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Archive for the ‘Events’ Category

Launch – Wellbeing Economy: Success in a World Without Growth by Lorenzo Fioramonti

Using real-life examples and innovative research, acclaimed political economist Lorenzo Fioramonti lays bare society’s perverse obsession with economic growth by showing its many flaws, paradoxes and inconsistencies.

He argues that the pursuit of growth often results in more losses than gains and in damage, inequalities and conflicts.

By breaking free from the growth mantra, we can build a better society that puts the wellbeing of all at its centre. A wellbeing economy would have tremendous impact on everything we do, boosting small businesses and empowering citizens as the collective leaders of tomorrow.

Wellbeing Economy is a manifesto for radical change in South Africa and beyond.

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Book launch – Longthroat Memoir: Soups, Sex and Nigerian Taste Buds by Yemisi Aribisala

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‘I grew up a slave’ – Justice Dikgang Moseneke inspires with his life story at the launch of My Own Liberator

‘I grew up a slave.’ – Justice Dikgang Moseneke inspires with his life story at the launch of My Own Liberator

Former Deputy Chief Justice of South Africa Dikgang Moseneke was recently at Atteridgeville Community Hall in Pretoria to launch his new memoir: My Own Liberator.

I grew up a slave. I grew up oppressed.

This was the main reason he wrote the book, Moseneke told the audience, which included a few prominent politicians such as former President Thabo Mbeki and newly appointed mayors of Pretoria and Johannesburg, respectively, Solly Msimanga and Herman Mashaba.

My Own LiberatorMoseneke was arrested and sent to Robben Island at the age of 15 for activities against apartheid, and he brushed off the suggestion that he was young or immature at that age. In response, he said it was often the young who saw the cracks in an unjust system.

“At 15, I didn’t think I was young. I thought I was equal to the task,” he said.

Moseneke said his generation and comrades took the side of people who said “inkululeko ngexesha lethu – freedom in our lifetime”.

Moseneke spoke of his childhood friends and recounted the bullying he faced as a child. To win over the bullies, he sometimes shared fishcakes and cheesecakes his grandfather, a self-taught chef, brought home from work. When Moseneke had become successful, with a safe career and a comfortable life, he often wondered what his friends and erstwhile bullies had become in terms of their careers.

Moseneke relived the harsh, cruel experiences of prisoners at Robben Island – prisoners being chained in pairs and sometimes taking a fall when the other prisoner fell. But instead of being broken by these experiences, Moseneke used the time to study and better his life.

When an audience member asked the former chief justice to speak on the contentious land issue dominating headlines in South Africa at the moment, Moseneke said “restitution has been slow”. He believes that if everyone had land, there would be nobody living in shacks. For the land issue to be solved, however, he said the government itself may have to consider giving away land it occupied yet didn’t own.

‘I grew up a slave.’ – Justice Dikgang Moseneke inspires with his life story at the launch of My Own Liberator

Mbeki, who wrote the book’s foreword and the one to appoint Moseneke as Deputy Chief Justice during his tenure as president, said My Own liberator was the kind of story that “needed to be told in these directionless times”.

‘I grew up a slave.’ – Justice Dikgang Moseneke inspires with his life story at the launch of My Own Liberator

When the country needed skilled judges for the transformation of the judiciary, people like Moseneke had been more than willing to put their hands up, Mbeki said. Mbeki also took the opportunity to thank Moseneke for the service he had rendered to the country as a judge.

‘I grew up a slave.’ – Justice Dikgang Moseneke inspires with his life story at the launch of My Own Liberator‘I grew up a slave.’ – Justice Dikgang Moseneke inspires with his life story at the launch of My Own Liberator

Lungile Sojini (@success_mail) tweeted live from the event:

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Don’t miss Paul McNally reading from The Street at Bridge Books

Invitation to a reading of The Street

The Street: Exposing a World of Cops, Bribes and Drug DealersPan Macmillan and Bridge Books invite you to join them for Paul McNally reading from his new book The Street: Exposing a World of Cops, Bribes and Drug Dealers.

The event takes place this evening at Bridge Books on Commissioner Street in Joburg.

Anton Harber called The Street: “an important piece of journalism that gives rare insight into Joburg’s rotten underbelly and the criminals, cops and citizens who co-exist there.”

Don’t miss it!

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Centre for Conflict Resolution public dialogue to launch Andrew Harding’s The Mayor of Mogadishu

The Mayor of Mogadishu: A Story of Chaos and Redemption in the Ruins of SomaliaThe Centre for Conflict Resolution (CCR), Cape Town, is holding a public dialogue to launch The Mayor of Mogadishu: A Story of Chaos and Redemption in the Ruins of Somalia by Andrew Harding.

The meeting will be held on Wednesday, 19 October, at 6 Spin Street, from 5:30 to 7 PM.

Harding, one of the BBC’s most experienced foreign correspondents, will address the meeting. Abdikadir Khalif Mohamed, Western Cape Director of the Somali Association of South Africa (SASA), will act as discussant. Professor Shamil Jeppie, Director and Associate Professor of History, Institute for Humanities in Africa (HUMA), University of Cape Town, will chair the meeting.

In The Mayor of Mogadishu, Harding reveals the tumultuous life of Mohamud “Tarzan” Nur, an impoverished nomad who was abandoned in a state orphanage in newly independent Somalia and became a street brawler and activist. When the country collapsed into civil war and anarchy, Tarzan and his young family became part of an exodus, eventually spending 20 years in north London. In 2010 Tarzan returned, as mayor, to the unrecognisable ruins of a city now almost entirely controlled by the Islamist militants of Al Shabab. For some in Mogadishu, he was a divisive thug who sank beneath the corruption and clan rivalries that continue to threaten the country’s revival. But for others, both locally and in the diaspora, Tarzan became a galvanising symbol of courage and hope for Somalia. The Mayor of Mogadishu is a rare insider’s account of Somalia’s unravelling and an intimate portrayal of one family’s extraordinary journey.

Event Details

  • Date: Wednesday, 19 October 2016
  • Time: 5:30 to 7:00 PM
  • Venue: 6 Spin Street
    Church Square
    Cape Town | Map
  • Chair: Professor Shamil Jeppie
  • Discussant: Abdikadir Khalif Mohamed
  • RSVP: Nombulelo Mthimkhulu, CCR,

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‘So did you, like, bang Brenda?’ – Bongani Madondo chats about his new book Sigh The Beloved Country

Bongani Madondo

Sigh The Beloved CountryWriter, biographer and culture critic Bongani Madondo was at the Hard Rock Cafe in Sandton recently for a discussion of his new book Sigh the Beloved Country.

The conversation focused on a selection of topics from the book, and the subject of women dominated the evening.

70 per cent of the current book was about women, Madondo said.

“The greatest percentage of the people who obsess me, that I’m particularly interested in, the people who create magic – whether it’s song, dance, ideology, raising our children, breastfeeding white people’s children, doing everything for us – for me the centre of this world is African women. I try to figure them out,” he said to a rapturous audience.

Madondo has previously written a book on Brenda Fassie, the late South African icon, titled I’m Not Your Weekend Special.

In his new book, which runs to over 500 pages, Madondo includes an eyebrow-raising chapter titled “So Did You, Like, Bang Brenda?” – a question he says he was often asked by awestruck teenagers.

Image courtesy of Taji Mag

The event, which was billed as a discussion on women and the role they play in “transforming the media and branding industry”, morphed into something slightly different.

Madondo spoke of his childhood aunts and uncles, who he says went to great lengths to wear the most fashionable clothes of the time. Yet, for all their joviality, the aunts would be crying at the hands of the uncles later on. This and his watchful nature is what led him to writing, revealed Madondo.

“From a very young age, I was more like a peeping Tom. Someone who wanted to keep quiet, watch and listen,” he said.

As a failed law student and architect wannabe, Madondo turned to writing and journalism as his storytelling outlet. This led him to stints with City Press, among other local publications, as well as international publications such as The New York Times.

Madondo also talked about the “need to create a new language”. This was after he rejected the word “artsy-fartsy” to describe his miscellaneous artistic projects. “I prefer being labelled as a storyteller instead,” he said.

On the question whether journalists who occasionally appear on TV and radio turn out to be more successful than their media-shy colleagues, Madondo said: “I don’t like the word ‘famous’. It’s about the impact journalists have on society that matters, not appearing on a soapbox.”

Lungile Sojini (@success_mail) tweeted live from the event:

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From servant to legend: AB de Villiers chats about his cricket career at the launch of his autobiography

Image: Danielle de Villiers on Instagram

AB: The AutobiographyProteas star batsmen and captain AB de Villiers was at the Wanderers Stadium recently to launch his new book, AB: The Autobiography.

De Villiers scored the fastest century ever in one day international history at The Wanderers, so it was a fitting venue to launch his autobiography. He regaled the audience with tales of his boyhood and the different stages of his cricket career before his rise to stardom and prominence with the Proteas.

There were times De Villiers didn’t know if his career would pan out, he said at the night.

“I always believed that I was destined for something great,” he said, but admitted doubts arose from him playing in the second team. Speaking of the transition from school to international cricket, De Villiers said: “When I left school it was all very confusing.”

So confusing that De Villiers, who for a while studied Sport Science, spoke of the “drop zone” – a zone where there was “lots of beer … friends” and him driving in his mother’s blue Jetta, thinking he was “the coolest guy in the world”.

Before he knew it, “six months were gone”, with De Villiers not knowing what he was doing with his life.

At this stage De Villiers was still playing cricket for the second team. However, by taking his chances and utilising the opportunities he got, it wasn’t long he was playing for the first team.


These are some of the stages De Villiers documents in his book. Ex-cricketer and now commentator Mpumelelo Mbangwa, who was in conversation with the star batsman, asked De Villiers about his state of mind ahead of his international debut for the Proteas in a Test match in 2004.

“It was a bit crazy, playing with legends of the game like Jacques Kallis and Mark Boucher,” De Villiers said, adding that life in the national team was always a challenge.

Having played just a few first-class games, playing for the national team was a mental test, and it was a lean period for De Villiers, with runs hard to come by. The batsman said he felt lucky to be playing in the first team considering his poor record at the time.

De Villiers also spoke of the senior players who sternly advised him to step up his batting performance. “I was almost a servant, in my first year. I didn’t feel like I belonged performance-wise,” he said.

De Villiers has gone on to play 98 consecutive Tests for the Proteas since his debut – a feat no other Test cricketer has achieved ever.

Speaking of his strategy, De Villiers said: “I go with my instincts at times. I do gamble at times, like most of other captains.” He added that a team of analysts and other professionals were always at hand to assist.

Fear of failure makes him nervous, he said. But he has managed to turn that handicap into an advantage, saying: “The more nervous I am, the better I play.”

The next major tournament top on De Villiers’s mind is the 2019 Cricket World Cup. He hopes to lift the trophy with the Proteas.

Lungile Sojini (@success_mail) tweeted live from the launch:

The event was photographed by Nicolise Harding – Photography & Design:

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How to have sympathy for the cops AND the drug dealers: The Street by Paul McNally launched at Love Books

The StreetThe Street: Exposing a World of Cops, Bribes and Drug Dealers by Paul McNally was launched at Love Books in Melville recently, in the company of Anton Harber, ENCA Editor-in-Chief and Caxton Professor of Journalism, and Carolyn Raphaely, senior journalist at Wits Justice Project.

McNally is an award-winning journalist and the Director of Citizen Justice Network. The event at Love Books was packed.

Harber called the book: “A remarkable piece of writing.”

“Seldom these days we see books in journalism based on patient, detailed reporting by someone who is prepared to spend days, weeks and months observing, interviewing and doing the hard work of basic journalism,” he said.

The book follows the corrupt relationship between the police and the drug dealers in Johannesburg.

“Paul has given us insights into crime and the fight against it from ground level. The kind of grainy detail that you can only get from that combination of patience and commitment,” he said.

“What I found most fascinating about his book is that it’s not about crime, it’s not about good and bad, villains and victims. What he shows us that is it often very difficult to tell the difference between them,” Harber continued.

“So it’s an important book but most of all it’s a rarely found enthralling read. I would go so far as to say that you will have difficulty understanding crime and the fight against it in this country unless you have read this book. It’s a must-read for anyone trying to understand this issue, this city and this country,” Harber said.

The Street follows the stories of three characters. The first is Raymond, a shop owner on Ontdekkers Road who takes a baseball bat to the dealers when they break his rules. But he is also against the corruption: he systematically records in his notebook when the police officers come to collect their bribe money from the dealers. And he plans all manner of schemes from his shop on how to disrupt the system.

The second character is a police officer called Khaba who wants a quiet life but whose demons will not leave him in peace. He is trying to regain his trust in what he once regarded as an honourable profession.

The third character (who came to the launch to receive her signed copy) is Wendy, a petite, ageing police reservist who can handle an R5 rifle with confidence.

The story of The Street developed as a project based at Wits Justice Project around the Sophiatown police station.

And ultimately the author became entrenched in the world on Ontdekkers in west Johannesburg. He spent two years investigating how the drug dealers and cops interact without any sign of accountability. This resulted in the author being in a general state of fear while working on the book.

But with time, McNally said that sympathy for the drug dealers and the police developed.

With the release of the recent crime stats the boom in books around the police has been evident. What is also necessary is the need for narrative, reporter-based journalism to bring together the comprehensive picture on the state of crime and the police in the country.

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Don’t miss the launch of The Street by Paul McNally at Love Books

Invitation to the launch of The Street

The StreetPan Macmillan and Love Books invite you to join Carolyn Raphaely in conversation with Paul McNally for the launch of his new book, The Street: Exposing a World of Cops, Bribes and Drug Dealers.

The launch will take place at Love Books in Melville, Joburg, on Tuesday, 6 September.

Don’t miss it!

This is an important piece of journalism that gives rare insight into Joburg’s rotten underbelly and the criminals, cops and citizens who co-exist there. – Anton Harber

Event Details

  • Date: Tuesday, 6 September 2016
  • Time: 6 for 6:30 PM
  • Venue: Love Books
    The Bamboo Lifestyle Centre
    53 Rustenburg Road
    Johannesburg | Map
  • Interviewer: Carolyn Raphaely
  • RSVP:, 011 726 7408

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Join Moeletsi Mbeki and Judith February for the launch of A Manifesto For Social Change at The Book Lounge

Invitation to the launch of A Manifesto for Social Change


A Manifesto For Social Change: How To Save South AfricaPicador Africa and The Book Lounge invite you to the launch of A Manifesto For Social Change: How To Save South Africa by Moeletsi Mbeki.

Following on Architects of Poverty and Advocates for Change, A Manifesto For Social Change is the final book in the three-volume series that examines developmental obstacles on the continent.

The event will take place on Tuesday, 12 July, at The Book Lounge and starts at 5:30 for 6 PM. Mbeki will be in conversation with Judith February.

Don’t miss it!

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About the book

A Manifesto for Social Change is the third of a three-volume series that started seven years ago investigating the causes of our country’s – and the continent’s – development obstacles.

Architects of Poverty: Why African Capitalism Needs Changing (2009) set out to explain what role African elites played in creating and promoting their fellow Africans’ misery.

Advocates for Change: How to Overcome Africa’s Challenges (2011) set out to show that there were short-term to medium-term solutions to many of Africa’s and South Africa’s problems, from agriculture to healthcare, if only the powers that be would take note.

And now, more than 20 years after the advent of democracy, we have A Manifesto for Social Change, the conclusion in the “trilogy”.

About the authors

Moeletsi Mbeki is a journalist, private business entrepreneur, political commentator and author of Architects of Poverty: Why African Capitalism Needs Changing and Advocates for Change: How to Overcome Africa’s Challenges, published by Picador Africa.

Nobantu Mbeki obtained her Bachelor of Arts in Economics and French Literature at Bryn Mawr College and her Master of Arts in Economics at Leeds University. The University of Manchester was where she obtained her doctoral degree in Economic Theory, and she is currently a Lecturer in Economics at the School of Economic and Business Sciences at the University of the Witwatersrand.

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