Five of SA’s best fiction books set to go head-to-head for the Barry Ronge prize

AFTER months of deliberation the shortlist for the Barry Ronge Fiction Prize, in association with Porcupine Ridge, has been revealed. The winner, who will receive R100 000, will be announced on Saturday, June 24.

The five shortlisted books are: The Printmaker by Bronwyn Law-Viljoen (Umuzi); Period Pain by Kopano Matlwa (Jacana Media); Little Suns by Zakes Mda (Umuzi); The Woman Next Door by Yewande Omotoso (Chatto & Windus); and The Safest Place You Know by Mark Winkler (Umuzi). Continue reading

Critical questions about South Africa raised in Alan Paton Award shortlist

nDnRQu7THE shortlist for the 2017 Sunday Times Alan Paton Literary Award has been revealed, writes Estelle Sinkins.

Contesting this year’s R100 000 prize, which will be revealed on June 24, will be: Under Nelson Mandela Boulevard – Life In Cape Town’s Stowaway Underground by Sean Christie; Darwin’s Hunch: Science, Race and the Search for Human Origins by Christa Kuljian; Murder at Small Koppie: The Real Story of The Marikana Massacre by Greg Marinovich; My Own Liberator: A Memoir by Dikgang Moseneke; and Letters of Stone: From Nazi Germany to South Africa by Steven Robins. Continue reading

Play about Whoonga drug crisis wins big at 2016 Durban Theatre Awards

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Ulwembu, a play which examines the Whoonga drug problem in KwaZulu-Natal, won five prizes at the Mercury Durban Theatre Awards. Photo: File

ULWEMBU, a play which tackles the serious consequences of the Whoonga (low grade heroin) drug problem in Durban, was one of the big winners at this year’s Mercury Durban Theatre Awards.

Over the course of 2015, award-winning playwright and director Neil Coppen (Tin Bucket Drum, Tree Boy, Abnormal Loads and Animal Farm), actress Mpume Mtombeni, KwaMashu-based community-theatre group, The Big Brotherhood, and educational sociologist, Dylan McGarry, set about exploring the crisis.

The result of the two-year research/play-making process was a powerful new theatre production, which gave audiences the opportunity to walk in the shoes of users, dealers, police officers, social-workers and parents of drug users. Continue reading

Six South African books nominated for the 2016 Etisalat Prize for Literature

SIX South African books have been long-listed for the 2016 Etisalat Prize for Literature, writes ESTELLE SINKINS.

They are: The Peculiars by Jen Thorpe (Penguin Random House); The Yearning by Mohale Mashigo (PanMacmillan, South Africa), Piggy Boy’s Blues by Nakhane Toure (Blackbird Books imprint of Jacana Media, SA), Dub Steps by Andrew Miller (Jacana Media, South Africa), The Seed Thief by Jacqui L’Ange (Umuzi Publishers, South Africa) and Nwezelenga: The Star Child by Unathi Magubeni (Black Bird Books Imprint of Jacana Media, South Africa). Continue reading

Check out all the nominees in the 2016 The Mercury Durban Theatre Awards

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The cast of KickStArt Theatre Company’s Into the Woods which is running at the Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre in Durban. Photo: Val Adamson

KickStArt Theatre Company has been rewarded with 54 nominations in this year’s The Mercury Durban Theatre Awards. The ceremony will be staged at the Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre on the University of KwaZulu-Natal’s Howard College campus at 7.30pm on Monday, November 21. Continue reading

Arts and Culture Trust jumpstarts matriculants’ careers in the arts

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ACT scholarship recipients, from left, Tamzin Williams, Virtuous Kandemiir and Robin Castle. Photo: John Hogg

Johannesburg’s iconic Market Theatre was abuzz both on and off the stage when performing arts matriculants were granted scholarships to pursue their dreams at tertiary level.

Six triple-threat scholars acted, danced and sang their way through the finals and all walked away with funding from the National Lotteries Commission (NLC), supported by the Dramatic, Artistic and Literary Organisation (DALRO) and the Nedbank Arts Affinity. Continue reading