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A School Where I Belong reflects on transformation and belonging in South African schools

Over the past few years, it has become clear that the path of transformation in schools since 1994 has not led South Africa’s education system to where we had hoped it could be.

Through tweets, posts and recent protests in schools, it has become apparent that in former Model-C and private schools, children of colour and those who are ‘different’ don’t feel they belong.

Following the astonishing success of How to Fix South Africa’s Schools, the authors sat down with young people who attended former Model-C and private schools, as well as principals and teachers, to reflect on transformation and belonging in South African schools. These filmed reflections, included on DVD in this book, are honest and insightful.

Drawing on the authors’ experiences in supporting schools over the last twenty years, and the insight of those interviewed, A School Where I Belong outlines six areas where true transformation in South African classrooms and schools can begin.

THE AUTHORS
Dylan Wray is co-founder and director of Shikaya – a non-profit that supports teachers and school leaders to ensure young people leave school thinking critically, and being compassionate, engaged, democratic citizens. Wray has worked globally as a teacher, facilitator, materials developer and author, and is co-founder of FutureProof Schools.

Roy Hellenberg has served on senior management teams of two top traditional boys’ schools in South Africa. Hellenberg has special interest and expertise in education in post-conflict societies, and has worked with Shikaya and FHAO over the past 11 years in equipping teachers to develop inclusive classrooms that encourage critical thinking and democratic practice. Hellenberg is also a co-founder of FutureProof Schools.

Jonathan Jansen is Distinguished Professor of Education at the University of Stellenbosch, and served for many years as Vice Chancellor of the University of the Free State. Jansen has a formidable reputation for transformation and for a deep commitment to reconciliation in communities living with the heritage of apartheid. He holds an impressive collection of degrees and awards including the Education Africa Lifetime Achievement Award.

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Win a copy of Stuart Doran’s Kingdom, Power, Glory

The early years of Zimbabwe’s independence were blighted by conflict and bloodshed, culminating in the Gukurahundi massacres of 1983 and 1984. Historian Stuart Doran explores these events in unprecedented detail, drawing on thousands of previously unpublished documents, including classified records from Mugabe’s Central Intelligence Organisation, apartheid South Africa, the UK, USA, Australia and Canada.

This groundbreaking book charts the development of an intense rivalry between two nationalist parties – Mugabe’s Zanu and Nkomo’s Zapu – and reveals how Zanu’s victory in the 1980 elections was followed by a carefully orchestrated five-year plan, driven by Mugabe, which sought to smash all forms of political opposition and impose a one-party state. Doran shows not only what happened during Zimbabwe’s darkest chapter, but also why this cataclysm occurred. In an expansive narrative saturated with new findings, he documents a culture of political intolerance in which domination and subjugation became the only options, and traces the rise of key proponents of this supremacist ideology.

Kingdom, Power, Glory is the most comprehensive history of Zimbabwe’s formative years and is essential reading for anyone hoping to understand the Mugabe regime, then and now.

Click here for the entry details and stand a chance to win this singular book, shortlisted for the 2018 Alan Paton Award for non-fiction.

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Watch Elif Shafak’s 200 Women interview

“You can’t empower women without listening to their stories” – Gloria Steinem

 
200 Women200 women from a variety of backgrounds are asked the same five questions. Their answers are inspiring human stories of success and courage, love and pain, redemption and generosity. From well-known activists, artists, and innovators to everyday women whose lives are no less exceptional for that, each woman shares her unique replies to questions like “What really matters to you?” and “What would you change in the world if you could?”

Interviewees include US Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, actor and human rights activist Alfre Woodard, and Nobel laureate Jodi Williams, along with those who are making a difference behind the scenes around the world, such as Marion Wright Edelman, head of the Children’s Defense Fund.

Each interview is accompanied by a photographic portrait, resulting in a volume that is compelling in word and image – and global in its scope and resonance. This landmark book is published to coincide with an immersive travelling exhibition and an interactive website, building on this remarkable, ever-evolving project. With responses ranging from uplifting to heartbreaking, these women offer gifts of empowerment and strength inviting us to bring positive change at a time when so many are fighting for basic freedom and equality.

Local interviewees include Graça Machel, Caster Semenya, Zelda la Grange, Mpho Tutu van Furth, Hlubi Mboya, Sahm Venter, Joanne Fedler, Ingrid le Roux, Gillian Slovo and Zoleka Mandela, among others.

A minimum of 10% of the project’s revenue will be distributed to organisations devoted to protecting and advancing the rights of women. Each interviewee can nominate an organisation (or themselves if they are in financial need) to receive their portion of the charitable pool or they can select the principal charitable partner, the Graça Machel Trust.

Elif Shafak was born in Strasbourg, France. She studied International Relations and Gender Studies. Shafak has written fifteen books, including bestsellers The Bastard of Istanbul and The Forty Rules of Love. Her works have been translated into many languages ​​and were on the shortlist of numerous literary awards. Shafak also works as a journalist.

Watch Elif discuss the significance of stories, the importance of equality and collective amnesia:

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Dig a compost pit, build a green urinal and six other tips on waterproofing your home and garden à la Helen Moffett’s 101 Water Wise Ways

Three provinces in South Africa have been declared national disaster zones because of drought.

The way we think about water needs to change, and fast. This is especially true for those of us who have running water and flush sanitation piped into our homes. For millions of South Africans, water is already a precious resource that costs toil to collect and fuel to heat.

Our middle-class expectations that water will gush steaming from our dozens of indoor taps 24/7 are going to look as bizarre to future generations as the spectacle of Cleopatra bathing in asses’ milk. Our Roman-orgy relationship with water is over. This book will hopefully help to alleviate water panic and distress.

A “can-do” compendium, it’s meant to be a guide, not prescriptive – not all solutions or tips are one-size-fits-all. Think of it as an ally in your fight to save water and part of your survival kit, along with the firstaid box; Valium for water-worriers.
 
Helen Moffett is a poet, editor, feminist activist and academic, her publications include university textbooks, an anthology of landscape writings, a cricket book (with the late Bob Woolmer and Tim Noakes), an animal charity anthology (Stray, with Diane Awerbuck) and the Girl Walks In erotica series (with Sarah Lotz and Paige Nick under the nom de plume Helena S. Paige). She has also published two poetry collections – Strange Fruit (Modjaji Books) and Prunings (uHlanga Press), which won the 2017 SALA prize. Recent projects include the Short Story Day Africa anthology, Migrations, and a memoir of Rape Crisis. She lives in Noordhoek, Cape Town.

WATERPROOFING YOUR HOME & GARDEN

If you have a garden, consider yourself lucky. This is going to be a great ally in your water-wise mission. Any kind of outdoor space will help, especially if it has a washing line and place to store containers.

TIP 25
Dig a compost pit. It may sound off-track, but this will save you water. There are many composting systems, some involving earthworms, special containers (these are good for tiny gardens with little accessible soil), rotating drums and more. I simply dig a hole about a metre deep and a metre across, and dump everything biodegradable in it. Why? There are a thousand excellent reasons to keep garbage out of landfills and to feed organic matter back into the soil, but for now: it will save washing up. If you are shaken by the notion of licking your plate, or getting the family dog to do so (see Tip 64), then scraping your plate into the kitchen compost bucket after meals is the next best thing.

I compost fish bones and skin – tomato plants love these – and also chicken bones, but I can get away with this because it’s a rare occurrence. Generally, meat bones should be kept out of compost heaps unless you want visits from neighbouring dogs; bread might likewise attract rats. Consider thrifty ways to use leftovers – chicken carcasses for stock, and so on (see Tip 61) – or resort to the dustbin.

A compost pit is also a suitably earthy place to dispose of blood (from a mooncup, for instance, or biodegradable sanitary pads) or vomit. Sprinkle a good layer of soil or mulch over afterwards. Note that urine is good for compost heaps, but for reasons too complicated to go into here, this is not a safe place to dump your dump.

TIP 26
Dig a small, deep fire pit in which to burn certain kinds of refuse: food-soiled paper and cardboard (napkins, pizza and cake boxes), “pee” paper, used wet wipes and so on. Don’t burn any form of plastic or polystyrene. Obviously, proceed with extreme caution when lighting any fires: you don’t want to burn down your house or the neighbourhood.

TIP 27
Construct a home-made grey/black water filter if you have a veggie garden or plants you want to keep alive: Google will give instructions, but I made a small brick enclosure in my garden and layered stones, broken bricks and chunks of wood into it, then topped it with gravel, sand and mulch. This can receive your black water (see Tip 15). Note that some plants will thrive on this, others will hate it; this kept my spinach and chard going right through the drought, but the tomatoes turned up their toes.

TIP 28
Build a green urinal in your garden if you have the space. This is a tip from the National Trust in Britain, which has millions of visitors to its properties, and came up with this plan to stop half of them from flushing. All that’s needed is a bale of straw and a modesty screen. Set the straw down in a sheltered part of the garden away from any water sources. Ask feed stores or nurseries if they have any straw spoiled by mould or weeds – they may give it to you for free – or make your own bale. I compacted dead grass into a rectangle about one foot high and three feet long. Set up a waist-high screen of sticks around the straw – you can construct your own (I used discarded bamboo) or buy from a garden centre. The straw or grass deodorises the urine, the urine helps decompose the straw, and after several months, you can use it as mulch in the garden, and start again with a fresh bale.

TIP 29
You might already own equipment that could help in the quest to save and harvest water. Check your garage, attic or storage space for useful camping and gardening gear: camping showers, stoves and washers, garden sprayers, jerrycans, foot pumps, trailers, wheelbarrows or trolleys for moving containers of water around – all these are gold. You might have dustbins, tarpaulins, canvas tents, wheeled suitcases, cooler boxes, funnels and much more that could come in handy. And you can’t have too many buckets. There should be one in every shower and next to every toilet.

Bonus tip: visit camping stores to get ideas, and draw up a wish list (see p. 102) of equipment, along with a price list, so you can plan your water budget to fit your needs and pocket. Be aware that some “dream machines” are not as ideal as they sound: air-to-water machines, for instance, are expensive, noisy, gobble up electricity and need high levels of humidity to be effective.

TIP 30
If you have a pool, turn it from a liability into an asset: it can become a valuable water-storing facility. Set up a system that enables as much rainwater as possible to flow into it, cover it, and use this as back-up for flushing.

Bonus tip for the future: consult an expert about turning your pool into an eco-pond that requires no chemicals to maintain. This could become a beautiful garden feature with aquatic plants and friendly frogs to catch flies and mosquitoes. Keep an area clear so the family can dip in and cool off or do a spot of water aerobics. If you want to swim lengths, plan on doing so at the gym or public pool.

WARNING! All the usual warnings about pool safety apply even more in drought conditions: thirsty animals and curious children will be more than usually attracted to water. Be 100% vigilant and make sure that your safety features are in apple-pie order.

TIP 31
Get inventive. Tie a funnel to the “elbow” of your satellite dish and run a pipe down from it into a container. Harvest the water from your office air-conditioner. Set up your planters to act as mini water tanks. Save catering-size containers and paint-tins.

TIP 32
Stock up on the following toiletries: antiperspirant (Mitchum is the one exception to my no-brandrecommendation – worth every penny), dry shampoo, leave-in hair conditioner, disinfectant, hand sanitiser, hand lotion, talc (not just for Grandma: good for no-shower days), wet wipes.

Bonus tip: on the topic of wet wipes, remember that you shouldn’t flush these – NOT EVEN WHEN IT SAYS YOU CAN ON THE PACKET. Try to get biodegradable ones and put these in the compost, or make your own (there’s a great recipe under Resources). Note that “biodegradable” and “compostable” do NOT mean flushable.

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“He doesn’t do PDA” – read an excerpt from Jonathan Jansen’s Making Love in a War: Interracial loving and learning after apartheid

Can racism and intimacy co-exist? Can love and friendship form and flourish across South Africa’s imposed colour lines?

Who better to engage on the subject of hazardous liaisons than the students Jonathan Jansen served over seven years as Vice Chancellor of the University of the Free State.

The context is the University campus in Bloemfontein, the City of Roses, the Mississippi of South Africa. Rural, agricultural, insular, religious and conservative, this is not a place for breaking out.

But over the years, Jansen observed shifts in campus life and noticed more and more openly interracial friendships and couples, and he began having conversations with these students with burning questions in mind.

Ten interracial couples tell their stories of love and friendship in their own words, with no social theories imposed on their meanings, but instead a focus on how these students experience the world of interracial relationships, and how flawed, outdated laws and customs set limits on human relationships, and the long shadow they cast on learning, living and loving on university campuses to this day.

Jonathan Jansen is Distinguished Professor of Education at the University of Stellenbosch, after serving for many years as the Vice Chancellor of the University of the Free State. Jansen has a formidable reputation for transformation and a deep commitment to reconciliation in communities living with the heritage of apartheid. He holds an impressive collection of degrees and awards including the Education Africa Lifetime Achievement Award.

“HE DOESN’T DO PDA”

The case of Ingrid and Paul

Ingrid does not come into your office. She storms in, often with a loud greeting, as if the Vice-Chancellor were an old friend – ‘So, howzit?’ I could see my secretary freeze in the background and shake her head. This kind of breezy openness was unusual in the conservative Free State, even for staff. An English girl from Howick with a free spirit, Ingrid adjusted quickly to the mix of predominantly Afrikaans and black women in the residence, and would gain the respect of her fellow students. She rose to leadership in her residence and in the SRC during the difficult period of the 2015/16 student protests. Ingrid would introduce me to Paul, her boyfriend, a quiet and reserved young man who by his own admission took some persuading to show up for the interview.

Ingrid Wentzel
(BA Human Movement Studies 2013–2016)

I was born in Addington Hospital. I stayed and grew up in Durban, and went to Danville Park Girls’ High School in Durban North. I feel like my parents are very liberal. My dad is a bit of a hard-ass but I feel like they are chilled. They never pushed one belief down my throat or say, ‘Do not do this or do not do that.’ There is nothing that has really stopped me from doing what I feel, if I can explain it in that sense.

My school was very mixed. There were a lot more Indians, because it is Durban, as well as at my primary school, Atholton. I personally never noticed any form of racism at either school. Never. I go to Kovsie Kerk [the Dutch Reformed campus church] now and again. Mom is mainly from a Norwegian background, as if we are actually Lutheran, but mainly so. She will go to a Norwegian church, but I just go to Kovsie Kerk.

Paul and I met in my second year. I heard about him through Tyson Free – he was here via Kovsie FM radio station. Paul is a DJ, and he often played. Tyson asked me, ‘Do you know Paul Makuta? He has played at Origin, that club in Durban.’ I said, ‘No, I haven’t heard of him,’ but we had a lot of mutual friends. He knows one of my friends, Siya, who I literally knew since birth. And then we met at Intervarsity [sporting competition with other universities] because he was playing there. He was with someone else then.

We were friends; we always got on. Our sense of humour is kind of the same, and we always spoke on and off. We were always friends, like always. I would see him and just be like, ‘Oh, hey.’ It became serious last year. As a friend, he is so chilled and laid back. He is my type of person. He is definitely my type of friend. I just felt like he got along with everybody and was really funny, even if we just talk over WhatsApp. We would talk about stupid stuff, random things, and he would send me funny pictures and I would do the same thing for him. I think he is just so laid back and easy, completely easy to get along with. It just kind of happened. I think it was just continuous talking and then it just sort of developed from there.

Well, I was more forward than anything else. He was just chilling and I made the first move. He does not do PDA [public displays of affection] but we are working on that. I am working on it. I feel our relationship is very chilled. This is relaxed and I am so happy with it. I mean, this is the most laid-back relationship I have ever been in, and there is no pressure. I don’t feel like I need to get all dressed up to impress him. And we just do our thing, and it is a take-it-day-by-day, basically. It is slightly difficult being Prime, because there are so many commitments, and it does get a bit irritating because I just want to go and chill with him, just like bond, because I really do enjoy his company.

I would consider him as a best friend because we joke or whatever, that sort of thing. Being Prime does, however, put a bit of a spanner in the works, but we work around it. I try my best to make time for him and he does the same thing for me. Last week there was so much kak [nonsense] going on in residence and whatever. It is not nice when I always have to be at res the whole time. Don’t get me wrong, I love Prime and it is a great position, but sometimes I just want time for me and time to spend with him. I want to know that I can put in that effort and feel like I can give all that much, as much as he deserves for me to give.

It’s just little things that keep me busy. It’s worrying about academics and graduating, then it’s Prime, and then it’s GLS [Global Leadership Summit], and then I want to stand for SRC. So even though I want to achieve all that, like, I also feel as if sometimes I need to put my relationship first, because that is also important. Varsity and the goals that I have set up are important, but I don’t want to get blindsided and have my mind be clouded by just focusing on varsity. This relationship is also important to me.

I think one [notable] moment for me was telling my friend Sannie.* Sannie was in my first-year leadership team. She was responsible for social events and was very much a boeremeisie [farm girl], but she is from Betty’s Bay,* so it is kind of weird. I feel like she had strong views and I got the impression that she was a bit of a racist, I really did. Her husband, Jannie,* as well, but that was me making an assumption. She was Instagram-stalking me or something, and I put pictures up and posted comments, and she said, ‘I just want to tell you that I am happy for you and it does not matter, it doesn’t bother me. I could understand maybe why you didn’t want to tell me because maybe I gave you that impression, but it’s important to me that you are happy and if he makes you happy then that is completely fine by me.’ I felt a bit guilty for making that assumption about her, and that her reaction was completely not what I expected; she was so supportive.

It never actually crossed my mind that I must hold back now just because Paul is a different race. Why should I put down what I want to feel and what I want to do based purely on the fact that he may not be what people expect me to go for? At this point it does not bother me. My residence knows. I really – I do not have a problem with it. If you have your opinion, then that is fine, but I mean it’s very rarely that if we walk at the Waterfront someone is going to be, ‘Hey, that is dodgy.’

My friends have a big part to play in that I have never experienced any judgement with any of them, any of the girls in my res, nothing. They are fairly open to it. I have never experienced anything like: ‘Oh wow, that is wrong.’ I haven’t experienced any negative feelings within my own friendship circle. Maybe such negative feelings are found among the girls out of my friendship circle. I have honestly never felt that sense that people are looking at us. However, he doesn’t do PDA.

I think initially my mother’s response was how my dad was going to react. Good old Kevin – but it actually doesn’t bother me what he thinks. It really does not. I will respect him as a person; he is my dad and I am very grateful for everything. He pays for my education, so I am very grateful for that, but at the end of the day, my mom told me as well, she said, ‘If you are happy, that is fine; that is your thing; that is you.’ It’s the same with my dad. I haven’t told him because I haven’t seen him yet. We don’t have the kind of relationship where I would tell him that sort of thing. I talk to him and he wants to know how varsity is, but I don’t have that kind of relationship where I divulge everything.

Obviously, I am very close to my mom. They do not live together. My dad lives in Cape Town and my mom lives in Durban. They have been divorced for a long time, I think since I was ten. I mean it has been a while. And they have very different views. Similar in how I was raised, but I just think very different. In some aspects my dad is somewhat chilled, but I have found as I got older that my mom’s attitude is very much like, ‘It is your life, your decisions, and if you’re happy, that is the most important thing.’

I don’t see any reason our relationship should not go on. I mean, it’s not like we have planned it all out to be together for this long. It’s not like it is all planned out.

Paul Makuta
(BCom 2010–2015)

I was born in Lesotho, moved to Pretoria, and then came to high school here in Bloem. At home I am Roman Catholic but I go to CRC [Christian Revival Church] in Bloemfontein. I have a single mother who stays in Pretoria. I have been here on my own from high school. Most of my childhood was in Pretoria. I went to Arcadia Primary School for grades 1 and 2, and then moved to Cornwall Hill College. I think in my grade there were only three black kids. I was friends with the two other black children, but the majority of our friends were white kids in primary school. It was a private school, so I grew up around a lot of white children. You kind of pick up what they do, how they speak, and stuff like that.

High school was totally different. I got a big culture shock when I came to Grey. I didn’t even know what racism was until I got to Grey. Grade 8 was a big culture shock, having to learn Afrikaans and actually seeing how different people are. As time went from Grade 8 to Matric, you would see even the Afrikaans people who were not necessarily racist but very conservative. In Grade 8, people wanted to feel your hair; they didn’t know what it felt like. Some guys will even ask you if your blood is red, and stuff like that. They just really do not know. And as time went by we all kind of became friends, because we stayed in the hostel.

I think it was in Grade 8; there was a fight with a guy called Matthew. I think he is in this varsity now. I was in Dorm 19 and he stayed in Dorm 18. I went next door to ask for a plug to charge my phone, but I had to lean over his bed to pull out the plug. As I was leaving the room, I heard him say, ‘Nee, die kaffir sit op my bed’ [‘No, the kaffir is sitting on my bed’]. But I couldn’t understand because I didn’t know any Afrikaans, so I just went next door to ask my friends, ‘What does this mean?’ and then I asked him, ‘Are people actually allowed to say that?’ I got so angry. I actually got into a physical fight after that. But now, if you put us in the same room, we are like probably best friends.

I think it was at Intervarsity 2013 where Ingrid and I first met. It was just very briefly. I think I was about to go on stage to play. She was with other friends and then we kind of met through mutual friends there. It got serious a year later. I think we spent more time together last year. She made the first move. It was not really forward; it was more like subtle hints. I wasn’t really looking for anything, but we kind of got on and I thought maybe there could be something. And then we started spending more time together and it just evolved from there. I cannot really give a step-by-step. It was not a love at first sight. We get along. It’s not an effort to be around her. It just works. Even if we were just chilling, it felt like I had a good time. Even when we were friends. It doesn’t feel like this relationship is any effort; it just works.

I think if it was at an earlier stage, I would have been more worried, but I’m not really concerned with other people’s opinions. If they have a problem with us, nobody is going to come to me and say, ‘What are you doing?’ If they are not directly getting in my space, I don’t really mind what people are going to say or think. Nobody will come to your face and say, ‘This is wrong,’ even though you get a sense that people are looking at you, yes, always. I am a very private person, so maybe that’s why. If we are walking together, you can feel when people are looking. Unless somebody is coming to interrogate me or tell me something personally, I will not have a problem with it at all. They are entitled to their opinion. My mother is very liberal. She is very strict and stuff, but she is not prejudiced against anyone. My mom has never known about anyone that I dated. She will ask me, ‘Do you have a girlfriend?’ and I will be like, ‘Mom, relax,’ but I don’t really speak to her about girls. I think the only time I have ever told her I had a girlfriend was probably one-and-a-half years ago and I thought I might as well. (I don’t like speaking to people. Even this interview, Ingrid had to convince me.) I told my mom I am seeing this girl and the first thing she asked was, ‘Oh, is she white?’ I think she already knew before she asked that she was white. She didn’t seem too upset about it. And she asked, ‘Is she Christian?’ and stuff like that, and she was fine about it.

I cannot see any reason why our relationship would not continue. As far as I can see, unless I have to move away or something and be in a long-distance relationship, it might be a problem. Otherwise, I think the relationship would continue. We spoke about that the other day. Other relationships that I have been in feel like you have to put in so much effort to impress a person. Then you don’t really feel comfortable with things that they do. Let me say ninety per cent of what I am looking for I find in her. There are arguments, like small ones. I am happy and I think it can go on for quite a while.

Making Love in a War Zone

Book details

Our Roman-orgy relationship with water is over – Helen Moffett’s 101 Water Wise Ways is a “can-do” compendium and your ally in the war we’re waging against Day Zero

Three provinces in South Africa have been declared national disaster zones because of drought.

The way we think about water needs to change, and fast. This is especially true for those of us who have running water and flush sanitation piped into our homes. For millions of South Africans, water is already a precious resource that costs toil to collect and fuel to heat.

Our middle-class expectations that water will gush steaming from our dozens of indoor taps 24/7 are going to look as bizarre to future generations as the spectacle of Cleopatra bathing in asses’ milk. Our Roman-orgy relationship with water is over. This book will hopefully help to alleviate water panic and distress.

A “can-do” compendium, it’s meant to be a guide, not prescriptive – not all solutions or tips are one-size-fits-all. Think of it as an ally in your fight to save water and part of your survival kit, along with the firstaid box; Valium for water-worriers.
 
 
 

Helen Moffett is a poet, editor, feminist activist and academic, her publications include university textbooks, an anthology of landscape writings, a cricket book (with the late Bob Woolmer and Tim Noakes), an animal charity anthology (Stray, with Diane Awerbuck) and the Girl Walks In erotica series (with Sarah Lotz and Paige Nick under the nom de plume Helena S. Paige). She has also published two poetry collections – Strange Fruit (Modjaji Books) and Prunings (uHlanga Press), which won the 2017 SALA prize. Recent projects include the Short Story Day Africa anthology, Migrations, and a memoir of Rape Crisis. She lives in Noordhoek, Cape Town.

Book details

Remember Winnie Madikizela-Mandela (26 September 1936 – 2 April 2018). Watch her discuss gender equality, the joy of grandchildren, and dismantling patriarchal systems

In 200 Women Who Will Change the Way You See the World, 200 women from a variety of backgrounds are asked the same five questions. Their answers are inspiring human stories of success and courage, love and pain, redemption and generosity. From well-known activists, artists, and innovators to everyday women whose lives are no less exceptional for that, each woman shares her unique replies to questions like “What really matters to you?” and “What would you change in the world if you could?”

Interviewees include US Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, actor and human rights activist Alfre Woodard, and Nobel laureate Jodi Williams, along with those who are making a difference behind the scenes around the world, such as Marion Wright Edelman, head of the Children’s Defense Fund.

Each interview is accompanied by a photographic portrait, resulting in a volume that is compelling in word and image – and global in its scope and resonance. This landmark book is published to coincide with an immersive travelling exhibition and an interactive website, building on this remarkable, ever-evolving project. With responses ranging from uplifting to heartbreaking, these women offer gifts of empowerment and strength inviting us to bring positive change at a time when so many are fighting for basic freedom and equality.

Local interviewees include Graça Machel, Caster Semenya, Zelda la Grange, Mpho Tutu van Furth, Hlubi Mboya, Sahm Venter, Joanne Fedler, Ingrid le Roux, Gillian Slovo and Zoleka Mandela, among others.

A minimum of 10% of the project’s revenue will be distributed to organisations devoted to protecting and advancing the rights of women. Each interviewee can nominate an organisation (or themselves if they are in financial need) to receive their portion of the charitable pool or they can select the principal charitable partner, the Graça Machel Trust.

In light of the passing of Winnie Madikizela-Mandela (26 September 1936 – 2 April 2018), let her sage words on gender equality, the joy of grandchildren, and dismantling patriarchal systems serve as a reminder of her contribution to South Africa’s history:

200 Women Who Will Change the Way You See the World

Book details

  • 200 Women Who Will Change the Way You See the World by Ruth Hobday, edited by Kieran Scott, Geoff Blackwell, Sharon Gelman, Marianne Lassandro
    EAN: 978-1-928257-41-7
    Find this book with BOOK Finder!

Listen: Jonathan Jansen discusses Making Love in a War Zone on Cape Talk

‘My father-in-law did not show up for the wedding. My future wife had to leave her family home the moment we asked permission to ‘go out’ together, a tradition in those days. There were certain members of the family whom she visited on her own; my presence was not welcomed. I was a confident human being and a proud black man, but those things stick when it comes to flesh and blood.’

– Jonathan Jansen

Can racism and intimacy co-exist? Can love and friendship form and flourish across South Africa’s imposed colour lines?

Who better to engage on the subject of hazardous liaisons than the students Jonathan Jansen served over seven years as Vice Chancellor of the University of the Free State.

The context is the University campus in Bloemfontein, the City of Roses, the Mississippi of South Africa. Rural, agricultural, insular, religious and conservative, this is not a place for breaking out.

But over the years, Jansen observed shifts in campus life and noticed more and more openly interracial friendships and couples, and he began having conversations with these students with burning questions in mind.

Ten interracial couples tell their stories of love and friendship in their own words, with no social theories imposed on their meanings, but instead a focus on how these students experience the world of interracial relationships, and how flawed, outdated laws and customs set limits on human relationships, and the long shadow they cast on learning, living and loving on university campuses to this day.
 

Jonathan Jansen is Distinguished Professor of Education at the University of Stellenbosch, after serving for many years as the Vice Chancellor of the University of the Free State. Jansen has a formidable reputation for transformation and a deep commitment to reconciliation in communities living with the heritage of apartheid. He holds an impressive collection of degrees and awards including the Education Africa Lifetime Achievement Award.

Jansen recently discussed the inspiration and journey behind Making Love in a War Zone with Pippa Hudson on Cape Talk. Take a listen:

Book details

Launch: Making Love in a War Zone by Jonathan Jansen (5 April)

‘My father-in-law did not show up for the wedding. My future wife had to leave her family home the moment we asked permission to ‘go out’ together, a tradition in those days. There were certain members of the family whom she visited on her own; my presence was not welcomed. I was a confident human being and a proud black man, but those things stick when it comes to flesh and blood.’

– Jonathan Jansen

Can racism and intimacy co-exist? Can love and friendship form and flourish across South Africa’s imposed colour lines?

Who better to engage on the subject of hazardous liaisons than the students Jonathan Jansen served over seven years as Vice Chancellor of the University of the Free State.

The context is the University campus in Bloemfontein, the City of Roses, the Mississippi of South Africa. Rural, agricultural, insular, religious and conservative, this is not a place for breaking out.

But over the years, Jansen observed shifts in campus life and noticed more and more openly interracial friendships and couples, and he began having conversations with these students with burning questions in mind.

Ten interracial couples tell their stories of love and friendship in their own words, with no social theories imposed on their meanings, but instead a focus on how these students experience the world of interracial relationships, and how flawed, outdated laws and customs set limits on human relationships, and the long shadow they cast on learning, living and loving on university campuses to this day.
 

Jonathan Jansen is Distinguished Professor of Education at the University of Stellenbosch, after serving for many years as the Vice Chancellor of the University of the Free State. Jansen has a formidable reputation for transformation and a deep commitment to reconciliation in communities living with the heritage of apartheid. He holds an impressive collection of degrees and awards including the Education Africa Lifetime Achievement Award.
 
Event Details

Launch: Making Love in a War Zone by Jonathan Jansen (27 March)

‘My father-in-law did not show up for the wedding. My future wife had to leave her family home the moment we asked permission to ‘go out’ together, a tradition in those days. There were certain members of the family whom she visited on her own; my presence was not welcomed. I was a confident human being and a proud black man, but those things stick when it comes to flesh and blood.’

– Jonathan Jansen

Making Love in a War Zone

Can racism and intimacy co-exist? Can love and friendship form and flourish across South Africa’s imposed colour lines?

Who better to engage on the subject of hazardous liaisons than the students Jonathan Jansen served over seven years as Vice Chancellor of the University of the Free State.

The context is the University campus in Bloemfontein, the City of Roses, the Mississippi of South Africa. Rural, agricultural, insular, religious and conservative, this is not a place for breaking out.

But over the years, Jansen observed shifts in campus life and noticed more and more openly interracial friendships and couples, and he began having conversations with these students with burning questions in mind.

Ten interracial couples tell their stories of love and friendship in their own words, with no social theories imposed on their meanings, but instead a focus on how these students experience the world of interracial relationships, and how flawed, outdated laws and customs set limits on human relationships, and the long shadow they cast on learning, living and loving on university campuses to this day.
 

Jonathan Jansen is Distinguished Professor of Education at the University of Stellenbosch, after serving for many years as the Vice Chancellor of the University of the Free State. Jansen has a formidable reputation for transformation and a deep commitment to reconciliation in communities living with the heritage of apartheid. He holds an impressive collection of degrees and awards including the Education Africa Lifetime Achievement Award.

Event Details