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Archive for the ‘Biography’ Category

An excellent teaching tool to chronicle South Africa’s journey to freedom

The life story of an Eastern Cape community figurehead during Apartheid, Connie Manse Ngcaba, looks set to find readers in schools and libraries across the USA. May I have this dance …. has been selected as an Honor Book for 2016 by the Children’s Africana Book Awards Committee, based in the United States.

Read an edited version of a review by Rosetta Codling, originally published as a contributer pick on www.readafricanbooks.com:

“I was absolutely mesmerized by this book. May I have this Dance? Yes, I decided to partake in the lessons and the whirlwind dance through the life of Connie Ngcaba. I assumed, wrongly, that this book for children. I released myself from this notion. And I took the hand of the author and danced from Apartheid to freedom. I paused during intervals of strife and disappointment experienced by the author. The dance resumed when others joined in. Children, colleagues, and relatives of Ngcaba helped when the steps became too cumbersome. I was uplifted at the end of the book….and thankfully…. not the end of Ngcaba’s life.

Educators will find this book to be an excellent teaching tool to chronicle the journey of South Africa to freedom. History is best taught as a lesson regarding the impact of events upon the people. I am certain that Connie Ngcaba’s lessons are many and we must teach these lessons to every generation to come.”

The Children’s Africana Book Awards (CABA) are given under the auspices of the Outreach Council of the African Studies Association (ASA).

For information about where May I have this dance … is stocked, email info@cover2cover.co.za

May I Have This Dance

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Book Launch: Fordsburg Fighter: The journey of an MK volunteer by Amin Cajee, with Terry Bell

Fordsburg Fighter: The journey of an MK volunteerSee the launch dates for this new title from face2face books.

[Cajee] chose life over death. We should be grateful to him that he chose to live. Dead men can tell no stories

– Jacob Dlamini, author of Askari

Event Details

Event Details

  • Date: Thursday, May 19 2016
  • Time: 5:30 PM for 6:00 PM
  • Venue: Book Lounge, 71 Roeland Street, Cape Town
  • Guest Speaker: Marianne Thamm
  • RSVP: booklounge@gmail.com
  • More information: Cover2Cover

Event Details

  • Date: Wednesday, 25 May 2016
  • Time: 5:30 PM for 6:00 PM
  • Venue: Lekgotla, Constitution Hill, 11 Kotze Street, Johannesburg
  • Guest Speaker: Mavuso Msimang
  • RSVP: info@cover2cover.co.za
  • More information: Cover2Cover

Event Details

  • Date: Thursday, 26 May 2016
  • Time: 6:00 PM for 6:30 PM
  • Venue: Exclusive Books, Hyde Park, Hyde Park Corner, Jan Smuts Ave & William Nicol Dr, Johannesburg
  • Guest Speaker: Mandla Langa
  • RSVP: hydepark@exclusivebooks.co.za
  • More information: Cover2Cover

Event Details

  • Date: Thursday, 2 June 2016
  • Time: 5:30 PM for 6:00 PM
  • Venue: Ike’s Books, 48a Florida Road, Durban
  • Guest Speaker: Terry Bell
  • RSVP: info@cover2cover.co.za
  • More information: Cover2Cover

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Connie Manse Ngcaba’s May I Have This Dance wins international book award

May I Have This Dance

 
May I Have This Dance by Connie Manse Ngcaba, published by Face2Face (an imprint of Cover2Cover Books) has just been named an Honor Book for 2016 by the Children’s Africana Book Awards Committee, based in the United States.

Connie has been invited to attend the awards ceremony at the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art in Washington, DC in October this year.

A courageous story of a black South African nurse and community figurehead, May I Have This Dance was published in South Africa in 2014, when it was commended by several reviewers.

Connie Ngcaba helps us to correct [the] record in fine-grained detail, reminding us how important it is to listen to your grandmother.

- Nic Dawes, former editor of Mail & Guardian

Born in 1929, Connie writes about her early years on the family farm near Cala in the Eastern Cape. She went to boarding school at Healdtown, holidaying with family near Butterworth and later studying nursing at Coronation Hospital in Johannesburg, in about 1948. She moved to Port Elizabeth as an adult, and her story continues through the 50s and 60s and onwards, with the impact of apartheid on her professional and family life untangled in a way that it both personal and fascinating.

This book embodies love and courage, but is ultimately about love. Love of family, love of community and love of country … written with great warmth and humour … it is a heartwarming read.

- Siki Mgabadeli (journalist)

The Children’s Africana Book Awards (CABA) are given under the auspices of the Outreach Council of the African Studies Association (ASA), a non-profit corporation founded in 1957 and open to all persons and institutions interested in African affairs.

For information about where May I have this Dance is stocked, email info@cover2cover.co.za

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Coming soon from Face2Face: Fordsburg Fighter: The journey of an MK volunteer by Amin Cajee, as told to Terry Bell

Fordsburg FighterLook out for Fordsburg Fighter: The journey of an MK volunteer, a forthcoming title from Face2Face in bookstores from April:

When Amin Cajee left South Africa to join the liberation struggle he believed he had volunteered to serve “a democratic movement dedicated to bringing down an oppressive and racist regime”. Instead, he writes, in this powerful and courageous memoir, “I found myself serving a movement that was relentless in exercising power and riddled with corruption”.

Fordsburg Fighter traces an extraordinary physical journey – from home in South Africa, to training in Czechoslovakia and the ANC’s Kongwa camp in Tanzania to England. The book is both a significant contribution to opening up the hidden history of exile, and truly revelatory in its documentation of Cajee’s emotional odyssey from idealism to disillusionment.

In his introduction to the book, Paul Joseph, ex-treason trialist, South African Communist Party member and MK recruiter, writes: “What happened to them and to the others in that chaotic and confused time is both sad and tragic. But his honestly told story is essential for us to have a fuller picture of our history, if only to ensure, perhaps, that future generations will learn from our mistakes”.

About the authors

At age 19, along with his friend Omar Bhamjee, Amin Cajee was probably the first “Indian” recruited in South Africa, to train abroad as a fighter in the ANC’s military wing, Umkhonto we Sizwe (MK). Married for 43 years to Irish anti-apartheid activist Pat Shanks, he is a quietly religious and devoted father and grandfather and lives in London.

Journalist Terry Bell worked with Cajee to finalise the manuscript. Bell is author of several books, including Unfinished Business: South Africa, Apartheid and Truth.

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Exploring landscapes and heartspaces

Sonja Kruse is returning to all the uBuntu families to give them a copy of the book. Here she is, pictured with Maryam Alie in Langebaan, whose story appears on pages 71-73.

Sonja Kruse is returning to all the uBuntu families to give them a copy of the book. Here she is, pictured with Maryam Alie in Langebaan, whose story appears on pages 71-73.


Face2Face is the proud publisher of The uBuntu Girl, by Sonja Kruse. Sonja will be signing copies of the book at Exclusive Books in Cavendish Square on Saturday, 30 April, from 11am to 12pm. Here she reflects on her journey across South Africa, and how the book came about.

For many it seems brave to quit one’s job, give one’s car away and to pack a 33lt backpack, a camera, a R100 and walk and hitchhike around South Africa. I think not. For me, it would take bravery to live in a country where I don’t know my fellow South Africans. Because that would make every interaction with others, a trip into the unknown.

Instead I opted to step into a vision that explored the heartspaces as much as the geography of our land. It was to be a journey of discovery – discovery of the sincere hospitality offered by complete strangers and the uncovering of my own fears, apprehensions and preconceived ideas. I left without a tent, sleeping bag or bank cards. Instead I carried a deep belief that I am because of others.

The astonishing reality is that along the unplanned route, 150 families from 16 different cultures opened their homes and hearts to, in essence, a stranger. I stayed in affluent suburbs and dusty townships, in shacks and in mansions; meeting pensioners, school children and students, farmers and labourers, rich businessmen, poor widows, artists, housewives, truckers, curio sellers. And everything in between.

What they all had in common was the spirit of ubuntu that compelled them to reach out to a lonely traveller. In doing so they filled my journey with extraordinary stories, teaching me about humility and grace. From the first night spent in the home of a Scenery Park mother who slept on the floor so that her guest could sleep in her bed to meeting the only white induna in the history of the Zulu Royal House on my last day.

The families taught me that ubuntu is not about your space or mine. It is about our space. And that is how the book – The uBuntu Girl – having generated an energy all of its own, decided that it needed to be written. And so began a whole new journey…

I had to learn to QWERTY type, to write and, more importantly, how to honour each person in our collective story. There were over 14 000 photos to pick from. Because one thing was for sure: our country is not a black and white book with a few colour plates. Our country is full-colour explosive!

To help me on this journey, I was fortunate to find a like-hearted and like-minded editor, graphic designer and publisher who were able to share and expand the vision. And with their guidance, we created a 240 page full-colour book that captures the essence of the journey and the lessons that we can take from it.

This book has been described as a travelogue, but I think it is more of a ‘humanlogue’ – a celebration of the human spirit.

***

Title: The uBuntu Girl
Author: Sonja Kruse
Publication Date: June 2014
Pages: 240
Size: 244x210mm Portrait
ISBN: 978 0 9922018 3 8
Recommended retail price: R390.00
Published by: Face2Face an imprint of Cover2Cover Books
Websites: www.theubuntugirl.co.za / www.cover2cover.co.za

Available from bookstores countrywide and On the Dot distributors (021 918 8810 or direct.sales@onthedot.co.za)


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