Reading is an amazing journey.
It takes one thru a million experiences all in one novel.
From opening the cover you experience various emotions.
You fantacise to a point you want to live the characters lifestyle.
You fall inlove with some characters and hate others.
– Kerstin Kinsey
Join in as we read these fun light books written by African women:
As Ama’s wedding day approaches and her friends – Beauty, Matlakala and Pamela are there to lend varying degrees of support. But when tragedy strikes on Ama’s wedding day and spreads to every corner of the group’s lives they hold on to each other to survive. Will their misfortunes bring them closer together or will they tear the quilt of their friendship apart? They are our mothers, our sisters, our daughters, our girlfriends, our aunties. Pamela’s body is a ravaged canvas of her troubles. Matlakala tries to prop up a failing relationship. Beauty’s sharp tongue and dark secret threatens to doom her to a life lived alone. In To the Black Women We All Knew, Maenetsha showcases the modern township existence and its weakening yet ever-present link to tradition. Her vivid writing tells of the capriciousness of life and love and the strength of women in the face of a crisis.
In this collection, Ama Aita Aidoo explores postcolonial life in Ghana with her characteristic honesty and humor. Tradition wrestles with new urban influences as Africans try to sort out their identity in a changing culture. True to the tradition of African storytelling, the characters come to life through their distinct voices and speech. If there is no sweetness, there is the salt essential to life, even if it comes from tears, and the strength that comes from a history of endurance.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR : Dudu Busani-Dube is a news reporter based in Johannesburg South Africa. She is originally from Kwa-Mashu township in Durban. She discovered her love for writing when she was a student at Vukuzakhe High School. All her writings are based in first-person, particularly because she wants the reader to connect with the narrator and characters. She describes her style of writing as “raw with no restrictions, no rules, no rules obeyed, and no morals taken in consideration”
Once again, our team has put together a few recommended reading books for the month of August. The following African books:
Happiness is a four letter word
if you haven’t watched the movie, stop right there because the book is way better than the flick. If you have already watched the movie then reconsider reading this marvelous story about 4 women (yes 4 not 3 like in the movie). The 4th character was scrapped out of the movie. Such a pity as her story brings a true reality of our lives as women in the book. Enjoy the full book as written by Cynthia Jele.
There is something strange & eerie about the story within this book. At first it looks and sounds normal but as you read on, you will find it intriguing and rather informative about the life of modern day sangomas (the calling) but there is more to this than meets the eye.
Dancing to the beat of the Drum
This is one autobiography you don’t want to miss reading. Not only do we know Pamela Nomvete from our TV screens but we also know how many roles she has played that are dramatic. This book is equally dramatic! Decide for yourself!
Manifesto for Social Change: How to save South Africa
Now that the local government elections have come and gone. This book will indulge your many questions about the state of affairs in South Africa and more importantly, how and what needs to be done to save us from the status quo.
The Thabo Mbeki I know
When we talk about the strength and character of a man. This is it! Even better when it’s told by other people than himself. A book we should all read.
Reviewed by Mpumi Sithole (a client & friend of Afrokulcha)
Excellent read, it was impossible to put the book down…The book starts with the Germaine and Martin’s marriage in crisis after their teenage son, Zuko kills himself in their Johannesburg home. Zuko’s suicide drives a wedge between Martin and Germaine and one wonders if their marriage will survive. As you continue reading the story travels back in time to London in the summer of 1994 when Martin and Germaine first met. Martin is still nursing a break-up from a girlfriend he believed was the love of his life, when Germaine walks up to him in a bar and delivers a cheesy pick up line of all time: “What’s a guy like you doing in a place like this?”
They bump into each other again a couple of nights later, coincidentally, and their relationship takes off from there. They are opposites, Germaine is a headstrong feminist who is not afraid to say what’s on her mind while Martin is more laidback. Nevertheless they get along and they move in together, get married and have a child.
London – Cape Town – Joburg is also the story of a country, South Africa, undergoing change following the 1st democratic elections. When Germaine and Martin decide to move to Cape Town so that their son can be closer to his grandmother and his uncle, Liam, the story of the new democratic SA unravels and we experience the changes through their eyes — the ongoing racism, and the xenophobic violence.
Wanner has a very witty sense of writing and her characters are fun to explore, each one brings a different but much needed characteristic. The ending is almost unforeseeable, and takes you back to the beginning of the book. The book left me feeling that there has got to be more and wondering if Martin and Germaine ever managed to find their way back to each other. Their love story and life story is so inspiring
Zukiswa Wanner has done it again: London – Cape Town – Joburg is a cracking read…
Reviewed by Mpumi Sithole (a client & friend of Afrokulcha)
I had an absolute blast reading this book…I experienced all sorts of emotions, excited and happy for Joyce and Jonasi right at the time when their lives were going so well. Other emotions of shock, sadness, utter disgust. Sue Nyathi takes you in a gripping journey that takes you through the mind of a woman in love, a woman in love with a powerful man, a man who lives a polygamous lifestyle with an unsuspecting wife, who only later realises her marriage has been a sham all along. The story is relatable and candid. You will struggle to divide your attention to other things going on around, it grips you wholeheartedly.
The Polygamist is a story of four women whose lives are connected because of their love for one man, Jonasi Gomora. The story is told through the narration of the four women.
Joyce met Jonasi while waiting for her chauffer back home while they were both still at school. She later got married to Jonasi and is the legitimate first wife. She has four children by Jonasi, lives a luxurious life of driving expensive cars and a wardrobe full of expensive labels. She believes she has the best life and is happily married until Matapa makes an entrance into her life and turns her life upside down. Matapa is younger, ambitious, & smart and goes for what she wants. She wants to climb the corporate ladder working at J&J, Jonasi’s company, but end up climbing over Jonasi and eventually get her big break as an Assistant Director. Jonasi is intrigued by Matapa’s intelligence and of-course sexual prowess. Matapa rocks Joyce’s world to the point of no return, Jonasi even asked for a divorce in order to marry Matapa.
After Joyce and Jonasi’s 17th wedding anniversary party, Jonasi take Joyce on a cruise and rekindles his love for his wife and Matapa goes to China to refocus. Returning back she’s determined to get what she wants from Jonasi – a marriage which Jonasi succumbs to in order to win Matapa back.
Essie is introduced in the story after Matapa’s China expedition but she’s been there all along. She is Jonasi’s first love I believe, but strayed and fell pregnant with someone else’s child. She further has two children with Jonasi and is the one person that Jonasi does not have to pretend when he is with. She is the girl-next-door, ghetto fabulous and grew up with Jonasi and has known him before he was the man he became. Jonasi always goes back to Essie for sadza and to listen to his stories, she knows for sure he always comes back to her and Jonasi has not neglected her financially until he could not manage to.
Lindani is a beautiful young girl whose greatest assets are her body and beauty. She is lonely, sleeps with any available man and is hoping Farai marries her for security reasons. After countless abortions she decides she is done with abortions and will keep the baby she is carrying and rekindles her activities with Jonasi who sets her up in Matapa’s old house believing he is the father of the unborn child. She lives a luxurious life but one that soon comes to an end as she has to care for a sick and dying Jonasi until she cannot handle it any longer. Joyce once again comes through for the father of her children, and Jonasi dies in her arms.
After reading this book you cannot help but ask the question about the legitimacy of the polygamous marriages practice especially in times where the prevalence of HIV/AIDS is so widespread; where men have insatiable appetite for multiple women and not to mention the “Blesser” culture.
Are you an avid reader of books and have been wanting to join a bookclub? Have you thought about starting one? Here are a few tips on starting your own bookclub.
1. The people (members)
First things first, people make or break the success of a bookclub. Start with a core group of 2 or 3 friends who are like minded and have a similar interest in books. Ask these friends to invite other book readers or lovers of books not just friends unless they are friends who read. Remember this is a bookclub not a stokvel or social club, it must be people who will read books and review them.
2. Number of members
People who love reading meet in all types of places. At bookshops, at parties or just by striking up a conversation in a train or a bus. So finding 10-12 people to join or become a bookclub shouldn’t be so difficult. Remember you need a larger number of people in order to have enough people in attendance at each meeting as not every single people is always available. If you have 10-12 members, you are likely to get 7-8 members attending at each meeting
3. Where and how often?
Ask yourself what is a convenient place to meet? At a home, restaurant, libraries, clubhouse etc. pick a place that is quiet as noisy places don’t Forster good discussions and pick a place where you will feel relaxed. You can alternate hosting the bookclub as members. How often do you meet? Choose between monthly, every 6 weeks or every 2 months. Remember that it is not easy for some to finish reading a book in a short period because of life’s commitments getting in the way.
4. Admin and communication
Every bookclub needs to have a way of communicating. Today’s whatsapp world has made it easier as you can create a whatsapp group with a secondary option of using email. Give your book club a name – a form of identity.
5. Set ground rules
Clear ground rules of the bookclub, informs members on expectations. These ground rules should cover the following areas: how to choose book club hosts? What should the host provide (venue, food, drinks?), how long should meetings be? What happens to late comers (punctuality)? What happens to members who don’t attend meetings? What happens to members who don’t read the required book quota? Be sure to write down all the ground rules for future members enrollment.
Remember: Bookclubs are meant to be fun, just like reading is. It is important to have a modus operandi on how you pick book titles and how you present reviews & discussions in order to get the
most out of your bookclub gathering. Talk as members and see how you want to run your bookclub.
Most of all, have a blast!
*Nonkululeko is the founder & member of the Bookclub Rockstars.
Cosy up with these following books this July 2016 as you enjoy a little bit of Africa. A few books picked by our team from our bookstore at www.afrokulcha.com.
1. One of the best autobiographies ever written (well, according to us). It has all the juicy stuff from music, booze & drugs, quick divorces, flings & sex, and ooh so many fun & games. What an amazing life he has lived. One book you can’t afford to live without reading!
2. This fiction novel by Zukiswa Wanner is a lovely light read which will leave you smiling from ear to ear. The typical men of umzansi revealed, there are 3 types of men which you find in SA and their story is one you will laugh, nod your head to and certainly enjoy!
3. This Steve Biko’s book will remain the one book every South African must read, especially every black person in the world.
4. Without his knowledge, we have nicknamed this author “the cat with nine lives” 😆 Read about his story, of cos you might recognize all the characters mentioned in the book because he broke their story in the news. Find out why he has nine lives like the cat!
5. When we talk about overcoming life and it’s challenges, when we talk about strong women, izimbokodo! This book will leave your heart crushed but smiling for God has a plan for us all.
7. We couldn’t decided which of Angela Makholwa’s book to recommend first. Why? Because she writes like a pro. When we read her books, we felt like a friend was telling us a juicy story that we couldn’t wait to hear. All based in South Africa, great for lighter reading for first time African fiction readers.
By D.S. Mashego
Any person who discusses the politics and socio-economic life of South Africa will not do justice to the topic if such a discussion excludes the ideology of apartheid. This is the ideology that created disparities between black and white South Africans, that worsened relations between the two races, and that empowered a white man while disempowering a black man.
Apartheid does not come from God and there is nothing godly about this ideology. It has ‘evil’ written all over its face. It is in fact an insult to the black race to still hear some white South Africans praising and advocating apartheid in this day and age. How can this system be godly if it questions God’s creation, black folk? How can God be part of such an idea that seeks to dehumanise other human beings, black folk? It cannot be!
Agree with me when I say that apartheid has put a black man in a bad space. Nobody has to explain apartheid for me. I lived during those times when this horrendous system was at its prime. By God’s grace I was able to witness the dawning of a new South Africa. The ANC-led Government has a mammoth task of redressing the damage caused by the apartheid system. There are just too many socio-economic issues that the black man has to deal with daily. Black South Africans’ hopes are on the ANC-led Government. Thus far the black community is not happy with the rate at which change is effected in black communities.
The black community is blaming the government for failing to deliver on its promises. In response to the blame, the government blames apartheid for failing to deliver on its promises. Twenty one years since our first democratic elections, our government still blames apartheid. Of course progress has been made. However, more can be done. Where government fails, it must be frank and bold enough to concede failure.
Government aside, maybe we also need to pose the following question for a black man: What is the black man doing to help himself? There is a lot that we can do to better our lives. Unfortunately, black folk want things given to them on a silver platter. They want to be given a house, a grant, etc. for free.
This is a point that the book is trying to convey. This book is a must read. Unlike many books that tend to talk about the black folk; this book talks to the black folk. It tells of where we come from, where we are, and where we need to be as a country. It challenges the
black man to:
• Move to a new paradigm by changing his way of thinking;
• Account for his actions and decisions;
• Refrain from blaming others, including apartheid, for everything that goes wrong in his life;
• Accept and feel good about the person he is;
• Assume a new role in the economy of South Africa.
The book also encourages white South Africans to:
• Acknowledge that apartheid was wrong;
• Embrace the change, from apartheid to democracy;
• Learn to coexist with Blacks in South Africa;
• Partner with black folk and work towards building
The book provides a fresh perspective pertaining to South Africa’s political and socio-economic dynamics. No stone is left unturned – a spade is called a spade. The book is written in simple English to ensure that it is easy to understand and that a person with minimal education can read it and understand its concepts. The writing style is non-academic and relaxed, making it an interesting read. Read the book. Undertake serious introspection and make the necessary amendments in your life and in your environment. Communal change starts with one person. Enjoy the book!
These words, she said.
These words are a remembrance of the first time that word and ink crossed paths. The serenity brought out by the milk white backdrop of the pages beneath. These words are transported, wave by wave, by the inspiration of this talent. They are the glitter of the castles in the air. These words…she said.
Turn the page.
These words, he said.
These words are the amorous nibble into the delusive mind. Drawing out breath strokes of art, blowing them like an arrow, straight into the heart. These words are the sheepishly warm skin of skill, scratched with the lightness of imagination. It’s the grip. It’s the scent. That surrenders all power. These words…he said.
Turn the page.
Find a book to turn your page with at https://www.afrokulcha.co.za/
As it is #youthmonth in South Africa, it is only appropriate that we began the #100daysofAfricanReads with African authors under the age of 35 years.
Book: To quote myself by Khaya Dlanga
Book: Sweet Medicine by Panashe Chigumadzi
Book: The Pavement Bookword by Philani Dladla
Book: The Yearning by Mohale Mashigo
Book: The Reactive by Masande Ntshanga
***The Love of Reading***
You. You look like my next love poem.
The next syllable standing in the line
of inspiration. The iambic pentameter
to my heart beat. The depth to these
words. It’s all You. It’s True.
You. You feel like the next clause to my
smile. The breath captured in September
The book read in March.
You. You are the plural to us. The
punctuation to my disappointments. The one
word that the dictionary cant define. Yes.
You. You are the chocolate stain on this page. It
Cannot be removed. Its your smile. It’s your eyes.
That Plant yellow roses in swimming pools.
You. You look like my next love poem.
You. You are my mattress made of books. The
Author of many worlds. The scribe to
the language of my lips. The rhyming scheme
to my joy. You. You are the next line I shall read.
**May you find your love (book) at Afrokulcha’s bookstore, https://www.afrokulcha.co.za/ ***
A poem by Nompumelelo Mthethwa, written for Afrokulcha
Afrokulcha is an online shop that provides an African shopping experience to the discerning buyer. Afrokulcha was established with the sole purpose of bringing African products made by Africans to the world! The idea was formed with the stance of reclaiming our African heritage and showcasing it. The afrokulcha fashion line grew extensively and became what afrokulcha is now know for: an African fashion line that caters for everyday African fashion for men, women and kids.
Afrokulcha has now expanded to a literary focus by offering an online bookstore. This online book shop offers an interesting and informative buying experience. It allows you to buy books suited to your interests, while relaxing at home, at anytime of the day or night.
Whilst online book browsing and buying is indeed transforming the way readers and an author come together, Afrokulcha seeks to change the difficulty of finding African Authors in normal bookshops. Afrokulcha offers a huge variety of authors and titles, not only the popular ones but also the lesser known ones for the avid African reader.
Afrokulcha will be hosting a 100 day campaign to promote African authors and their books. This would be a digital campaign where authors, their books and reviews would be featured. As part of this campaign, African readers are encouraged to post pictures of them reading their favourite African author’s book.
Special features over the next 3 months will be done, and will be communicated in due course
According to Wikipedia, “The dashiki” is a colorful men’s garment widely worn in West Africa that covers the top half of the body. It has formal and informal versions and varies from simple draped clothing to fully tailored suits. A common form is a loose-fitting pullover garment, with an ornate V-shaped collar, and tailored and embroidered neck and sleeve lines.
The word “dashiki” has roots in Nigerian Yoruba and Hausa culture and is generally translated as “man’s shirt.” The Dashiki was made popular in the western parts of the world by Oba (Yoruba word for king) Ofuntola Oseijeman Adelabu Adefunmi, who was born Walter Eugene in Detroit, Michigan, USA in 1928. He became interested in African Studies at the age of 16, and travelled to Haiti at the age of 20 in order to be exposed to African religion from indigenous Africans. Soon after, he returned to the U.S. and began a small scale manufacturing business which included African attire, most notably dashikis. (Wikipedia)
Today, many African Fashion houses such as Afrokulcha, offer their clients dashiki in different styles – available online at www.afrokulcha.com
Dashiki fabrics, also known as Angel or Angelina fabric, are made in a variety of colours. The best quality of this fabric comes from West Africa in countries such as Ghana, Nigeria, Togo, Benin, Ivory Coast etc. There are many imitations that have surfaced from other countries such as China. Take caution!
Do it for Africa, For the love of dashiki, the love of African print.
Afrokulcha is proud to be the new stylist for Africa 360 show! Afrokulcha dresses the fabulous host Ms Kwangu Liwewe. The show airs on four platforms: eNews Channel Africa, The Africa Channel on the Sky platform in the UK, eAfrica and on www.enca.com/africa360 throughout the week.
Africa 360 is a weekly televised Pan-African current affairs show. The show presents a contemporary and authentic view of Africa. The show brings key insight into social progress, economic challenges and triumphs, as well as political inroads made in the continent. Africa 360 also brings viewers a fresh perspective on news and information from the continent. It features prominent Africans from different spheres of influence.
Kwangu Liwewe, has over fifteen years’ experience working in both the print and broadcast media. Kwangu’s journalism career kicked off when she was recruited to help pioneer Malawi’s first broadcast service. Her Master of Arts degree in International Journalism from City University in London, UK, coupled with her more recent work in West Africa, have seen Kwangu become an Africa reporter of considerable repute. Until December 2013 she was West Africa Bureau chief and took over as the anchor of Africa 360 in August 2014. She was also named as one of the 100 most influential Africans by the New African Magazine.
Afrokulcha is delighted and proud to be in partnership Africa 360
Over the years, women have been wrapping their heads for special occasions and traditional ceremonies, and on daily basis when at home or when hiding a bad hair day. Some might think that head wraps are the thing of the past, however as the world changes and the years pass by, new ways of wrapping heads keep getting innovative and head wraps have become very stylish.
The headwrap which originated in sub-Saharan Africa carried symbolic meaning in reference to spirituality, wealth, prosperity and class. Traditional headwraps such as these describe the essence of a woman in their cultures
In the 21st century, headwraps have evolved. They have become funky, fun and fashionable. They can be worn with casuals and smart outfits. Here some new Afrocentric styles
if this ain’t innovative, then I don’t know what is.