UKZN Press book launches at the Hilton Arts Festival


UKZN Press will present three book launches, featuring four dynamic and interesting writers and engaging speakers at the Hilton Festival, which runs from September 16 to 18 at Hilton College.

Zulu Plant Names by Adrian Koopman

In this book Koopman details the complex relationship between plants, the Zulu language and Zulu culture.

Zulu plant names do not just identify plants, they tell us a lot more about the plant, or how it is perceived or used in Zulu culture. The plant name umhlulambazo (‘what defeats the axe’) tells us that this is a tree with hard, dense wood, and that usondelangange (‘come closer so I can embrace you’) is a tree with large thorns that snag the passer-by.

Plants used as the base of love-charms have names that are particularly colourful, such as unginakile (‘she has noticed me’), and the wonderfully named ungcingci-wafika-umntakwethu (‘how happy I am that you have arrived, my sweetheart!’).

Then there are those plant names that are just plain intriguing, if not mystifying: umakhandakansele (‘the heads of Mr Ratel’), and intombikayibhinci (‘the girl does not wear clothes’).

Koopman is an Emeritus Professor at the University of KwaZulu-Natal.

The launch takes place in the CFI Lecture Theatre at 12 pm on Saturday, September 17. Entry R80.


Writing Home: Lewis Nkosi on South African Writing, edited by Lindy Stiebel and Michael Chapman

Nkosi’s insights into SA literature, culture and society first appeared in the 1950s, when the ‘new’ urban African in Sophiatown and on Drum magazine mockingly opposed Verwoerd’s Bantu retribalisation policies.

Having lived for 40 years in exile, he returned to South Africa, intermittently, after the unbannings of 1990. His critical eye, however, never left home.

Writing home with wit, irony and moral toughness Nkosi assesses a range of leading writers, including Herman Charles Bosman, Breyten Breytenbach, J.M. Coetzee, Athol Fugard, Nadine Gordimer, Bessie Head, Alex La Guma, Bloke Modisane, Es’kia Mphahlele, Nat Nakasa, Njabulo S. Ndebele, Alan Paton and Can Themba.

Lindy Stiebel and Michael Chapman introduce the writer and his work.

Stiebel is a professor of English Studies at the University of KwaZulu-Natal; and Chapman is an emeritus professor and fellow of the University of KwaZulu-Natal.

The launch takes place in the CFI Lecture Theatre at 1.30 pm on Saturday, September 17. Tickets R80.


Diaspora and Identity in South African Fiction by J.U. Jacobs

SA identities, as they are represented in the contemporary SA novel are not homogeneous but fractured and often conflicted: African, Afrikaner, ‘coloured’, English, and Indian – none can be regarded as rooted or pure, whatever essentialist claims members of these various ethnic and cultural communities might want to make for them.

All of them are deeply divided and have arisen, directly or indirectly, out of the experience of diasporic displacement, migration and relocation, from the colonial, African and Indian diasporas to present-day migrations into and out of SA and diasporic dislocations within Africa.

This study of twenty works by twelve contemporary South African novelists – Breytenbach, Coetzee, Gordimer, Hassim, Heyns, Joubert, Mda, Ndebele, Schoeman, Schonstein Pinnock, Vladislaviç and Wicomb – shows how diaspora is a dominant theme in contemporary SA fiction, and the diasporic subject its most recognisable figure.

Jacobs is Emeritus Professor of English, Senior Research Associate and Fellow of the University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban.

The launch takes place in the CFI Lecture Theatre at 3 pm on Saturday, September 17. Tickets R80.

For more information, visit or like the Facebook page, Hilton Arts Festival. Follow us on Twitter @HiltonFest or download our free APP Hilton Arts Festival for both Android and IOS.

Inquiries: 033 383 0126/7 or email




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