to fight another day. She begins to explore her relationship with Reed, until a shocking discovery threatens to destroy her strongest alliance.
With her Legion growing ever stronger, Rebecca travels to new frontiers and finds allies in the most unlikely group of heroes. But when she discovers a NUSA convoy let loose in the Rebeldom hunting her down, Rebecca has to make the ultimate sacrifice, in order to save the people that she loves.
The Legion is the gripping sequel to The Legacy, with more twists and turns than ever before, and an ending that cries out for the final chapter.
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