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Archive for the ‘Africa’ Category

Podcast: Babongile Zulu Chats About the New Picador Africa Classics Series

Babongile Zulu spoke to Power FM about the new Picador Africa Classics series, which celebrates 10 years of publishing local and African literature in South Africa as well as honouring Phaswane Mpe in the 10th anniversary of his passing.

When a Man CriesI Speak to the SilentWellcome to Our HillbrowSmall ThingsBrooding Clouds

The 13 titles selected to be released as ebooks are time-honoured African works that are not readily available in print or in digital form.

Zulu, assistant editor of Picador Africa Classics, spoke about the motivation for the project and the specific titles that were selected, which include Mpe’s Welcome to Our Hillbrow and The Brooding Clouds.

Listen to the Podcast:

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Picador Africa Classics: Celebrating Time-honoured and Exceptional Titles

Picador Africa Classics

This year, Picador Africa, an imprint of Pan Macmillan SA, celebrates 10 years of publishing local and African literature in South Africa. In celebration of this milestone and in honouring Phaswane Mpe in the 10th anniversary of his passing, we will be publishing 13 time-honored titles as ebooks this year.

Picador Africa Classics aims to build a catalogue of exceptional titles that may be out of print or lack presence in digital form. It builds on the historical concept of something like the African Writers Series as well as a publisher such as Ravan Press, which showcased works of excellence by African writers. The focus of the series is initially on South African fiction titles but adding specific ‘classic’ works of non-fiction is a future possibility. This important digital archive also serves to highlight great work that receives little or no attention. We are honoured to have Mpe’s work feature in this selection of great South African writing.

When a Man CriesWhen a Man Cries by Siphiwo Mahala

When a Man Cries is an uncompromising and engrossing novel from Siphiwo Mahala about the challenges of manhood in contemporary South Africa. It interrogates the dynamics of township life and the human and socioeconomic realities of the most impoverished communities in post-apartheid South Africa.

ISBN: 9781770104075

I Speak to the SilentI Speak to the Silent by Mtutuzeli Nyoka

Walter Hambile Kondile is the typical ‘good native’ of his generation, poorly educated and subservient, brought up to know his place and believe that ‘it was God’s design for the white man to rule over me’. Then Kondile’s beloved daughter, Sindiswa, a young struggle activist, goes missing in exile. Kondile’s search leads him to Lesotho and grim discoveries of betrayal that shatter forever his own ‘complicity of silence’, committing him to an irrevocable path of no return.

This is a compelling and beautifully written novel by Mtutuzeli Nyoka, a powerful storyteller who shares history as he sees it.

ISBN: 9781770103658

Wellcome to Our HillbrowWelcome to Our Hillbrow by Phaswane Mpe

Welcome to Our Hillbrow is an exhilarating and disturbing ride through the chaotic and hyperreal zone of Hillbrow – microcosm of all that is contradictory, alluring and painful in the South African psyche.

ISBN: 9781770104051
Small ThingsSmall Things by Nthikeng Mohlele

Through his protagonist, the trumpet-playing philosopher poet, Nthikeng Mohlele weaves his unique magic with words, posing powerful questions in his inimitably individualistic and evocative style.

Small Things is the story of a dreamer, an average man, singled out by fate for an uncertain life. Jailed for 18 years under apartheid for unspecified sins, he emerges into a world that has no place for him. His fluctuating fortunes land him on the unpredictable, bitter-winter streets of Johannesburg, where ‘harmlessness’ is an ‘unfortunate trait’ but the tempestuous skylines offer space to breathe.

ISBN: 9781770104044

Brooding CloudsThe Brooding Clouds by Phaswane Mpe

The Brooding Clouds collection is a gem of creative achievement that stands as a poignant tribute to the tremendous talent of a writer cut down much
too soon.

The Brooding Clouds is a posthumous collection of short stories and poems that were written as a prequel to Phaswane Mpe’s acclaimed bestseller, Welcome to Our Hillbrow.

ISBN: 9781770104068

And coming soon:

A Man Who is Not a Man by Thando Mgqolozana

The controversial topic of botched traditional circumcision is a steady constant in the South African news and the focus of much debate. This powerful first novel recounts the personal trauma of a young Xhosa initiate after one such circumcision gone wrong.

With frankness and courage Thando Mgqolozana details the pain and life-long shame that is experienced as a result of not only the physical trauma, but the social ostracism of being labelled ‘a failed man’.

ISBN: 9781770104013

JoziJozi by Perfect Hlongwane

This absorbing novel by debut author Perfect Hlongwane offers a biting portrait of inner-city Jo’burg, ‘a place where dreams come to die’.

ISBN: 9781770103986
A Daughter's LegacyA Daughter’s Legacy by Pamphilia Hlapa

A Daughter’s Legacy is the story of Kedibone’s journey from childhood to parenthood, from the dusty streets of her home village to the
modern worlds of university and working life.

Determination and resilience battle with fear and insecurity in Kedibone’s searing engagement with relationships and personal growth. This novel is a bold and necessary statement that exposes the taboos and abuse that a male-dominated culture allows, if not engenders. It breaks the silence and
connivance in a way that is seldom done.

ISBN: 9781770103993

Our Story MagicOur Story Magic by Gcina Mhlophe

Our Story Magic is a collection of enchanting and compelling tales written by Gcina Mhlophe, South Africa’s most popular performance storyteller.

The illustrations are by artists from Mhlophe’s home province of KwaZulu-Natal. Read and share these 11 stories with the love that went into
creating them.

ISBN: 9781770104020

Stories of AfricaStories of Africa by Gcina Mhlophe

Stories of Africa is a folklore story collection that offers a feast of enjoyment for young South African readers, with 10 enchanting tales, steeped in the imaginative richness of African oral tradition.

Told with inimitable aplomb by Gcina Mhlophe, South Africa’s most popular performance storyteller, and illustrated by a lively selection of
KwaZulu-Natal artistic talent, Stories of Africa is a classic to delight readers of all ages and cultures.

ISBN: 9781770104037

Fanie Fourie's LobolaFanie Fourie’s Lobola by Nape ’a Motana

Fanie Fourie’s Lobola is filled with naughty humour and ironic reversals of stereotype. With a deft and humorous pen, Nape ’a Motana evokes the colliding worlds of traditional and contemporary culture in a South Africa still struggling to renegotiate roles and relationships and shake off the complexes and prejudices of the past.

This novel was turned into an acclaimed comedic film. It demonstrates how far we have come in that we can now write with piercing humour about what used to be life-and-death issues – specifically ‘love across the colour bar’.

ISBN: 9781770104006

To Every Birth Its Blood by Mongane Wally Serote

The Rediscovery of the Ordinary: Essays on South African Literature and Culture by Njabulo Ndebele

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Kevin Lings Addresses Structural Problems in South Africa’s Economy in The Missing Piece

The Missing PieceNew from Pan Macmillan, The Missing Piece: Solving South Africa’s Economic Puzzle by Kevin Lings:

“The Missing Piece is an important contribution to the debate on how best to address the structural problems that have plagued the South African economy. Kevin Lings not only documents the many social and economic achievements of the post-apartheid government, but identifies the key areas in which the country has not performed adequately and suggests some potential solutions.” – Dr Sibusiso Sibisi, CEO of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research

At the time of South Africa’s first democratic election in 1994 it was clear that the structure of the economy had to change and that land ownership, employment opportunities and access to essential services had to match more closely the needs of the entire population.

The Missing Piece: Solving South Africa’s Economic Puzzle explores various aspects of the South African economy over the past 20 years – what has worked and what has fallen short. It also looks into the next 20 years to see what needs to be done in order to put together the four pieces of our economy identified by Lings that will allow us to complete the puzzle and place South Africa on a higher potential growth path. This involves focusing on business development, redressing education policies, improving the use of technology, addressing our infrastructural backlog and developing a closer relationship with the rest of Africa.

The practical policy proposals in The Missing Piece set it apart from other titles on the South African economy, while providing an accessible and comprehensive overview of the pertinent issues.

About the author

Kevin Lings has been the chief economist at STANLIB for the past 13 years and has analysed the South African economy for the past 25 years. As a core member of the STANLIB investment team, his economic research and assessments directly inform the company’s asset investment strategy. This is his first book.

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Podcast: Greg Mills Believes Leadership is Key to Enabling Economies to Recover from Conflict

Why States RecoverGreg Mills chatted to Ray White on Talk Radio 702 about his new book, Why States Recover: Changing Walking Societies into Winning Nations – from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe.

Mills says leadership is crucial to helping economies recover from war and conflict, and quotes former president Thabo Mbeki, who said: “Conflict is a result of bad leadership.”

“The first lesson is you have to get the politics right,” Mills says. “And then you have to get policy right and you’ve got to have local ownership of the problem as well as the solution. And those three ingredients plus local level securities and security of investment – that’s the basic formula. But absolutely key in all of this is leadership.”

Listen to the podcast:

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Video: Moeletsi Mbeki Joins Redi Tlhabi on South2North to Discuss Foreign Aid

Advocates for ChangeArchitects of PovertyMoeletsi Mbeki believes “there is a great deal of exaggeration about China’s relations with African countries”. On Redi Tlhabi’s talk show, South2North, on Al Jazeera, Mbeki discussed foreign aid, saying that he feels it is the regulation of the African countries that is problematic, rather than China itself being the problem.

Watch the full show:

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Architects of Poverty: Why African Capitalism Needs Changing

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The Mobile Revolution Could Advance African Enterprise, Says Bright B Simons

MobinomicsIn a recent Harvard Business Review blog post, Ghanaian inventor Bright B Simons argues that although the African telecoms scene has been robust on the consumer end of things, enterprise is now anybody’s game.

In Alan Knott-Craig and Gus Silber’s book Mobinomics the efforts of Mxit to open the field for mobile entrepreneurs are highlighted. In die following piece Simons says that there is the opportunity for more role-players to stake their claim in a game that’s wide open:

The United States economy is nine times the size of Africa’s, but Africa has twice as many mobile phones.

This tantalizing statistic would seem to indicate that, in the mobile era, Africa’s time has come. But the mobile subscriber numbers are only part of the story. So far, the buzz about African mobile has been about the consumer side of things. I believe, though, that it is at the enterprise level that mobile could truly become a game changer for Africa, enabling the building of massive fortunes, and perhaps even the much anticipated recycling of innovation from Africa to the West.

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Rebecca Davis Profiles Mobinomics by Alan Knott-Craig Jr and Gus Silber

MobinomicsAlan Knott-Craig Junior’s story of Mxit, the popular cellphone-based social network detailed in the book Mobinomics: Mxit and Africa’s Mobile Revolution, is nothing short of a business fairytale. Knott-Craig and Gus Silber co-wrote the book which looks into the mobile economy in Africa and tells the story of Mxit’s rise in popularity.

Rebecca Davis of the Daily Maverick recently profiled the book and the story behind one of South Africa’s most successful inventions:

Cellphone ownership in South Africa is no longer the province of the rich: mobile penetration now exceeds 90%, according to the authors (with some sources claiming over 95% or even 101%, depending on the age group). That’s a massive market, and it’s not just cellular networks that want a piece of it. The most-hyped cellphone-based enterprise on the continent is MXit, which writer Gus Silber calls “one of the three great South African innovations, next to the heart transplant and the Kreepy Krauly”. Of course, it’s in his interest to claim that, since he’s just co-authored a book on the subject with MXit CEO Alan Knott-Craig. But the story of MXit’s extraordinary growth is indeed an inspiring one, and Mobinomics turns out to be a highly readable account of the company’s success in harnessing the potential of the cellphone-using market. [Disclosure: Alan Knott-Craig was Daily Maverick's first investor. World of Avatar holds a stake in Daily Maverick.]

“I met Alan in 2010 to chat about the possibility of a book about “Mobinomics”, the economy of mobile in Africa. Which means everything from the use of mobiles in commerce and banking, to social media, to social upliftment,” Silber explains. “As part of this process, Alan showed me a presentation on his laptop about MXit, which he used as an example of the spread of mobile in South Africa, and it was quite eye-opening for me to see just how big the network’s reach is, and how there is a lot more to it than chatting.”

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Podcasts: Moeletsi Mbeki Considers Africa’s Biggest Challenges

Advocates for ChangeArchitects of PovertyMoeletsi Mbeki, author of Architects of Poverty and editor of Advocates for Change, was interviewed on Talk Radio 702 where he spoke broadly about the challenges facing Africa in terms of politics, economy and health.

Mbeki lays the blame at the door of governments that, according to him, haven’t managed society and the economy well, but have instead “scrambled” for power.

In a separate interview on SAfm, Mbeki spoke specifically about the problem of unemployment in South Africa and how to address this issue.

Listen to the podcasts:

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Architects of Poverty: Why African Capitalism Needs Changing

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Auma Obama Writes About Her Life and Brother Barack Obama in And Then Life Happens

And Then Life HappensThe German Goethe-Institut of SA is hosting Auma Obama (President Barack Obama’s half-sister) on 13 and 14 June 2012 in Johannesburg and 15 June 2012 in Cape Town, to speak about her moving memoir of her life in Africa and Europe, and her relationship with her brother, And Then Life Happens. Her memoir will be released by Pan Macmillan in June:

While her younger brother Barack grew up in the U.S. and Indonesia, Auma Obama’s childhood played out at the other end of the world in a remote village in Kenya, the birthplace of the siblings’ shared father. Barack and Auma met for the first time in the 1980s, and they built a lasting relationship which lead to travels together in Kenya, research into their family history and finally Auma’s support for her brother’s political career and eventual bid for the U.S. presidency.

Auma spent sixteen years studying and living in Germany, moved to England for love, and gave birth to a daughter there. The tension between her original and chosen worlds and cultures was a constant challenge, and eventually Auma returned to Africa and worked to support young men and women in shaping their futures.

In And Then Life Happens, her candid and emotional memoir, Auma shares her own story as well as recollections of and experiences with her famous brother, who says about their first encounter: “I hugged her, we looked at each other, and laughed. I knew right then that I loved her.”

About the author

Auma Obama was born in Kenya right after the country gained its independence. She grew up first with her mother and paternal grandparents, and later with her (and President Obama’s) father and American step-mother. She now works in Nairobi for CARE International, an organisation specialising in educational projects worldwide.

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Two Launches for Mobinomics: Mxit and Africa’s Mobile Revolution by Alan Knott-Craig and Gus Silber

Mobinomics: Mxit and Africa's Mobile RevolutionPan Macmillan, Bookstorm and Exclusive Books cordially invite you to two launches for Mobinomics: Mxit and the Mobile Revolution in Africa by Alan Knott-Craig and Gus Silber.

Join the authors in conversation with Ronnie Apteker at Exclusive Books Nelson Mandela Square on 7 June, and in conversation with Arthur Attwell at The Book Lounge on 19 June.

See you there!
Launch invite (Joburg) - Mobinomics by Alan Knott-Craig Jr, with Gus Silber
Event details: Exclusive Books Mandela Square

Launch invite - Mobinomics by Alan Knott-Craig with Gus Silber
Event Details: The Book Lounge

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