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“The long walk continues” – eight quotes to remember Nelson Mandela by

Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela served as the first democratically elected president of South Africa from 1994 to 1999. Born on 18 July 1918, Mandela passed away on 5 December 2013.

The United Nations officially declared 18 July International Mandela Day in November 2009; ever since it has been celebrated annually as a day dedicated to honouring Mandela’s life and legacy.

Here are eight quotes, as published in Nelson Mandela by Himself: The Authorised Book of Quotations in the section titled ‘Freedom’, to remember this remarkable man by:

“It is the task of a new generation to lead and take responsibility; ours has done as well as it could in its time.”
- From a message to the launch of the ANC election manifesto and ninety-seventh anniversary celebrations, Absa Stadium, East London, South Africa, 10 January 2009

“We are too old to pretend to be able to contribute to the resolution of those conflicts and tensions on the international front. It is, therefore, immensely gratifying to note a younger generation of African statespersons emerging. They will be able to speak with authority about a new world order in which people everywhere will live in equality, harmony and peace.”
- At the fifth annual Nelson Mandela Lecture, Linder Auditorium, Johannesburg, South Africa, 22 July 2007

“The long walk continues.”
- Final sitting of the first democratically elected parliament, Cape Town, South Africa, 26 March 1999

“The road we have walked has been built by the contribution of all of us; the tools we have used on that road had been fashioned by all of us; the future we face is that of all of us, both in its promises and its demands.”
- At the inauguration of a monument to passive restistance, Umbilo Park, Durban, South Africa, 27 May 2002

“Our vision for the future is one of renewed dedication by world leaders in all fields of human interaction to a twenty-first century of peace and reconciliation.”
- Accepting the German Media Prize, Baden-Baden, Germany, 28 January 1999

“All South Africans face the challenge of coming to terms with the past in ways which will enable us to face the future as a united nation at peace with itself.”
- At the inter-faith commissioning service for the TRC (Truth and Reconciliation Commission), St George’s Cathedral, Cape Town, South Africa, 13 February 1996

“Let us together turn into reality the glorious vision of a South Africa free of racism. Free of racial antagonisms among our people. No longer a threat to peace. No longer the skunk of the world. Our common victory is certain.”
- Address to the International Labour Conference, Geneva, Switzerland, 8 June 1990

“We can build a society grounded on friendship and our common humanity – a society founded on tolerance. That is the only road open to us. It is a road to a glorious future in this beautiful country of ours. Let us join hands and march into the future.”
- From an announcement of the election date, multi-party negotiations process, Kempton Park, South Africa, 17 November 1993

Book details

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.

Event Details

Being a Black Springbok explores the life and career of Thando Manana

Being a Black SpringbokThando 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.

Book details

“As frequent listeners know, I will discuss anything and everything, and do” – read an extract from Free Association

Free AssociationMax Lurie’s navel-gazing podcast about his life has become an unexpected success. But its embellishments and inventions are starting to leak into his everyday life. As Max tries to navigate the grey areas between fact and fiction, things begin to spin out of control. He juggles real and imagined girlfriends, an illegally procured firearm, an unpredictable friendship with a homeless schizophrenic, his acerbic immigrant producer, his dying father, his famous childhood sweetheart, an unlikely romantic entanglement and his critical and growing audience. Can he keep all of these balls in the air and finally bring them safely to rest?

This story takes a deep and satiric dive into the worlds we imagine for ourselves and the lives we actually live, particularly in a time when our real and digital personas intersect and merge in chaotic ways.

Free Association casts a steely and comic eye on the great and small concerns of being human: the chances we take and miss, the pain of not fitting in, the fragility of the psyche, the unpredictability of love, the dull certainty of death, the importance of listening to others and the careening craziness of it all.

This is National Podcasting Network. Welcome to Free Association. This is, as always, your host Max Lurie.

Today, my loyal audience, is the one-year anniversary of this podcast.

That started as a lark, because the universe had decided that I was a failure as a novelist, and podcasting seemed like a way for me to escape a life of bitterness and regret. Which is almost certain to happen at some point anyway, but as of this moment my distributors tell me that the audience for Free Association has exceeded fifty thousand per episode. There is no one more surprised than I am, but there you have it.

So thank you. Keep downloading. Send in suggestions to www.npn.com/FreeAssociation.

But remember the rules.

I will not discuss my family, my friends, the Middle East or religion. I will not discuss particle physics (too hard), celebrities and their annoying lives, politicians and their bloated egos. I will not discuss history or sports. Nor diet fads, fashion, medieval literature or cooking.

Right. Sure. Ha.

As frequent listeners know, I will discuss anything and everything, and do. Things that might or might not have any thread, theme or relevance to
anything at all. Even the things about which I am woefully under-informed.

That’s the only vision for this podcast. My life and its frequent disappointments, your lives, the lives of others. Anything that gets my back up. Random observations. Anything that piques my interest.

And so a taking of stock is due because it is, after all, an anniversary. When I started this a year ago, I had no clue what I was doing. Which still remains stubbornly true, although I am now well exercised in the art of focused lack of direction. A number of people, including those nearest and dearest, have often asked me – what is Free Association about? Even those who have listened since the beginning.

I have no idea.

I crack open my skull every week and let everyone peer in.

The letters I receive make it clear that what sloshes around in there is in turn exasperating, funny, ignorant, surprising and annoying. And yet you continue to eavesdrop. Which supports a startlingly modest but reliable income. So I thank you again.

I have a theory about the success of this show. I am an insecure shell of a human with little confidence in myself or anyone else. I am constantly in a state of confusion and bewilderment.

Perhaps I have grown this audience because I make everyone feel better about themselves. Fifteen minutes listening to me ramble and rant leads to the inescapable conclusion that I suspect you all draw – your life is not as bad as that schmuck Lurie’s. You all feel better after listening to me complain. I may have invented a new type of psychology. Comparative Loser Analysis.

Spend fifteen minutes with someone unhappier than you, wallowing in greater misfortune, with less control of his life and circumstances, and you will be sure to feel a spring in your step.

You’re welcome.

On the up side. I have a new girlfriend. I won’t talk about her much, because not only will I jinx it, but if she ever listened to this podcast she would certainly turn tail and skedaddle. She does not listen to podcasts, she told me; she is too busy. Also, calling her my girlfriend is a dangerous play; there have been no such declarations. We did go on two dates. And we were indeed introduced by a trusted third party.

On the first date we went for dinner. I said, tell me about yourself. When she finished and was about to ask me about myself (this was something I wished to delay, lest she find my life story as dull as old cardboard), I said, tell me more about yourself. I did this three times and then the meal was over and we were a bit tipsy and she invited me to her apartment and maybe I will reveal more at another time. Stop prying.

The second date was a big music concert. A band and an audience. I hate stadium concerts. You park miles away and then you can’t find your seat and when you do someone is in it and then you have to go through a whole passive-aggressive number to sort it out. Then you realise that the stage is too far away and the musicians look like ants and the opening act is a waste of time because everyone around you is talking excitedly about the main event and then they come onstage to a great roar of the fans and everyone stands up which is the last time in the next three hours you will sit down.

The guy in front of you is huge and you stare at the pockmarked back of his neck and the disturbing pimple on the rim of his ear and the sound is so awful that even in those rare moments when the audiences quiets all you hear from these cheaper seats that you should never have bought is the bass and one of the cymbals and a slightly off-key backup singer. And then they leave the stage and are shrieked back for not one encore but four and then you stream out with tens of thousands of people and get stuck in a traffic jam in the parking area for sixty-five minutes.

She loved it.

We came back to my apartment where we made chai tea and watched two old episodes of Seinfeld and she fell asleep on my shoulder. I carried her to
bed and covered her up and slid chastely in beside her and waited. Some stuff happened later which is none of your business and the next morning she rummaged through my fridge and made me a hot breakfast, and kissed me on the forehead and texted me later and so I suppose she can sort of be called my girlfriend. Right?

Right?

Well, there must be some terrible mistake. Let’s not get too optimistic here. Because she is very attractive, in another league really. I expect this to be over soon. Perhaps I will hasten the event by showing my baser instincts, and then I can be resignedly alone again, where all is predictable, where expectation and reality coincide politely. I will keep you posted.

My father is dying. I have mentioned this before. I have struggled with whether I should talk to you about this. It is obviously a subject of great import and anxiety for me. I love my dad, or at least the man he used to be before, well … maybe I will save this for another time. I first have to wrestle the ethical dilemmas to the ground.

Can I make my father’s dying fodder for public consumption? At first pass this would seem like a monstrous show of disrespect and callousness. Perhaps. I will meditate on this.

But death, in both its specific and general incarnation, is a terrific subject – wide in its scope, deep in its consequence, loud and insistent in its certainty.

There is hardly a subject more important to us, I suspect. It hovers like airborne pestilence. Everything we do is an attempt to mute it, delay it. We take out life insurance, buy cars with safety features, drive close to the speed limit, don’t cross at the red light. Eat healthy foods, applaud scientists foraging in our cells and looking for ways to extend and protect us. We hope that our governments can use diplomacy instead of death to negotiate nasty disagreements with those people over there. We take pills, have the doctor’s number on speed dial, decide not to go white-water rafting, avoid travel to Syria. We support climate change reversal initiatives, because if we don’t we all drown or burn or asphyxiate. Death is fuel for at least half of the arts.

That and love, of course. But love is mutable. Death is not. Why is there not a podcast dedicated to death? It is the ultimate general-interest subject. Maybe I should change the admittedly nebulous recipe that makes up this podcast to an enthusiastic coverage of death and dying. The podcast could interview people with terminal diseases, extract all sorts of wisdom from their truncated hopes and dreams. Talk to doctors and health workers who do battle with the beast every day. Gently probe the bereft as they try to deal with loss. Perhaps a scientific round-up of what kills us daily. Bad food. Pollution. Not enough exercise. Murderers. Cars. Ageing. Stress. Poison. Wars. We could have an episode on famous eulogies. One on funerals. Another on afterlife mythologies. Great natural disasters and their tolls. Euthanasia. Genocide. Patricide. Infanticide. Oh, and an episode on the lighter side of death. I refuse to believe that there is no humour somewhere.

We can laugh at death, can’t we?

Maybe the most amusing last words. Or most inept attempts at suicide. Actually, there are a number of sites dedicated to death jokes (I checked) but they aren’t very funny. Death is a very tough nut to crack in the humour department.

I will talk to my producer, Bongani. My sponsors and distributor. Change this podcast from general-purpose navel-gazing, solipsistic nonsense to a wide-ranging, sensitive and well-considered investigation of death and its dark omens and endless damage. I would change the name of the podcast from Free Association to, what? The End – An Exploration. Or Death – A Miscellany.

No, these are terrible. Perhaps I could ask you to send in your suggestions for a podcast title.

I am aware that one of challenges is that much research is required. Research is not really my cup of tea, as you know. Maybe Bongani will do it for me. However, even given my poor record in the research game, I do try to tell you something new every now and again.

So here it is.

Cloning. Remember cloning? Remember Dolly the sheep? Cloned 1996? Cloning pops up in the news occasionally, usually via some rumour that a demented North Korean lab is trying to clone Kim Jong-II. Then there is a big outcry, and the news cycle moves on. So I now find out that polo pony cloning is well under way. One of the great polo ponies of all time, the Argentinian horse called Aiken Cura (who was euthanised with a broken leg ten years ago) was cloned by his rider, a really famous player by the name of Combasio. The cloned polo pony will be in competition next year. I am so taken aback by this news snippet that I find myself, unexpectedly and unusually, stunned mute.

My twin brother Frank, of whom I have spoken often and who is unlike me in every way other than physical, called me from London, where he lives and works as an economist in one of the huge tech companies. I thought economists only worked for banks. But this company is so large that they have a staff economist. Go figure. He urged me to find a new career.

He said – Max, podcasts are going the way of the music industry, and podcasters are going the way of musicians.
I said – explain this to me.
He said – millions of musicians, no way for them to make a living, even the good ones.
I said – explain this to me.
He said – free distribution and piracy without consequence and endless inexpensive content creation by many talented people – ergo, no commercial proposition.
I said – how so?
He said – the podcast industry will become structurally over-efficient, just like the music business, and you can only make money in inefficient markets.
I said – ‘structurally over-efficient’? I have no idea what you are talking about.
He said – yes, you do.
He is very unlike me, Frank. We agree on very little. But he is no fool.

So anyway.

A one-year anniversary. A robust and growing listenership, many of whom like the show. Oh, there are a few malcontents who send nasty comments to the website, but by and large we seem to be okay. Maybe more than a few.

A quaint but dependable pay cheque. And a new girlfriend, no matter how transient.

Carpe diem before the other shoe drops.

This show is produced by the inimitable Bongani Maposa. Until next week, this is Max Lurie, and this is Free Association from the National Podcasting Network.

Book details

He had removed the notepad abruptly, locked it in a drawer, his eyes telling her that he did not want to discuss what she had read – read an excerpt from Achmat Dangor’s Bitter Fruit

The last time Silas Ali encountered Lieutenant Du Boise, Silas was locked in the back of a police van and the lieutenant was conducting a vicious assault on Silas’s wife, Lydia, in revenge for her husband’s participation in Nelson Mandela’s African National Congress.

When Silas sees Du Boise by chance twenty years later, as the Truth and Reconciliation Commission is about to deliver its report, crimes from the past erupt into the present, splintering the Alis’ fragile peace.

A clear-eyed story of a brittle family on the crossroads of history and a fearless skewering of the pieties of revolutionary movements, Bitter Fruit is a cautionary tale of how we do, or do not, address the deepest wounds of the past.

‘Freshness and bold vividness are the qualities of Achmat Dangor’s writing … inn the post-apartheid era, he has tackled, in Bitter Fruit, as in Kafka’s Curse, with the honesty of his insight, the problem as well as the promised fulfilment of the enormous change that freedom brings about.’ – Nadine Gordimer

Achmat Dangor lives in Johannesburg, South Africa. He has published four novels, Waiting for Leila (1981), The Z Town Trilogy (1990), Kafka’s Curse (1997) and Bitter Fruit (first released in 2001), as well as a short-story collection, Strange Pilgrimages (2013).

Bitter Fruit was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize for 2004 as well as the 2003 International Dublin Impac Award. Dangor’s new novel, Dikeledi, will be released in August 2017.

Chapter 14

THE DAY HAD passed uneventfully. The President had had to leave the meeting early. A confrontation brewing between ‘the Arch’ and people in the movement. He was to meet with all sides, try to find a dignified way out of ‘the mess’.

‘Silas Ali, he works for the Minister, he’s a good man, is he?’ the President had asked no one in particular, but everyone around the table had nodded their agreement. The Old Man’s way of confirming something he already believed.

In the end, no one had mentioned Kate’s dress, and she had begun to feel uncomfortable.

Cold semen did not feel sensual on the skin. As soon as she could, she left work, drove home and lay in a hot bath for an hour, trying to stem her renewed feeling of disquiet. Before leaving the office, she had asked Van As, the President’s security chief, if he could locate security records on ‘François du Boise, a Lieutenant in the old Special Branch’.

Major Rudy van As had been in the old security police himself. His transformation into loyal guardian of the new order was complete, and fierce. Du Boise? The name did not sound familiar, he said. There had been thousands of foot soldiers, but he would see if he could get anything out of archives. Major Van As’s smug voice, his neutral smile. He was living up to the cliché of the inscrutable old security policeman.

Afterwards, she regretted having asked him at all, bewildered by her own impulsiveness. Draped in the loose gown she wore when there was no one home, she lay sprawled out by the pool, sipping a glass of wine. Her dogs, three huge German shepherds, clamoured for attention, pressing their noses against her. So much to be done, and here she was lazing about, breaking a house rule: no alcohol before five on a weekday. A gesture of restraint meant to impress Ferial. We lead by example. She quickly dismissed her guilt. She worked hard, put in many hours, this bit of indulgence was deserved.

Her thoughts drifted back to the morning’s events. How had Mikey known that his mother was coming?

There had been no warning, no phone call, no knock on the door, just this crazy kid standing at the window, sensing his mother’s imminent arrival.

Michael the Phenomenal.

Always probing, lately, asking questions about the amnesty process, things he should ask his father, not someone he’s just had sex with. Perhaps trying to demonstrate his intelligence, not just a young kid only good for fucking.

There was no doubting how bright he was. She saw the evidence of it all around him, the books on his shelf (without order, a random collection of truly intimidating titles), the music he listened to. Once, she’d glanced at some notes on his desk and was startled to read the beginnings of an analysis of the liberation struggle: there had never been an ‘armed struggle’, the movement had had more of an armed propaganda ability than any ‘real capacity to wage even a limited war’.

He had removed the notepad abruptly, locked it in a drawer, his eyes telling her that he did not want to discuss what she had read.

He had all the hallmarks of a driven person. A quest for truth, or justice, that grand kind of thing. She’d seen that ruthless gleam in people’s eyes before, the holy, malevolent clarity of someone obsessed.

Bitter Fruit

Book details

Watch: Sifiso Ndlovu discusses his participation in the Soweto uprisings

When the Soweto uprisings of June 1976 took place, Sifiso Mxolisi Ndlovu, the author of The Soweto Uprisings: Counter Memories of June 1976 was a 14-year-old pupil at Phefeni Junior Secondary School.

With his classmates, he was among the active participants in the protest action against the use of Afrikaans as a medium of instruction.

Contrary to the generally accepted views, both that the uprisings were ‘spontaneous’ and that there were bigger political players and student organisations behind the uprisings, Sifiso’s book shows that this was not the case.

Using newspaper articles, interviews with former fellow pupils and through his own personal account, Sifiso provides us with a ‘counter-memory’ of the momentous events of that time.

Here, Sifiso discusses the book and his participation in the protest with David O’Sullivan on O’Sullivan’s Kaya FM breakfast show:


 
 

 
 

 
 

 

The Soweto Uprisings

Book details

Author of The Soweto Uprisings: Counter Memories of June 1976 participated in the march at age 14

When the Soweto uprisings of June 1976 took place, Sifiso Mxolisi Ndlovu, the author of this book, was a 14-year-old pupil at Phefeni Junior Secondary School.

With his classmates, he was among the active participants in the protest action against the use of Afrikaans as a medium of instruction.

Contrary to the generally accepted views, both that the uprisings were ‘spontaneous’ and that there were bigger political players and student organisations behind the uprisings, Sifiso’s book shows that this was not the case.

Using newspaper articles, interviews with former fellow pupils and through his own personal account, Sifiso provides us with a ‘counter-memory’ of the momentous events of that time.

This is an updated version of the book first published by Ravan Press in 1998. New material has been added, including an introduction to the new edition, as well as two new chapters analyzing the historiography of the uprisings as well as reflecting on memory and commemoration as social, cultural and historical projects.

Sifiso Mxolisi Ndlovu is an Executive Director at the South African Democracy Education Trust. He has a PhD in History from the University of the Witwatersrand and an MA in History from the University of Natal. He is the Editor-in-Chief of the multi-volume Road to Democracy in South Africa series.

He originally published The Soweto Uprisings in 1998, and was the co-editor, with Miranda Strydom, of The Thabo Mbeki I Know (2016). He is a Professor of History at the University of South Africa and also a member of UNESCO’s Scientific Committee responsible for updating the General History of Africa series.
 

Book details

Lorenzo Fioramonti’s Wellbeing Economy lays bare society’s perverse obsession with economic growth

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.

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

Book details

40th anniversary edition of I Write What I Like includes a foreword by Njabulo S. Ndebele

I Write What I Like features the writing of the famous activist and Black Consciousness leader, Steve Biko.

Before his untimely death in detention at age 30, he was instrumental in uniting Black Africans in the struggle against the apartheid government in South Africa.

This 40th anniversary edition includes a foreword by Njabulo S. Ndebele, personal reflections on Steve Biko and Black Consciousness, as well as Biko’s first known published piece of writing.

In addition, it features all the material of the original Picador Africa edition: a collection of Biko’s columns entitled “I Write What I Like” published in the journal of the South Africa Student Organisation under the pseudonym of ‘Frank Talk’; other journal articles, interviews and letters written by Steve Biko at the time; an introduction by Nkosinathi Biko; a preface by Archbishop Desmond Tutu; and a moving memoir by Father Aelred Stubbs, which pays tribute to the courage and power of this young leader, who was to become one of Africa’s heroes.
 
 
Steve Biko was born in Tylden, Eastern Cape, South Africa in 1946. As a medical student, he founded a black student organisation in 1969 and created a national ‘black consciousness’ movement.

The movement’s aim was to combat racism and the South African apartheid government. He was banned in 1973, which prohibited him from speaking in public, writing for publication and any travel. Biko was arrested by police in September 1977 and died in detention, naked and manacled, from extensive brain damage, six days later.

He left a widow and two young children. His death caused international protests and a UN arms embargo. Biko became a symbol of the anti-apartheid movement. An inquest in the late 1980s found no one responsible for his death, but in 1997 five former policemen admitted being involved.

I Write What I Like

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Achmat Dangor’s Bitter Fruit back in print after more than 10 years

The last time Silas Ali encountered Lieutenant Du Boise, Silas was locked in the back of a police van and the lieutenant was conducting a vicious assault on Silas’s wife, Lydia, in revenge for her husband’s participation in Nelson Mandela’s African National Congress.

When Silas sees Du Boise by chance twenty years later, as the Truth and Reconciliation Commission is about to deliver its report, crimes from the past erupt into the present, splintering the Alis’ fragile peace.

A clear-eyed story of a brittle family on the crossroads of history and a fearless skewering of the pieties of revolutionary movements, Bitter Fruit is a cautionary tale of how we do, or do not, address the deepest wounds of the past.

‘Freshness and bold vividness are the qualities of Achmat Dangor’s writing … inn the post-apartheid era, he has tackled, in Bitter Fruit, as in Kafka’s Curse, with the honesty of his insight, the problem as well as the promised fulfilment of the enormous change that freedom brings about.’ – Nadine Gordimer

Achmat Dangor lives in Johannesburg, South Africa. He has published four novels, Waiting for Leila (1981), The Z Town Trilogy (1990), Kafka’s Curse (1997) and Bitter Fruit (first released in 2001), as well as a short-story collection, Strange Pilgrimages (2013).

Bitter Fruit was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize for 2004 as well as the 2003 International Dublin Impac Award. Dangor’s new novel, Dikeledi, will be released in August 2017.
 

Book details