Friday, March 09, 2007

Launch of "The face of the spirit: Illuminating a century of essays by South African women"

The book is much more than I expected. As I previously mentioned, the anthology of essays catalogue the lives of SA women for the past 100 years, and commemorates the 50th anniversary of the women’s march against the extension of passes [apartheid type ID document] by the apartheid government.

Contributors include women who made their mark in the SA consciousness as anti-apartheid activists, writers, politicians and businesswomen such as Helen Joseph, Olive Schreiner, Lauretta Ncqobo, Ruth First, Zanele Mbeki [ wife of President Thabo Mbeki], Frene Ginwala, Ellen Kuzwayo, Ferryal Haffajee, Antjie Krog, Wendy Luhabe and Helen Suzman.

The book also includes unknown women/writers such as myself. It feels weird to see my name among such greats. I also feel honoured that my essay was chosen for a watershed publication such as this one. It's the kind of book that is kept/collected for historical purpose.

I'm still not sure what the distribution points for the book are. The people responsible for the publishing process were not very communicative.I don't even know whether they plan to sell it through bookstores, or offer it for free to their stakeholders.

Giving voice to the silent

The face of the spirit was launched alongside Tshimangadzo Mufumakadzi wa Afrika – age of hope poetry collection.

The Department of Arts and Culture held a series of workshops, as well as a nationwide poetry competition.

Girls from schools, group homes, even correctional facilities were coached and encouraged to write poetry. Winning entries from all 9 provinces were collated into the Tshimangadzo anthology.

Watching the girls walk up to the stage to collect their prizes – the glow of happiness and pride – was definitely worth attending the event. For the girls, this was a very important moment.

Introducing Standi

Today I also met a hardworking young man who is determined to change the world – or at least his little corner of it.[ see top left picture]

Moshangane Manzini juggles a fulltime corporate career [how we met] with being one half of music group Standi and being a motivational speaker.

If you want to read about Standi, or buy their music, click here.

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