Over four decades ago, radical scholars began to suggest a new way of looking at South African society, one that blamed the economic power of those who owned property for the racial bondage of the black majority. Their work, and the debates it triggered, are mostly forgotten: but they and their critics have much to say that sheds lights on today’s South African realities. Read more
It was with shock and sadness that UKZN Press learnt of the death of one of our authors, Jeff Guy, on Monday night.
Professor Jefferson John Guy was Professor Emeritus at the University of KwaZulu-Natal and highly regarded internationally as an intellectual, historian, mentor and author. Ian Knight described Jeff Guy as ‘… a towering figure in the field of Zulu historical studies’ and said that ‘… his previous works – including The Destruction of the Zulu Kingdom – largely redefined the historiography of the period.’
UKZN Press is proud to have published five of his scholarly works, namely, The Heretic (1983), The Destruction of the Zulu Kingdom (1998), Remembering the Rebellion (2006), The Maphumulo Uprising (2006) and, most recently, Theophilus Shepstone and the Forging of Natal (2013), which he saw as the culmination of his life’s work.
In his review of Theophilus Shepstone and the Forging of Natal Stephen Coan writes, ‘Guy, employing a compelling blend of biography and history, illuminates both the man (Theophilus Shepstone) and his time, in the process setting another benchmark for South African history writing’, while T.J. Tallie of Washington and Lee University says it is ‘a necessary addition to Natal and larger South African historiography not simply for its painstaking research and engaging narrative. It also presents a powerful critique of recent colonial historiography and ahistoric assertions of traditions in the present’.
UKZN Press remembers him for his meticulousness, his passion for his subject and his insistence on the highest standards for himself and those with whom he worked. We are honoured and privileged to have had the opportunity to work with him over so many years.
His death is truly a loss. Condolences to all who were close to him: family, friends and colleagues.
UKZN Press will be launching Ju|'hoan Children's Picture Dictionary at a number of venues around South Africa and Namibia.
The first one will be in Tsumkwe, Namibia on 25 and 26 June, followed by one at TUCSIN (The University Centre for Studies in Namibia) in Windhoek on Tuesday, 1st July. The South African launches start off in Cape Town on Sunday, 6 July at !Kwa ttu Conference Centre (www.khwattu.org) and then 16 July at the Origins Centre at Wits University.
The Ju|’hoan Children’s Picture Dictionary is a collaborative project between the Namibian Ju|’hoan from the Tsumkwe region and academics from various fields. The primary aim of this dictionary is to provide Ju|’hoan children with a piece of mother-tongue literature that is locally inspired and that can also be shared with those from the outside world.
Entries in this thematic dictionary are in the Ju|’hoan Tsumkwe dialect, Afrikaans and English. All the illustrations and artwork were created by Ju|’hoan people from the Tsumkwe region, who share their knowledge and insight into different facets of Ju|’hoan daily life. Great care has gone into the making of this dictionary, with members of the Ju|’hoan community leading the way in the selection of themes, lexical entries, design and layout to make this publication a community-driven project that highlights Ju|’hoan culture. The categories selected show entries gives rare and fascinating insight into the staple artefacts and traditions of San life. Included is an interactive CD with a pronunciation guide for each entry provided by Ju|’hoan speakers, as well as a photo and video gallery, short biographies of contributors, interesting information about the Ju|’hoan people and a fun, printable language game. By buying this Dictionary you are helping to spread awareness about the Ju|’hoan language and culture, to stop this endangered language from disappearing forever.
This unique and special project/book is a must for anyone with an interest in San life, the San people and their communities.
Perfect Hlongwane says his debut novel, Jozi, draws on a rich history of novels that are short, but “very long in the memory”.
Jozi was launched at Niki’s Oasis Lounge and Restaurant in Newtown, Johannesburg, recently, with Hlongwane introducing the novel and elucidating his creative process and his intentions in writing the book
He also read some excerpts, with breaks in between for attendees to ruminate with their friends and enjoy a drink or two. It was an interesting approach, and worked extremely well.
“I understand that for some people a novel is supposed to be a certain length, but my attitude towards all that is that it follows in a rich tradition of very short novels, and if I call them by name, don’t think that I’m saying Jozi is in that league, I’m saying that there is a precedent for this kind of form, this kind of approach,” Hlongwane said.
“If you think about Death in Venice by Thomas Mann, The Old Man and the Sea by Hemingway, if you think about John Steinbeck’s The Pearl. And I think in South Africa a lot of the literature that caught my attention and drew me to writing were stories that tended to be very brief but that were very long in the memory. That stayed with you. I think of Alex La Guma’s A Walk in the Night, the tragic Can Themba’s ‘The Suit’.”
Hlongwane says he hopes the reader will “cut us some slack” look beyond Jozi’s length and be rewarded by the novel’s challenging style and subject matter.
“All I really want for the reader is to find that they are challenged, that they are engaged, I just want it to be thought-provoking. I want it to raise questions in your mind about how you see certain things. That’s basically it.”
Listen to Hlongwane reading a short extract from the book describing life in a decaying Hillbrow here.
UKZN Press is delighted to have the first chapter of the highly acclaimed first novel A Man Who is Not a Man by Thando Mgqolozana adapted for a short film iBhokwe (The Goat) by John Trengrove and Urucu Media. For more information, view the article at citypress.co.za.
APC research fellow Graeme Reid’s book, How to be a Real Gay: Gay identities in small-town South Africa was recently launched by University of KwaZulu-Natal Press. PROFESSOR CAROLYN HAMILTON spoke at the Johannesburg launch, highlighting some of the ancestral and archival strains in this timely new book.
2012 University of KwaZulu-Natal/Independent Newspapers isiZulu/English Writing Competition CAPE TIMES
05 Dec 2012
WINNERS ANNOUNCED! THE University of KwaZulu-Natal and Independent Newspapers thank all those who entered our 2012 isiZulu-English Writing Competition. The more than 350 entries received from novice and experienced writers featured short stories, essays, poetry and visual components among other items.
Heartiest congratulations go to the winners:
• Khayelikle Mnguni for the best Short Story • Thandanani Mabaso for the best Poem • Khethiwe Agrineth Mkhize for the best Essay
Each winner receives R10 000 in cash. Their entries, together with another dozen judged to be outstanding, have been selected to be published in a UKZN Press book to be launched at the 2013 Time of the Writer Festival in Durban. Some pieces will also be featured in titles in the Independent Newspapers group.
The winners also get two free copies of the book. UKZN Press will contribute any royalties accrued from the sale of the book towards a scholarship for a UKZN undergraduate students majoring in isiZulu studies.
The panel of expert judges included renowned storyteller, Gcina Mhlophe; as well as Dr Nakanjani Sibiya; Professor Otty Nxumalo; and Dr Gugu Mazibuko
Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Teaching and Learning, Professor Renuka Vithal, said the purpose of the competition had been to promote bilingualism and, in particular, the language of isiZulu as envisaged in UKZN's Language Policy and Plan.
"The aim is to create literature in isiZulu and to promote a culture among young people of reading and writing in African languages," said Vithal.
About 70 percent of the entries were poems with most being in isiZulu and the rest in a combination of English and isiZulu.
Only big business benefits from Brics
By Patrick Bond
Eye on Society The Mercury, 20 November 2012
The five heads of state of the Brazil-Russia-India-China-South Africa bloc (Brics) are coming to Durban in four months. Given recent performances, it is reasonable to expect another “1 percent” summit at the International Convention Centre, wreaking socioeconomic and ecological havoc on everyone else. Durban’s COP17 climate summit featured Washington's sabotage, with no new emissions cuts. Such degeneration of global governance is inevitable when Washington unites with the Brics countries, as first demonstrated three years ago with the Copenhagen Accord. At that COP15, South Africa, Brazil, China and India joined Barack Obama to foil the Kyoto Protocol’s mandatory emissions cuts, thus confirming that global warming of at least 4 degrees will occur by 2100, with predictions of central Durban being inundated with sea water. Negotiators were explicitly acting on behalf of their fossil fuel and extractive industries. Subsequently, the close ties between Pretoria politicians, London-based mining houses, BEE tycoons and sweetheart unions were exposed at Marikana. The onset of fracking will expand the relationship to the Western Cape, Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal's Drakensberg Mountains. The 2012 Yale and Columbia Universities’ Environmental Performance Index showed that, aside from Brazil, the other Brics states are decimating their – and the Earth’s – ecology at the most rapid rate of any bloc of countries, with Russia and South Africa near the bottom of world stewardship rankings. And as happened in Berlin in 1884–85, the Durban Brics summit will carve up Africa. The objectives: to support favoured corporations’ extraction strategies; to worsen retail-based de-industrialisation; to revive failed projects such as the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (Nepad), and to confirm the financing of both land-grabbing and the extension of neo-colonial infrastructure through a new Brics Development Bank. The question is whether in exchange for the amplification of these destructive tendencies, African elites can leverage any greater power in the world economy via Brics. With Pravin Gordhan's regular critiques of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund, there is certainly potential for Brics to “talk left” about the global governance democracy deficit. But Brics gave $100 billion (R884bn) in new capital to the International Monetary Fund, although South Africa’s contribution was only $2bn, a huge sum to muster against trade union opposition. Explaining the SA contribution Gordhan said last year that it was on condition that the IMF became more “nasty” to European borrowers, as if the Greek, Spanish, Portuguese and Irish poor and working people were not suffering enough. Likewise, South Africa's role in Africa has been nasty, as confirmed when Nepad was deemed “philosophically spot on” by lead US State Department Africa official Walter Kansteiner. Is there no hope? The greatest victory won by ordinary people in the last decade was probably the Treatment Action Campaign demand for access to Aids medicines, aided by India’s generic drugs, which allows more than 1.5 million South Africans to get treatment. But in recent months, Obama has put a squeeze on India to cut back on research and development and production of generics. The Brics eco-destructive, consumerist-centric, over-financialised, climate-frying maldevelopment is boosting corporate profits, but the model is generating crises for people and the planet. It warrants opposition, including through a civil society counter-summit next March 23–27, to rebuild Brics from below.
Bond directs the UKZN Centre for Civil Society and authored Politics of Climate Justice, UKZN Press.
The Hurley biography Denis Hurley: Truth to Power by Paddy Kearney will be launched in Pietermaritzburg on the 50th anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Council in 1962, a groundbreaking event for the Catholic Church. Archbishop Hurley described the Council as ‘the greatest experience of my whole life’ and he is well known for his enthusiastic implementation of the Vatican II’s vision and decrees.
Margaret Lenta (co-author of SA Lit: Beyond 2000), Lauretta Ngcobo (editor of Prodigal Daughters: Stories of South African Women in Exile) and Liepollo Pheko (contributor to Prodigal Daughters) will be participating in the Mail & Guardian Literary Festival 2012.
The festival will be held at The Market Theatre
56 Margaret Mcingana Street (previously Wolhuter)
Session 7: Saturday 1 September, 11.30 am to 1pm, Laager Theatre
One country, many literatures: looking at South African writing