With every rising sun, there’s a chance you could wake up dead in the Cape Flats – that large expanse of townships housing the so-called Coloured communities in Cape Town, South Africa. Roger Smith writes about this possibility and the people and events that make this spectre of doom a reality. If there are gang movies, Wake Up Dead: A Cape Town Thriller is a gang novel.
Ronnie Kasrils writes lovingly about his wife of 45 years, Eleanor, who passed away in 2009 aged 73. And the picture that comes forth is that of a human being with no airs and graces but one who was comfortable in her own skin.
The book tries to answer the question whether Luthuli, the Nobel Prize laureate and one-time President of Africa’s oldest liberation movement – the ANC – ever believed in violence as a means to overthrow South Africa’s racist regime. Did
Not everyone involved in the struggle against apartheid came from the Mandela, Sisulu or Tambo political dynasties. And most certainly, not everyone had a chance at the same privileges.
But had it not been for backroom boys like old communist John Edward Matthews, who succumbed to cancer in his 85th year, the wheels of the struggle would not have turned as smoothly.
Spilt Milk, published in 2010 by Jacana Media, is one for the Born-Free generation – for them and about them. The plot, which centers around life in a school, conjures up images of those institutions that some prefer to call academies, not schools.
Gumede’s book, first published in 2005 by Zebra Books and then updated in 2007 by Zedbooks, deals with the political aspects of ANC’s economic policy before and after apartheid and particularly with Thabo Mbeki’s economic persuasion and political methods.
Apartheid South Africa’s bully boy tactics on the sub-continent were always going to ricochet against the architects and, sadly, more viciously on the foot soldiers. In Deeper than Colour, the main character Angus Smith says “we were taught to hate”. This is what the system, aimed to make of the men in faded army fatigues who pulled the trigger in the old South African Defence Forces.
If Joonie, Rayda Jacob’s latest book, were a movie, it would have hit the circuit with all the warning letters – SNVLP in bold. Truculently, the P of prejudice would be more pronounced, bolder. The book is about an abused kid who is unlucky in love and commutes between New Jersey and the Cape Flats in pursuit of an elusive dream.
South African author Lauren Beukes was today announced as winner of the 25th Arthur C. Clarke Award, the UK’s premier award for science fiction literature. She received a cheque for £2011. Beukes’ Zoo City, published by Angry Robots, came tops from a shortlist that included five other titles.
In Africa’s Greatest Entrepreneurs, Makura profiles businessmen from across the Mother Continent and brings snippets of her interviewees’ lives into print that could easily have remained hidden with the sound bytes on camera. This is broadcast journalism hoisted onto its print cousin.