Sunday Times Books LIVE Community Sign up

Login to Sunday Times Books LIVE

Forgotten password?

Forgotten your password?

Enter your username or email address and we'll send you reset instructions

Sunday Times Books LIVE

Wits University Press

@ Sunday Times Books LIVE

Archive for the ‘Video’ Category

Watch an interview with Mandla Mathebula, author of The Backroom Boy: Andrew Mlangeni’s Story

It probably took a fraction of a second from the knock – a single bang – to the opening of the door and the entry of an unexpected visitor into the room. They had just finished their lunch. The unannounced visitor … simply pretended that everything was normal. There he stood – unfazed and somehow gigantic in his presence. The room had suddenly been invaded by a man who was to be a landmark in the lives of the trainees …

The Backroom Boy
opens dramatically in China, 1962. Andrew Mlangeni is one of a small select group undergoing military training there. The unannounced visitor is Mao Tse-Tung or Chairman Mao as he was known, Chairman of the Communist Party of China.

Mlangeni was selected as one of the first-ever six members who received military training in China before the formation of Umkhonto we Sizwe. He seems to have been chosen because he was a dedicated, intelligent and dependable operative, rather than a leader. Even after his release after 25 years on Robben Island, Mlangeni was not given a senior position in the post-apartheid democratic government. ‘I was always the backroom boy,’ says Andrew Mlangeni about himself.

Andrew Mlangeni, is a struggle stalwart, Rivonia Trialist, and Robben Island prisoner 467/64 who was next door inmate to Nelson Mandela’s acclaimed 466/64 prison number. Released after 26 years of incarceration, he served as Member of Parliament, and is Chairman of the ANC’s Integrity Commission and Founder of the June and Andrew Mlangeni Foundation. With the passing of Ahmed Kathrada (March 2017), Mlangeni (91) is one of only two Rivonia Trialist still alive with Denis Goldberg.

While still at school, Andrew Mlangeni joined the Communist Party of South Africa and also the ANC Youth League. These were the organisations that shaped his values. Decades of resourceful activism were to lead to his arrest and life sentence in the Rivonia trial. Mlangeni’s lifelong commitment to the struggle for liberation reverberates with other biographies and memoirs of leading figures, such as Rusty Bernstein’s Memory Against Forgetting and Albie Sachs’ We, the People: Insights of an Activist Judge. This story of an ANC elder is a well-researched historical record overlaid with intensely personal refl ections which intersect with the political narrative. Above all, it is one man’s story, set in the maelstrom of the liberation struggle.

This biographical project has been developed for, and published in conjunction with, the June and Andrew Mlangeni Foundation.

The Backroom Boy is one of Wits University Press’ bestsellers.

Polity recently conducted an interview with Mandla Mathebula, the author of Backroom Boy. Watch the full clip here:

 

The Backroom Boy

Book details


» read article

Watch: Andrew Mlangeni on Morning Live

Backroom Boy is a riveting account of a long life in the struggle for freedom both before and after the attainment of democracy in 1994. It is a living account of the many turns and twists in the life of a cadre in the centre, but backstage of the struggle for freedom in South Africa.
— Siphamandla Zondi, professor and head of the school of Political Science at University of Pretoria

This book is a valuable and dependable source book to ANC and MK (uMkhonto we Sizwe ) history with a lot of factual information that would not be known to the general reader.
— Albie Sachs, retired Constitutional Court judge and author of We, the People: Insights of an activist judge

“It probably took a fraction of a second from the knock – a single bang – to the opening of the door and the entry of an unexpected visitor into the room. They had just finished their lunch. The unannounced visitor … simply pretended that everything was normal. There he stood – unfazed and somehow gigantic in his presence. The room had suddenly been invaded by a man who was to be a landmark in the lives of the trainees …”

The Backroom Boy opens dramatically in China, 1962. Andrew Mlangeni is one of a small select group undergoing military training there. The unannounced visitor is Mao Tse-Tung or Chairman Mao as he was known, Chairman of the Communist Party of China.

Mlangeni was selected as one of the first-ever six members who received military training in China before the formation of Umkhonto we Sizwe. He seems to have been chosen because he was a dedicated, intelligent and dependable operative, rather than a leader. Even after his release after 25 years on Robben Island, Mlangeni was not given a senior position in the post-apartheid democratic government. ‘I was always the backroom boy,’ says Andrew Mlangeni about himself.

Andrew Mlangeni, is a struggle stalwart, Rivonia Trialist, and Robben Island prisoner 467/64 who was next door inmate to Nelson Mandela’s acclaimed 466/64 prison number. Released after 26 years of incarceration, he served as Member of Parliament, and is Chairman of the ANC’s Integrity Commission and Founder of the June and Andrew Mlangeni Foundation. With the passing of Ahmed Kathrada (March 2017), Mlangeni (91) is one of only two Rivonia Trialist still alive with Denis Goldberg.

While still at school, Andrew Mlangeni joined the Communist Party of South Africa and also the ANC Youth League. These were the organisations that shaped his values. Decades of resourceful activism were to lead to his arrest and life sentence in the Rivonia trial. Mlangeni’s lifelong commitment to the struggle for liberation reverberates with other biographies and memoirs of leading figures, such as Rusty Bernstein’s Memory Against Forgetting and Albie Sachs’ We, the People: Insights of an Activist Judge. This story of an ANC elder is a well-researched historical record overlaid with intensely personal reflections which intersect with the political narrative. Above all, it is one man’s story, set in the maelstrom of the liberation struggle.

This biographical project has been developed for, and published in conjunction with, the June and Andrew Mlangeni Foundation.

Here Mlangeni discusses the book, his critique of the current government, and lack of unity in South Africa on Morning Live with Leanne Manas.


 
 

The Backroom Boy

Book details


» read article

“Oh We Had Fun”: Pioneering Documentary Photographer Omar Badsha Chats About His Life’s Work

One Hundred Years of the ANCEarlier this year, Omar Badsha, co-editor of One Hundred Years of the ANC: Liberation Histories and Democracy Today and one of South Africa’s most celebrated documentary photographers, sat down with Linda Fekisi to talk about his life’s work.

“Inyathi ibuzwa kwabaphambili! This Xhosa proverbs that means wisdom and knowledge is learnt from the elders, comes to mind as we speak. Omar Badsha, is a goldmine of an elder,” Fekisi writes in her article for The Journalist. During the interview they spoke about the photos he has taken, the meanings they have taken on (to him and others) and the things he has learned along the way.

“All photographs have different meanings to different people because you bring your own experiences to the image and you then read it. Firstly, from your standpoint and secondly you read it from the caption or vice versa. Then you react to the picture,” Badsha says.

Towards the end of the conversation Fekisi asks a poignant question: “What did the Struggle Generations do when they were not plotting to overthrow the apartheid government?” To which Badsha replies: “Oh we had fun.”

Read the article for more about this remarkable man:

He is a member of the post-Sharpeville generation of activist artists who, together with his close friend Dumile Feni, wrestled with the challenges that black artists and academics faced in a period of intensive repression during apartheid. Badsha rediscovered many of the works for the Seedtime exhibition, including a collection by Dumile Feni, in his father’s tiny flat after his death in 2003.

I am humbled as I sit down to talk with a man whose work exudes our recent history. I am worried because he is sharp. Has a critical eye for detail. I toy with comparing him with artistic greats but I dump the idea. He is iconic. Individualistic. Stands alone.

I leave his Woodstock apartment on a sunny winter afternoon with a tank full of knowledge. He has shared with me his new narrative for photography and has given me a glimpse into the frivolous activities of freedom fighters when they were not opposing apartheid. But I am getting ahead of myself.

Watch a video by SABC2 Eastern-angled lifestyle programme Mela about Badsha’s photography and life:

YouTube Preview Image

Book details

  • One Hundred Years of the ANC: Liberation Histories and Democracy Today edited by Arianna Lissoni, Jon Soske, Natasha Erlank, Noor Nieftagodien and Omar Badsha
    Book homepage
    EAN: 9781868145737
    Find this book with BOOK Finder!

» read article

Update on the #WitsFeesMustFall Student Protest, Plus a Video of Yesterday’s Meeting with Wits Council

South Africa's Suspended RevolutionRewolusie op ysNtwa ya Boitseko e Fanyehuweng ya Afrika BorwaInguqukombuso YeNingizimu Afrika Eyabondwa Yashiywa

 
A proposed 10.5 percent increase in student fees sparked a firestorm of protest at Wits University last week. Similar student protests are underway at UCT and Rhodes University, and are rumoured to be planned at a number of other tertiary institutions.

Adam Habib, vice-chancellor of Wits and author of South Africa’s Suspended Revolution, is engaged in negotiations with students in order to find a mutually acceptable solution, but he says the university is “caught in a bind”.

The proposed fee increase has been suspended, and a new arrangement is being sought. In order to facilitate much-needed dialogue, all classes were suspended at the university on Monday:

The university will still be closed on Monday for council to announce the decision to students at noon in a special assembly.

“This includes the suspension of all University activities including lectures, examinations, assessments, practicals, etc and will affect all students and staff on all campuses including the Medical School and affiliated hospitals,” the university said, as final exams approach.

Negotiations reached an unfortunate deadlock yesterday:

The university’s council members were expected to address the students outside at midday after suspending the 10.5 percent fee hike for 2016.

The meeting with council members was supposed to take place on the steps of the Great Hall, but after arguing with security, students made their way into the building, breaking one of the glass doors in the process.

eNCA covered yesterday’s events. Watch the video:

YouTube Preview Image

Book details


» read article

Penny Siopis Looks Back on Her Work with the Sense that “Time is not Really Linear” (Video)

Penny SiopisPenny Siopis was recently featured on Morning Live to speak about her latest exhibition, Time and Again.

The exhibition, which is also the subject of Penny Siopis: Time and Again edited by Gerrit Olivier, is a retrospective of Siopis’ work.

In her conversation with Lebo Thinane, Siopis explains what the phrase “Time and again” means to her. She says when you look back at your work, “you don’t just see time unfolding, and your work as an artist developing in a logical way.”

Usually, Siopis says, there is a “pattern of going back and repeating similar things, but in fact it’s never the same,” giving the sense that “time is not really linear”.

Watch the video:

YouTube Preview Image

Book details


» read article

Watch the Film Adaptation of Nothing But the Truth by John Kani

Nothing But the TruthNothing But the Truth is a one-man play that was written by John Kani, one of South African theatre’s great actors.

The play was adapted to film in 2008, and stars the playwright as the lead character. The story is about the contrast between black South Africans who remained in South Africa through apartheid, and those who lived in exile during the trying time.

Kani plays a man called Sipho, who is planning the funeral of his younger brother Themba, who lived in England was regarded as a struggle hero. The events of the story bring the rivalry between the two brothers to the fore and deals with the ambiguities of early post-apartheid South Africa.

Walter Phosa has shared a the full movie on YouTube:

YouTube Preview Image

Book details


» read article

John Kani Recalls Meeting Nelson Mandela: “He Called Me the Native Who Caused All the Trouble”

Nothing But the TruthLiving theatre legend and author of Nothing But the Truth John Kani is one of the 21 Icons featured in Adrian Steirn’s eponymous project.

During a recent event hosted by the City of Tshwane in honour of this project and aimed at raising funds for the charities of the icons’ preference, News24 spoke to Kani about his iconic career and his inclusion in this project.

Kani also shared his personal memories of Nelson Mandela, the original icon featured by Steirn. “I say to my great-grandchildren that I lived at the same time as Nelson Mandela. That enough is an achievement. I met him when he came out of prison and he called me ‘the native who caused all the trouble’,” Kani said.

Watch the video for more on Kani’s relationship with Madiba, his career, this project and his outlook on South Africa:

YouTube Preview Image

To see Steirn’s work, and the spectacular feature on Kani, visit the 21 Icons website:

“I realised that I could use the stage, I could use art, and I could use theatre as power to continue my struggle for liberation.”

Book details


» read article

“If We Don’t Have the Money, Where do we Find the Money?” Adam Habib on Wits Funding “Challenge”

South Africa's Suspended RevolutionRewolusie op ysInguqukombuso YeNingizimu Afrika Eyabondwa YashiywaNtwa ya Boitseko e Fanyehuweng ya Afrika Borwa

 
Adam Habib, Vice-Chancellor of Wits University and author of South Africa’s Suspended Revolution (available in four languages), was featured in an SABC News story about the need for the problems around financial aid for students at tertiary institutions that rear up every year.

Faced with scores of students frustrated by uncertain funding, Habib is himself frustrated.

“If we have the cash, we will make it available,” Habib insists. “But if we don’t have the money, where do we find the money? That is the historic challenge, and that’s the conversation that’s required by society in this historical moment.”

Watch the video:

YouTube Preview Image

Book details


» read article

Video: Adam Habib Discusses Lessons to be Learned from the Struggle at the Institute of Social Studies in The Hague

South Africa's Suspended RevolutionRewolusie op ysInguqukombuso YeNingizimu Afrika Eyabondwa YashiywaNtwa ya Boitseko e Fanyehuweng ya Afrika Borwa

Adam Habib, vice chancellor of the University of Witwatersrand and author of South Africa’s Suspended Revolution, recently delivered a lecture at the Institute of Social Studies in The Hague.

The Institute of Social Studies has shared a video of the lecture, which was the principal event of the exhibition Signs of Solidarity – The Dutch against apartheid.

South Africa’s Suspended Revolution is available in Afrikaans as Rewolusie op ys, in Zulu as Inguqukombuso YeNingizimu Afrika Eyabondwa Yashiywa and in Sotho as Ntwa ya Boitseko e Fanyehuweng ya Afrika Borwa.

Habib is introduced as a public scholar – an intellectual who combines academic work with engagement in his context in order to bring about social and political transformation. In this lecture the book is used as a point of departure in a discussion of solidarity, how it worked in the anti-apartheid movement and how the principles might be applied today.

Watch the video:
YouTube Preview Image

Book details


» read article