Adam Habib is an academic, researcher, activist, administrator, and well-known public intellectual.
A Professor of Political Science, Habib has over 30 years of academic, research and administration expertise, spanning five universities and multiple local and international institutions, boards and task teams. His professional involvement in institutions has always been defined by three distinct engagements: the contest of ideas, their translation into actionable initiatives, and the building of institutions.
South Africa’s Suspended Revolution: Hopes and Prospects, has informed debates around the country’s transition into democracy, as well as its prospects for inclusive development. His latest book, Rebels and Rage: Reflecting on #FeesMustFall, provides an insight into the recent student protests in South Africa from the position of a vice-chancellor and social scientist.
Albert grew up in Waverley, Pretoria and studied Industrial Engineering at the University of Pretoria. After graduation he worked a year in the industry before quitting his job to become a full time entrepreneur. In 2015 Albert started Gazzaroo, an online media and branding company. Albert’s main venture is property investing.
Albert released his book How to become a Millionaire at 22 in 2017. Since then Albert was featured in the Entrepreneur Magazine and the Real Estate Investors Magazine and on various tv channels such as, Ontbytsake and die Groot Ontbyt op Kyknet as well as various radio stations such as 5fm, CliffCentral and RSG. He is currently busy touring the country and implementing his course Young Millionaire at schools with the goal to change and influence the youth’s mindset about finances. He is passionate about motivating people in South Africa to learn how to become financially independent to enable them to reach their dreams.
Dr Alma-Nalisha Cele is a doctor in public practice currently working at Leratong Hospital on the West Rand having previously been employed at Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital.
She has a special interest in pharmaceutical economics and its relationship to the socio-economics of health, particularly in public health. As a result, she is currently pursuing post graduate studies in the field of pharmaceutical medicine.
Dr Alma-Nalisha Cele is also the co-founder of The Cheeky Natives alongside Letlhogonolo Mokgoroane.
The Cheeky Natives is a literary podcast whose primary aim is to archive black literature on the continent and diaspora through critical engagement with writers and literary audiences.Having identified a large gap in the literary market for thorough, thought provoking analysis of various literary works. This has been done through curated author launches, live podcasts and reviews.
Some notable guests of the podcast include Professor Kimberle Crenshaw, Zinzi Clemmons, Zukiswa Wanner, Koleka Putuma and Lola Shoneyin among others.
In doing so, The Cheeky Natives are creating a strong, well curated cannon of black literature that has been used as required listening in different spaces across the world.
Dr Alma-Nalisha Cele is passionate about the ways in which literary representation and engagement can grow the quality of dialogue and analysis in our communities. She continually credits a strong relationship with reading and literature to her feminist, intersectional approach not only to her work as a doctor but also to her lived politics. She believes that in many ways books continue to change and even save people’s lives and is passionate about ensuring access to critical engagement for wide audiences.
Angelo Fick is currently the Director of Research at the Auwal Socio-economic Research Institute in Johannesburg. After twenty years of teaching across various disciplines in the Humanities and Applied Sciences in universities in South Africa and Europe, he worked as a broadcaster in television news and current affairs for half a decade. His research and publications continue to be informed by debates in feminism, critical race theory, colonial discourse theory, and post-structuralism. He has held a UNESCO Fellowship at NOV, the Women’s Studies Centre at Utrecht University in the Netherlands.
Amy is a writer, who lives in Johannesburg with her husband and young son. She has been shortlisted twice for the acclaimed Miles Morland African Writing Scholarship and her short stories and poetry has been published in multiple anthologies including Brittle Paper, The Kalahari Review and the Short Sharp Stories anthologies. Her debut novel, Shame on You, was acquired by UK publisher Bonnier Zaffre in a two-book deal and was published last year. In 2018, Amy was nominated as one of the Mail and Guardian 200 Young South Africans. Her second novel, called The Pact, will be published in November 2019.
I find it difficult telling you who I think I am. This is pretty ironic, considering I’ve just finished a
memoir which does exactly that. Bottom line: I don’t like to be defined by the fact I have a genetic degenerative muscle disease, Friedreich’s Ataxia, because I feel like the person living inside is more in-depth than the broken exoskeleton I think people see.
Still, Friedreich’s Ataxia does define many parts of my life. If it wasn’t for this disease, my personality, views and attitudes would be very different. My physical existence would be completely different. So, like it or not, Friedreich’s Ataxia shapes what of myself I present to you. In my memoir I describe how, along with my body’s deterioration, my speech has slowly slowed down. I discuss how difficult this is, and how the difficulty will continue as the disease progresses. I’m very self-conscious but if I know you or feel comfortable in a situation, I can be the life of the party.
Bill Schroder was the headmaster of the prestigious Pretoria Boys High for 20 years (1990–2009).
Before that he taught and performed a leadership role at several schools, including Rondebosch Boys High, Westerford High, Western Province Prep, SACS, Pinelands High and Rhodes High in Cape Town, as well as York High in George.
He also coached and administered swimming, cricket, rugby and squash at various levels.
In his retirement he is involved in a mentorship at Memezelo Secondary in Soshunguve and his leisure activities include playing bridge, watching sport and travelling. He lives in Pretoria.
My name is Christelle. I am an illustrator and I enjoy books, games and I love art. I love working on the series because I love inspiring children to follow their dreams and build self confidence. Riana and I have been best friends since high school (since the year 2007) and she approached me regarding doing the art for the book and I fell in love with the whole idea behind the series. I love bringing the characters to life and I hope they will be the heroes children of South Africa deserve.
Prof Christi van der Westhuizen (D. Phil., UCT) is an author, public scholar and associate
professor at the Centre for the Advancement of Non-Racialism and Democracy (CANRAD), Nelson Mandela University.
Her books include Sitting Pretty: White Afrikaans Women in Postapartheid South Africa (2017, UKZN Press) and White Power & the Rise and Fall of the National Party (2007, Zebra Press). Recent book chapters include contributions to The Intersections of Whiteness (2018, Routledge), Nasty Women Talk Back – Feminist Essays on the Global Women’s Marches (2018, Imbali) and other books.
She has held associateships with the Institute for Humanities in Africa, University of Cape Town, and the Institute for Reconciliation and Social Justice, Free State University, among others, and previously worked as Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of Pretoria.
Christy Chilimigras is a 25-year-old writer living in Johannesburg, South Africa. Her first book, Things Even González Can’t Fix, was released in May 2018 and deals with her attempt at regaining her sanity and sexuality after a chaotic upbringing in a darkly humorous and frank way. She works as a full-time content writer at Praekelt, and is a freelance Sex and Relationship writer for Cosmopolitan.
CM Elliott was born in England, immigrated to Australia and completed an Honours degree in French Studies at the University of Western Australia. She moved to Zimbabwe and pioneered a tourism business, based in and around Hwange National Park, living in an assortment of tents, tree houses and bush dwellings, dodging a hodgepodge of charging elephants, rhino, buffalo and a rather angry spitting cobra, before moving to Bulawayo and taking up writing. She currently has three books in the Sibanda series, including Sibanda and the Rainbird, Sibanda and the Death’s Head Moth and Sibanda and the Black Sparrow Hawk.
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.
Darrel Bristow-Bovey is a columnist for the Times newspaper and Getaway magazine and a multiple award-winning screenwriter. His play Priest With Balloons Won the Scribe Playwriting Competition 2017. He has written five books. I Moved Your Cheese was translated into eight languages worldwide and Superzero is a South African secondary school set work. His most recent book is One Midlife Crisis and a Speedo. He spends half the year traveling the world in a splendid old car named Milly, and divides the rest of his time between Cape Town and Greece.
David is a writer and director, working in the media industry for the last 25 years. His passion for travel began as a child, when his family would pile into a motorhome and drive around South Africa for their holidays. He has also
done extensive road trips through America, Europe, Canada and Australia.
His interest in travel writing grew out of an open curiosity about people, a love of history in all its gory, and an insatiable desire for the open road. David likes nothing better than to explore obscure byways and has been known to turn a short, 2-hour drive turn into a 12-hour epic – much to the annoyance of his passengers. Nevertheless, he believes that travellers should stop more often and experience the small towns en route.
He has published several travel books that mix history and practical travel information in a humorous and accessible package. All his books feature his own photographs.
Dawn Garisch has had six novels, a collection of poetry, short stories, a non-fiction work and a memoir published. She has had five plays and short film produced, and has written for television. Three of her novels have been published in the UK.
Her poem Blood Delta won the DALRO prize in 2007 for best poem; Trespass was short-listed for the Commonwealth prize in Africa in 2010; Miracle won the EU Sol Plaatjie Poetry Award in 2011; and What To Do About Ricky won the Short.Sharp.Story competition in 2013.
Her latest novel Accident (Modjaji, 2017) was long-listed for the Barry Ronge Sunday Times fiction award in 2018. She is is a founding member of the Life Righting Collective. She teaches memoir writing, is a practising medical doctor and lives in Cape Town.
Desiree-Anne Martin, born in 1976, in Cape Town, South Africa is a published 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.
Dylan is a SAFTA nominated director and award-winning filmmaker with a special interest in social justice and youth culture, with previous experience directing for Al Jazeera, SABC and others. Currently a PhD candidate in media studies, he is interested in the ways the internet is shaping new forms of storytelling on the continent and in the diaspora. Dylan is also currently an associate lecturer at the University of the Witwatersrand and on the editorial team of Africa is a Country.
Efemia Chela was born in 1991 and is a Zambian-Ghanaian writer, literary critic and editor. Her first published story, ‘Chicken’ was nominated for The 2014 Caine Prize For African Writing. Efemia’s subsequent short stories and poems have been published in places like New Internationalist, Wasafiri and PEN Passages: Africa. She co-edited the 2016 Short Story Day Africa anthology, Migrations. In 2018, she was awarded the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Writer-in-Residence position at Rhodes University. Efemia is currently the Francophone, and Contributing Editor of The Johannesburg Review of Books.
Educated in Ghana, the UK, the US and France, Ekow Duker has worked as an oil field engineer, a banker and as a corporate strategist. His current profession is in data science, helping organisations use data to make better decisions. He lives in Johannesburg with his wife, Bridget, and two children. He has published four novels: White Wahala (2014), Dying in New York (2014), The God who Made Mistakes (2016) and Yellowbone (2019). White Wahala was a finalist in the 2011/12 EU Prize for Literature.
Ernest Landheer was born in Holland and moved to South Africa in 1997 after marrying his South African wife, Laura Joyce. Since then, he has contributed to the soccer magazine Kick Off and was the editor of Kaizer Chiefs’ Amakhosi magazine. He also worked for a few soccer publications in Holland, including Voetbal International. He wrote the autobiography of Roger de Sa, Man of Action, which was published in 2002. He also published two books in Holland: about the former soccer player Dojo Perazic (2006) and about Brazilian soccer, God is een Braziliaan (2014). He is now the research and publishing manager at Kaizer Chiefs.
Eugenie Kadid was born in Lebanon and has lived in South Africa with her husband of twenty-seven years and her three children. She is a Bikram Yoga Instructor and French teacher. She is a passionate and spiritual extrovert driven by a courageous and obsessive-compulsive need for a deeper love of all on earth. This is her first book. Eugenie wrote it with truth, love and a zest for life. At 38, she went through a mid-life crisis that brought her to the brink. Her strong personality, faith, and determination empowered her to explore the world and to achieve her dreams. Nothing stops her, when she puts her mind to a goal. In this book, after she was miraculously cured of a chronic illness, Eugenie walked the Francés Way of the Camino de Santiago with her best friend, Anthea Potter.
Fatuma is the author of Akiki Children’s stories and founder of Akiki Dolls. She has currently self-published five titles of Akiki’s stories with Akiki as the protagonist of the books. In 2018 she won AfriCan Author’s award for Akiki’s travel series books. Fatuma is passionate about celebrating, affirming and teaching African children. She does this by connecting them through stories they identify with and relate to. She has partnered with Help2Read encouraging literacy through storytelling and she is also part of the Erevuka Literacy Project which tackles literacy combining reading skills with financial literacy skills stories for foundation learners. Fatuma and her family reside in Johannesburg.
Ferial Haffajee is a South African editor and journalist.
She is currently editor-at-large, Huffington Post SA and also editor of the African National Centers for Investigative Reporting (ANCIR) and is a researcher at the Public Affairs Research Institute.
Previously, Ferial was editor-in-chief at the Mail&Guardian and City Press. She is a regular analyst and commentator on radio, television and elsewhere.
Ferial is a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network and a member of the Africa Leadership Institute fellowship. She has won numerous awards for journalism and for her support of media freedom.
Fiona was educated at Rhodes University and the University of the Witwatersrand. She has worked as a journalist, reviewed books for the Times and Sunday Times, and also writes for the Mail and Guardian’s Thought Leader website. She has acted as an external examiner for the University of Cape Town’s MA in Creative Writing programme, and has been a judge of the Twenty in 20 Short Story Competition and the Bessie Head Short Story Award.
Fiona is the author of the Trinity series of novels, and the Sisterz series of mobile phone novels, which was commissioned by the Shuttleworth Foundation. Many of her short stories have been published in magazines and collections. SPIRE is the second instalment of Fiona’s Burchell Sisters Trilogy. The first, the thriller Now Following You, was published by Modjaji Books in 2015 and was the third of Fiona’s novels to be nominated for the Sunday Times Fiction Prize.
Fiona lives in Johannesburg with her family.
Fleur Hitchcock grew up as the youngest child of three. She spent her smallest years reading Tintin and Batman, and searching for King Alfred’s treasure. When her younger child was seven, she embarked on the Writing for Young People MA at Bath Spa and graduated with a distinction. Fleur is famous for her excellent ‘thrillers for beginners’ and her new series, Clifftoppers will take younger readers on realistic adventures. Between parenting and writing, Fleur works as a bookseller and tries to grow vegetables.
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.
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 is also a qualified attorney. She is currently the CEO of the Advertising Regulatory Board. Gail lives in Johannesburg with her family.
Gareth Crocker is an international author, screenwriter and director. His seven novels have sold over a million copies globally and have appeared in more than 20 editions of Reader’s Digest Condensed Books (Select Editions) together with the likes of James Patterson, Lee Child and Jeffrey Archer. Two of his novels are currently being adapted for film in Los Angeles.
Gareth is also the co-creator of Shadow – Africa’s first-ever Netflix Original TV series, launched worldwide in March, 2019. My name is Finn Jupiter is Gareth’s latest novel.
Bala Books are the publishers of African child-authored books, written by the children themselves, who are between the ages of 7 and 18. The children are schooled in authoring an anthology of childrenʼs books – in a language of their choosing – through professional book-writing programmes. The books are then published and the child-authors earn royalties off the sale of the books.
Glad Kaiser is the Head Honcho at Bala Books and is passionate about learning that leads to opportunities inside and outside the classroom. Glad’s passion lies in helping schools develop a great storytelling mandate and schooling children in the innovative processes of storytelling.
Greg Bertish is an inspirational speaker and the founder and Ambassador of The Little Optimist Trust.
“I have found my calling. To help and inspire sick and needy kids and people. From the marginalized, insecure and bullied child, to the very sick and the needy. We help them to believe in something, to believe in themselves and help find them passion and a dream to live for!”
Greg hopes his children’s book about a little believer with a HUGE heart will help teach kids that being small, sick, poor or different is OK. And prove that they too can survive and thrive. His story will inspire kids and the world to believe in themselves, get better, be better and follow their passions and dreams.
Greg Bertish is a big wave surfer and a South African Champion Lifesaver and Stand Up Paddle Boarder. He is an ambassador for the Children’s Hospital Trust and the National Sea Rescue Institute, and founder of the Shark Spotter Program. He has helped raise over R2 million for these charities to date.
Black Twitter, Blitz and a Boerie as Long as Your Leg
Hagen Engler has written about a dozen books. He can peel a naartjie in one go, survive an extra-hot bunny chow, and drink beer for eight hours straight while watching cricket at the Wanderers and nibbling on a series of chip twisters. He has written a book about that too. It’s called; Black Twitter, Blitz and A Boerie As Long As Your Leg (And Other National Treasures).
Haji Mohamed Dawjee is a South African columnist, disruptor of the peace and the author of Sorry, Not Sorry: Experiences of a Brown Woman in a White South Africa. Haji lives in Sea Point, Cape Town with her wife, fellow author Rebecca Davis where they take it in turns to play slave to their cat, Sammy Davis-Dawjee Junior.
Hayley Chewins grew up in Cape Town, South Africa, in a house so full of books that she learnt to read by accident. Hayley studied classical voice for a year before switching to a degree in English Literature and Italian. She lives in Johannesburg, South Africa, in a house full of art and music and colour, with her husband and a very small poodle. She believes in two things above all else: the magic of love, and the heroism of sisters. Her debut novel, The Turnaway Girls, is out now in North America with Candlewick Press and in the UK, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa with Walker Books. Her second novel, The Sisters of Straygarden Place, will be out with Candlewick Press in autumn 2020. Hayley’s work is represented by Patricia Nelson at Marsal Lyon Literary Agency.
Born in New Zealand, Heather Morris lives and works in Melbourne, Australia. In 2003, she met Lale Sokolov, a meeting that changed both their lives. As their friendship grew, he entrusted her with the task of telling the world the innermost details of his life during the Holocaust. Her first book The Tattooist of Auschwitz has now sold over one million copies in the UK. Heather’s second novel Cilka’s Journey is to be released October 2019.
Dance of the Dung Beetles: Their role in a changing world
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.
Helen Moffett is an author, editor, academic and activist. Her parents are environmentalists and she first became water-aware during her childhood in the Little Karoo. She has lectured as far afield as Trinidad and Alaska, but calls Noordhoek home. Her publications include university textbooks, a treasury of landscape writings (Lovely Beyond Any Singing), a cricket book (The Art and Science of Cricket, with the late Bob Woolmer and Tim Noakes), an animal charity anthology (Stray, with Diane Awerbuck) and the Girl Walks In erotica series (with Sarah Lotz and Paige Nick). She has also published two poetry collections – Strange Fruit (Modjaji Books) and Prunings (uHlanga Press), for which she won a SALA prize in 2017. Recent projects include the Short Story Day Africa anthologies Migrations and ID, and a memoir of Rape Crisis. Her most recent green book is 101 Water-wise Ways (Bookstorm).
Her father was a frustrated ‘wannabe chef’ accountant and her mother a lousy cook so it’s no surprise that Biller made a career out of food.
She was cooking the family meals at 12, is the author of eight cookery books and the food editor of The Sunday Times, a position she has held for nine years.
Previously Angela Day at The Star, she has been awarded the Galliova Food Writer of the Year, the Oscar of food writing in SA, twice.
Iain Thomas is a writer and new media star. He is the best-selling author of several books, 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.
I Wrote This For You is a project that started in 2007 as a blog that he wrote early in the morning or late at night or in the car on the way to a presentation or in-between meetings. He paired short poems next to photographs by a his friend Jon, a photographer whom he met over the internet. Even though they’ve worked together ever since then, they have never actually ever met each other in person. The blog became incredibly popular, spreading across the internet and early social media. Eventually in 2011, it became a bestselling book debuting at the top of the poetry bestseller lists and it continues to sell out across the world. I Wrote This For You has a vast array of admirers and followers, many of whom are in the entertainment, sports and music arenas. The fan base is impressive – and continues to grow.
A lot of the material in his new book, Every Word You Cannot Say, comes out of his struggle, of dealing with his own depression; of being haunted by the past, and finding the things that he can say to himself that “helped me find my way back to me” – and what he believe other people can say to themselves.
Passing the Torch – Preserving Family Wealth Beyond the Third Generation
Ilze Alberts is a renowned Psychologist, Life Strategist and international -published author and speaker. She has established her authority as a human behaviour expert and Wiley & Bloomberg recognising the powerful message Ilze had to give, published her book, Passing the Torch – Preserving Family Wealth Beyond the Third Generation in 2018. The book found its inspiration in her desire to write a manual on passing the torch that she and her husband will pass to her own children and the generations to follow.
Ilze’s objective is to show people how to build their personal well-being, financial position and family relationships. She helps build powerful families for generational impact.
Ilze has over 30 years’ experience as a qualified Psychologist, is a Master Demartini Facilitator and the founder of Bella Vida. She is the anchor psychologist for the tv series “Saving our Marriage”. The empowerment and fulfilment of her family is her highest value.
Iman Rappetti, originally from Phoenix in KwaZulu-Natal, counts among her career highlights, interviews and encounters with former South African President Thabo Mbeki, President Jacob Zuma, and queen of talk Oprah Winfrey. Rappetti hosts a weekday radio show on Power FM and after a two-year absence, she’s made a return to eNCA with a talk show called Madam Speaker.
Jane Duncan is a Professor and Head of Department of Journalism, Film and Television at the University of Johannesburg (UJ). She holds a PhD from the Wits School of the Arts, University of the Witwatersrand, as well as a MA, honours and B.A in Fine Arts from the same university.
Her research interests have been shaped by her work in civil society, and her research work is both informed by and informs activist work. She is also involved in collaborative research activities with a worldwide network of privacy advocates, established by Privacy International. She has undertaken research on the problems of consolidating a democracy and forming a public sphere in South Africa. Recently, she has focused on the relationships between surveillance, power and social control in a country such as South Africa. She has examined how national security practices are changing state/ society relations and impacting on spaces for political expression, especially dissent and the right to protest. She is author of The Rise of the Securocrats: the Case of South Africa, published by Jacana Media in 2014, Protest Nation: the Right to Protest in South Africa, published by UKZN Press in 2016, and Stopping the Spies: Constructing and Resisting the Surveillance State in South Africa, published by Wits University Press in 2018.
In June 2018, she was appointed to a Presidential Review Panel on Intelligence, set up by President Cyril Ramaphosa to assess the mandate, organisational capacity and integrity of South Africa’s State Security Agency (SSA).
Jann Weeratunga was born in 1963. She has lived and worked in London, UK: Sri Lanka: UAE and Bahrain. Currently, and currently lives in Johannesburg, South Africa with her four fur babies.
She was a Primary School Teacher and a Scout/Cub Leader for over 20 years, which she felt was a very good grounding for what Middle-Grade Readers enjoyed reading.
Her flagship – the Polly’s Piralympics Series – was written and inspired by the closing ceremony of the 2012 London Paralympic Games. In his closing speech, Sir Phillip Craven told of how a young boy was reading with his mother. In the book, he saw a man with an eye patch, a hook for a hand, a parrot on his shoulder and a wooden leg. When asked who it was, he said: “Well he has only one leg, so he must be an Olympian.” Such was the strength of the London 2012 Paralympics that it changed peoples’ perceptions of disability forever. The speech made her both laugh and cry and gave her the inspiration for the Polly’s Piralympics Series of books which are both unique in concept as well as content and format – dealing with disabilities, bullying and cheating. The books also have a comprehension page at the end of each chapter, where the participants can answer questions and draw their own characters.
Janina Pechova is the author and illustrator of the delightful children’s book, The Rat Sock. Born in Prague, Czech Republic, her visually breath-taking hometown provided the earliest inspiration for her art, as did the Czech tradition of illustrating and printmaking.
She studied at universities in Sweden, Vienna and Britain, majoring in fine art, printmaking, science and modern languages. She holds a BSc, a BA in languages and a Fine Arts degree.
Janina has worked in advertising and magazine publishing and lectured in art at tertiary institutions. Janina has written and illustrated two picture books and held several successful exhibitions of her work.
Jenny Braun has spent 20 years in the classroom and over five years volunteering in hospitals and homes sharing love and joy with the children as part of The Upliftment Programme.
She has witnessed all too often the prevalence of low self-esteem and anxiety amongst the kids, and wanted to help children perceive themselves differently.
Ultimately Jenny wants all people to love and accept themselves for who they are. “I’m passionate about encouraging little and big people to believe in them-selves and to be inspired by their own stories. I encourage everyone to colour outside of the lines and embrace their individual magnificence. “My hope is that my stories open hearts and lift the spirits of all those who read them. Making the world a happier place one “goggo” (insect) at a time.”
Jeremy Daniel is an author, screenwriter and musician. He has written extensively for children’s television and theatre, including as head writer for Takalani Sesame. He has also written a book, My Forever Friend. Back in the day, he was the founding member and bass player for seminal Cape Town indie band, Fetish. He lives in Cape Town with his wife and daughters.
Jeremy is the author of The Road To Glory children’s series about South African sporting heroes.
ZAPIRO (aka Jonathan Shapiro) is South Africa’s best-known and most-awarded cartoonist.He has published 23 best-selling annuals as well as The Mandela Files, VuvuzelaNation, Democrazy and his latest special edition WTF: Capturing Zuma—A Cartoonist’s Tale. He studied media arts at the School of Visual Arts in New York, where he studied under comics masters Art Spiegelman, Will Eisner and Harvey Kurtzman. Zapiro has held solo cartoon exhibitions in New York, Amsterdam, Frankfurt, Dhaka, Sweden and many in South Africa. He has won numerous international and SA awards and was voted one of the 50 most influential people in Africa by the magazine Jeune Afrique and cited as one of the most influential Africans by New African magazine, London. He was celebrated as one of the ‘100 World Class South Africans’ by City Press and he made Credit Suisse ‘50 Movers and Shakers in Africa’ list. In 2016 he was listed as one of the top ten cartoonists in the world by Top Teny online lifestyle magazine, New York.
My name is Kabelo Chabalala, I am the Founder of the Young Men Movement (YMM), an organization that focuses on the reconstruction of the socialisation of boys to create a new cohort of men in our society across the globe.
1 of 200 Obama Leaders: Africa 2018, Finland Correspondent Participant 2018, 2018 Top 100 Most Influential Young South African (Avance Media) , Columnist for the Sowetan, Former columnist for The Star and Pretoria News and the Independent Media Group, Former motorist scribe for Weekend Wheel (Saturday Star).
I am also a preacher. I obtained a Theology certificate from the Johannesburg Bible College (JBC). By profession, I am a journalist, and by occupation, I am a Senior Layout Sub-Editor for Independent Media Group. Prior to that, I was an Advertising Specialist and Consultant at the Pretoria News. I have a Diploma and B-Tech in Journalism, obtained from the Tshwane University of Technology.
Karabo Kgoleng is a broadcaster and facilitator who works with writers and academics in the humanities to give their work a public life.
She believes that engagement in social and cultural issues contributes significantly to the transformation of individuals and communities.
Karabo is a recipient of the South African Literary Award for Journalism and is a sought-after speaker on storytelling as central to public intellectual and cultural life. She has also adjudicated prestigious literary awards and worked on selection panels for short story anthologies. She has worked as Books Editor for City Press, talk show host at SAfm and 702, and at the Department of Arts and Culture as Deputy Director: Books and Publishing.
Kate Sidley is a columnist, feature writer and book reviewer for The Sunday Times and other newspapers, magazines, radio and digital media. She wrote a humourous foodie book, The Agony Chef, and co-wrote the play Shape. Her new book, 100 Mandela Moments, will be published this year.
Kate Turkington is one of South Africa’s best-known broadcasters, and a veteran writer and critic. Her weekly Sunday night show, Believe it or Not, on Talk Radio 702 and 567 Cape Talk was the country’s longest-running radio talk show with the same host in the same time slot when it ended in 2003. She continues to broadcast as a regular guest on travel shows, blogs for several websites, and travels almost non-stop, writing articles for international and local magazines and newspapers. Her other books include the bestselling Doing it with Doris and There’s More to Life Than Surface.
Katelyn is a food stylist, food photographer and cookbook author with over 10 years of experience in television and magazines. Her first cookbook, Chocolate has recently been published and features 90 decadent and indulgent recipes inspired by one of her favourite ingredients. Katelyn is best known for her baking blog The Kate Tin which has won Best Food Blog in South Africa for the last 3 years and has been featured on BuzzFeed, Fine Dining Lovers amongst a host of local South African print and online publications.
After studying to be a professional pastry chef at the Institute of Culinary Arts in Stellenbosch, Katelyn worked in restaurants and hotels before joining Top Billing and becoming Food Editor. Her journey in print and television continued at Expresso Baking Show where she became well-known for her insatiable sweet tooth and creating recipes that are accessible to all her share her obsession with baking. Katelyn lives in Cape Town with her chocolate-maker husband.
A journalist by training, Katherine has written a number of children’s books, including The Lemon Tree, which was longlisted for the Golden Baobab Prize in 2014 and published by Penguin Random House. Her biography of SA artist Irma Stern, A Passionate Vision: The Story of Irma Stern was intended for children, but has been well received by adult readers, too. She’s currently researching the life of Peter Clarke, a Coloured artist who was forcibly removed from Simon’s Town under apartheid. Katherine lives in possibly the world’s most beautiful city, Cape Town, is married with three kids and a ginger cat, and loves peaceful, uninterrupted moments sipping tea and reading.
Visit her blog at www.wordcount.co.za.
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.
Kiara has developed a unique superabsorbent polymer that holds hundreds of times its weight in water when stored in soil. It is biodegradable, inexpensive and free of harmful chemicals, unlike the manmade materials currently used. The polymer, made entirely from waste products, improves the environment, increases the chance for plants to sustain growth by 84% during a drought and can increase food security by 73% in disaster-struck areas. Kiara has been featured by both The Times and the Guardian on their top 30 most influential teens lists, and invited by Forbes and TED to speak about her work. Kiara was recently named one of the United Nations Young Champions of the Earth and one of the fifty most inspiring women in technology.
Kiara’s first book was published in January 2019. Using these platforms, Kiara actively promotes the importance of protecting our environment through innovation and getting young girls involved in this process. She is currently an undergraduate student at Stanford University.
Landa Mabenge is the author of Becoming Him a trans memoir of triumph. He is the founder and managing director of Landa Mabenge Consulting. This independent consultancy has, as its focal point, the education and creation of awareness on what it means to be transgender. Landa is the first known transgender man in South Africa to successfully motivate a medical aid for the payment of his gender alignment surgeries. His book is currently being used a prescribed research text for the University of Johannesburg’s honours in Educational Psychology students.
Landa believes in the fundamentals of compassion and humanity and is committed to being of impactful service through conversations that inspire a return to being human first.
Laura Ball, CFP®: head of Client Engagement at Standard Bank Wealth and Investment. In her previous role, Laura was a Wealth Advisor to High Net Worth families, and was the Chairperson of Wealth and Investment’s NexGen MANCO, a committee comprised of the next generation of leaders within the organisation.
Adventurist at heart, Lee den Hond took on an epic journey of her own to change the lives of hundreds of others. The endurance athlete has never shied away from a challenge, with some of her greatest quests including Ironman triathlons, Comrades Marathons, Two Oceans Marathons and many more of South Africa’s toughest races. In 2013, when Lee decided to climb Mount Everest she was motivated to reach the top of the world’s highest peak, but she wanted to make this count for something bigger than just her, and what started as a personal adventure evolved into a significant goal to raise funds to create a haven for the poorest of the poor. The Field of Dreams Children’s Centre was Lee’s vision for the children of the Schaumburg community near Hartebeespoort Dam and her aim was to build a Centre from funds raised from the Mt Everest climb. When Lee was battling the elements and lack of oxygen, she was driven not only by her own grit and determination, but by her vision. To keep herself focused and motivated, Lee carried a South African flag, signed by the children of Schaumberg as her inspiration and she took this with her to the top of the world. Lee went on to not only became the third South African woman to summit Everest, but is today the founder of the Field of Dreams Children’s Centre. The Centre officially opened its doors on 5 December 2015. It provides a safe and learner-friendly space for children and adults and includes a gardening and sewing project, a soccer field / pitch where children can play safely, a toy and book library, and a mobile clinic, which includes TB Workshops and Testing.
Lerato Mogoatlhe is a journalist and editor who has been writing about Africa for more than 10 years. Vagabond is a result of her deep-seated love for Africa and my conviction that whatever else this continent is, it’s firstly and most importantly home: I must know it intimately and write it beyond stereotypes of doom and gloom. Vagabond: wandering through Africa on faith is about how a three-month trip to West Africa turns into living and travelling around the continent for five years. It spans her experiences in 21 countries.
Lerato Motsamai is the Founder and CEO of Petrolink, a manufacturer of automotive and industrial lubricants, oils and speciality chemicals that she founded in 2012. She has 15 years corporate experience in the petrochemical sector where she worked for Engen Petroleum and Chevron. She has been recognized by IOL’s Business Report as one of three women influencing the energy sector, and by Financial Mail as a driving force in energy, and sits on various industry bodies. Lerato is a 2018 Fortune 500 U.S Department of State Alumni and a 2018 Inspiring Fifty SA winner, an award for women in STEM fields given by the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in South Africa. She has sat alongside Presidents, Ambassadors and world reknown business leaders as a key contributor at the Global Entrepreneurship Congress in Hyderabad India and at the Thabo Mbeki Foundation’s Annual IWD Lecture, speaking on the subject of Women Advancing Africa through Innovation and Technology. Lerato is also fondly known for her passionate activism in the economic inclusion of adolescent girls and young women. In 2014, she founded the Girlignite Africa Academy, a youthful brand that has impacted in excess of 3300 girls and young women in South Africa and placed 120 of these participants in employment. In 2018, Girlignite Africa Academy was appointed an official NGO Partner to the 2018 Global Citizen Festival: Mandela 100. Lerato counts her gift of being a mother to two well-rounded children as her greatest reward.
Lori-Ann Preston is an award-winning children’s author who lives in East London. She won the Golden Baobab Prize in 2016 for her Early Chapter Book, The Ama-Zings! She holds a BEd Honours degree from the University of South Africa and is a former child’s educator of 20 years. She is the author of the book series: Thabo, the Space Dude and Trixie, the Mischief-Maker.
Luke Alfred was part of the founding staff of the Sunday Independent in 1995. On Rugby World Cup final day, the day before the newspaper’s very first edition, the office emptied as everyone headed to Ellis Park. He was left as the office junior, collating horseracing results. Matters have improved markedly since. He left the Independent after six years to join the Sunday Times for ten and followed it up with a brief spell at Cricket South Africa (CSA). He has been a freelance journalist and author since he left CSA in 2014. His last book prior to Vuvuzela Dawn (with Ian Hawkey) was Early One Sunday Morning I decided to step out and find South Africa (Tafelberg) in 2016. He is married to Lisa and they have three sons, Samuel, Jake and Thomas.
Lukhanyo Calata is a television journalist, who worked for eNews before joining the SABC’s parliamentary office. He currently works for eTV at Open New. He is the son of Fort Calata, one of four anti-apartheid activists from Cradock, assassinated by the government in 1985. He lives in Cape Town.
Mpatheleni Makaulule is the Dzomo la Mupo volunteering executive director, an environmental community activist, an indigenous knowledge practitioner. Mphatheleni founded Mupo Foundation, and has lead it for almost a decade while working closely with the African Biodiversity Network.
In 2004 she received the Bill Clinton Fellowship and went to USA to deepen her democratic vision. In 2006 and 2008 she travelled to Amazon Columbia, where she adopted indigenous practices of ecological mapping and the ecological calendar as a way to recuperate the indigenous knowledge from elders and enhance the intergenerational flow of knowledge. In 2011 she won an international women ecological speech and was one of the three finalists of the UN Forest hero award. In 2013, Mphathe was awarded the Global Leadership Award by Indigenous Women Forum(FIMI) in recognition of her work with women and communities. 2015 she received the Africareconnect Award.
Malebo Sephodi is a South African writer and researcher whose work focuses on gender, development, digital technology and story-telling. She is the author of Miss Behave (Blackbird Books, 2017), which won the 2018 South African Literary Award for First Time Published Author. She is currently reading for her PhD at the University of Cape Town and is a faculty member at Wits University.
Mandy Wiener is one of South Africa’s best-known and most credible journalists and authors. Wiener worked as a multi-award-winning reporter with Eyewitness News from 2004 until 2014 and is currently senior crime and investigative reporter for News24. Ministry of Crime is her fourth book, following on from the best-selling Killing Kebble: An Underworld Exposed (2011); My Second Initiation: The Memoir of Vusi Pikoli (2013), written with the former head of the National Prosecuting Authority; and Behind the Door: The Oscar Pistorius and Reeva Steenkamp Story (2014), co-authored with colleague Barry Bateman.
Mapule Mohulatsi is a writer and reader from SOWETO. She will soon embark upon a PhD in English Literature at the University of Witwatersrand. Apart from writing for children, she is also an essayist and regular contributor to publications such as Brittle Paper. Mizz President is a heartwarming story about the power of one little girl. What would happen if the children led us?.
I am a professor at Wits University where I teach zoology and entomology. I also conduct research on insects, to satisfy the curiosity of myself and others. One application of this work is the biocontrol of invasive weeds; an eco-friendly method of using insects to contain alien plants. Carefully selected insects can seek out and restrain the growth of these plants that threaten our biodiversity and consume our water.
I also work on dung beetles, which are equally useful. Their orientation behaviour while rolling dung balls is underpinned by a visual system that can operate in starlight, using limited computational power. Understanding how small brains solve complex problems will help humans solve information processing challenges, and with the design of useful miniature robots.
Masande Ntshanga is the author of the acclaimed novel, The Reactive. He is the winner of the Betty Trask Award (2018), winner of the inaugural PEN International New Voices Award in 2013, and a finalist for the Caine Prize in 2015. He was born in East London in 1986 and graduated with a degree in Film and Media and an Honours degree in English Studies from UCT, where he became a creative writing fellow, completing his Masters in Creative Writing under the Mellon Mays Foundation. He received a Fulbright Award, an NRF Freestanding Masters scholarship, a Civitella Ranieri Fellowship and a Bundanon Trust Award. His work has appeared in The White Review, Chimurenga, VICE and n + 1. He has also written for Rolling Stone magazine. His second novel, Triangulum, is out from Penguin Random House South Africa.
Megan Ross was born in Johannesburg in 1989. She is a writer and graphic designer, and has received critical acclaim for both her short fiction and poetry. Megan is the 2017 recipient of the Brittle Paper Award for Fiction, one of the 2016 Short Story Day Africa Award winners, as well as an Iceland Writers Retreat Alumnus. Her first book, a collection of poems called Milk Fever, was published by uHlanga in 2018. She lives in East London with her partner and son.
Melinda Ferguson heads up the publishing imprint MFBOOKS Joburg which specialises in memoir and hard hitting non-fiction. In 2016 her title Rape A South African Nightmare by Professor Pumla Dineo Gqola won the highly coveted Sunday Times Alan Paton Award. Melinda is also the author of the bestselling addiction trilogy: Smacked, Hooked and Crashed.
Melusi is the author of Melusi’s Everyday Zulu, a left-field introduction to the isiZulu language.
Melusi’s Everyday Zulu is Melusi’s debut book. It is 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. However, because of the entertaining nature of the book, 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 in everyday usage. 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.
Michelle holds degrees from UCT and New York University, and is a member of the New York and Johannesburg Bars. While practising in New York for nearly a decade, she secured multi-million dollar verdicts for her clients, including victims of discrimination and sexual harassment. She appeared in cases in both US federal and New York state courts, including the Supreme Court. Her commercial and antitrust practice has seen her participate in the recent amendment process for the Competition Act and she is one of the leading members of the competition Bar, appearing frequently in cases before the competition authorities, whether representing the Competition Commission, business or workers. She is an adjunct Professor at UCT, teaching competition law. Michelle also practices in public law, appearing in the Marikana and Zondo commissions of inquiry, and she appeared in the class actions on behalf of consumers related to the bread cartel and acted for mineworkers with silicosis and tuberculosis in their claims against gold mining companies. She is currently acting for NGOs such as the Council for the Advancement of the South African Constitution and Corruption Watch in various state capture-related cases.
Mike Nicol lives in Cape Town. He is the author of a number of novels, works of non-fiction and poetry. In recent years he has published seven crime novels including the Revenge Trilogy, Power Play, and the Cape Town series: Of Cops & Robbers, Agents of the State and, most recently, Sleeper. He also teaches creative writing online.
Mmabatho Mokiti is a mathematician turn impact entrepreneur with a passion for education and youth development. She is the founder of Mathemaniacs, a STEM CSI
(Corporate Social Investment) consulting company that designs and implements CSI strategies for corporates to invest in sustainable STEM education in rural and disadvantaged areas. She is also the founding member of DreamGirls Academy; a female empowerment and mentoring organization that empowers women and girls through various impactful programs that use mentorship and skills and leadership development as a tool; with a focus on getting more women in STEM.
Her awards include being recognized as one of Mail and Guardian Top 200 Young South Africans, WEF Global Shaper, 100 Most Influential Young People in South Africa, Millennials to look out for in business in Africa by Forbes Women Africa, 50 Inspiring Women in STEM by the Embassy of the Netherlands. She is also a Mandela Washington Fellowship Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) a flagship program of former President of the USA, Barack Obama.
Mohale Mashigo is the author of the widely acclaimed and best-selling novel, The Yearning, which won the University of Johannesburg 2016 Debut Prize for South African Writing in English, as well as of Beyond the River, a young adult adaptation of the movie of the same name. She is also an award-winning singer, songwriter and comic book writer for the Kwezi series.
Mothomang is the Medical Director of Spiral Aloe Medical Wellness which she founded more than 5 years ago after a long period of intense investigation into issues of Comprehensive Health and Wellness. She is a qualified Gestalt practitioner and facilitator and is passionate about preventative medicine. She believes strongly that “lifestyle is the real medicine”.
She is also a social entrepreneur and believes in interventions that address social injustice. She, therefore, co-founded more than 10 years ago, TEACH South Africa, an African Leadership Initiative (ALI) and Aspen Global Leadership Network (AGLN) Social Entrepreneurial programme to support the education system in the country. She serves on both Public and Private sector boards and is current Chair of TEACH South Africa.
Mphuthumi Ntabeni was born in Queenstown, in the Eastern Cape. He lives in Cape Town. He writes, (unprofessionally) for different national and international publications. He’s trained in Built Environment. The Broken River Tent is his debut novel.
Nicola Jackman is an all-round performing heartist – as an award-winning Actress, Author, Joy Catalyst, Facilitator & Joy Coach – she is co-creating a peace-loving unified world for ALL! Nicola is the Co-Creater of The UPliftment Programme – a 16year old not for profit, focusing on sharing and growing joy. See more on nicolajackman.com. Nicola is one of the authors in the Fresja & Friends series and will be presenting – a dynamic storytelling session/ workshop.
Nicholas Lambrianos is a Johannesburg based property lawyer and heads the property department of Norton Lambrianos (SA) Inc. He was schooled at Queens College in the Eastern Cape and did his law degree at Wits in Johannesburg. Time spent on farms, with school friends, and a paternal grandfather who was a farmer in Cyprus led to a childhood dream to be a farmer, a dream he was eventually able to realize in his late forties. The financial challenges of farming will ensure he never retires from law and pursues a full time career as a
farmer, as intended.
Nicholas through humour tries to enlighten the public about the tremendous challenges facing farmers every day , but particularly in South Africa at this time. He attempts to engender some understanding of the importance of food security and the appreciation that most of our food is produced by men and women who till the land and toil in all seasons, often in the most adverse of circumstances.
Niki Daly has won many awards for his work. His groundbreaking Not so Fast Songololo, winner of a US Parents’ Choice Award, paved the way for post-apartheid South African children’s books. Since then he has published widely and has given talks in several countries. Among his many books, Once Upon a Time was an Honor Winner at the US Children’s Africana Book Awards, and Jamela’s Dress was chosen by the ALA as a Notable Children’s Book and by Booklist as one of the Top Ten African American Picture Books of 2000. In 2009 Niki was awarded the Molteno Gold Award for Lifetime Achievement in Literature. Other books include Nicholas and the Wild Ones, Thank you, Jackson, The Herd Boy, Pretty Salma, No More Kisses for Bernard and Ruby Sings the Blues. Niki is married and lives in Kleinmond, South Africa.
Pamela grew up in Zimbabwe and finished her education at Sacred Heart College in Johannesburg. She holds a Master’s degree in Creative Writing from Wits University where she taught for many years. She is a script writer for popular local soapies, Imbewu – The Seed and Muvhango, where she was also the script editor for ten years. She has published three novels: Ms Conception, Things Unseen and Delilah Now Trending. Things Unseen was optioned for television by Diprente Films in 2018, and is currently in development. Pamela lives in Johannesburg with her husband and two children. You can find her on Twitter @pamelapower or follow her author page on Facebook.
Phillippa Yaa de Villiers teaches Creative Writing at Wits University, and continues to write and perform in Johannesburg. Her poetry collections are Taller than buildings (2006) The everyday wife (2010, winner of the South African Literary Prize in 2011), and ice- cream headache in my bone (2017). She co-edited No Serenity Here, an anthology of African poetry translated into Mandarin. (2010). Her one-woman play Original Skin toured South Africa and Germany. She edited a special edition of the Atlanta Review, one of USA’s most prestigious and oldest poetry journals. She serves on the Editorial Board of the African Poetry Book Fund and ZAPP (South African Poetry Project). She has read and performed at poetry festivals locally and internationally including Badilisha, Poetry Africa, Harare International Festival of the Arts, Bushfire, McGregor Poetry Festival, Berlin Poesiefestival, etc. Her work is translated into French, Dutch, Flemish, Burmese, Mandarin, Italian, German, Bengali and Spanish. She started her career as an actress and TV scriptwriter, notably working with Soul City, Tsha Tsha, Soul Buddyz, Takalani Sesame among others.
Raashida Khan is a 50-year old South African Indian Muslim living in Johannesburg. A content creator, copywriter, editor and proof reader by day, she is as passionate about being an author, poet, wife, mother and friend – a unicorn that does exist. As a caring, compassionate and empathetic person who loves observing people and life, she is a storyteller of note. She would like to be remembered as ‘never boring.’
Her short story Your Voice, My Strength was selected as the winning entry for the 2017 Irtiqa Online Magazine (South African Muslim Women’s Short Story Competition). Another short story, It’s not Funny, appears in the Happy Holidays Anthology available on Amazon. Her contribution, Hungry, darling? appears in Saffron: A Collection of Personal Narratives by Muslim Women (launched 8 April 2018). Her first novel, Mirror Cracked won the Minara Aziz Hassim Literary Award (Debut category, 2017). Fragrance of Forgiveness is the sequel. She has also published an anthology of poetry, Happy Birthday, Raashi, and plans on publishing a collection of short stories in 2019. In the meanwhile, she continues penning emotional, emotive poetry and the occasional social commentary blog.
I have always been involved in theatre and creative writing. Having these two forums to express my ideas and learn more helped me to experience the world intensely. I quickly became aware of female inequality from a young age and have always used the stage and writing to express my ideas. One day I hope to be a writer and actor based in London, as well as create my own documentary in which I travel the world interviewing and learning about the lives of different women. These topics are ones I’m very passionate about and I hope to do everything I can to have a positive impact on the movement.
Ray Ndlovu is a Zimbabwean-born journalist living in Harare. As a journalist, his work has been published by several regional and international news organisations. He has provided extensive coverage of business and political news in Zimbabwe and the SADC region, in a professional career in journalism which spans eight years. Currently, Ray is the business writer for the Sunday Times, a flagship title owned by Tiso Blackstar Group, formerly the Times Media Group—one of South Africa’s largest media companies.
His new book, In the Jaws of the Crocodile: Emmerson Mnangagwa’s Rise to Power in Zimbabwe was published in October 2018 by Penguin Random House Books (South Africa).
Rebecca Davis is a Cape Town-based journalist and columnist for the Daily Maverick. Her first book, a collection of humorous essays titled Best White (And Other Anxious Delusions) was published by Pan MacMillan in 2015. Her second book, a non-serious exploration of the wellness industry titled Self- Helpless, was released in 2018.
Refiloe Moahloli grew up in Mthatha in the Eastern Cape. As aunt to many nieces and nephews who consider her to be ‘one of them’ due to her modest height, life with them inspires a number of stories floating in her head at any given time.
Rekgotsofetse Chikane is a graduate of the University of Oxford, having completed his Master 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.
Reneilwe Malatji was born in Modjadji Village situated in Limpopo Province of South Africa on the 14 of November 1968. She completed a BA degree, Postgraduate teaching diploma in Education and a senior degree in Education at the University of Limpopo. She then served for 18 years in the department of education as a teacher, subject advisor and subject specialist in Limpopo and Mpumalanga Provinces. She completed a postgraduate diploma in Journalism and a MA in Creative Writing at Rhodes University 2010 and 2011 respectively. She is currently studying a PHD in Creative Writing at the University of Western Cape. She co-authored Tyhini, a literary magazine published by the Rhodes Institute of English Studies in Africa. Love-Interrupted, her debut collection of short stories was published by Modjadji books in 2012. The anthology has won the Aidoo-Snyder Award in the United States of America and the South African Literary Award Nadine Gordimer short story category in 2014. Malatji taught ELT students at Rhode University from 2012 to 2013 and is currently a lecturer for Contemporary and Multilingual Studies at the University of Limpopo. She lives in Haenertsburg with her son Mohale Malatji.
Riana Louw has been writing stories since her early primary school years. She can never stop using her gift of creativity to write. When she does not bring the pen to the paper for a couple of days, she begins having excessive dreams that hinder her sleep. She grew up in Cape Town South Africa and temporary lived in Munich in Germany, where she continued to write and spearhead the series. By profession she is a software engineer and by passion she is a story creator.
She loves South Africa and wants the entire world to see our unique cultures via creating these full color paged fairy tales. The team’s first book, The Blacksmith and The Dragonfly, represents the Xhosa Culture. Their current project, code named ‘TRC’ represents the Zulu culture. And their third book, code named ‘COTG’ represents the Cape Malay Coloured culture. The aim of the project is to represent each culture in South Africa, and then to expand to different countries to create representation there as well.
Richard is a passionate Languages and Dramatic Arts teacher with experience at independent schools. He is currently the Director of Culture at St Stithians Girls’ College. In 2018, he facilitated a “Power Poetry” session at the Kingsmead Book Fair.
When not teaching, Richard enjoys traveling and catching up on his reading.
Robyn Williams is an artist, children’s book author and illustrator. She attained a Degree in English Language and Linguistics as well as a PGCE from Rhodes University. Her passion for education lead her to a career in teaching however, since having children of her own, she works as a commercial writer, artist and illustrator. Robyn currently lives in the Kwa-Zulu Natal Midlands on a farm, where family, animals and a country garden keep her busy.
Rosie Motene is a Pan African media proprietor, award winning actor, author and ﬁlm producer. She has also been an activist for over 17 years and trained through People Opposing Women Abuse (POWA). She uses her personal story, training and expertise to create awareness on gender based violence. Rosie is a revered global speaker and emcee.
Rosie Motene was born to the Bafokeng nation. At the time of her birth, her mother worked for a white Jewish family in Johannesburg. After her birth, her mother’s employers made the generous decision to raise and educate Rosie. As her biological parents could never afford the level of education granted, it was agreed upon. This came as a major sacriﬁce for both families, as the foster family had to endure the safety and societal issues that came with raising a black child during the apartheid era. The sacriﬁce on her biological side was that her parents had to watch their daughter being raised in a household that was of another race, religion, and ethics. This caused many identity crises for Rosie growing up.
Her autobiography speaks to those themes of African identity, her struggles and how Rosie in her late thirties made the brave decision to move to Phokeng, her ancestral village and work on her relationship with her biological family and try and reclaim her identity. The book also deals with abuse and how Rosie rose out of an abusive relationship and did not let that deﬁne her, she joined POWA and began to use her public persona to create awareness on abuse across the continent.
The book looks at how the brand Rosie Motene was created from her theatrical background to becoming a household name across the continent thus leading to her traveling and discovering Africa and starting her Pan African talent agency.
The book is about identity, betrayal, pride, abuse, activism and women empowerment.
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 simultaneously published in Brazil where it was a bestseller, and will also be released in the U.S 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.
Sam Beckbessinger wrote the best-selling book How To Manage Your Money Like a F*cking Grownup and runs a tech startup. She also writes fiction and was a 2014 Mandela Washington Fellow at Yale University, where she got to high-five Barack Obama (true story).
Samantha Smirin was born and grew up in Johannesburg, South Africa. She went to Kingsmead College for her schooling. In 1989 she was diagnosed with bipolar affective mood disorder. After attending the London International Film School, she returned to South Africa where she worked as a producer and director in social health issues. Her work has focused on “real life stories” of people living with challenges. She is an exhibited artist and writer. She runs a support group assisting fellow sufferers and is a life coach to people living with Bipolar.
Same Mdluli is an artist, art historian, and writer living in Johannesburg. She holds a PhD in History of Art, MA in Arts and Culture Management from Wits University and a B-Tech degree in Fine Arts (cum laude) from the University of Johannesburg. She has worked as an administrator at the Goodman Gallery and projects in both Cape Town and Johannesburg and taught art at various school levels. She has participated in various exhibitions, conferences locally and internationally and won some art awards. She has also participated in a number of international residencies including being invited as a Junior Research Scholar at the Getty Research Institute in Los Angeles and as guest researcher at the Institut National d’histoire de l’art (INHA) in Paris for the ‘Culture Profession’ programme under the department of Art and Globalisation. Her research interests are in contemporary African art, black expressive modes and aesthetics as well as the conversations between jazz and visual art. Before she was appointed curator at the Standard Bank Gallery she was a sessional lecturer at Wits University.
Sihle Khumalo is South Africa’s bestselling and award winning author. His books include Dark Continent My Black Arse and Heart of Africa. His third book, Almost Sleeping My Way to Timbuktu, won the 2014 SA Literary Award (creative non-fiction). Sihle’s latest book, Rainbow Nation My Zulu Arse, covers his epic journey around South Africa. It is a travelogue imbued with social, economic and political commentary.
He has qualifications from Durban University of Technology (DUT), Wits Business School as well as the University of Stellenbosch Business School (USB).
He lives in Johannesburg with his wife and two children.
Written In History: Letters That Changed The World
Simon Sebag Montefiore is a bestselling writer whose books have been published in forty- eight languages and who has won prizes for both his history and novels. He is the author of the acclaimed Moscow Trilogy of novels SASHENKA, RED SKY AT NOON and One Night In Winter (published in French as La Cercle Poushkine and in Italian as L’Amore ai Tempi Della Neve). ONE NIGHT IN WINTER won the Political Novel of the Year Prize (UK) and was longlisted for the Orwell Prize (UK). Catherine The Great And Potemkin was shortlisted for the Samuel Johnson, Duff Cooper, and Marsh Biography Prizes. Stalin: The Court Of The Red Tsar won the History Book of the Year Prize at the British Book Awards. Young Stalin won the Costa Biography Award (UK), the LA Times Book Prize for Biography (US), Le Grand Prix de la Biographie Politique (France) and the Kreisky Prize for Political Literature (Austria). Jerusalem: The Biography was number one non-fiction SUNDAY TIMES bestseller and a global bestseller and won The Book of the Year Prize from the Jewish Book Council (US). It also won the Wen Jin Prize in China awarded by the National Library of China, and to date the book has sold almost 600,000 copies in Chinese. The Romanovs, 1613–1918 has been a bestseller all over the world including being a NEW YORK TIMES top ten bestseller and won Lupicaia del Terriccio Literature Prize (Italy).
His latest book is Written In History: Letters That Changed The World. The book is a collection of letters from great world leaders. For example, Nelson Mandela to Winnie Mandela (on liberation), General Abram Hannibal to Peter the Great (on liberation), Che Guevara to Fidel Castro (a goodbye letter) and also, from the classics, T.S. Elliot to George Orwell (on creation).
Simone Haysom’s writing, both investigative and creative, has been widely published, including in The Sunday Times, the Mail&Guardian and Africa in Fact. She works as an independent researcher consulting to think-tanks, universities and NGOs. Simone Haysom has an MPhil from the University of Cambridge, which she attended as a Gates Scholar.
Siphiwe Gloria Ndlovu is a Zimbabwean writer, scholar, and filmmaker, currently based in Zimbabwe. Her debut novel, The Theory of Flight, was published by Penguin Random House (SA) in 2018. She has just finished writing her second novel, The History of Man. She is a recipient of a 2018 Morland Writing Scholarship and is currently working on her third novel, The Murder of Emil Coetzee (working title) during her Morland fellowship year (2019).
She holds a PhD in Modern Thought and Literature from Stanford University. Her PhD dissertation was entitled, “A Country with Land but no Habitat”: Travel and Belonging in Colonial Southern Rhodesia and Post-Colonial Zimbabwe. While she was a PhD candidate her essay, ‘“Body’ of Evidence: Saartjie Baartman and the Archive”, was published in Representation and Black Womanhood: The Legacy of Sarah Baartman by Palgrave-MacMillan. She has an MA in African Studies and an MFA in Film from Ohio University. While she was a film student she made a short film, Graffiti, which won several awards including the Silver Dhow at the Zanzibar International Film Festival. She received her BFA in Writing, Literature and Publishing from Emerson College.
Power in Action: Democracy, Citizenship and Social Justice
Steven Friedman is Research Professor in the Humanities Faculty of the University of Johannesburg. He is a political scientist who has specialized in the study of democracy. He researched and wrote widely on the South African transition to democracy both before and after the elections of 1994 and has, over the past decade, largely written on the relationship between democracy on the one hand, social inequality and economic growth on the other. In particular, he has stressed the role of citizen voice in strengthening democracy and promoting equality.
He is the author of Building Tomorrow Today, a study of the South African trade union movement and the implications of its growth for democracy, and the editor of The Long Journey and The Small Miracle (with Doreen Atkinson), which presented the outcome of two research projects on the South African transition. His current work focuses on the theory and practice of democracy. His study of South African radical thought Race, Class and Power: Harold Wolpe and the Radical Critique of Apartheid was published in 2015 and his examination of democratic theory, Power in Action: Democracy, Citizenship and Social Justice in 2018. He writes a weekly column in Business Day on current political and economic developments.
Your people will be my people: The Ruth Khama Story
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 and their daughter Amy in Johannesburg.
I was born, bred and educated in Bulawayo and I have been residing in Johannesburg for the past decade and now consider it my home. My debut novel titled #ThePolygamist (2012) was set in Harare and delves into the world of underground polygamy. My sophomore novel, #TheGoldDiggers (2018) captures the essence of the city of Gold and what it means to the illegal migrant community.
I have always been an avid writer and my creativity began to show at the age of 8 when I would cut out pictures from magazines and write little excerpts about the men and women in the pictures. My interest in writing was further nurtured throughout high school where I wrote a lot of prose and poetry. Ironically, it’s the poetry which I won accolades for. However paradoxically, it is prose that has captured my heart.
On completing my A Levels it was my intention to study Journalism but at that time there was no such degree on offer in any Zimbabwean institution of higher learning. So ironically I found myself reading towards a degree in Finance and later completed a Masters Degree in the same field.
Until May 2018 I worked for a stockbroking firm as an Equity Research Analyst. However I am now trying my hand at writing full time as I find my financial career is at odds with my creativity. It is my desire to re-engineer my career path into something that will hone my creativity. Having dabbled in scriptwriting, I am keen to get into film production.
Besides being a literary wordsmith I am a proud mother to a feisty five-year-old boy who demands I read him a story every night, adding story reading to my list of credentials.
Terry Kurgan is an artist and writer based in Johannesburg. She has exhibited and published widely in South Africa and internationally, and received numerous awards, including the FNB Vita Art prize and the inaugural Mbokoda Photography award. She is currently a PhD candidate in Creative Writing at Wits University, where she is also Research Associate at the Wits Institute of Social and Economic Research (WiSER). Her previous Books are Johannesburg Circa Now (co-edited with Jo Ractliffe) and Hotel Yeoville. Everyone is Present is her first work of creative non-fiction.
Tony Park was born in 1964 and grew up in the western suburbs of Sydney. A former journalist and PR consultant, Tony also served 34 years in the Australian Army Reserve, including a tour of duty in Afghanistan in 2002. He and his wife, Nicola, divide their time equally between Australia and South Africa, where they own a house on the edge of the Kruger Park. His 16th African novel, Scent of Fear, is about tracker dogs and their handlers engaged in the war against poaching.
Tracey Farren completed a psychology honours degree at the University of Cape Town before working as a freelance journalist. Her first novel, Whiplash (Modjaji Books) was inspired by the feisty sex workers she met during her research. Whiplash was shortlisted for the Sunday Times Literary Award and won a White Ribbon award for its role in the battle against woman and child abuse.
Tracey’s second novel, Snake (Modjaji Books) is a psychological thriller about a little farm girl who watches a charming stranger destroy her family. The book received critical acclaim in South Africa and Tracey’s screenplay, Snake has been optioned by Boondogle Films.
Her new novel, The Book of Malachi (Kwela) is out in May. This is a work of speculative fiction about an inhumane medical project taking place on an oil rig in the deep sea. Malachi, a mute survivor of civil war must decide whether to risk his life for the victims or let them perish.
Vanessa Tedder is the author of the delightful children’s book The Selfish Shongololo (published by Penguin Randomhouse) and the recently released explosive memoir Beaten But Not Broken which is written under her maiden name (Govender). The book details in explicit and painful detail the trauma of being trapped in an abusive relationship with a former popular LotusFm radio presenter during their time at the SABC. The memoir has been widely hailed as a bold and brave piece of literature from a woman who comes from a very conservative community in South Africa. The trauma of the abuse almost ended Vanessa’s career in journalism which began at the public broadcaster back in 1999 where much of the abuse happened. Then in 2005 Vanessa was headhunted by Etv’s legendary television news boss Debora Patta to join the up and coming Prime Time news team. During the seven years at Etv covering human interest and crime stories Vanessa won the highly coveted Vodacom Journalist of the year awards for the KwaZulu Natal region twice, for her coverage of the deaths of dozens of babies at a state hospital in 2006 and in 2008 for the miraculous survival of a newborn tossed down a toilet pit. Vanessa quit mainstream television in 2012. She is now a full-time mom and author.
“In sharing with the world my most intimate and terrifying experiences, I perhaps did the unthinkable as a woman of Indian origin. These are the things that are best kept private. But in taking my trauma and turning it into a triumphant piece of defiant literature that challenges the poison of patriarchy that is so prevalent in so many South African communities. Beaten But Not Broken is a seismic shift in the narrative of the black South African woman. I was a journalist sitting with the biggest story of my life and it was the story of my life! Writing about it was inevitable. “
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.
Top public speaker Vusi Thembekwayo and Dragons’ Den judge was running a R400m division in a multinational firm by the age of 25. Today he is one of the youngest directors of a JSE-listed company and is the CEO of a boutique investment and advisory firm. He also serves on several boards. Vusi is the founder and CEO of MyGrowthFund and IC Knowledge Bureau. He is a venture capitalist, a sought-after global business speaker and the author of The Magna Carta of Exponentiality – a change agent who has helped to build and transform businesses in South Africa and abroad. He does more than inspire a revolution, he initiates it. He has been a catalyst for change in businesses across the globe through expertise in strategy, leadership and organisational culture. Through his international speaking engagements, more than 21 countries and 350 000 audiences have experienced Vusi.
My culinary career spans over 10 years and started during my two year study gap in England.
After studying Bcomm law for two years after matriculating, I realised that it was not the career path that I wanted to follow.
So, I applied for a UK holiday working visa and ventured off to England to discover what it is that I really wanted to do.
I’ve always been interested in food so decided to look for a job in a professional kitchen.
I worked in a Brasserie in Cheshire for two years, first as a hot section chef, then as the head pastry chef.
After my two year stint in England, I returned to South Africa and immediately enrolled at the Institute of Culinary Arts in Stellenbosch. During my studies, I got to work with some amazing top chefs in the local industry such as Margot Janse of Le Quartier Francais and Chris Erasmus of Foliage Restaurant.
I specialised in food media in my third year of studies and worked as a food assistant at a magazine for six months.
After graduating, I moved to JHB and worked in a large catering company as catering manager.
It was around that time when Expresso, a national morning breakfast show, was conceptualized.
When the producers were looking for a food stylist for the show, they called me up and offered me the job. I started working on the Expresso Morning Show on SABC 3 in October 2010 and was resident chef until December 2017.
I now have my own cooking show called “CELEB FEASTS with ZOLA” which began broadcasting in 2018 on Mzansi Magic on DSTV.
My other TV roles include judge on The Great South African Bake Off Season 3, guest judge on My Kitchen Rules South Africa Season 2, Cast of Wedding Bashers Season 2.
Apart from cooking on TV, I also develop recipes and do food styling for publications as well as brands.
I have two published award-winning cookbooks, Simply Delicious (2016) and Simply Zola (2018).