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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

“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

May I Have This Dance

Book details

Book Launch: The Rules by Dianne Case

The Rules

Relentless, compelling storytelling of sheer style
There are local teenage novels full of rape and resentment, and before you’re halfway through you know the end is going to be bitter sad. There are other stories echoing the “real” township South Africa, but aching to end happily with hope for the future. And now there is The Rules by Dianne Case. She doesn’t shrink from any of the reality, from gang-war killing, bloody dog-fights, school vandalism, theft, poverty, even Auntie whose shortage of proper toilet paper gives her “the best-read bum in the world”. Blunt yet elegant writing. I trust that this excellent youth novel will have the impact it deserves.
- Jay Heale, Bookchat

A compelling read, memorable way beyond the last pages – Jean Williams, Executive Director, Biblionef South Africa

Event Details

  • Date: Wednesday, 22 June 2016
  • Time: 5:30 PM for 6:00 PM
  • Venue: The Book Lounge , 71 Roeland Street Cape Town
  • Guest Speaker: Genevieve Hart
  • Refreshments: or add your own
  • RSVP:

Book Details

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:
  • 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:
  • 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:
  • 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:
  • More information: Cover2Cover

Book Details

Don’t miss the launch of Powers of the Knife by Bontle Senne at Love Books

Invitation to the launch of Powers of the Knife


Powers of the KnifeYou are invited to the launch of Powers of the Knife, the debut novel from Bontle Senne.

Senne will be in conversation with Joanne Macgregor and introduced by Elinor Sisulu.

Don’t miss it!

Fast, fun, and a blast to read. – Sarah Lotz

Event Details

  • Date: Thursday, 14 April 2016
  • Time: 6:00 PM for 6:30 PM
  • Venue: Love Books
    53 Rustenburg Rd
    Johannesburg | Map
  • Introduction: Elinor Sisulu
  • Refreshments: Refreshments will be served
  • RSVP: Love Book,, 011 726 7408

Book Details

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

Book details

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.

Book details

Sicelo Kula – the new writer on the block

Sicelo Kula with Cover2Cover directors Dorothy Dyer and Rosamund Haden
Taking ChancesWe at Cover2Cover Books are very excited to announce our 10th Harmony High, Taking Chances, by young writer Sicelo Kula.

Don’t miss our launch at The Book Lounge on Thursday, 18 February at 5.30 for 6 PM, where Sicelo will be chatting to legendary crime write Deon Meyer:

Join us for the launch of the latest Harmony High title Taking Chances at The Book Lounge – with Deon Meyer

We first met Sicelo through our partner organisation FunDza Literacy Trust, which ran a writing competition asking for descriptions of the difficulties of being new at university. His entry made me laugh out loud and I read a line for my colleagues: “I was no Brad Pitt; and … the only thing that kept me from being barefoot were shoes that looked like they had been patched by a blind man.” He so obviously had a fresh and original voice.

He won the writing competition, and went on to write a commissioned story for FunDza, and then to write a regular blog for FunDza called “What’s poppin, ekasi”, with topics such as “Yellow-bones rule!” Or “Where’s your swag, dawg?”

Sicelo was a fantastic writer to work with: he could take criticisms and suggestions and learn from them, but was certainly no pushover, sometimes disagreeing with us and explaining why very coherently and persuasively (it’s no surprise that he’s just completed a law degree …). He would be happy to make changes he agreed with, but never wanted our heavy hands in his work – he did the changes his way, and they were often better than our suggestions. Because of this, his style has grown and developed, and we are incredibly proud of him.

So when we were looking for a writer for this last Harmony High, with a boy as a main character, we didn’t have to look far. Sicelo took on the task with enthusiasm. And although we did work with him quite closely to keep the Harmony High feel, it is perhaps slightly different from the others with its unique Sicelo voice – including the fact that it is written in the present tense, unlike all the others which are written in the past tense.

So we are delighted to launch Taking Chances into the world, about a young boy Fundile who is making his way in the world with the help of Ta Siks, his uncle. But when Ta Siks gets involved in shady business with Fundile’s ex-best friend Sakhe, and Nosiphiwo, a girl from Fundile’s past arrives on the scene with a secret of her own, things get very very complicated, and it’s up to Fundile to sort things out …

Sicelo told his teacher at school that one day he would write a book. We are honoured that we are the publishers of his first one, and have no doubt that there will be others to follow.

Book details

Join us for the launch of the latest Harmony High title Taking Chances at The Book Lounge – with Deon Meyer

Upcoming author Sicelo Kula will be interviewed by Deon Meyer.

Don’t miss it!

Event Details

  • Date: Thursday, 18 February 2016
  • Time: 5:30 PM for 6:00 PM
  • Venue: The Book Lounge
    71 Roeland Street, Cape Town

Joburg readers are invited to join Mandla Langa in conversation with Ruth Carneson about her memoir ‘girl on the edge’

Where: LOVE Books, The Bamboo Centre, 53 Rustenberg Road, (cnr 9th Street), Mellville

When: 25 February 6.00 for 6.30

RSVP: or 011 726 7408

face2face books is proud to bring you Ruth Carneson’s memoir ‘girl on the edge’. Ruth’s parents were prominent communists in the struggle against apartheid, and this is the honest, funny, at times heart-wrenching story of her childhood and adult life.

Ruth Carneson was in conversation with Justice Albie Sachs in Cape Town on 27 January. He said the book:

… drew me in very powerfully… a highly readable and very moving book…


invite web

Join Njabulo Ndebele in conversation with Zimkhitha Mlanzeli about the new Harmony High title Blood Ties

Date: 11 February
Time: 5.30 for 6
Place: Book Lounge, 71 Roeland Street, Corner Buitenkant and Roeland Streets, Cape Town

On 11 February 2015, Professor Njabulo Ndebele will be in conversation with author Zimkhitha Mlanzeli at the Book Lounge. We can’t wait to hear what this eminent man of letters has to say about Cover2Cover’s latest feisty page-turner! We hope you’ll join us there.

Cover2Cover produces exciting South African fiction, aimed at persuading students that reading can be a pleasure. Cover2Cover believes – and has witnessed – that it is profoundly empowering for students to recognise their own worlds in the books they read and aims to publish books that students can’t put down. The narratives are gripping and pacy; the messages positive without being preachy.

Cover2Cover is proud to have discovered Zimkitha Mlanzeni’s literary talent though its partnership with FunDza Literacy Trust.

Invite - Blood ties launch at Book Lounge - Jan15