Sunday Times Books LIVE Community Sign up

Login to Sunday Times Books LIVE

Forgotten password?

Forgotten your password?

Enter your username or email address and we'll send you reset instructions

Sunday Times Books LIVE


@ Sunday Times Books LIVE

Archive for the ‘Afrikaans’ Category

The Rise and Fall of Mxit, South Africa’s Social Media Messaging Start-up (Podcast)

Really, Don't Panic!Moenie stres nie!Mxit, South African-made social media messaging platform once hailed as “a success story the likes of Facebook in its own context”, has been closed down as a commercial operation.

Alan Knott-Craig Jnr, internet entrepreneur and editor of Really, Don’t Panic! (Afrikaans: Moenie stres nie!), acquired Mxit in 2011. But he was not, for a number of reasons, able to innovate fast enough to safeguard the company’s user share against the rising tide of smartphone messaging and social media apps.

Knott-Craig Jnr recently resigned as Mxit’s CEO. Read Stuart Thomas’ article about what he did for the company:

It makes sense then that he describes thinking of the maverick entrepreneur as a “breath of fresh air” at the time.

While Marshall acknowledges that there was a little bit of organised chaos, largely down to each of the World of Avatar CEOs wanting a slice of Mxit’s resources, he says he was inspired by the sense that Knott-Craig was there to knock down all the old walls at Mxit and was willing to try new things.

He’s not alone either. In an article published on Memeburn shortly after Knott-Craig’s departure, former Mxit employee Frans de Villiers describes him as “Mxit’s Barack Obama”, there to bring fresh ideas to a company that had “lost a lot of its amazingness”.

Despite his initial optimism, it’s clear that Knott-Craig knew that Mxit was up against it from the start of his short tenure as CEO. In early 2012, he told a press conference that Mxit had “one last chance” to get back on track or the company would collapse.

Ben-Carl Havemann, spokesperson for Mxit, spoke to Mike Wills on CapeTalk about the commercial closure and the future of the messenger as part of the Reach Trust, a charitable arm of the company.

Listen to the podcast:



Tech-Savvy ParentingArthur Goldstuck, tech-expert and co-author of Tech-Savvy Parenting: A Guide to Raising Safe Children in a Digital World, was asked to comment on the closure of Mxit by Sibusiso Tshabalala for Quartz Africa.

Goldstuck said that the closure of the messaging app was not surprising, but there is still much that other start-ups could learn from the rise and fall of Mxit.

Read the article:

“The first thing [Mxit] did wrong is that they became complacent when they were at their peak. They made the same mistake Netscape made in the 90s— it underestimated Microsoft, and two years Netscape was wiped out. It was not only the rise of smartphones that led to Mxit’s decline, it was also the rise of other social networks. They woke up too late,” said Goldstuck.

Book details

  • Tech-Savvy Parenting: A Guide to Raising Safe Children in a Digital World by Nikki Bush and Arthur Goldstuck
    EAN: 9781920434908
    Find this book with BOOK Finder!

» read article

Ekonomiese groei is die antwoord: Lees twee uittreksels uit Capitalist Crusader deur Herman Mashaba

Black Like YouCapitalist CrusaderHerman Mashaba is een van Suid-Afrika se bekendste entrepreneurs.

Armoede en politiek kon hierdie man nie onderkry nie. Die Black Like You-outeur het eiehandig die Suid-Afrikaanse haarprodukte-mark verander deur sy wêreldbekende Black Like Me-middels, ontwikkel en versprei ten spyte van ‘n hele paar struikelblokke. Vandag is hy ‘n bekroonde leier in die entrepreneursveld en besigheidswêreld en ‘n kampvegter vir sosiale geregtigheid.

In sy jongste boek deel Mashaba sy ontnugtering toe hy na 1994 moes besef dat ekonomiese vryheid nog nie almal se voorland is nie. Hy beskryf ook sy strewe na ekonomiese groei vir alle Suid-Afrikaners en beskryf die veranderinge wat die land nodig het om dit te bewerkstellig.

Lees twee vertaalde uittreksels uit Capitalist Crusader – Fighting Poverty Through Economic Growth om Mashaba se perspektief op Suid-Afrika beter te verstaan:

Kapitalisme is nié wortel van die kwaad

Toe Suid-Afrika in 1994 ’n demokrasie geword het, was ek al ’n suksesvolle kapitalis.

Dit was vir my onnodig om die swart ekonomiese bemagtiging (SEB) na te jaag.

Toe die parlement oor wetgewing vir SEB begin praat, het ek geweet dit sou met of sonder my ’n werklikheid in die land se ekonomiese landskap word. Ons het almal gedink die proses sou tydelik en pynloos wees. My wit kollegas het daagliks aan my deur geklop met die versoek dat ek in hul ondernemings belê.

Kind net vir geld in die wêreld gebring

Ek het in armoede grootgeword. Ek het gewoonlik nie geweet waar die volgende maaltyd vandaan sou kom nie en soms het ek geweet daar is daardie aand g’n maaltyd nie.

Sulke omstandighede maak een van drie dinge in ’n mens wakker: Jy word wanhopig, bitter of vasberade. Ek het al drie ervaar, maar uiteindelik was dit vasberadenheid, aangehelp deur geleenthede en harde werk, wat my gehelp het om uit die tronk van armoede te ontsnap.


» read article

All South Africans Should be Proud of Mxit – Alan Knott-Craig Jnr

Really, Don't Panic!Moenie stres nie!Alan Knott-Craig Jnr chatted to News24 recently about the rise and fall of Mxit and Project Isizwe, which plans to bring free Wi-Fi to as many South Africans as possible.

Knott-Craig was CEO of Mxit for a year, from 2011 to 2012. The social networking and messaging service is struggling to compete with US rival WhatsApp, and fell from 6.5 million users in 2013 to 4.9 million users last year.

But Knott-Craig says Mxit is an invention South Africans should be proud of, adding that he wishes he had had more time to develop it.

“I must be honest, firstly, Mxit is the most successful web application to ever come out of the continent of Africa,” Knott-Craig says. “It’s something that all South Africans should be proud of; we were very lucky to get our hands on it.

“I wish I had a little bit more time to give it a go and kind of prove to myself that South Africans had the ability to compete with the likes of WhatsApp.

“But in effect I believe Mxit was WeChat, and WeChat found a way to compete with the big American giants – it wasn’t squashed.”

Watch the video:

YouTube Preview Image

Book details

» read article

Jan Braai Makes a Call to Arms at the Launch of His Third Cookbook, The Democratic Republic of Braai

Jan Braai

The Democratic Republic of BraaiDie Demokratiese Republiek van BraaiJan Braai’s mission statement is simple: It is your democratic right to gather with friends and family around braai fires throughout the country and celebrate with a meal cooked over the coals of a real wood fire.

This is the message he advocates with his third Bookstorm title, The Democratic Republic of Braai, published in Afrikaans by NB Publishers as Die Demokratiese Republiek van Braai. At the recent launch, held at the Devils Peak Brewing Company Taproom in Woodstock, Jan explained the heart and soul of his braai campaign and shared some of the core principles of his latest book.

“By the third book you start to get courage, maybe even a bit of Dutch courage, and you start to take creative license, and that is one of the reasons why I think this book is so great, because I really actually just wrote it exactly as I felt I should write it,” the man behind the national braai campaign told his guests.

Jan BraaiJan went on to say: “Jon Stewart – let’s call him the philosopher Jon Stewart, although some people think he is a comedian – recently made his retirement speech, and he spoke at length about cutting the bullshit out of the world and out of life. This, for me, is also very relevant to the books that I try and write, that I hope should appeal to normal people, normal South Africans who like to braai but maybe want to go beyond boerewors rolls, steak and chops every Saturday. I am trying my best, when I do these recipes, to cut the bullshit.”

There is no saffron in Jan’s curry, because he really does not think “a normal person should buy saffron”. The same goes for lemon grass and other fancy ingredients – if you can’t find it in the platteland, it’s not an ingredient in this new Jan Braai cookbook. Except of course for bokkoms from the West Coast, which he recommends instead of anchovies imported from Europe.

In the second book Jan and his father created a surprising recipe: Malva Pudding in a Potjie. With this book they asked themselves, “If we could do that, why can’t we make a carrot cake as well?”. Jan took the recipe one step further, putting the icing on the side and allowing each person to decide how much sweetness they want to add to their dessert, just like you do when you have a cup of tea in the morning. The success of the carrot cake led to the development of a cheesecake recipe, which is just another one of the innovative recipes that can be found in The Democratic Republic of Braai.

Food from the The Democratic Republic of Braai

“In terms of the book I just want to leave you with a final thought, and that is that life is too short to peel potatoes, I feel very strongly about that. Seriously,” Jan told the jolly crowd. The second part of the launch was dedicated to the thing that lies closest to his heart: National Braai Day.

“Our aim is very simple. We are living in the greatest country in the world and we want to create a national day of celebration in South Africa. National Braai Day is now 10 years old. Our call to arms on all South Africans is very simple – we are saying, ‘Unite around a fire. Share our heritage. Wave our flag’. We are not expecting that you do that solely on 24 September, which is National Heritage Day, but what we are saying is that the one heritage that everybody has in common is to braai, to sit around a fire”.

Jan shared that the single thing he most hopes to achieve in life, apart from establishing National Braai Day, is to get South Africans to wave their flag proudly, like the Americans and so many other nationalities do theirs. “We have the most beautiful flag in the world, we should be more proud of it,” he said. Eventually Jan hopes to create a St Patrick’s Day effect on Braai Day, with people around the world celebrating our South African heritage, waving our flag.

The route and programme for the 2015 National Braai Tour (12 to 19 September) were also revealed during the launch of The Democratic Republic of Braai (see below), during which participants will cook only from Jan’s latest book. Guests also got to taste samples of some of the recipes in the book, accompanied by a sneak preview and taste of the new Jan Braai Lager, created with the Devil’s Peak Brewery, and the new Jan Braai wine range, an easy-drinking braai wine created with help from Alvi’s Drift Wine. Both the beer and wine ranges will be launched later this year.

What are you waiting for? Listen to the presiding president of The Democratic Republic of Braai and BRAAI!

National Braai Tour Map


* * * * * * *

Facebook gallery:



Helené Prinsloo (@helenayp) tweeted live from the launch:



Book details

» read article

Gerugte oor Jonathan Jansen se aftrede is onwaar – Kovsies

How to Fix South Africa's SchoolsWe Need to ActLetters to My Children

Die Universiteit van die Vrystaat het onlangs aan Netwerk24 vertel dat die gerugte dat Professor Jonathan Jansen vanjaar gaan aftree, vals is.

Vicus Bürger berig dat die universiteit se kommunikasiebestuurder Lacea Loader gereageer het op onlangse nuusberigte wat beweer het dat Jansen na ‘n paar maande sal aftree.

Loader het vertel dat Jansen in sy toespraak by die Kaapse Kamer van Koophandel en Nywerheid, waarna die berigte verwys, slegs ‘n grap gemaak het:

Dit was bloot ’n idiomatiese uitdrukking dat alles so goed verloop by die UV dat hy grappenderwys gesê het hy net sowel binne die volgende paar maande kan weggaan,” het Loader by navraag aan Volksblad gesê.

Volgens haar het die rektor “hoegenaamd geen planne om die UV te verlaat nie”.


Book details

» read article

Gift of the Givers – Hoe gaan dit nou met Yolande Korkie? (Potgooi)

Imtiaz Sooliman and the Gift of the GiversYolandé Korkie het op die tweejaar-herdenking van haar en haar oorlede man Pierre se ontvoering aan OFM vertel hoe dit met haar familie gaan.

Korkie vertel hoe die ontvoering haar en haar kinders se lewens beïnvloed het: “Ons besef dat dit is ‘n dag wat ons lewens aangrypend verander het, dat dit nooit weer van 27 Mei 2013 af dieselfde sou wees nie.”

Korkie sê sommige dae is beter as ander: “Dit is so, dit gaan nie elke dag goed nie. Die lewe gaan voort en baiekeer sê mense mens moet maar net aangaan, maar ons het op ‘n punt gekom waar ons vir mekaar gesê het, die kinders en ek, dat ons moet nie net aangaan nie, ons wíl aangaan.”

Luister na die potgooi:

OFM berig dat die Korkie-egpaar vir sewe maande lank deur Al-Kaïda gyselaar gehou is, waarna Yolandé vrygelaat is. Pierre is egter in Desember verlede jaar vermoor, ten spyte van die Gift of the Givers se beste reddingspogings.

Lees die artikel:

Yolandé het aan OFM-nuus gesê al word die verlange na Pierre groter gaan dit goed met haar en die kinders.

Sy gee klas aan die Universiteit van die Vrystaat en die kinders gaan voort met hul skoolloopbane. Yolandé wou nie veel uitwei oor die presiese gebeure rondom hul ontvoering nie en sê die fyner detail sal in haar boek, waarmee sy goed vorder, wees.

Verwante skakels:



» read article

“Ons gaan nie apartheid regmaak deur nóg ’n apartheid in te bring nie” – Herman Mashaba

Black Like You“Ons gaan nie apartheid regmaak deur nóg ’n apartheid in te bring nie.”

Só het Herman Mashaba onlangs aan Hanlie Retief vertel oor waarom hy nie regstellende aksie ondersteun nie.

Die Black Like You-outeur verduidelik verder: “Die meeste van ons voel die vergrype van die verlede moet getakel word, maar soos jy ouer en meer ervare word, besef jy die stelsel is onprakties, onregverdig en polariserend.”

Die joernalis en biograaf pols die skrywer, entrepreneur en eienaar van Black Like Me oor sy politieke oortuigings, sy kritiek teen die ANC en hoe die land reggeruk kan word.

Lees die artikel:

Wat doen regstellende aksie aan die psige van Suid-Afrikaners?

Hoe lewe ek in ’n samelewing waar ek elke dag van my lewe as sakeman regeringsvorms en SEB-puntekaarte moet invul wat spreek van ras, ras, ras? Ek is nou op ’n plek in my lewe waar ek Suid-Afrikáners wil omhels, ongeag ras, ongeag klassifikasie. As ons voortgaan met Projek Polarisering, gaan ons ons nageslag in die steek laat.


» read article

Alan Knott-Craig Jnr and Project Isizwe Are Rolling Out Free Wi-Fi in the Western Cape

Really, Don't Panic!Moenie stres nie!Alan Knott-Craig Jnr is the author of Really, Don’t Panic! (also available in Afrikaans as Moenie stres nie!) who has been involved with the start up of close to 20 new telecommunications, media and technology companies over the past decade. Project Isizwe, one of these start-ups, is a non-profit company he founded to deploy free Wi-Fi in South Africa.

Project Isizwe has shared a video of the launch of free Wi-Fi in Atlantis. This is the first stage in a plan that will eventually encompass the whole of the Western Cape.

In the video below, people who are involved in the Wi-Fi project in Atlantis explain the positive impact that access to the internet will have on the community.

Watch the video:

YouTube Preview Image

Knott-Craig spoke to CNBC Africa about the progress of Project Isizwe, and where the organisation is going next.

Watch the video:

YouTube Preview Image

Book details

» read article

Imtiaz Sooliman gesels oor sy roeping om mense van alle rasse, klasse en gelowe onvoorwaardelik te dien

Imtiaz Sooliman and the Gift of the Givers“Ons is ’n humanitêre organisasie. Ons help mense in nood. Ons gaan in oorlogsones in waar bomme reg rondom ons val. Hierdie was nie anders nie. Hulle is Suid-Afrikaners. Hulle is ons mense en ons het geweet ons het die kapasiteit om te help.”

Só het Imtiaz Sooliman onlangs aan Vicus Bürger gesê oor sy hulporganisasie, Gift of the Givers, se pogings om die Korkie-familie weer te herenig. Pierre en Yolandé Korkie is in 2013 deur Al Qaeda in Yemen ontvoer en op 6 Desember verlede jaar is Pierre oorlede nadat ’n reddingspoging skeefgeloop het. Yolandé is op 10 Januarie 2014 vrygelaat. Sooliman vertel dat hy daarna uitgesien het om vir Yolandé te sê dat sy haar man weer sou sien.

Gift of the Givers is vir almal, sê Sooliman. Die organisasie se lede bestaan uit onder meer Christene, Moslems en Hindoes en hulle word aangemoedig om mekaar te respekteer. “Die God van die mensdom is een. Ons noem hom net verskillende name. As die mensdom een nasie is, is ons almal broers en susters. Ons almal kom van Adam af.”

Lees die artikel:

Dis ’n opdrag

Imtiaz (52), ’n dokter wat in Potchefstroom gebore is, het op 6 Augustus 1992 die Sufi-leraar sjeg Saffer Effendi al-Jerrahi in Istanboel in Turkye besoek.

“Hy is ’n meester in die wetenskap van Islamitiese mistiek en verteenwoordig ’n ononderbroke ketting van sjegte wat terugdateer na die tyd van profeet Muhammad . . . Sufi-meesters word beskou as dokters van die menslike siel.”

Volgens Sooliman kon sjeg Jerrahi sy siel sien en hy het aan hom gesê: “My seun, ek vra jou nie, ek gee jou ’n opdrag. Jy sal ’n organisasie vorm. Die naam sal Gift of the Givers wees.

“Jy sal mense van alle rasse dien, van alle gelowe, van alle kleure, van alle klasse, van alle politieke affiliasies en van alle geografiese gebiede, en jy sal hulle onvoorwaardelik dien.”

Die sjeg het vir hom ook gesê om mense met vriendelikheid, deernis en genade te dien.

Dit is hoe die hulporganisasie tot stand gekom het.


» read article

Probeer Sophia Lindop se resep vir beet-humus uit Season’s Bounty

Season's Bounty: Cooking with nature's abundanceSeason’s Bounty: Cooking with nature’s abundance deur Sophia Lindop bevat resepte vir vars seisoenale groente en vrugte, van beet en sampioene tot kwepers en suurlemoene.

Probeer Lindop se resep vir beet-humus, ‘n gesonde en kleurvolle smeer om saam met vars brood te geniet of saam met ander versnaperinge soos wortelstokkies by ‘n skemerkelkie te bedien.

Die resep vra vir voorafbereide tahini, ‘n sesamsaadsmeer wat by meeste winkels beskikbaar is.

Probeer die Season’s Bounty-resep vir beet-humus:


300 g beet
olyfolie vir bak en bediening
400 g geblikte kekerertjies (240 g gedreineer)
4 groot knoffelhuisies, geskil en gekneus
6 eetlepel tahini*
60 ml vars suurlemoensap
¼ teelepel fyn komyn
60 ml olyfolie


» read article