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Archive for the ‘Twitter’ Category

‘Fiction is like exercise for the mind’ – Alex van Tonder

This One TimeAlex van Tonder, a South African celebrity blogger and advertising creative whose debut novel This One Time was released last year, has written a piece around the question, “Why Read Fiction?”

Van Tonder says the phrase, “Yeah, I don’t really read much fiction” is something she hears a lot, and admits it is not a surprising statement these days, when checking Facebook and Instagram are easier options.

But, she insists, there are “a few good reasons to make a point of reading fiction”.

Read the article:

“But I’m too busy. I have too much real-world stuff to deal with.”

This is usually the excuse for not reading fiction. It’s a similar excuse many make not to exercise. And there are parallels. Fiction is like exercise for the mind: it poses hypothetical situations and – without telling you how to think – allows you to grow intellectually and emotionally, because you draw your own conclusions about right and wrong. It helps you develop empathy and imagination, by helping you understand different points of view. Through empathy it challenges ideas you may have had about the status quo, and it broadens your mind. It allows you to understand people and places that aren’t familiar to you. It also helps you realise that whatever you’re going through, you’re not alone in the world. And most importantly, it encourages dreaming. In a world where everything seems to be going wrong, stories, dreaming and empathy seem more important now than ever before. We need to cultivate a spiritual and empathetic fitness if we are – all fifteen billion of us – going to figure out a way to live in relative peace together on this planet.

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Podcast: Jenny Crwys-Williams Goes to Town Interviewing the Hilarious Khaya Dlanga

To Quote MyselfKhaya Dlanga, author of To Quote Myself, was recently featured on the Book Show with Jenny Crwys-Williams and Redi Thlabi on 702 Talk Radio.

Crwys-Williams starts the conversation by asking Dlanga five questions. She says she loved it because she was “able to go to town with it.”

Dlanga tells her how he would market South Africa, how his publisher convinced him to write a memoir, his love for stories, and about his career in social media. Crwys-Williams’ last, and funniest, question is about a off-the-wall tweet Dlanga sent recently; and even the sharp-witted author struggles to answer it.

Listen to the podcast (the interview starts at 29:56):

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Tweets from the Launch of Categories of Persons Edited by Jacob Dlamini and Megan Jones at WiSER

Categories of PersonsMegan Jones and Jacob Dlamini (via Skype) launched their book, Categories of Persons: Rethinking Ourselves and Others, at the Wits Institute for Social & Economic Research (WiSER) with Sarah Nuttall, Bheki Peterson and Neels Blom.

Jones commented that Categories of Persons “recognises that cultural identities are important nodes of mobilisation – the book asks people to think about entanglements, and how they are bound up with others”.

WiSER tweeted from the launch:

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Winnie Madikizela-Mandela Joins Twitter, Trends and Gains Thousands of Followers

491 DaysWinnie Madikizela-Mandela joined Twitter last Friday and has collected an impressive 4 689 followers since then. She was even trending in South Africa yesterday.

The account will be managed by her office staff and PR team, with tweets directly from her signed with WM.

In a series of tweets she explained that she refuses to only speak to people at rallies: “I have it on good authority (grand-children) that I would find you here.”

Madikizela-Mandela also said that she would like to challenge the assumption that Twitter is just for armchair critics: “I know that many of you exchange ideas, debate issues and I too want to join that conversation.”

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Cat Hellisen Chats to Exclusive Books on Twitter About “Sex and Gender in YA”

When the Sea is Rising RedCat Hellisen, author of When the Sea is Rising Red, took part in the second edition of Exclusive Books’ #EBTeenReads for a Twitter discussion on “Sex and Gender in YA”.

The talk started with how much sex should be included in books for young adults, with Hellisen saying that it “depends how it’s handled. YA books aren’t meant to be erotica-how-tos, but sex is something teens deal with” and adding that “teens aren’t stupid; they’ll choose the books with the level of sex in which they are comfortable with”.

Read the rest of the discussion, which looks at how LGBT characters are portrayed in YA books and other issues:

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Tweets from the Launch of What Dawid Knew by Patricia Glyn

What Dawid KnewDavid Smith, The Guardian‘s correspondent in Africa, tweeted from the launch of What Dawid Knew by Patricia Glyn at Love Books in Melville.

Glyn discussed the treatment of Bushmen, as she says they prefer to be called, in Botswana, calling it a “cultural genocide”. She also said that Northern Cape is like the Wild West and far from the new South Africa: “Apartheid rules here”.

Read Smith’s tweets from the launch:

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Khaya Dlanga and Eusebius McKaiser Among Top Ten South Africans to Follow on Twitter

In My Arrogant OpinionA Bantu in My BathroomKhaya Dlanga, author of In My Arrogant Opinion, and Eusebius McKaiser, author of A Bantu in My Bathroom, have been included in Memeburn’s list of “10 South Africans worth following on Twitter”. Tony Seifart says that Dlanga is a “firm favourite” and McKaiser “brings in great topics on Twitter”.

So you may have just joined this thing called Twitter, or you’ve become completely bored with your friends talking about their pets and kids. Looking for some interesting people to talk to on Twitter?

We’ve compiled a list of 10 top South African personalities you should be following on Twitter, and why we think they’re worth it:

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  • A Bantu in My Bathroom: Debating Race, Sexuality and Other Uncomfortable South African Topics by Eusebius McKaiser
    EAN: 9781920434373
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Video: Jonathan Jansen Describes How He Started Writing Letters to my Children

Letters to My ChildrenProf Jonathan Jansen, rector of the University of the Free State, was inspired by Maya Angelou’s book Letter to My Daughter to impart some words of wisdom on his two children. He started to write “short, witty, crisp messages about life and living and learning and loving” on Twitter.

Jansen told Polity.org that his “letters to my children” tweets received wonderful responses and he soon found himself writing to a much wider audience than he anticipated – not only his own children, but over 33 000 UFS students and 16 000 Twitter followers.

Pan Macmillan has just released a book of these tweets, entitled Letters to my children: Tweets to make you think, with the aim of reaching even more people. Watch the interview:

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Tweets from the Launch of Nelson Mandela by Himself

Nelson Mandela By HimselfNelson Mandela by Himself, a book of more than 2 000 quotations by South Africa’s first democratic president, was launched last night at a closed event. However, a Twitter-savvy public could follow the proceedings live by tuning into the hashtag NelsonbyHimself.

Guest speakers such as Verne Harris of the Nelson Mandela Foundation, actress Hlubi Mboya, and Parliamentary Councillor to the President Ahmed Kathrada, took to the podium to speak about Madiba’s life and the wisdom (and humour!) embedded in his quotes.

For more information on the book, read Donna Bryson’s interview with editors Sello Hatang and Sahm Venter:

A new Nelson Mandela book, slim, bound in black and set in eye-straining type, looks a bit like a bible or a prayer book.

That’s fitting, because the editors of “Nelson Mandela By Himself” brought something close to religious zeal to the task of choosing and checking more than 2,000 quotations to ensure the world gets the anti-apartheid icon’s words right. The book was released Monday — days after U.S. first lady Michelle Obama got an advance copy signed by Mandela when she met him during a visit to South Africa.

Some tweets from the launch:





Coffee Barista’s at the launch! #NelsonbyHimself hope they know we setting them up at the office! http://yfrog.com/gydyehujless than a minute ago via Twitter for BlackBerry® Favorite Retweet Reply



Thank you’s to all involved in this project from Verne Harris #NelsonbyHimselfless than a minute ago via Twitter for BlackBerry® Favorite Retweet Reply



#NelsonbyHimself @hlubimboya is only talking in quotes from Nelson Mandela by Himself…less than a minute ago via Twitter for BlackBerry® Favorite Retweet Reply


#NelsonbyHimself “our generation wears the scars of apartheid like badges” – Cheryl Caroliusless than a minute ago via Twitter for BlackBerry® Favorite Retweet Reply




#NelsonbyHimself Achmed Kathrada urges us to read Nelson Mandela by Himself by @NelsonMandelaless than a minute ago via Twitter for BlackBerry® Favorite Retweet Reply



#NelsonbyHimself here is a pic of the book! Go out and get it,be inspired to celebrate your freedom http://yfrog.com/kgclbusjless than a minute ago via Twitter for BlackBerry® Favorite Retweet Reply

Also read Jenna Etheridge’s coverage of the launch in the Mail & Guardian:

He was a man who moved a nation with his words. And through his words he helped a nation move towards democracy.

For many years, the quotes of former president Nelson Mandela could not be uttered in South Africa for fear of a criminal record or a prison sentence.

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Oprah to Visit “Transformed” UFS, Collect Honorary Doctorate

Oprah Winfrey

Last week, Jonathan Jansen announced via Twitter that the world’s most famous talk-show host, Oprah Winfrey, would be visiting the “transformed” University of the Free State later this month. Winfrey, who has officially retired from The Oprah Winfrey Show following her 25 May finale, is said to be arriving in South Africa on 24 June.


You heard it here first… On 24 June Oprah Winfrey lands on the campus of the University of the Free Stateless than a minute ago via Twitter for iPhone Favorite Retweet Reply

Talk show host and media magnate Oprah Winfrey will visit the University of the Free State this month, apparently because she is impressed by its transformation.

Prof Jonathan Jansen, vice-chancellor and rector, said Oprah approached the university three weeks ago to organise a visit.

He broke the news about her visit on Twitter yesterday morning.

We Need to TalkOor bokdrolletjies en rosyntjies

UFS has also awarded Oprah an honorary doctorate which she will collected during her stay in South Africa. The doctorate Oprah will receive is co-incident with Jansen’s field of expertise, that of education:

The University of the Free State (UFS) confirmed on Thursday that world famous talk show queen Oprah Winfrey will be visiting the Kovsie campus on June 24.

According to Die Burger, Winfrey will receive an honorary doctorate in education from the UFS.

UFS spokesperson Lacea Loader declined to elaborate about the visit.

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Photo courtesy the Guardian


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