Charles Abrahams is a prominent South African human-rights and class-action lawyer. He holds a BProc degree from the University of the Western Cape and a master’s degree in Public International Law from Leiden University in the Netherlands. He is the recipient of the prestigious Edward Quist-Arcton Award and the Nelson Mandela Scholarship Award.
Willem Anker was born in Citrusdal on 3 February 3 1979. At present he lectures in creative writing at Stellenbosch University. He obtained his D.Litt at the same university in 2007. In 2004 he wrote his first text for theatre, the site-specific piece Skroothonde (Dogs of Scrap), which won the Aartvark Prize for innovative work at the Aardklop National Arts Festival. Since then he has won numerous awards for his theatre work. His first novel, Siegfried, was published by Kwela in 2007. Buys, his highly acclaimed second novel, was published by Kwela in 2014. Now it has been masterfully translated by Michiel Heyns, and titled Red Dog.
Guyanese-American writer Gaiutra Bahadur’s book Coolie Woman was shortlisted for Britain's Orwell Prize for artful political writing. She is a contributor to The New York Times Book Review, The New York Review of Books and Dissent, among other publications. A former newspaper reporter, she has published short fiction in the Feminist Press collection Go Home!. Her work has been recognized with residencies at the MacDowell Colony and the Bellagio Center in Italy and fellowships from Harvard, the British Library and the New York Public Library. Twice winner of the New Jersey Council on the Arts Award for prose, she has taught creative nonfiction in Switzerland and Caribbean literature in New York and joins Rutgers University as a journalism professor this fall.
Saskia Bailey was born in 1999 and has lived in Cape Town for most of her life. After high school, she interned at Marie Claire for three months and then repeated certain matric subjects from school to gain entrance into UCT. She is currently studying a Bachelor of Arts “and trying to work out why on earth I want this fucking degree”. She has also been bartending at a popular bar on Kloof Street for the last year so that she can pay for her own cigarettes and tattoos.
In his second book, acclaimed South African chef Bertus Basson provides a deeper look into his restaurants and his food philosophy. Rooted in local food culture and the culinary experiences of his childhood, his menus are driven by fresh ingredients and seasonal produce. In Being Bertus Basson, readers will feel the drive and energy of this whirlwind of a man, showcasing his originality of thought. The book offers inspiration to those who wonder just how Bertus and his remarkable wife have so successfully built a restaurant empire. It presents an inside look into these restaurants from the story of the beginnings and growth of the signature restaurant Overture to Bertus Basson at Spice Route, wildly popular with the tourist crowds, and Spek & Bone, the small-plate wine bar in Stellenbosch, through to his love affair with burgers and just how De Vrije Burger was conceptualised and brought to life. The recipes will surprise you with their simplicity and quirkiness, show you just how to step beyond the usual and how to look at food in a whole new light.
Emma Bedford is a Senior Art Specialist at Aspire Art Auctions. In 25 years at the South African National Gallery she co-curated the first museum shows for William Kentridge and Marlene Dumas. Young artists like Moshekwa Langa, Robin Rhode, Berni Searle and Tracey Rose gained wider audiences through ground-breaking projects like Fresh.
Colin Bell has worked throughout Africa as a bush guide and environmental advocate. He has been at the receiving end of angry, stressed, harassed elephants and witnessed calm, relaxed elephants during their golden glory years when poaching levels were minimal. Today Colin is a part owner of Natural Selection Travel.
Emeritus Professor Vivian Bickford-Smith received his PhD from Cambridge University and specialises in modern history with a South African regional focus. His research has been mainly in three sometimes overlapping areas: urban history, film and history, and ethnicity and nationalism. He is currently writing a book for Cambridge University Press on cities and identities in twentieth century South Africa with particular reference to Johannesburg, Durban and Cape Town. Vivian is on the Editorial Advisory Boards of South African Historical Journal, Urban History, Journal of Urban History and International Journal of Regional and Local History.
Hlumelo Biko (born January 1978, in King William's Town, Eastern Cape, South Africa) is a South African businessman and investment banker. He is the son of Steve Biko and Mamphela Ramphele. Biko holds a BA in History and Politics from the University of Cape Town, and a Masters of Science in International Business Government Relationships from Georgetown University. Biko worked for the World Bank in Washington, D.C. in 1998. Biko and Ramphele co-founded Circle Capital, an investment company, in 2005. Biko was the CEO of Circle Capital. In parallel with a successful 13-year career as a venture capitalist, he is also a dedicated philanthropist, currently serving as vice-chairman of the Baxter Theatre, supporting budding small and medium enterprises as a board member of Endeavor offering mentorship and advice to a number of high impact South African entrepreneurs, and supporting increased access to education through institutions like Kommunity Group Projects, the University of Cape Town and African Schools for Excellence.
Tendai Laxton Biti (born 6 August 1966) was Zimbabwe's Minister of Finance from 2009 to 2013 and was named the 2011 Best Finance Minister in Africa by Euromoney Emerging Markets for stabilising and setting the Zimbabwean economy on a growth trajectory. He served as Secretary General from 2006 to 2014 and led the drafting of the MDC’s policy documents, including RESTART, Jobs Upliftment Investment Capital and Ecology (JUICE) and the Agenda for Real Transformation(ART). In the run-up to the 2018 election, he was appointed Chairperson of the MDC Alliance’s Policy Committee and led the drafting of alliance documents including the Plan and Environment for A Credible Election (PEACE) and the Sustainable and Modernisation Agenda for Real Transformation(SMART), an economic blueprint of the MDC. He is currently the Deputy National Chairperson of the MDC, a Member of Parliament for Harare East and the Chairperson of the Public Accounts Committee.
Patrick Bongoy was born in 1980 in Kinshasa in the DRC and studied at the Academy of Fine Arts. He currently lives and works in Cape Town. The textured surfaces on which Bongoy works are the product of a painstaking process of cutting and weaving together strips of hessian and rubber. Bongoy’s striking pieces tell sad narratives that focus on the most vulnerable members of society and how those in power often exploit them. His artworks have been extensively exhibited internationally and are included in major public and private collections.
David Bristow grew up on the Highveld, north of Johannesburg. Dreams of becoming an architect took a sharp turn on 16 June 1976 when “the other side” of Johannesburg seemed to suddenly go up in smoke. He resigned that day and went to study journalism at Rhodes University. Just a few years into working as a journalist back in Johannesburg he did another 180 and resigned, this time to research and write his first book, Mountains of Southern Africa. It was an unexpected commercial success. Once again bags were packed, this time to read for a master’s degree in environmental sciences in Cape Town. Some 20 coffee-table style books later (in between which there was a longish stint as editor of Getaway travel magazine), he decided to do what he really always wanted to: write paperback narratives about southern Africa. His first in the series of Stories from the Veld was Running Wild: The Story of Zulu, an African Stallion.
Darrel Bristow-Bovey is a columnist, author, public speaker, travel writer, screenwriter and playwright. His stage play Priest With Balloons won the 2017 Scribe Playwriting Competition. His most recent book was One Midlife Crisis and a Speedo. He is currently working on a novel, a travel book, and a screenplay.
Duncan Brown is Dean of the Arts Faculty and Professor of English at the University of the Western Cape. He has published widely in the field of South African literary and cultural studies, and his books include Voicing the Text: South African Oral Poetry and Performance (1998), Oral Literature and Performance in Southern Africa (1999), To Speak of this Land: Identity and Belonging in South Africa and Beyond (2006), Religion and Spirituality in South Africa: New Perspectives (2009), and Are Trout South African: Stories of Fish, People and Places (2013). He is also a Fellow of the University of KwaZulu-Natal, a member of the Academy of Science of South Africa, and a Fellow of the Stellenbosch Institute for Advanced Study
Marcus Byrne is a professor at Wits University, conducting research on insects, to satisfy the curiosity of himself and others. Insects can seek out and restrain the growth of these plants which threaten biodiversity and consume water. He also conducts work on dung beetles, who are very useful creatures, it turns out: their orientation behaviour while rolling dung balls is underpinned by a visual system which can operate in starlight, using limited computational power. This might help humans solve information processing challenges.
Athenkosi Cetyana (20) is an emerging writer, and spoken word artist. He was born and raised in Khayelitsha, Cape Town and matriculated at the Centre of Science And Technology. He is currently pursuing a BCom Information Systems at UCT. In 2019, his short essay, A Familiar Stranger In My House, was included in FunDza's Hero Within and Other Writing anthology. Athenkosi is inspired by writers, poets and spokenword artists including Modise Sekgothe, Koleka Putuma, Athol Williams and Lebohang Nova Masango. He hopes to use his writing to shed light on, and to overcome, the many challenges that plague South African society.
Rekgotsofetse Chikane (known as Kgotsi for those who are tongue-tied) is a graduate of the University of Oxford, having completed his Masters in Public Policy degree in 2017, a Mandela-Rhodes Scholar (2015), one of the Mail & Guardian’s Top 200 Young South Africans (2016) and the former national president of InkuluFreeheld, non-partisan, youth organisation focused on deepening democracy and enhancing social cohesion. He is adept at navigating a variety of South Africa’s socially complex spaces, often as the resident coconut, and has experienced some of the best and worst of the #MustFall protests. Chikane is an advocate for socio-economic equality and the practical realisation of decoloniality within a post-1994 South Africa.
As a child I dreamt of nothing more than being an explorer. Over the years, that drive to explore never left me. Wherever I went, I would find myself heading off the beaten track, seeking out the paths less well travelled, and discovering the true spirit of the places I visited. But what use is knowledge unless it is shared? It’s a cliché, but a picture really is worth a thousand words. And so I started carrying a camera everywhere I went, using photography to capture the stories of the people I meet, and the places I visit. Soon people started calling me a photographer, and I never looked back. Since those early years, I have collaborated with many major travel, hospitality, and tourism brands. I am also a proud Fujifilm Global Brand Ambassador as part of their X-Photographer program.
Peter Church is a South African fiction novelist. His debut novel, Dark Video, was published in South Africa and Australia in 2008. It delved into a sordid world of online video sharing. This was followed up in 2011 with Bitter Pill, a thriller dealing with the scourge of drink spiking on the local club scene. His latest, Crackerjack, is all about being the best hacker to solve a crime. Church has a background in IT, which is why he can write about it so seamlessly.
Imraan Coovadia was born in Durban in 1970. He is the author of the novels The Wedding, Green-Eyed Thieves, High Low In-between, The Institute for Taxi Poetry, and Tales of the Metric System. He has also published a study of V.S. Naipaul, as well as a collection of essays, Transformations, and has contributed to publications including The New York Times, the Los Angeles Review of Books, N+1, The Independent, Threepenny Review, Chimurenga, and The Times of India. His work has won the Sunday Times Fiction Prize, the University of Johannesburg Prize, the M-Net Prize, and a South African Literary Award for Non-Fiction. He is a graduate of Harvard College and directs the writing programme at the University of Cape Town
Mary Corrigall is an award-winning art journalist and academic. She has been closely observing and commentating on the contemporary African art scene for over 15 years. CNN, the European Commission, the English Academy of South Africa, the Arts & Culture Trust among other authorities have all awarded her arts journalism. In 2017 she founded Corrigall & Co, a Cape Town-based art research consultancy focussed on producing in-depth publications on the Contemporary African Art Ecology. A Decade of Curating (2018) and The Top 50 Artists and the Top 20 Curators who Validated Them (2019) are the most recent.
Karin Cronje is a part-time lecturer in the Music Literacy Department of Stellenbosch University. She teaches academic literacy and works with trainee band conductors. Her first novel, Vir ‘n Pers Huis (1998) Human & Rousseau, was widely debated. Her second novel, Alles Mooi Weer(2008) Genugtig! written in both Afrikaans and English, won the Jan Rabie/Rapport Prize. Karin lives in Cape Town.
Judge Dennis Davis was educated at Herzlia School and the universities of Cape Town and Cambridge. Presently, he is a judge of the High Court, Cape Town (since 1998) and Judge President of the Competition Appeal Court (since 2000). Judge Davis is the author of 10 books, the latest being Precedent and Possibility: The use and(ab)use of law in South Africa (2008, with Michelle Leroux), and some 150 academic articles on legal theory, constitutional law, taxation, labour law, competition law, administrative law and South African history.
Kimon de Greef is a freelance journalist from Cape Town with a particular interest in illicit resource trades. He has written for the New York Times, Guardian, National Geographic and Al Jazeera, among other international publications; locally, he contributes regularly to GroundUp News. He began researching abalone poaching in 2012 as part of a master's degree in conservation biology at the University of Cape Town. Since then he has written about illegal diamond diggers, donkey skin smugglers, marijuana farmers and mountain muggers. This is his first book.
Flares exploded in the sky. Stun grenades fired into the water. From the dunes came a volley of gunshots. It was an Operation Neptune sting. Without thinking, Shuhood dived into a big pile of kelp, pulling the fronds over his face. He could hear the men being beaten up, the thud of boots striking bodies. Then somebody kicked him hard.\n\nLocked up for poaching abalone, Shuhood Abader began writing his life story. For over fifteen years, he had been a small cog in a criminal industry stretching from the Cape underworld to China’s luxury seafood market. As abalone – perlemoen, perly – vanishes from the South African coast, Shuhood’s first-person account takes us right into the heart of the crisis.
Leon de Kock is a translator, poet, novelist and scholar. His is author of Losing the Plot: Crime, Reality and Fiction in Postapartheid Writing. His translation of Triomf by Marlene van Niekerk earned him the South African Translators Institute award for outstanding translation. His rendering into English of André Brink’s love letters to Ingrid Jonker in Flame in the Snow won the SALA award for literary translation in and the English Academy of Southern Africa’s Sol Plaatje Prize for Translation. His most recent book is The Love Song of Andre Brink. He lives in Cape Town.
Khaya Dlanga is the author of two previous books. His memoir, To Quote Myself, was shortlisted for the 2016 Sunday Times Alan Paton Prize. Dlanga was formerly at Coca-Cola South Africa and Heineken South Africa. He is currently chief marketing officer for a telecommunication company, rain South Africa.
Ann Donald’s career spans her days as a diamond sorter in Kimberley, a hotel receptionist in Durban, a newspaper sub-editor in Pretoria and an editor of various magazine titles in Johannesburg and Cape Town. More recently, she owned a bookshop and a restaurant in Kalk Bay, and had the privilege of being part of the organising team of the Franschhoek Literary Festival for three years. Now, she’s doing what she loves most: reading, writing and editing in her home office, and hoping someone will pay her to do all or any of these.
Harris Dousemetzis lives in the United Kingdom where he is working towards a PhD at the University of Durham. He has been researching the life of Dimitri Tsafendas for ten years. His report into the assassination has been handed over to Justice Minister Masutha.
John Dugard is a renowned legal academic who pioneered the human rights movement in South Africa. He founded the Centre for Applied Legal Studies at Wits University, which did path-breaking work in advocacy and litigation in support of human rights during the apartheid years. After the fall of apartheid he pursued a career in international law as director of the Lauterpacht Centre for International Law at Cambridge, professor of international law at Leiden University, member of the UN International Law Commission, UN special rapporteur on human rights in occupied Palestine and judge ad hoc of the International Court of Justice in The Hague. He has written several books on apartheid, human rights and international law.
Tom Eaton is a columnist, satirist and screenwriter. He has published three novels, two collections of non-fiction, and a satirical history of South Africa that found itself somewhere in between the two.
Chiké Frankie Edozien is a Nigerian-American writer and journalist. A journalist for the New York Post and a professor of journalism at New York University, he is most noted for his 2017 memoir Lives of Great Men: Living and Loving as an African Gay Man, which won the Lambda Literary Award in the Gay Memoir/Biography category at the 30th Lambda Literary Awards in 2018. Originally published in the UK and US by Rikki Beadle-Blair and John R Gordon's Team Angelica Press, in July 2018 it was brought out in South Africa by Jacana Books.
Hagen Engler has co-written, ghost-written and edited more than 12 books. He can peel a naartjie in one go, survive an extra-hot bunny chow, and drink all day while the Proteas occupy the crease at the Wanderers. So you see now.
Judith February describes herself as a ‘governance specialist, lapsed lawyer, columnist, lover of words, latte drinker, fellow traveler, classicist & cricket fan’. She is based at the Institute for Security Studies and is also a Visiting Fellow at the WITS School of Governance. Prior to that she was executive director of the HSRC’s Democracy and Governance unit and also head of IDASA’s South African governance programme for nine years. February is a regular columnist for Daily Maverick, Eyewitness News and other publications as well as a frequent commentator on politics on radio and television. February is also a Conflict Dynamics accredited commercial mediator.
Máire Fisher is the author of the novel Birdseye. A writer and editor, she is a member of The Grail Writing Retreats and her work has been published in anthologies and on various websites. She lives in Fish Hoek with her husband and two sons.
Craig Foster is an award-winning filmmaker and avid naturalist. His filmmaking career has spanned three decades and he has received more than 60 international awards, including the Golden Panda, the ‘Oscar’ of natural history filmmaking. He grew up foraging and diving on the Cape Peninsula and for the past eight years he has pledged to dive in the kelp forest 365 times a year. Craig has worked closely with some of the world’s top kelp forest biologists, archaeologists, anthropologists and san rock art experts. He also spent many years studying with master San bushmen trackers in the Kalahari and it is from these experiences that he formed his underwater tracking method. This is his fourth book.
Carol Gibbs lives in a nineteenth-century barn in the village of Greyton in the Western Cape. Her passions include travel, storytelling, history, art and all things old. She has been involved in the world of art and antiques for more than forty years. Her paintings and three dimensional art are inspired by childhood memories, social concerns and historical events. She has two children and four grandchildren.
Barry Gilder was born in South Africa in 1950. He went into exile in 1976, composed and sang struggle songs, underwent military and intelligence training with the ANC, and served in the ANC’s intelligence structures until his return to South Africa in 1991. After 1994 he served as deputy head of the South African Secret Service, as deputy head of the National Intelligence Agency, as director-general of the Department of Home Affairs and as South Africa’s co-ordinator of intelligence until his retirement in 2007. He is currently Director Operations at the Mapungubwe Institute for Strategic Reflection (MISTRA).
Ian Glenn has edited and co-translated an English translation of Levaillant’s Voyage into the Interior of Africa for the Van Riebeeck Society and co-authored the Brenthurst Press edition of François Levaillant and the Birds of Africa. He has written or co-authored many scholarly articles on Levaillant and curated the King’s Map exhibition at the Iziko Museum in 2012–2013. Ian is Emeritus Professor of Media Studies at UCT and a research associate at the University of the Free State.
Sue Grant-Marshall has written two best-selling books, Mind the Gap, and Mind Over Money, and has been an award-winning journalist for The Star, The Argus and Fairlady magazine. She currently writes for Business Day and City Press and hosts Reading Matters on Radio Today. She was born and raised in Botswana and lives with her husband Don Marshall in Johannesburg. They have a daughter, Amy Blair.
Georgina Guedes is a journalist, writer and reader. She is passionate about books, food and travel, probably in that order, and runs the Facebook group If You Liked That Book, You’ll Love This One. She lives in Joburg with her two children, two cats, two dogs and only one husband. She is the editor-in-chief of CFO South Africa.
Xolisa Guzula is an author on Halala Winner!, a groundbreaking comic book for young children that celebrates the practice of multilingualism. She is a lecturer in multilingual and multiliteracies education at the University of Cape Town. She has interest in language and literacy as social practice; biliteracy development; emergent literacy; critical literacies; multimodality; third spaces and bilingual children's literature. She is a doctoral student researching third spaces as a way of disrupting monoglossia and monomodal education and is one of the founders of the bilingual Molo Mhlaba School, in Khayelitsha, Cape Town.
Adam Habib is an academic, researcher, activist, administrator, and renowned political commentator and columnist. He is currently the Vice-Chancellor and Principal of the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) and Chair of Universities South Africa, which represents vice-chancellors and higher education in the country. In these roles, he has been working with government, students and other stakeholders to find solutions to the recent wave of protests around funding for higher education. He has also focussed on building African research excellence, and together with the University of Cape Town, Wits initiated the African Research Universities Alliance (ARUA).
Ros Haden facilitates FunDza's writing programmes, working with young people all over South Africa. Her novel, The Tin Church, was published in 2004 and translated into three languages. Her second novel, Love Tastes Like Strawberries, was published in May 2014. Her most recent publication was the award-winning illustrated children's book The All-Africa Wildlife Express. She has also published over 14 children’s stories, short stories in the anthologies, Twist and Just Keep Breathing, and the young adult novels Finders Keepers and Broken Promises. She co-authored Time Twisters under the pseudonym Sam Roth.
Anton Harber (October 27, 1958) is an adjunct professor of journalism at the Wits and a columnist for Business Day. He graduated from the University of the Witwatersrand. Harber was the founding editor of the Weekly Mail, later known as the Mail & Guardian. He was the Chair of the South African Conference of Editors in 1991, the chair of the National Association of Broadcasters in 1998, and the chair of the Freedom of Expression Institute in 2010.He serves on the board of directors of the Global Investigative Journalism Network. In March 2016, he became the editor-in-chief of eNCA. He was executive producer of the TV series, Ordinary People and Hard Copy. Harber’s book Diepsloot was published by Jonathan Ball in May 2011.
Amy Heydenrych is a South African writer and book blogger based in Johannesburg.
She has been shortlisted twice for the acclaimed Miles Morland African Writing Scholarship for African Writing. Her short stories and poems have been published in multiple anthologies including Brittle Paper, The Kalahari Review and the Short Sharp Stories anthologies.
Amy’s short story 'Handle with Care' was a runner up in the 2017 Short Sharp Stories Award. She signed an international two-book deal with Bonnier Zaffre publishers in 2017, whose list includes authors such as Lynda La Plante, Wilbur Smith and CWA Dagger Award winner Chris Whitaker.
Her debut thriller, Shame on You, was published in the UK by Bonnier Zaffre.
Craig Higginson is an award-winning playwright and novelist who lives in Johannesburg. He is the only South African writer to have won the prestigious University of Johannesburg Main Award for South African Literature in English for two consecutive novels. His writing has been performed, produced and published around the world. Higginson’s previous novel, The Dream House, will be the English IEB Matric setwork in South Africa from 2019 to 2021. The White Room reaffirms Higginson as a leading figure in contemporary South African literature. It is his fourth novel to be published by Picador Africa.
Award-winning journalist Stephan Hofstatter’s hard-hitting investigation traces the genesis of the Eskom looting spree from Transnet, where the blueprint for parastatal plunder was developed and refined with the help of top-dollar consultancies. From there he explores how the Gupta family extracted billions in suspected kickbacks from state contracts and scored hugely inflated coal contracts from backroom deals, and examines how Eskom’s top brass enriched themselves and their families at the power utility’s expense.\n \n
Clare Houston was awarded the Maskew Miller Longman Literature Award in 2017 for her children’s book The Magic Bat. A former teacher, she lives with her husband and two children in KwaZulu-Natal. An Unquiet Place is her first novel.
Ena Jansen published books on Elisabeth Eybers and the Anglo-Boer War before her interest in Krotoa led to her research into the key role of domestic workers in South African society. Her award-winning book Soos Familie (2015) and its highly-acclaimed Dutch translation, Bijna Familie (2016) are the predecessors of Like Family (2019). Ena grew up in KwaZulu-Natal and studied and worked at the universities of Stellenbosch, Utrecht and Wits. She was appointed professor of South African literature at the University of Amsterdam in 2001, a post she held for fifteen years. She lives in Cape Town and Amsterdam.
Jonathan Jansen is a distinguished professor in the Faculty of Educationis and Stellenbosh University and was formerly Vice Chancellor of UFS. He served as a fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University in 2016/17, he is also the president of both the South African Institute of Race Relations and the South African Academy of Science. Jonathan holds an MS degree from Cornell University and a PhD from Stanford and honorary doctorates from the University of Edinburgh, the University of Vermont and Cleveland State University. He is the author of Leading for Change, As by fire: the end of the South African university, Interracial intimacies on campuses and Song for Sarah.
Sumira January writes under the name Maxine Jordan. Born and bred in Cape Town, she started out wanting to be a chartered accountant, but ended up with a BCom(Informatics) degree, working in IT, then obtained a diploma in advanced food preparation, but that was still not 'the passion'. FunDza inspired her to submit her writing to them. 'I wanted to explore my creativity, and my words to make a difference. My writing now keeps me sane on a whole new level, and I've discovered my true passion - my love affair with words,' she says.
RW Johnson is an Emeritus Fellow of Magdalen College, Oxford, and was the only South African Rhodes Scholar to return to live in South Africa after the fall of apartheid. He is the author of thirteen books, scores of academic articles and innumerable articles for the international press. His former students include three members of the current British cabinet, an editor of The Economist and a large number of leading academics and journalists. He lives in Cape Town.
Linda Kaoma is a poet, writer, projects and events manager in the arts. She is a Salzburg Global Seminars Fellow and a CNN-featured project manager with over eight years of experience in project and event management in the arts sector. She is a UCT graduate, with a Bachelor of Commerce. In 2018, she curated an event called In Light of What We Write for the Edinburgh International Book Festival in collaboration with the British Council #SouthernAfricanArts. Her work has been published on Unbranded Truth Online Magazine, which she founded, and edited, on Badilisha Poetry X-change and Life Righting Collective, and in New Contrast.
Karabo Kgoleng has flogged literature on radio (SAfm, garnering the South African Literary Journalism award and getting on that Mail & Guardian list that everyone under 35 covets, as well as a stint as Books Editor at City Press. She has also adjudicated prestigious literary awards. Nowadays she writes in unlikely places and has a day job because she can't afford school fees on an arts journalist's invoice.
Sihle Khumalo’s books include the bestselling Dark Continent My Black Arse, Heart of Africa, and Almost Sleeping My Way to Timbuktu, winner of a South African Literary Award. Born in Nquthu in KwaZulu-Natal, Khumalo was educated at the Durban University of Technology and the Wits and Stellenbosch University business schools. He currently lives in Johannesburg with his wife and two children.
Fred Khumalo is the author of Dancing the Death Drill, Touch My Blood and Seven Steps to Heaven, among other titles. A Nieman Fellow at Harvard University, Khumalo also holds an MA in Creative Writing from Wits University. His novels are set-works at various universities in the country – Seven Steps at Unisa, while Dancing the Death Drill is prescribed for English I students at the University of KwaZulu Natal.
Antjie Krog is an Afrikaans poet, writer, journalist and professor at the University of the Western Cape. She was asked to translate the autobiography of Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom, into Afrikaans and in 2002 won the South African Translators’ Institute Award for non-fiction. In the same year, she was also awarded the South African Translators’ Institute Award for overall outstanding translation for the volume Met Woorde Soos met Kerse in which poems of indigenous languages were translated into Afrikaans.
Lauri Kubuitsile is the author of The Scattering, published by Penguin in 2016. The novel won the prize for best international fiction at the Sharjah International Book Fair in 2017 and has since been published in the United States. She has also written children’s books, books for young adults, detective novellas, romance novels, and a collection of short stories titled In the Spirit of McPhineas Lata and Other Stories. She was the 2007 winner of the BTA/Anglo Platinum Short Story Contest and the recipient of the Botswana Ministry of Youth and Culture’s Orange Botswerere Award for Creative Writing in the same year. In 2009 she won the Baobab Literary Prize (USA) in the junior category and in 2010 in the senior category. She was shortlisted for the 2011 Caine Prize. She lives in Botswana.
Sicelo has known since 2008, in grade 11, that he wanted to become a writer. In 2016, Cover2Cover Books published his first novel, Taking Chances. Even after graduating with a law degree from the University of the Western Cape, writing hasn't taken a backseat. He went to work at Michalsons Attorneys, a law firm that, he says, appreciates good writing. Sicelo sees writing as a tool to express himself, help shape minds and possibly even change the world. He looks forward to bringing more stories to readers from all walks of life in the years to come.
John Laband is the author of several books on the Zulu kingdom, including the seminal Rope of Sand: The Rise and Fall of the Zulu Kingdom in the Nineteenth Century and The Assassination of King Shaka. He is associated with a number of eminent institutions, including the universities of Cambridge, Wilfrid Laurier in Canada, and KwaZulu-Natal and Stellenbosch. He lives in Greyton in the Western Cape.
Loren B Landau is the South African Research Chair in Human Mobility and the Politics of Difference based at the University of the Witwatersrand’s African Centre for Migration & Society. He has previously held visiting and faculty positions at Princeton, Georgetown, and the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy. A frequent media resource on regional and global migration policy debates, he has published widely in the academic and popular press. Publications include, The Humanitarian Hangover: Displacement, Aid, and Transformation in Western Tanzania (Wits Press); Forging African Communities: Mobility, Integration, and Belonging (Palgrave); I Want to Go Home Forever: Stories of Becoming and Belonging in South Africa’s Great Metropolis (Wits Press); Contemporary Migration to South Africa (World Bank); and Exorcising the Demons Within: Xenophobia, Violence and Statecraft in Contemporary South Africa (UN University Press/Wits Press). He holds an MSc in Development Studies (LSE) and a PhD in Political Science (Berkeley).
Herman Lategan is ’n boorling van Kaapstad. Sy hart lê by die ontheemdes, buitestaanders en aweregse belhamels. Hy is ’n bekroonde skrywerjoernalis wat al internasionaal gepubliseer is. Sy eerste bundel rubrieke en artikels, Binnekring van spookasems, het uitstekende resensies ontvang. Verdere publikasies sluit in: Gedigte in New Contrast, asook kortverhale in o.m. Bloots en Skrik op die lyf.
Prof Michael le Cordeur currently chairs the Department of Curriculum Studies in the Faculty of Education at Stellenbosch University (SU). He holds degrees from SU, the University of the Western Cape, UNISA and the SU Graduate School of Business. His research and publications deal with learners’ reading and writing skills and language in education. He is the author/co-author of various books and articles and has presented papers nationally and internationally. As a regular columnist he is a recipient of the Media Award of Excellence (2018) recognising him as one of SU’s Thought Leaders. He is one of the authors of the Western Cape Language Policy, serves on the board of directors of the SBA and Het Jan Marais Fund and is a member of the South African Academy for Arts and Science. Awards include South African Academy for his contribution to education (2008), the Rectors Award (2010-2014), a ministerial award for multilingualism (2012), the Premier Award (1997) for Community Service and SU’s Chancellors Award (2014).
Michelle le Roux is an Adjunct Professor at the Law School of the University of Cape Town where she lectures in competition law. She was Chair of the Expert Advisory Panel on the recent amendments to the Competition Act, a member of the Expert Panel on Institutional Requirements, as well as of the Competition Stakeholders’ User Forum. Michelle has been recognised in Who’s Who: Legal and 40 in their 40s: Notable Women Competition Professionals in Europe, the Americas and Africa, and won GCR’s Litigation of the Year: Non-cartel. She is the co-author of ‘Precedent and Possibility: the (ab)use of law in South Africa’ (2008) and several published articles and opinion pieces, as well as the forthcoming Lawfare: Judging Politics in South Africa.
Ming-Cheau Lin is a first generation Taiwanese immigrant and was raised in Bloemfontein. She’s worked in advertising agencies as a copywriter and in 2015, she also co founded the Cape Town Rollergirls NPO as the marketing & PR chair and a roller derby skater before retiring to write about identity and feminism through the lens of food. She is now a freelance copywriter, runs a food blog and just released her first book Just Add Rice – Stories and recipes by a Taiwanese South African (2018), the first locally published East Asian cookbook.
Alison Lowry is an independent publishing consultant, editor, and writer. She spent the biggest part of her publishing career in trade publishing as publisher and then CEO of Penguin Books South Africa. Currently, her core focus is on developmental editing, working with published and debut writers, and editing books for a number of local and some international publishers. She is the author of two novels, Natural Rhythm and Wishing on Trains, and, in 2017 posthumously completed Gerald Kraak's book Shadow Play. In 2002 she ghost-wrote Steve Hamilton's bestselling memoir of addiction, I Want My Life Back, which is still in print today. She is currently working on a third novel, Whistler's Girls.
Writer, artist and former academic, Dr Helen Lunn’s cultural DNA is a mix of sixties dreams, global music and art making. From Wits to Cape Town University she moved in and out of academia teaching and researching. She has edited DRUM books, restored a listed building in the country and written scripts and articles for popular media. She coordinated for Oprah in SA for a number of years and also worked for her Angel charity. She recently held an exhibition at the Johannesburg Holocaust and Genocide Centre and now spends her time painting and writing.
In April 1981, Landa Mabenge enters this world, trapped in a girl’s body. From an early age, he is aware that he does not relate to his female form, despite being socialised as a girl. In mesmerising detail, Becoming Him lays bare Landa’s tortured world, growing up trapped in the wrong body, while unflinchingly tracing his transition from female to male. In 2014, he makes history by becoming the first known transgender man in South Africa to successfully motivate a medical aid to pay for his surgeries through the Groote Schuur Transgender Clinic. In 2017 He was selected out of over 60 000 African applicants for the Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders. Today Landa lives a transformed and happy life as a transgender educationalist and consultant.
When not writing books, Joanne Macgregor is a Counselling Psychologist in private practice and deals mainly with victims of crime and trauma. She consults and writes on alternate days, and in completely different head-spaces and physical environments. She started her professional life as a high school English Teacher, but has also worked as an IT trainer, a theatre dogsbody, and management consultant. Also as a waitress, an in-store frozen vegetable demonstrator and make-up artist. Although she lives in the frenetic adrenaline-rush that is the city of Joburg, Joanne has always been in love with nature, and escapes into the mountains and the bush whenever she can. She’s a pretty good cook, grows vegetables, and is addicted to chilies and bulletproof coffee. Joanne is a bird of many feathers and enjoys writing for different ages. She is the author of several books for young adults.
Françoise Malby-Anthony was born in the South of France, brought up in Paris and has lived in South Africa since 1987. She founded the Thula Thula game reserve in 1998 with her late husband, the renowned conservationist and bestselling author Lawrence Anthony. When Lawrence died in 2012, Françoise took over the running of the reserve and is equally passionate about conservation. She was the driving force behind setting up a wildlife rehabilitation centre at the reserve to care for orphaned animals.
Dominique Malherbe qualified as an attorney with an LLM in Tax/Commercial Law. She spent several years in the corporate world and thereafter as an independent advisor and conveyancer. After the birth of her fourth child, she took up a part-time law lecturing post and lectured for over a decade with a specific interest in legal professional ethics. During this time, her passion for the writing life took hold and she completed her first memoir, From Courtrooms to Cupcakes. Passionate about law but specifically gender and justice, the sequel to her first book was published last year continuing the theme of women and work in the legal profession and the general concern of work/life/balance.
Pamela Mali is Cape Town born and raised, the first born of four siblings. She is a graduate of Rosebank College in Draughting and a lover of architecture and writing. Writing for her is both weapon and shield, therapeutic and invigorating at the same time.
Desiree-Anne Martin, born in 1976, in Cape Town, South Africa is an author, poet and general word junkie. She is an addictions counsellor, postgraduate student, wife, full-time mother, part-time warrior-woman. She feels compelled to write, to tell her story, so that her truth may, perhaps, resonate with someone in some significant way. She is a recovering addict who dabbles in an unpredictable mood disorder. She is hopelessly addicted to the idea of hope. She believes caffeine, chocolate, bacon and cigarettes are the four major food groups.
Mohale Mashigo was born in Mapetla, Soweto, in 1983. She is a multi-disciplinary storyteller who loves exploring the unknown. Her interests span the life of legendary story women such as Brenda Fassie, and the rich worlds created by authors such as Toni Morrison.The Yearning is Mashigo's debut novel. A novel she began writing in 2006 and then abandoned. In 2011 she resumed working on the novel after a friend convinced her to. Mashigo says she has always told stories and in high school she and a friend wrote Sweet Valley High fan fiction.
Ralph Mathekga started his studies in political science, law and economic history in 1998 at the University of the Witwatersrand, where he completed his BA degree in 2000, Honours degree in Political Science as well as a Masters in Political Science. Ralph worked as a Political Researcher with Institute for Democracy in South Africa (Idasa) where he focused on political, social and economic research. He has worked at the National Treasury (Ministry of Finance) in the Budget Office as a Senior Policy Analyst. Ralph is the author of the book When Zuma Goes (Tafelberg, 2016). Currently enrolled towards PhD in Politics.
Rachel Matteau Matsha is a senior lecturer in the Department of Media, Language and Communication at the Durban University of Technology of Media, Language and Communication at the Durban University of Technology. She holds a PhD and MA in African Literature from the University of the Witwatersrand, and a BA in Literary Studies from the Université du Québec à Montréal.
John Maytham is 567 CapeTalk radio station's afternoon drive-time host. He is a trained actor who made the switch to radio more than 20 years ago, when he joined the news team at Capital Radio 604. He joined CapeTalk as news editor and breakfast host when it was started in 1997, and was the first person to speak on the station.
Eva Mazza has a BA Dramatic Art degree from Wits and a teacher’s diploma through Trinity College (London). She was born in Joburg but has lived in Stellenbosch for 22 years. She teaches drama and writes in her spare time. Her play Acceptance was staged at the Johannesburg Theatre in 2016, staring Jerry Mofokeng and Lea Vivier. Sex, Lies & Stellenbosch is her debut novel.
Dr Carolyn McKinney is Associate Professor of Language Education in the UCT School of Education and a member of the bua-lit collective. She has been working in language and literacy education since 1994 and in teacher education at Wits and UCT since 2004. Carolyn has led a number of ethnographic style funded research projects on language and literacy in a range of South African schools (elite to poor) and informal learning spaces (Gauteng, Western and Eastern Cape). Her book Language and Power in Post-Colonial Schooling (Routledge, 2017) focuses on the profound negative consequences for learners of a monolingual and English dominant approach in education.
Africa Melane was born in Gugulethu and has lived in the Mother City all of his life. He studied accounting at UCT, then worked with a leading business assurance and advisory company. Africa ended up teaching professional and personal development to some of the first-year MBChB class for a number of years and is now a presenter on CapeTalk and 702. "What's next," he wonders?
Deon Meyer's books have attracted worldwide critical acclaim and a growing international fan base. Originally written in Afrikaans, they have now been translated into twenty-eight languages. Thirteen Hours was shortlisted for the CWA International Dagger and won the Boeke Prize in South Africa, the first time in the prize's 16-year history that a South African book has won. His novels have also won literary prizes in France, Sweden, Germany and the Netherlands, and the film rights to seven of his novels have been optioned or sold. His big passions are motorcycling, music, reading, cooking and rugby.
Greg Mills has directed the Johannesburg-based Brenthurst Foundation since its inception in 2005. In 2008, he was deployed as strategy adviser to the president of Rwanda, has run strategic advisory groups in Malawi, Mozambique and Afghanistan, and has worked for heads of government in Ghana, Liberia, Lesotho, Kenya, Zambia and Zimbabwe. Mills holds a PhD from Lancaster University and an Honours degree in African Studies from the University of Cape Town. A member of the International Institute for Strategic Studies and Chatham House, and the Advisory Board of the Royal United Services Institute, in 2013 he was appointed to the African Development Bank’s High-Level Panel on Fragile States. On the visiting faculty of the Royal College of Defence Studies, NATO’s Higher Defence College and the South African National Defence College.
Phehello Mofokeng is a literary connoisseur and bookworm-in-chief at Geko Publishing (www.gekopublishing.co.za). He is the author of Sankomota: An Ode in One Album (Geko, 2018), a musical reflective essay on one of Lesotho’s and South Africa’s foremost bands. Mofokeng is the inaugural chair of Geko Mofolo Prize for Outstanding Fiction in Sesotho. Phehello Mofokeng is an MA student at Wits University.
Lerato Mogoatlhe is a journalist who worked for eight years at publications that include Sunday Times, City Press, DRUM, True Love and Cosmopolitan. She has written for Mail & Guardian, Marie Claire, Hercules Spain and Sunday Independent. She has also worked extensively in digital marketing.
Kharnita Mohamed lectures in Social Anthropology at the University of Cape Town and is working on a PhD in Women’s and Gender Studies at the University of the Western Cape. She has an MA in Anthropology from the University of Chicago. Her research is focused on disability, race and gender towards developing a conceptual framework for decolonial feminist disability studies. She was raised on the Cape Flats and is frequently confounded by the contradictions of inhabiting postapartheid South Africa. Called to Song is her first novel. With her mother’s passing, Qabila’s world is coming undone. She dreams strange songs and makes lists to stay sane. Her marriage to Rashid is crumbling – it has been for years. A pregnancy sealed their fate, despite Rashid being in a relationship with Thandi at the time. Now Qabila wants a divorce but Rashid resists. Why? As she tries to pick up the pieces of her life and rediscover her own worth, she finds love and purpose in new places – in family, in faith and in song.
Babalwayashe Molate is a student at UCT and recently submitted a Masters dissertation titled ‘The Language Socialisation Experiences of a Grade R Child in a Black Middle-Class Multilingual Family'. Her key research interests are multilingualism, language practices of multilingual families and Family Language Policy. Connected to my research interests are Her experiences in bi-literacy club facilitation and family literacy training are connected to her research interests. Babalwa also translates and edits children’s literature on a freelance basis. Her translation skills also extends to translating teacher training manuals for teaching literacy.
Simon Sebag Montefiore is the bestselling and prize-winning writer of history and fiction whose books are published in 48 languages. He is the author of the international bestsellers Stalin: The Court of the Red Tsar, Jerusalem, Young Stalin, Catherine the Great and Potemkin and The Romanovs. His fiction titles include the Moscow Trilogy of novels. He has won prizes for both history and fiction. All of his works are now being developed into films or TV drama series. His latest book is Written in History: Letters that Changed the World.
Primrose Mrwebi has written and edited for titles such as Cosmopolitan, Fairlady, Bona, Abafazi, Student Life and many others; directed and performed in poetry productions; facilitated writing workshops at different festivals; mentored and coached young writers; served as guest teacher at writing centres; written children’s stories and worked as an MC for literary related events. She was a featured poet for the opening of Parliament 2004; the 2004 Women’s Parliament (Old, Assembly Hall, Parliament, CT); Tongues of Fire poetry production, incorporating acclaimed SA visual artist Bernie Searle’s video projection Vapour (produced 2004). She also performed at the launch of Eric Miller’s book Discovering Cape Town at the Centre for the Book in 2005. She is currently working on a children’s book for Xhosa and English learners and runs a literacy program in Khayelitsha.
Pieter-Louis Myburgh is an award-winning investigative journalist. He has done work on multibillion-rand contracts at the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA); shady intelligence projects at the State Security Agency (SSA); and the #GuptaLeaks. He is the author of the bestselling The Republic of Gupta. Myburgh is a member of Scorpio, the Daily Maverick’s celebrated investigations team.
Bill Nasson is emeritus professor of history at Stellenbosch University. He has published widely on the historical experiences of war in nineteenth- and twentieth-century South Africa and on a variety of other aspects of modern South African history. His most recent book is History Matters: Selected Writings, 1970–2016.
Ray Ndlovu currently is the Harare bureau chief for the Sunday Times and oversees the Zimbabwe edition of the newspaper. Sunday Times is owned by Tiso Blackstar Group, formerly the Times Media Group, one of South Africa's largest media companies. At Tiso Blackstar, he also writes for Business Day, the most influential daily business newspaper in South Africa and its digital platform, Business Live which has a reach of over a million unique visitors weekly. He is also a regular contributor on Power FM 98.7. Mr Ndlovu once worked He is author of the book on the rise of Emmerson Mnangagwa, published by Penguin Random House Books (SA).
Sylvia Neame was a political activist and member of the South African Communist Party. She was given a four-year sentence under the Suppression of Communism Act in 1965 (with two two-year sentences to run concurrently) and was afterwards also tried in Humansdorp (on a charge of advocating violence) but was acquitted on appeal. After being released from Barberton Prison in 1967 she left South Africa on an exit permit and subsequently lived in Britain for four years, then in Germany.
Wandile Ngcaweni is a junior researcher at the Mapungubwe Institute for Strategic Reflection (MISTRA). Ngcaweni is currently completing his Honours in Development Studies at UNISA. Ngcaweni was part of the #FeesMustFall protests at the University of Johannesburg.
Author of more than twenty books, Mike Nicol has written novels, works of non-fiction, and poetry. His thrillers are published in the UK and the USA, and have been translated into Afrikaans, Dutch, French, and German. His Revenge Trilogy featured in the KrimiZeit top 10 list in Germany, as did Of Cops & Robbers and Power Play, while Payback was shortlisted for the VN Thriller of the Year award in Holland and the Prix SCNF Du Polar 2016 in France. He lives in Cape Town.
Masande Ntshanga is the author of The Reactive, a novel that was shortlisted for the Sunday Times Barry Ronge Fiction Prize and the University of Johannesburg Debut Prize, and which has since been published in the United States, Great Britain, Germany, and Italy. A past winner of the pen International New Voices Award, he completed his Masters in Creative Writing at UCT as a writing fellow of the Mellon Mays Foundation. He has received a Fulbright Award, an NRF freestanding masters scholarship and a Civitella Ranieri Fellowship. He was born in East London in 1986.
Sue Nyathi was born and raised in Bulawayo and resides in Johannesburg. An investment analyst by day and a storyteller to her son at night, she writes to escape the reality of financial markets and economic shop talk. She made her screenwriting debut on the award-winning e.tv series Matatiele. Her first novel, The Polygamist, was published in 2012 and readers can look forward to its film adaptation in 2019.
Tanya Pampalone has been a journalist for over 20 years, working as a writer and editor in Los Angeles, Prague, San Francisco and Johannesburg. Currently, she is the managing editor of the Global Investigative Journalism Network, a nonprofit based in Washington DC, which supports investigative journalism. Tanya is the former executive editor of the Mail & Guardian, managing editor of Maverick magazine (now Daily Maverick) and head of strategic partnerships and audience development for The Conversation Africa. She has taught journalism at the University of the Witwatersrand and the Sol Plaatje Institute for Media Leadership at Rhodes University. Tanya was awarded the Menell Media Fellowship at Duke University and the 2012 Sikuvile Award for creative writing. She holds a bachelor's in journalism and a master's in writing from the University of San Francisco.
Vincent Pienaar is a journalist and writer. He is the author of the books Jimmy’s Place: A man’s pub is his castle, Jo’burg, Die Blues en ’n Swart, Ford Thunderbird and Kringfluit, and has contributed to a number of print and electronic publications. He lives and works in Johannesburg.
Don Pinnock is an investigative journalist and photographer who, some time back, realised he knew little about the natural world. So he set out to discover it. This took him to five continents, including Antarctica, and resulted in five books on natural history and hundreds of articles. His other books include Gang Town, which won the City Press Tafelberg Non-Fiction award, and a biography of the journalist Ruth First. He has degrees in criminology, political science and African history and is a former editor of Getaway travel magazine. His day job is as environmental investigative journalist.
Vanessa Raphaely's long career in women’s media included years in London, where she launched and edited a major health and beauty magazine, and in South Africa, where she was the multi-award-winning editor of Cosmopolitan and long-time content director of Associated Media, publisher of O, Good Housekeeping and Marie Claire, amongst others. Vanessa currently lives in Cape Town. Plus One is her debut novel.
Carsten Rasch is a festival organiser and music curator, having moved on from his Cape Town based venue Blah Blah Bar to establish Urban Noizz. He is a director of STARTfest (Stanford Arts Festival) and the founder of scene-changing music startup Gigll. A survivor from the South African punk and new wave scene of the eighties, he is the author of Between Rock & A Hard Place, a memoir of this heady time of political turmoil, to be published in 2019. He drums for the Cape-based bands The Time Flies, and The Hearts of Darkness (backing band for Dax Butler).
In past lives, he was a documentary director & producer, film festival director, concert promoter, band manager and club owner.
Chase Rhys is a twenty-nine-year-old playwright from Ocean View. He studied drama at UCT and is one of the collaborators at Boderlands – a community project that uses the arts to create encounters between segregated communities. Chase’s debut play, Kinnes, was the inaugural winner of the Adam and Rosalie Small Prize in 2017. Everyone in Jurassic Park, on the Cape Flats, knows Anwaar ‘Ahnie’ Brandt since he was an extra in the GangStar movie. But as the boss of the Butcher Boys he has bigger plans. Derick leaves school to find a job when Nicole falls pregnant. Rolanda wants to live her best life as a Cape Kardashian. With the odds stacked against them – will these dreams be stifled and trapped in a perpetuating cycle? The story of four characters on the brink of adulthood somewhere along the Cape Flats.
Nancy Richards is a freelance print and radio journalist, speaker,media trainer and founder of an NPO called WOMAN ZONE. She writes for a number of publications, until recently presented SAfm Literature and the Enviro Show on SAfm radio. Authored and co-authored: Beautiful Homes; Woman Today and Being a Woman in Cape Town.
Journalist, editor of the Financial Mail, author of The Grand Scam.
Amalia Rosenblum was born in New York in 1974 and grew up in Tel Aviv. She spent the 1990s in New York. A writer, journalist and screenwriter, she has an MA in philosophy and another in anthropology from New School University, New York. She is currently completing her PhD in psychology. At present Rosenblum teaches at the Tel Aviv College of Management. She also writes regularly for the Israeli press, in particular literary reviews for Haaretz; she also writes for women's and parenting magazines. Her screenplays for Holy for Me and Run have won awards at the Chicago, Mannheim and Jerusalem festivals. Where the Village Road Ends, her second book, won the Ze'ev Prize for Children's Literature (2007)
Jacques Rousseau is a lecturer in critical thinking and business ethics at the University of Cape Town, and is the founder and chairperson of the Free Society Institute, established in 2009 to promote secular humanism and scientific reasoning in South Africa. He and Dr Caleb Lack are the co-authors of Critical Thinking, Science, and Pseudoscience: Why We Can't Trust Our Brains (Springer Publishing Company, 2016). His essays on politics, science, religion and rationality can be found on Synapses – http://synapses.co.za, and he is active on Twitter as @JacquesR.
Trevor Sacks was born in Polokwane (formerly Pietersburg) and now lives in Cape Town. He’s written non-fiction pieces for the New York Times and n+1, as well as music and lyrics for bands he’s performed in. He began Lucky Packet, his first novel, while enrolled in UCT’s Masters programme in Creative Writing.
Michelle Sacks is the author of the story collection, Stone Baby, and the novels, You Were Made for This and All The Lost Things. Her fiction has been shortlisted twice for the Commonwealth Short Story Prize and for two South African PEN Literary Awards.
The Accident is the fourth novel from Gail Schimmel, following on from Marriage Vows (2008), Whatever Happened to the Cowley Twins? (2013) and The Park (2017). Gail has only ever wanted to be a writer, but she also has a day job and is trained as an attorney specialising in advertising law. Gail lives in Johannesburg with her family.
Dr Leon Schreiber is a Senior Research Specialist for the Innovation for Successful Societies programme at Princeton University in the United States, conducting research on how to build effective and accountable government institutions in developing countries.
Prior to joining Princeton in 2015, he obtained a PhD in Political Science magna cum laude from the Free University of Berlin, Germany, as well as MA, BA (Honours) and BA degrees from Stellenbosch University.
Leon is a child of the plains of Namaqualand on the arid South African West Coast, having grown up in the small diamond mining town of Kleinzee before moving to the student hostel at Paul Roos Gymnasium in Stellenbosch at the age of 13. His research has subsequently taken him all over the world.
Leon has conducted interviews with nearly 300 champions of government reform in dozens of countries on six continents. His most recent work has been about how Liberia contained the deadly 2014 Ebola outbreak; how Kenya, South Africa and Nepal tried to make power-sharing governments work; and how Tanzania, Mozambique, Indonesia and Rwanda have tackled issues of land reform.
After studying and working abroad for five years, Leon moved back to Cape Town in 2016. Besides his work for Princeton, Leon regularly participates in television and radio programmes as a political analyst, writes for some of South Africa’s leading newspapers and magazines, and tends to his vegetable garden.
Lesego Semenya is a South African chef and entrepreneur best known as one of the judges on the SABC3 reality competition series Top Chef South Africa. Born and raised in Soweto, he left the corporate world and after a time overseas he enrolled at the Prue Leith Chef's Academy in Centurion, from where he qualified with a Grande Diploma in Food and Wine and five other international diplomas in wine and patisserie. He has gone on to work as a personal chef for a renowned family in Irene, catered to Howard Buffett (Warren Buffett's son) annually, catered to The British High Commission and Liverpool FC. He has also catered to numerous South African and international celebrities.
Award-winning and multi-shortlisted novelist and playwright Steven Boykey Sidley has meandered through careers as an animator, chief technology officer for a Fortune 500 company, jazz musician, software developer, video game designer and high technology dabbler. His is published in the US, SA, and Europe. His current novel is Free Association. He lives in Johannesburg with his wife Kate and their two children.
Kate Sidley is a columnist, feature writer and book reviewer for the Sunday Times, The Times and other newspapers, magazines and digital media. She has written a humourous foodie book, The Agony Chef, and co-written the play Shape, which was produced in 2016. As well as her writing work, Kate is involved in literacy work in schools. Her latest book is 100 Mandela Moments.
Nkosinathi Sithole grew up in Hlathikhulu near Estcourt, KwaZulu–Natal. He studied at the Universities of the Witwatersrand and KwaZulu–Natal, and has a PhD in English Studies. He has taught at universities in KwaZulu–Natal, and is currently an associate professor of Literature Studies and Creative Writing at the University of the Western Cape. Translation formed an important part of Sithole’s postgraduate studies, which included the translation of hymns and stories from isiZulu. His debut novel, Hunger Eats a Man, won the Barry Ronge Fiction Award in 2016.
Lorraine Sithole is the founder and president of Bookworms Book Club, which she formed in 2011; the book club has been called the most influential in Gauteng by book industry commentators. Lorraine is passionate about reading and bringing African authors and stories to the fore. She cooperates with book publishers and retailers to promote books and reading, and consults to book fairs and festivals on their literary program content. Lorraine also runs a charitable foundation which focuses on increasing access to learning for disadvantaged children. Lorraine is completing her MBA dissertation, focusing on solving distribution challenges faced by niche publishing companies.
Dr Nkosinathi Sithole grew up in Hlathikhulu near Estcourt, KwaZulu–Natal. He studied at the Universities of the Witwatersrand and KwaZulu–Natal, and has a PhD in English Studies. He has taught at universities in KwaZulu–Natal, and is currently an associate professor of Literature Studies and Creative Writing at the University of the Western Cape. Translation formed an important part of Sithole’s postgraduate studies, which included the translation of hymns and stories from isiZulu. His debut novel, Hunger Eats a Man, won the Barry Ronge Fiction Award in 2016.
Fiona Snyckers is the author of Spire, a high-concept thriller set at the South Pole. She is also the author of the suspense novel Now Following You, and the Trinity series of young adult novels. She has been nominated for the Sunday Times Fiction Prize three times.
Peter Storey is a former bishop of the Methodist Church of Southern Africa and a Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Duke University in North Carolina. Once chaplain to Nelson Mandela and others on Robben Island, he spent most of his 40-year ministry in inner cities, including District Six and central Johannesburg. He led the South African Council of Churches with Bishop Desmond Tutu when it was a fierce opponent of the apartheid state, chaired the National Peace Accord body intervening in pre-election violence in the Witwatersrand and served as a member of the panel that selected the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Storey founded Life Line SA and Gun Free SA and has preached and lectured in more than 160 cities around the world. He lives in retirement in Simon’s Town and sails on False Bay. He and his late wife Elizabeth had four sons and seven grandchildren.
Zanna Słoniowska was born in 1978 in Lviv and is a journalist and translator. She now lives in Kraków. She is the first winner of the Znak Publishers' Literary Prize, for which her novel, The House with the Stained-Glass Window, was chosen from among over a thousand entries. In 2016, Zanna Sloniowska won the Conrad Award, the Polish award for first novels.
Rutendo Tavengerwei is a Zimbabwean born writer, who has lived in several countries till now and is an international trade lawyer by profession. Rutendo’s debut novel Hope is Our Only Wing was published in May 2018 by Bonnier Zaffre in the UK where it was nominated for the Carnegie Medal. It was also published in Brazil where it was a bestseller, and will also be released in the US in September 2019. Currently, Rutendo is awaiting the launch of her second novel, The Colours That Blind which will be released in the UK in June 2019. One of her greatest influences in writing remains her father, who tutored Rutendo from the age of nine, teaching her how to write and how to play around with language when telling a story. According to Rutendo, 'Writing is more than just story-telling for me. It's a way to protest against injustices, a way to encourage and a way to provoke thought and inspire'. @ruruwrites
Botlhale Tema was born in Johannesburg and raised in small villages and townships in the western Transvaal. She studied the sciences in South Africa and the United Kingdom. She has worked as a teacher, and was the first secretary general of the South African National Commission for UNESCO. She was later seconded by the Department of Science and Technology to the African Union Commission in Addis Ababa, where she was the director of Human Resources, Science and Technology. Botlhale is now retired but is involved in community development projects and the promotion of social entrepreneurship.
Iain S Thomas is the #1 bestselling creator and author of numerous books and creative projects, the most popular of which is I Wrote This For You. Originally an online verse and photography project widely considered to be at the forefront of popular contemporary poetry, his work has gone on to become a worldwide phenomenon.. He currently lives in Cape Town, South Africa with his family. Iainthomas.com iwrotethisforyou.me
Louisa Treger is a classical violinist who turned to literature, earning a Ph.D in English at University College London, where she focused on early-twentieth-century women's writing and was awarded the Rosa Morison Scholarship 'for distinguished work in the study of English Language and Literature.' Louisa's first novel, The Lodger, was published by Macmillan in 2014. She lives in London.
Melusi Tshabalala is the debut author of Melusi's Everyday Zulu, an anthology of jokes, opinion pieces and crazy stories, designed around isiZulu words and expressions, with the aim of introducing the isiZulu language to fellow South Africans. Even isiZulu speakers enjoy it! The project started on Facebook, with Melusi posting a word/expression a day, accompanied by its English translation and a story to bring the word to life. The Melusi's Everyday Zulu project also exists as a feature on Kaya FM (Melusi teaches Jenny Crwys-Williams isiZulu on air), two features on East Coast Radio and column in Finweek. Melusi also has an online portal www.everydayzulu.co.za, through which he runs formal isiZulu lessons.
Heinrich van den Berg specialises in nature, environmental, and travel photography. He has spent many years in the veld capturing images of African wildlife and the natural beauty of the continent. Heinrich has won many awards, but he says that these are insignificant. The last image he takes is the only one that counts.
Yves Vanderhaeghen grew up in Pretoria and has been a journalist for over 30 years. Yves has written for a number of publications including Noseweek and Daily Maverick and is currently the editor of The Witness newspaper. He attended university in Pietermaritzburg where he obtained an Honours degree in English and later a PHD in media and culture. Afrikaner Identity is his first book.
Meg Vandermerwe is the author of the short-story collection This Place I Call Home and the novel Zebra Crossing, selected by the Cape Times as one of the ten best South African books published in 2013 and chosen for The Guardian as one of the top ten books about migrants. She holds degrees from the universities of Oxford, Sussex, and East Anglia, and received her PhD from Lancaster University in 2014. Currently living in Cape Town, she teaches at the University of the Western Cape, where her responsibilities include UWC creates, the first multilingual creative-writing programme in South African higher education.
Irma Venter is a journalist at a media company in Johannesburg. She has received several awards for her work, including three Pica awards for trade and industry writer of the year. She loves new places, airports, deserts, Labradors, South African products, people who still take time to make food, spring and autumn, good whiskey, good coffee and good chocolate, not necessarily in that order.
Winner of the University of Johannesburg Prize, the Sunday Times Fiction Prize and the Alan Paton Award for non-fiction, Ivan Vladislavić is a novelist, essayist and editor whose books include The Folly, The Restless Supermarket, Portrait with Keys, and Double Negative. In 2015 he was awarded Yale University’s Windham-Campbell Prize for fiction. He lives in Johannesburg where he is Distinguished Professor in Creative Writing at the University of the Witwatersrand.
David wa Maahlamela was born in Mankweng in Polokwane and is well known as a poet and author. He writes in both Sepedi and English, and has published a novel, Sejamoledi, a play, O Jelwe ke Aretse, six children’s stories, a short story, The Bus From Cape Town, as well as poetry in a number of anthologies and journals. Maahlamela won the Herifest Prize for Poetry, the Musina Mayoral Excellence Award for Arts development, and the PanSALB Multilingualism Award 2010/2011. Other than his literary works, he has appeared in Muvhango, a popular soap opera, Voice of Africa, a series about South African poets, and SABC News International’s Youth Expression and Africa in Literature.
David wa Maahlamela was born in Mankweng in Polokwane and is well known as a poet and author. He writes in both Sepedi and English, and has published a novel, Sejamoledi, a play, O Jelwe ke Aretse, six children’s stories, a short story, The Bus From Cape Town, as well as poetry in a number of anthologies and journals. Maahlamela won the Herifest Prize for Poetry, the Musina Mayoral Excellence Award for Arts development, and the PanSALB Multilingualism Award 2010/2011. Other than his literary works, he has appeared in Muvhango, a popular soap opera, Voice of Africa, a series about South African poets, and SABC News International’s Youth Expression and Africa in Literature.
Martin Sylvester Welz was born on 19 October 1945 in Worcester, Western Cape, is a South African journalist and the editor of Noseweek magazine. He is best known for his investigative work on controversial issues including government and corporate corruption.
Athol Williams is an award-winning South African poet and social philosopher. He has published four collections of poetry, had poems published in forty literary publications and received four poetry awards – Sol Plaatje EU Poetry Award for 2015 & 2016, 2016 Parallel Universe Poetry Prize at Oxford University and the 2017 South African Independent Publishers Award for Poetry. Athol’s acclaimed autobiography, Pushing Boulders: Oppressed to Inspired chronicles his escape from Apartheid. He holds degrees from Oxford, Harvard, LSE, MIT, London Business School and Wits. His creative and scholarly work focuses on advancing structural social justice and ethical development.
Mike Wills is a columnist, radio talk show host and marketing strategist. Born in Sydney in 1955, he went to university in England before working on three continents in radio, television and print. The author of The Cycle Tour, this is his seventh book collaboration with Zapiro, including three major collections. He has lived in Cape Town for the past 20 years with his wife Helen and three children, Kate, Ty and Lucy.
Mark Winkler is the author of the critically acclaimed novels An Exceptionally Simple Theory (of Absolutely Everything), Wasted, The Safest Place You Know (shortlisted for the Sunday Times Barry Ronge Fiction Prize), and Theo & Flora. His work is published worldwide in English, as well as in French in Canada and France. He lives in Cape Town.
Ingrid Gerda Winterbach was born in Johannesburg in 1948. In 1969 she completed a BA Degree in Fine Arts at the University of the Witwatersrand, and in 1970 she completed an Honours Degree in Afrikaans and Dutch at the same university. She completed her Masters’ Degree in Afrikaans and Dutch in 1974 at the University of Stellenbosch under the supervision of D.J. Opperman. In the years following her studies, she was a teacher, a journalist at Die Burger, and for thirteen years a lecturer in the Fine Arts Department of the University of Stellenbosch. After that, Winterbach was also a lecturer in Afrikaans and Dutch at the University of Natal. She has been writing and painting full time since 2002. She lives in Stellenbosch with her husband, the painter Andries Gouws.
Dan Wylie teaches English at Rhodes University, Grahamstown, He has published two books on Shaka (Savage Delight: White Myths of Shaka and Myth of Iron: Shaka in History, both UKZN Press); a memoir; Dead Leaves: Two Years in the Rhodesian War (UKZN); and several volumes of poetry. Most recently, he has concentrated on ecological and animal concerns in literature, founding the annual Literature & Ecology Colloquium in 2004. Recent publications are Elephant and Crocodile,(Reaktion), Raven Games: New and Collected Poems; Intimate Lighting: Sydney Clouts, poet (UNISA); and Death & Compassion: The Elephant in southern African literature (Wits UP).
Zapiro works as the editorial cartoonist for Daily Maverick. Previously he was editorial cartoonist for the Sunday Times (1998–2018), the Mail & Guardian (1994–2016), The Times (May 2009–2016), the Sowetan (1994 –2005), the Cape Argus (1996–1997), and the Cape Times, The Star, The Mercury and Pretoria News (2005–2008). He has published 22 best-selling annuals as well as WTF: Capturing Zuma – A cartoonist’s tale, The Mandela Files, VuvuzelaNation (a collection of his sporting cartoons) and DemoCrazy (a collection of his cartoons spanning the 20 years of SA’s democracy).
Tickets (R70 per event, unless otherwise indicated) are available through www.webtickets.co.za/FLF.
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One hundred and fifty writers, chairs, and subject matter specialists; more than one-hundred events, a tiny staff contingent, a seemingly tireless group of dedicated volunteers – and truly glorious sponsor: All we need now is you marvellous readerly types to make this another successful, delightful and unforgettable festival.
We hope you’ll find just the right mix of literature, politics and current affairs, special interest, poetry, creativity, light reading, humour and controversy to keep you on the edge of your seats. We’ve tried to spread the authors out, so to speak, so if you miss your favourite in one event, you should find them in another. Please take your time to browse through the programme and familiarise yourself with the authors before heading off to www.webtickets.co.za.
And don’t forget to follow us on Facebook, Twitter @FranLitFest and Instagram @franlitfest for author news, any unavoidable last-minute changes, and interesting bookish links.
We look forward to seeing you in Franschhoek from 17-19 May 2019
Yours in books,
The FLF team