Feminism Is: South Africans Speak Their Truth edited by Jen Thorpe

38799702.jpg~As feminists raising boys, we are determined to live our lives in ways that make sense.~ Pumla Dineo Gqola

~To read Zadie is to confront yourself…To read Zadie is the possibility of arriving at a sense of order, something like filing the mess in your mind into a neater configuration…~ Danielle Alyssa Bowler

~Feminism is a way of life for me, a place where I stand as I live my life, it is complex and intricate and utterly simple.~ Colleen Higgs

~Feminism is now expressed and shaped by a younger generation, who sometimes make me profoundly uneasy.~ Ferial Haffajee

~We did not wake up as ‘woke’ feminists. We are the products of fragmented conversations that started in generations past and have happened between other women over a long period, of painful challenges that live silently in the minds of these struggling women and their internal rage.~ Haji Mohamed Dawjee

~If there is ever one thing I want my brother to learn – from me, my mother, my grandmother – it is that he’s not particularly special…Of course he’s special in that we adore and love him…What I would like him to know is that what is more special than his inherent special, is the context in which he grew up…~ Gugulethu Mhlungu

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Hardly Working: A Travel Memoir of Sorts by Zukiswa Wanner

Hardly-Working-Front-Cover.png~If the African school my son studied in would not offer Africa to him, we would give him Africa.~

~It’s strange how one never worries about a driver breaking the speed limit when anxious to get somewhere at a certain time. ~

~A meal is as delicious as one’s hunger. ~

~No Mzuzu is a big city…There is even a Shoprite.~

~If I ever write an African dictionary of English words, the word surreal will have the map of Malawi next to it, I swear ~

~[G]etting access to literature from a neighbouring African country tends to be tougher than it is to access books published abroad.~

~Prior to meeting Aunt Asenath and Ama, my young mind truly thought all African writers were men because they were the only ones talked about.~


Review for the Sunday Times: http://bit.ly/2FKiW2N

Flame and Song by Philippa Namutebi Kabali-Kagwa

32172137Quotes from the prose sections:

~The history books tell us about explorers, despotic leaders, economic war, HIV and foreign policy, but they omit the voices of the people who lived through it. We are the keepers of these stories: they are ours to tell.~

~From 1972 onwards, the term ‘Gundi bamututte’ or ‘Gundi Baamututte’ became part of our speech: ‘So and so has been taken’ or ‘So and so was taken’…Those who came back were changed. Some found words to speak about what had happened. Others never spoke about it again.~

~Outwardly, I think I appeared all right – not many tears – but inwardly I was all over the place. It was as if I had lost my centre of gravity. There were signs, like misplacing my phone…What do you wear on your way home to bury your mother?~

~How do you share with someone the loss of a mother they did not know? How could they understand the immensity of my tiny Mother?~

~As Victor and I started to understand South African society, our biggest challenge became how to build a home for our children that gave them a sense of belonging.~


Interview, on behalf of the JRB: http://bit.ly/2oJgijU

Hacked by Fiona Snyckers

Hacked.jpg~It’s like she knows what we’re going to do before we do it.~

~[I]t wasn’t her lover who was putting those marks on her.~

~”Go with a clear conscience, young Padawan. I’m fine. Just remember that you promised to take me into the forest with you one of these days.”
“The day the forest gets WiFi and somewhere to plug in your hairdryer is the day I’ll take you there.”~

~I don’t know why, but Chief Macgregor makes me nervous. I find myself wanting to confess to things I haven’t even done.~

~”Can you tell me what this item is for?” She pointed to the ball-gag.
“That, dear? Why, that’s…uh…a love ball. I insert it into my…lady parts to strengthen my muscles.”~


My interview with the author & review on behalf of the Sunday Times:

Interview with Rehana Rossouw

NEW-TIMES-COVIn late 2017, I had the opportunity to chat to Rehana about her latest book, New Times. The thought provoking novel was one of my top reads of the year, and interviewing her was a pure joy.

Highlights from the piece published in the Sunday Times on the 7th of January:

On Mental health and violence:

Mental health, violence, and PTSD thread through the narrative, from the newsroom, to Ali’s mother, to Ali herself. “I do believe our nation is scarred by violence,” Rossouw says. But while New Times may be set in the past, it is also a caution to the new generation. Rossouw explains, “The book was started in a fit of anger with the #FeesMustFall activists who blithely believed that their violence was justified because they had to ensure we all understood that Mandela was a sell-out. I wanted to warn them that violence is not a toy and could cause lasting damage.”

On her work as an activist:
“I am fighting all over again as a novelist.”

New Times by Rehana Rossouw

NEW-TIMES-COV– African time strolls at a leisurely pace, meandering down a time zone that’s several hours behind the rest of the globe, pausing to meet and greet everyone in its path as it makes its tardy way to the next appointment. It can be so very charming…It can also hold people back – when you are oppressed and going nowhere you never rush. –

– Newsrooms are the last refuge of society’s weirdos. –

– Sometimes it is hard to understand the choices people make when they’re finally free to have what they want. –

– People don’t greet at The New Times, the white people in particular. They drop their heads and stare at the floor like the answer to the meaning of life is carved there when they hear my hello. –

– Deadlines aggravate me; especially the ones that creep up fast and force me to file my stories before I’m convinced there’s nothing more I can do to improve them. –

– How are we supposed to build a better life for all when we’re all so fucked up? When all we know is killing and torture and racial oppression? It’s only been a year but I can already see this government is making some of the same mistakes. –

– When will people realise they can’t eat reconciliation? –

New Times via Jacana

My interview with the author on behalf of the Sunday Times

A to Z of Amazing South African Women by Ambre Nicolson, Jaxon Hsu

35717710– Writing a poem should be like jumping down a waterfall. – Antjie Krog

– I didn’t want to hear that it couldn’t be done. – Buyisiwe Sondezi

–The experience of coming out taught me to understand what being an outsider felt like. It taught me empathy. – Dope Saint Jude

– Enjoy your life and realise how powerful you are within yourself. – Khanyi Dhlomo

– U is for all the women whose stories /
we will never know. –

Interview with the Sunday Times

To Buy


What We Lose by Zinzi Clemmons

33280160.jpg– I’ve often thought that being a light-skinned black woman is like being a well-dressed person who is also homeless. –

– When my lover and I fuck, we fuck with the fear of the world in us. We are fucking on the edge of a cliff. We are fucking death right in the ass, and death loves it. We are fucking our own deaths, and our mothers’ deaths, and the deaths of our friends and the deaths of our rights. –

– Dirty and inconvenient, AIDS was a disease of the people, I thought. Cancer, to me, was the opposite. Its cause was endorsed and healthily sponsored. –

– This was the paradox: How would I ever heal from losing the person who healed me?

– A ghost is not a fact in itself; rather, it is a symbol for need.

– My mother is dead. But I still see her. But I still feel her. I can still hear her voice, even right now as I am speaking to you. –

– But why do “African” and “contemporary” have to incommensurate? Why (and to whom) is it appealing to think you are in another city besides the one, in Africa, that you are in? –

– The truth is that motherhood is stained with blood, stained with suffering and the potential for tragedy. –

– Pain can be a disease in itself. –


The interview / review for the Sunday Times.

Safe House edited by Ellah Wakatama Allfrey

28992250– You have to leave your study to write compelling nonfiction. It takes time and money. – Ellah Wakatama Allfrey

– Too often writing about Africa has been at a distance, a view to a place far away. What I hoped to encourage, as we developed the pieces in this collection, was, in each instance, a personal voice that allowed the writer to become a part of the story. –Ellah Wakatama Allfrey

– Being grilled about “otherness” is a train that’s never late. – Hawa Jande Golakai

– It’s not like viruses need visas to travel. – Hawa Jande Golakai

– If Africans fail to capitalize on the wealth beneath their soil and on their young population, it won’t be Yun and his compatriots’ fault. – Kevin Eze

– It was Facebook that saved me, and Facebook that hurt me. – “Peter” via Mark Gevisser

– In Senegal when we talk about homosexuality we are usually talking about men, and we forget about the women. – Ndeye as reported by Barbara Wanjala

– When you stand around someone seated, you suck their blood. – Beatrice Lamwaka


Interview with Ellah Wakatama Allfrey

Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi

30070018.jpg– Hell was a place of remembering, each beautiful moment passed through the mind’s eye until it fell to the ground like a rotten mango, perfectly useless, uselessly perfect. –

– Weakness is treating someone as though they belong to you. Strength is knowing that everyone belongs to themselves. –

– You cannot stick a knife in a goat and then say, Now I will remove my knife slowly, so let things be easy and clean, let there be no mess. There will always be blood. –

– Harlem felt like a big black band with so many heavy instruments, the city stage was collapsing. –

– If we go to the white man for school, we will just learn the way the white man wants us to learn. We will come back and build the country the white man wants us to build. One that continues to serve them. –

– So when you study history, you must always ask yourself, Whose story am I missing? Whose voice was suppressed so that this voice could come forth? Once you have figured that out, you must find that story too. –

Homegoing, published by Penguin Random House

My interview with the author on behalf of SSDA: http://bit.ly/2at6PYh