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Archive for the ‘Events’ Category

Johannesburg launch: Wellbeing Economy

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.

Event Details

  • Date: Tuesday, 25 July 2017
  • Time: 6:00 PM for 6:30 PM
  • Venue: Love Books, The Bamboo Lifestyle Centre, 53 Rustenburg Road, Melville
  • Guest Speaker: Pat Pillai
  • RSVP: kate@lovebooks.co.za, 011 726 7408
     
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Launch – Being a Black Springbok: The Thando Manana Story

Thando Manana was the third black African player to don a Springbok jersey after unification in 1992, when he made his debut in 2000 in a tour game against Argentina A.

His route to the top of the game was unpredictable and unusual. From his humble beginnings in the township of New Brighton, Port Elizabeth, Thando grew to become one of the grittiest loose-forwards of South African rugby, despite only starting the game at the age of 16. His rise through rugby ranks, while earning a reputation as a tough-tackling lock and later open side flanker, was astonishingly rapid, especially for a player of colour at the time. Within two years of picking up a rugby ball, he represented Eastern Province at Craven Week, and by 2000 he was a Springbok.

But it isn’t solely Thando’s rugby journey that makes Being a Black Springbok a remarkable sports biography. It’s learning how he has negotiated life’s perils and pitfalls, which threatened to derail both his sporting ambitions and the course of his life.

He had to negotiate an unlikely, but fateful, kinship with a known Port Elizabeth drug-lord, who took Thando under his wing when he was a young, gullible up-and-comer at Spring Rose. Rejected by his father early in his life, Thando had to deal with a sense of abandonment and a missing protective figure and find, along the way, people to lean on.

Thando tells his story with the refreshing candour he has become synonymous with as a rugby commentator, pundit and member of the infamous Room Dividers team on Metro FM. He has arguably become rugby’s strongest advocate for the advancement of black people’s interests in the sport, and his personal journey reveals why.

As the editor of Kick Off magazine, Sibusiso Mjikeliso is one of the youngest editors of a national, monthly publication in South Africa. He has written on rugby, cricket, football and tennis for the Sunday Times, The Times, Daily Dispatch and Sowetan. He has also worked as the senior sports writer for Business Day. Mjikeliso spent time as an exchange reporter at the Sunday Mirror in London, where he wrote on Wimbledon tennis, English Premiership rugby as well as English Premier League football. His versatility as a writer and knowledge of different sporting codes has made him one of the most influential sports writers in South Africa. This is his first book.

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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, nmthimkhulu@ccr.org.za

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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

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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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Visit www.thestreetbook.co.za for details on where to order the book.

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