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New from Irikidzayi Manase and Unisa Press – White Narratives: The depiction of post-2000 land invasions in Zimbabwe

White NarrativesNew from Unisa Press – White Narratives: The depiction of post-2000 land invasions in Zimbabwe by Irikidzayi Manase:

The post-2000 period in Zimbabwe saw the launch of a fast-track land reform programme, resulting in a flurry of accounts from white Zimbabweans about how they saw the land, the land invasions, and their own sense of belonging and identity.

In White Narratives, Manase engages with this fervent output of texts seeking definition of experiences, conflicts and ambiguities arising from the land invasions. He takes us through his study of texts selected from the memoirs, fictional and non-fictional accounts of white farmers and other displaced white narrators on the post-2000 Zimbabwe land invasions, scrutinising divisions between white and black in terms of both current and historical ideology, society and spatial relationships.

Manase examines how the revisionist politics of the Zimbabwean government influenced the politics of identities and race categories during the period 2000-2008, and posits some solutions to the contestations for land and belonging.

About the author

Irikidzayi Manase teaches in the Department of English at the University of the Free State, Bloemfontein Campus. His areas of research fall within the broader area of literary cultural geographic studies of South Africa, Zimbabwe, Southern Africa and Africa. He has read papers at both local and international conferences and published on: Imaginaries about and urban youth cultures of Johannesburg, Harare and South Africa’s Limpopo Province; the human condition and mapping of spaces in South African science fiction and speculative literature; transnational African migrant experiences; and literatures about the constitution of senses of self and belonging in relation to the land issue and crisis conditions in post-2000 Zimbabwe.

Book details

  • White Narratives: The depiction of post-2000 land invasions in Zimbabwe by Irikidzayi Manase
    EAN: 9781868888252
    Contact Unisa Press for more information:
    Laetitia Theart
    Email: unisa-press@unisa.ac.za
    Tel: 012 429 3448

Magnet Theatre: A closer look at one of the most vital physical theatre companies in Africa

Magnet TheatreComing soon from Unisa Press, Magnet Theatre: Three Decades of Making Space, edited by Megan Lewis and Anton Krueger:

Cape Town’s Magnet Theatre has been a positive force in South African theatre for three decades, a crucial space for theatre, education, performance, and community throughout a turbulent period in South African history.

Offering a dialogue between internal and external perspectives, as well as perspectives from performers, artists, and scholars, this book analyses Magnet’s many productions and presents a rich compendium of the work of one of the most vital physical theatre companies in Africa.

About the editors

Megan Lewis is assistant professor of theatre history and dramaturgy at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

Anton Krueger is associate professor in the Department of Drama at Rhodes University in South Africa.

Book details

  • Magnet Theatre: Three Decades of Making Space edited by Megan Lewis and Anton Krueger
    EAN: 9781783205370
    Contact Unisa Press for more information:
    Laetitia Theart
    Email: unisa-press@unisa.ac.za
    Tel: 012 429 3448

The future of libraries in Africa – The New African Librarian: Perspectives from the Continent

The New African LibrarianUnisa Press presents The New African Librarian: Perspectives from the Continent edited by Buhle Mbambo-Thata, Jenny Raubenheimer and Gerhard van der Linde:

This book grew out of the African Library Summit, the first event of its kind, held in South Africa from 11 to 13 May 2011, and co-hosted by the Library of the University of South Africa, the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) Africa Section and the IFLA Regional Office for Africa. The purpose of the Summit was to bring together African library leaders to reflect on the roles of African libraries and librarianship in the production of knowledge and the dissemination of African research, with an obligation to develop libraries in the country of origin. Delegates from 24 African countries participated in the Summit, together with delegates from the United States, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Italy and Germany. Based on the proceedings of the first Summit, the papers have been reviewed by the editors for publication and were subjected to a peer review process. The contents cover current trends in librarianship, regional and country overviews, knowledge management, the role of library associations in the development and training of 21st century library and information professionals, and much more. The outcomes, accepted resolutions and the statement of commitment signed by the participants of the Summit are provided, with an overview of the future of African librarianship. The fruitful discussions on all these topics led to one inevitable question: what does it mean to be a librarian on the African continent? The answers provided reveal the advent of the new African librarian, dedicated to a new collaborative vision, with a commitment to quality, and confidence in the important role libraries have to play in the present and future of the continent. This book represents the arrival of an exciting phase in the history and development of African librarianship and is essential reading for understanding the background to the changes we are seeing and those to come.

Table Contents

List of figures vii
List of tables viii
Foreword ix
Acknowledgements xi
About the editors xiii
About the authors xv
Introduction xxi

1 Perspectives from the continent Buhle Mbambo-Thata

2 Library and information services: Trends at the start of the 21st century Ellen R Tise and Reggie Raju

3 African library associations in the development of the 21st century information science profession Helena Asamoah-Hassan

4 African librarianship at the start of the 21st century: The current situation in West Africa Zakari Mohammed and Victoria Okojie

5 African librarianship at the beginning of the 21st century: The current situation in Southern Africa John Tsebe

6 Developing the infrastructure of digital libraries in North African Countries Region: A case study of Egypt Shawky Salem

7 African digital libraries in the 21st century: Overview and strategic issues Felix N Ubogu and Michele Pickover

8 Understanding the past and the present to map out the future for the African academic library: The digital library approach Benedict A Oladele

9 Academic libraries in sub-Saharan Africa: Present and future Maria GN Musoke

10 Open access interventions in Portuguese-speaking countries: The case of Mozambique Aissa Mitha Issak

11 Training library and information professionals in Africa: The current situation Mabel Minishi-Majanja

12 Equipping African library leaders for 21st century librarianship Agnes Chitsidzo Chikonzo

13 Whoever’s heard of libraries? Researching perceptions of public libraries in six African countries Monika Elbert, David Fuegi and Ugne Lipeikaite

14 New developments in information literacy in the tertiary education system: An overview Vicki Lawal, Peter G Underwood, Rosemary Kuhn and Christine Stilwell

15 Strategies towards a sustainable and innovative framework for knowledge management in the African context Rachel Prinsloo

16 The future of African librarianship

Annexure A: Notes on the future of African librarianship: Overview and review AL Dick
Annexure B: Resolutions accepted at the African Library Summit
Annexure C: Statement of commitment by delegates of the African Library Summit
Index

Book details

Touched by Biko: Andile M-Afrika recalls growing up across the street from a Struggle hero

Touched by BikoIn a new book titled Touched by Biko, Andile M-Afrika recalls growing up in King William’s Town in the Eastern Cape, across the street from Steve Biko.

The book is an insider’s account of the everyday turmoil of life in the village of a Struggle icon. M-Afrika is currently studying towards a PhD at Rhodes University, but observing Biko’s personal interactions with his neighbours left an indelible mark on his memory.

Watch Pitika Ntuli reciting his poem “Steve Biko”:

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Related stories:

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Andile M-Afrika recalls life in Ginsberg and Steve Biko’s pervasive presence in Touched by Biko

Touched by BikoComing soon from Unisa Press – Touched by Biko by Andile M-Afrika:

Touched by Biko is a political memoir of life in rural King William’s Town in the Eastern Cape, specifically Ginsberg Township, which was home to Steve Bantu Biko. Author Andile M-Afrika lived just across the street from Biko, and takes us on a highly personal journey.

Biko played a pivotal role in South Africa’s struggle for freedom, and in Touched by Biko M-Afrika weaves a creative narrative around that history. He delves into Biko’s personal encounters with people, political events and day-to-day life. The pervasive echoes of Biko’s presence on those who shared life in this historic village speak volumes.

The book is filled with direct references to buildings and events specific to the area and the time. M-Afrika’s insider’s account of the everyday turmoil of life in the village of a struggle icon leaves readers with a vibrant, accurately drawn impression.

This highly engaging narrative will be enjoyed by high school students and adults with an interest in the South African struggle history.

About the author

Andile M-Afrika was born and raised in Ginsberg, a small township in the Eastern Cape across the Buffalo River from central King William’s Town, which was also home to Steve Bantu Biko. In Touched by Biko, his second book, he writes about his memories of the township. In 2011 M-Afrika published The Eyes That Lit Our Lives: A Tribute to Steve Biko. He is currently studying towards a PhD at Rhodes University and working on another book on Biko.

Book details

Don’t miss David wa Maahlamela’s JIAS seminar on the Kiba poetry of the Bapedi/Basotho ba Leboa people

SejamolediThe Johannesburg Institute for Advanced Study (JIAS) invites you to a seminar on Dancing Poetry: Kiba poetry of the Bapedi/Basotho ba Leboa people, to be held by David wa Maahlamela.

Wa Maahlamela is a 2016 JIAS Writing Fellow.

The event will take place in Westdene, Johannesburg, on Wednesday, 13 April at 3 PM. As places are limited, RSVP is essential.

From JIAS:

If a picture tells a million words, then a poem shows a million pictures. To Bapedi/Basotho ba Leboa people not only every dance-move should chant a million poetic lines, but poetry remains the heart of traditional dance, be it as a prelude, interlude, or a cappella chant. Kiba artform as dance, song, music, and drama received scholarly attention, but no study has been conducted on its poetic treasures. Musicians such as Philip Tabane have, however, confessed that they adopted and adapted kiba poetry into songs which become classics. Kiba poetry of the likes of Johannes Mohlala, a blind wordsmith from Kgobokwane, calls for a revisit to some of the old questions on orality and literature as argued by former scholars and literary critics. The seminar explores some of the aspects of kiba poetry which forms part of the South African wealth. I discuss the mechanics of writing this book, and also read an excerpt from this work-in-progress.

Event Details

  • Date: Wednesday, 13 April 2016
  • Time: 3 PM to 4:30 PM
  • Venue: JIAS
    1 Tolip St
    Westdene | Map
  • Speaker: David wa Maahlamela
  • RSVP: Estelle, ehprinsloo@uj.ac.za

 
Related stories:

Book Details

Why it makes sense for children to learn in the language they know best

Christa van der Walt, Stellenbosch University

Language policy and the promotion of peaceResearch has proved repeatedly that children undoubtedly achieve much better when they start schooling in a language linked to one they can already use quite well. Using a familiar language for schooling is a big part of such success, which is why the late South African educationalist Neville Alexander advocated for mother tongue based-bilingual education.

In most cases, South African children are taught in their home language for the first three years of school. After Grade 3, the vast majority must switch to English as a language of learning and teaching.

Imagine schooling as a ladder that children steadily climb from one grade to the next. Not knowing the language of the school is like taking away the bottom rungs of the ladder. In South Africa, most may be climbing the ladder steadily – and then suddenly, around Grade 4, they find that a few rungs are missing or the existing rungs are too fragile to hold their academic weight.

Layers of complexity

There are several layers of complexity at play in the way that South African schools use and teach languages.

The first layer originates in children’s homes and families. In some African cultures, for instance some Sesotho-speaking groups, the first language taught to young children is their father’s – irrespective of whether this is the language their mother spoke growing up. Some children may spend a lot of time with carers who speak a language that’s different from their parents’. They will probably develop more proficiency in that language than in their “real” mother tongue.

In South Africa, where I have conducted much of my research, many parents choose to adopt a language that is not their own mother tongue as their children’s new “mother tongue”. Sometimes the “real” mother tongue is used so rarely that speakers can hardly remember it. This variety has produced a proliferation of terms: home language, community language, first language, primary language, main language.

Beyond their homes, children may struggle even when their “mother tongue” – a standardised version of “their” language – is used at school. The isiXhosa that is spoken in people’s homes is simply not the same as that which is taught in schools. Schools tend to use standardised varieties of languages that may differ substantially from the language used in the home.

Access is yet another issue: children who grow up in a home where there are books and who are able to access digital and paper media may not find changing to another language at school much of a problem. However, those who come from print-poor homes may struggle even when their school uses their mother tongue.

To add yet another layer, research again suggests that it would be ideal for children to continue learning primarily in their mother tongue once they reach secondary or high school. But many of South Africa’s communities are extremely multilingual, which makes it difficult for schools to cater to all pupils’ home tongues. Schools tend not to use the resources – such as language teachers and books – to support the teaching of all possible mother tongues.

Finally, importantly, English is South Africa’s dominant academic language, another factor that pushes schools to encourage biliteracy among young pupils. Once they reach university, students are expected to be literate and to have built up academic language proficiency that can be continued or transferred to English. The reality is that this isn’t happening – data collected by universities suggest that most applicants aren’t academically literate.

With all of these complexities, how can space be created for more children’s mother tongues to flourish in schools and beyond?

Possible solutions

The academic literacy developed in home languages in the first grades is too basic to transfer to English or, to a lesser extent, to Afrikaans (the other prominent language in primary education in the country). The only way in which home languages can support learning sufficiently is when they are used in a structured way alongside English for the rest of primary and secondary school.

A number of models exist for mother tongue-based bilingual education, but the important point is that simply switching from a mother tongue to English in a random fashion is not the best idea. There needs to be a systematic and deliberate comparison of terms and concepts in more than one language to build academic biliteracy so that learners can show their understanding rather than their ability to memorise facts in the school language. There are no short cuts.

For example, translating exam papers to home languages may be an important symbolic gesture but if schooling has been in English all along, it is an open question whether this really improves comprehension of, say, questions on algebra.

Creating spaces for the use of mother tongues in higher education in the form of multilingual glossaries and language-specific study groups may counter perceptions that African languages are not “sufficiently developed” for higher education. This is starting to happen – several case studies show how African languages are being used in universities.

Guarding languages and identities

It isn’t easy to distribute linguistic resources equitably. But South Africans must celebrate all their mother languages as an important feature of their identities and destinies. These languages and identities must be jealously guarded, not lost through disinterest and facile notions of language superiority. We need to remember that the measures taken now should result in a more equitable dispensation for future generations if we want to improve pupils’ and students’ performance in the long run.

The Conversation

Christa van der Walt, Professor of Curriculum Studies, Stellenbosch University

This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.

For more on this topic, see:

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‘Culture is supposed to be something that changes all the time’ – Gender Terrains in African Cinema author Dominica Dipio

Gender Terrains in African CinemaDominica Dipio, author of Gender Terrains in African Cinema, spoke to InterMirifica about being a religious person in the secular world of academia.

Dipio is a nun as well as an academic.

“We can’t just remain static when everything around us is changing,” she says. “I think by nature culture is supposed to be something that changes all the time.”

Watch the video:

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Related stories:

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‘Whatever your closet is, just come out’ – Watch Croc E Moses’s InZync Poetry performance

DriftwordCroc E Moses, drummer-turned-poet and author of Driftword, recently performed at an InZync Poetry Session where he shared some of his unique and mesmerising slam poetry.

If one thing needs to be highlighted about this creative man it would be the rhythm that drives his work. The musicality of his poetry has inspired many people around the world, with his performances at at festivals, conferences, schools, universities, open mics, fundraisers, dinner parties, exhibition openings, rehab centres and many other venues.

The poem filmed and shared by InZync is a celebration of rhythm and life, with Croc E Moses inviting you to come out of whichever closet is keeping you back so you can join him and play:
 

just come out
whatever your closet is
just come out
because there’s no more room in there
there’s no more room in there
there’s no more room for rumours
or
just come out to play
make way
make a way to play
just
get out of your own way

 
Watch the video:

YouTube Preview Image

Read the full poem on Croc E Moses’s website and browse around for more:

PACE AND THE PULSE AND THE PEACE

Remember something’s bubbling…sompat’ing a bubbla’ting
And it’s better than our best thinking
It’s a billion bubble drum hatching… dot to dot picture
everything overlapping in clapping laughter… adventure rapture
We are 7 billion faces of the same music teacher
Yes sompa’ting a bubbla’ting…It’s a billion bubble drum hatching
And it seems to say…just come out
Whatever your closet is just come out
Because there is no more room in there
There’s no more room for rumors…so just come out to play
Make way, make a way to play…just get out of your own way
Give love the right of way…Soon is enough…Give patience a chance
PACE AND THE PULSE AND THE PEACE

 
Also read:

 
Book details

Making Art Across Disciplines: Don’t miss the next Beyond Borders event at the Market Theatre Laboratory

 
Space: Currencies in Contemporary African ArtThe Goethe Institut Johannesburg invites you to the next Beyond Borders event with Space: Currencies in Contemporary African Art editor Thembinkhosi Goniwe.

On Tuesday, 23 February the Market Theatre Laboratory will host a panel discussion on the topic “Making Art Across Disciplines and Geographic Boundaries”. Speakers include Goniwe, James Ngcobo, Jyoti Mistry and Gregory Maqoma. The panel will be moderated by Mary Corrigall.

More about the event:

As part of Dance Umbrella 2016, the Goethe-Institut is proud to support another edition of the Dance Writers Workshop led by Mary Corrigall. This year, the final session of the workshop will culminate in a panel discussion and open dialogue centered on the nature and politics of collaborations across disciplines and artists from different nations and cultural groups. Dancers, choreographers, visual artists, musicians, filmmakers, costume designers from South Africa and abroad will be on the panel but are also encouraged to attend. The event is open to the public and will introduce this year’s international artists and works that will be staged during Dance Umbrella 2016.

Admission is free and all are welcome. RSVP on Facebook.

See you there!

Event Details

  • Date: Tuesday, 23 February 2016
  • Time: 5:30 PM for 6:00 PM
  • Venue: Market Theatre Laboratory
    Inside Bus Factory
    3 Helen Joseph Street
    Johannesburg | Map
  • Moderator: Mary Corrigall
  • Panelists: Thembinkosi Goniwe, James Ngcobo, Jyoti Mistry and Gregory Maqoma
  • RSVP: Facebook event

Book Details

 

Image credit: REBELLION & JOHANNESBURG, choreographed by Jessica Nupen © Steve Thomas