The Best of African Folklore by Phyllis Savory


Africa has a wonderfully rich store of folk tales that have been passed down from one generation to the next. There are stories about how the world came into being, stories that tell of the relationships between human beings and between man and his environment, and of the lessons to be learned from everyday experience. The tales are like the fairy tales told all over the world, but they have a strong African flavour that is as real as the smell of rain on hot earth.

Now in a revised format with an updated cover, The Best of African Folklore takes the reader into an enchanted world where animals can talk and humans are often changed into different forms, where magic is commonplace and reality is turned delightfully on its head. Despite numerous setbacks, things usually turn out all right in the end. Wicked and greedy people (and animals) come off worst and the good receive their just rewards. The gods are stern but fair, and every story has a moral for those who are wise enough to see it. 

About the Author

The late Phyllis Savory was a well-established collector and reteller of African tales. This, her last collection of folklore, comprises 39 stories drawn from all parts of southern Africa and further afield. Illustrated with detailed drawings by Gina Daniel, it will delight adults as well as children. True to the spirit of African stories, the tales are especially suitable for reading aloud.

Published by Struik Lifestyle (An imprint of Random House Struik)

ISBN: 9781432303426

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The Missing Piece by Kevin Lings


The Missing Piece is an important contribution to the debate on how best to address the structural problems that have plagued the South African economy. Kevin Lings not only documents the many social and economic achievements of the post-apartheid government, but identifies the key areas in which the country has not performed adequately and suggests some potential solutions.’

– DR SIBUSISO SIBISI, CEO, Council for Scientific and Industrial Research

At the time of South Africa’s first democratic election in 1994 it was clear that the structure of the economy had to change and that land ownership, employment opportunities and access to essential services had to match more closely the needs of the entire population.

The Missing Piece: Solving South Africa’s Economic Puzzle explores various aspects of the South African economy over the past 20 years – what has worked and what has fallen short. It also looks into the next 20 years to see what needs to be done in order to put together the four pieces of our economy identified by Kevin Lings that will allow us to complete the puzzle and place South Africa on a higher potential growth path. This involves focusing on business development, redressing education policies, improving the use of technology, addressing our infrastructural backlog and developing a closer relationship with the rest of Africa.

The practical policy proposals in The Missing Piece set it apart from other titles on the South African economy, while providing an accessible and comprehensive overview of the pertinent issues.

The Missing Piece – Solving South Africa’s Economic Puzzle


About the Author

Kevin Lings

KEVIN LINGS has been the chief economist at STANLIB for the past 13 years and has analysed the South African economy for the past 25 years. As a core member of the STANLIB investment team, his economic research and assessments directly inform the company’s asset investment strategy. This is his first book.

View Kevin‘s website HERE

Follow Kevin on Twitter @Lingskevin

Published by Pan Macmillan South Africa

ISBN: 9781770103764

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My Lion’s Heart by Gareth Patterson


Gareth Patterson’s long-awaited autobiography My Lion’s Heart is a moving account of one man’s single-minded dedication to the preservation of Africa’s wildlife. It is also a stark reminder that if the human race does not want to lose Africa’s priceless wild heritage there is no time to waste.

Says Gareth: ‘My Lion’s Heart is my tenth book, and is probably the most important book I have written. It tells my life story, a story of tears and smiles, about my attempts to greater protect the iconic animal symbol of this continent, the African lion.’

Environmentalist, independent researcher and author, Gareth has spent his entire adult life working tirelessly for the greater protection of African wildlife and, more particularly, for that of the lion. Born in England in 1963, Gareth grew up in Nigeria and Malawi.

From an early age he knew where his life’s path would take him – it would be in Africa, and his life’s work would be for the cause of the African wilderness and its wild inhabitants. His is an all-encompassing African story. From his childhood in West and East Africa to his study of a threatened lion population in a private reserve in Botswana to his work with George Adamson, celebrated as the ‘Lion Man’ of Africa, we witness Gareth’s growing commitment to his life’s mission.

This is nowhere more evident than in his account of his life as a human member of a lion pride, experiencing life and death through its eyes, as he successfully rehabilitated three famous orphaned lion cubs back into a life in the wilds. At considerable risk to his own personal safety, he exposed the sordid canned lion ‘industry’ in South Africa, bringing this shameful practice to international attention. After moving to the Western Cape he took up the fight for the African elephant, notably the unique endangered Knysna population, and published his astonishing findings in his 2009 book The Secret Elephants.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, given the stressful nature of his work, Gareth suffered a massive physical and mental breakdown in his forties, which he discusses here for the first time with an openness that underlines his courage. Lesser men might have been broken, but his ‘lion’s heart’ fought back and he ultimately overcame his illness.

View the official book trailer below, and watch it twice – the first time round read the words, the second time round listen to the lyrics of the song.

Gareth Patterson will be launching his autobiography My Lion’s Heart – A Life for the Lions of Africa on Thursday the 23rd of October, at 18h30


View My Lion’s Heart‘s Facebook page HERE

View My Lion’s Heart‘s website HERE

About the Author


Gareth Patterson is known internationally for his efforts to greater protect the lions and elephants of Africa. His wildlife work has featured widely in the media, books and in documentaries. His books have been published in many editions and languages worldwide.

Patterson was the recipient of the Operation Survival Award and of the prestigious Cape Times Environmental Award. He has been an adjudicator for the SAB Environmental Journalist of the Year Awards.

The Search for the Knysna Elephants, a documentary about Patterson‘s findings on the remarkable Knysna elephants, has been screened internationally by Animal Planet.  He is continuing his research on the elephants, as well as undertaking field work on the existence of another mysterious denizen of the southern Cape, the previously unknown about coastal leopards.

A highly self-motivated person who lives by the adage ‘Never give up’, Patterson delivers inspiring presentations and talks drawn from his life and experiences.

View Gareth‘s website HERE

Published by Tracey McDonald Publishers

ISBN: 9780620601337

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Perfect Parties by Janet Kohler


Perhaps readers have reached that point in their lives where they’d really love to entertain their friends with a little more flair and sophistication, but feel quite intimidated by the prospect. Maybe their children are nagging them to arrange really fun birthday parties for them, but the very thought has the parents quaking. Possibly someone is getting married and would love a beautiful wedding reception but simply can’t stretch the budget to an expensive wedding planner or caterer. 

Janet Kohler is a perfectionist with an attention to detail that is quite breathtaking. With the assistance of stylist extraordinaire Penelope Mitchell, in Perfect Parties she presents a dazzling array of  inspirational party ideas, complemented by delicious recipes. She also guides the reader through every aspect of a party, whether it’s a birthday, engagement, picnic, baby shower, wedding or high tea, or just the family Christmas celebration. From choosing a theme; through décor and preparation countdowns; right down to the step-by-step recipes – it’s all there, lavishly illustrated with beautiful photography.

Click HERE to find out more about the book and to view some page spreads.  

About the Author


Originally an economist, Janet Kohler decided to follow her heart and train as a cordon bleu chef, but now as a stay-at-home mother of young children, she runs her own cookery school from her home in Durban.

View Janet‘s website HERE

View Janet‘s Facebook page HERE and follow her on Twitter @JanetKohlerBake

Published by Struik Lifestyle (An imprint of Random House Struik)

ISBN: 9781432303167

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Here Comes the Snake in the Grass by Eric Miyeni


Did Mandela work for nothing?’
‘Mr Sushi comes to town’
‘Give me a corrupt black any day’

These are just some of Eric Miyeni’s newspaper columns and opinion pieces, which have earned him friends and enemies alike. Known for his straight-talking frankness, his views on subjects ranging from politics and travel to big business and sport elicit strong responses.

Here Comes the Snake in the Grass is a selection of Eric Miyeni’s columns and occasional writings covering a variety of topics, from Julius Malema, Oprah Winfrey and Brenda Fassie to the value of radio, the true cost of crime, the need for excellence in South Africa and the difficulty of finding love in the modern world. Some of the writings in this collection court controversy, addressing issues many want hidden from view; others provide glimpses of the writer’s softer side. All show why Eric Miyeni’s is an unmistakeable voice in the South African media.

Alternately hard-hitting and personal, rousing and funny, Here Comes the Snake in the Grass is an entertaining and informative look at the South African cultural landscape.

About the Author


Eric Miyeni is an actor, writer and filmmaker. He is best known for his roles as Darryl Malgas in the tv series Molo Fish and as Absalom Khumalo in the movie Cry, the Beloved Country. He has written four works of non-fiction, including the bestselling The Only Black at a Dinner Party, and a novel, The Release. In 2010 he produced, co-wrote and co-directed the documentary Mining for Change: A Story of South African Mining. He lives in Johannesburg.

Follow Eric on Twitter @Ericmiyeni

View Eric‘s Facebook page HERE

Published by Umuzi (An imprint of Random House Struik)

ISBN: 9781415207055

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Brain Porn: The Best of Daily Maverick

Daily Maverick, the country’s leading online news service, has been making sense of the madness that is South African reality for the past five years. Brain Porn offers the best of their irreverent writing.


Its team of highly respected journalists and contributors includes Stephen Grootes, Ranjeni Munusamy, Pierre de Vos, Jay Naidoo, Ivo Vegter and Alex Eliseev. With their anti-establishment attitude and a “stuff you” approach to political spin-doctoring, they spare no-one as they dissect daily news events and people in the news. Expect well-argued opinions and fresh analysis on the issues that move people.

All the usual suspects are on the list: the President, the Commander-in-Chief, the Blade Runner, the Public Protector, the DA’s election dramas, the firepool at Nkandla, etolls, Marikana, but this time written about in a way that will challenge your accepted beliefs and dare you to think differently.

These superbly written essays offer insight into not only the wheeling and dealing that goes on in politics, but also into our societal dynamics and why we get up to the crazy things we sometimes do as a nation.

Whether you’re a news junkie or just want to hold your own over lunchtime conversation, you can’t afford not to read this book.

View the Daily Maverick website HERE

Follow the Daily Maverick on Twitter @dailymaverick and like their Facebook page HERE

Published by Tafelberg (An imprint of Random House Struik)

ISBN: 9780624070672

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The Reactive by Masande Ntshanga

In a city that has lost its shimmer, Lindanathi and his two friends Ruan and Cecelia sell illegal pharmaceuticals while chasing their next high.


Lindanathi, deeply troubled by his hand in his brother’s death, has turned his back on his family, until a message from home reminds him of a promise he made years before.

When a puzzling masked man enters their lives, Lindanathi is faced with a decision: continue his life in Cape Town, or return to his family and to all he has left behind.

Rendered in lyrical, bright prose and set in a not-so-new South Africa, The Reactive is a poignant, life-affirming story about secrets, memory, chemical abuse and family, and the redemption that comes from facing what haunts us most.

About the Author


Masande Ntshanga is the winner of the 2013 pen International New Voices Award. He was born in East London in 1986 and graduated with a degree in Film and Media and an Honours degree in English Studies from UCT, where he became a creative writing fellow, completing his Masters in Creative Writing under the Mellon Mays Foundation. He received a Fulbright Award and an NRF Freestanding Masters scholarship. His stories have appeared in Laugh It Off, itch, Imago and Habitat. He has also written for Rolling Stone magazine.

Follow Masande on Twitter @Mntshanga

Published by Umuzi (An imprint of Random House Struik)

ISBN: 9781415207192

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Comedy Club by Jeremy Nell

Jeremy Nel - Comedy Club LR

Award-winning cartoonist Jerm’s spot-on analysis and commentary provide a highly entertaining way to digest the buffoonery of politics in South Africa. No one, neither left nor right, in government or opposition, can escape the acerbic observations of this provocative artist.

Jeremy Nell’s work has appeared in several online and offline publications, such as the Sunday Times, eNCA, TIME, The Star, and others.

About the Author

Jeremy Nel

Jerm (Jeremy Nell) is an award-winning cartoonist, satirist, and social commentator, with work featuring in publications online and offline, like Sunday Times, The StarCity PressRapport, Beeld,The Times, FHMPlayboyRolling StoneTIMEDaily MaverickThe New AgeCosmopolitanEyewitness News and others. His work has also appeared in Belgian, Spanish, Dutch, and Indian publications.

Click HERE to visit the Jerm website and HERE to like his Facebook page.

Or, follow him on Twitter HERE.

Published by Penguin Books SA

ISBN: 9780143539162

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Weeping Waters by Karin Brynard

Karin Brynard - Weeping Waters LR

Inspector Albertus Beeslaar has left the ruthless city, only to have his hopes of finding peace and quiet in the Kalahari shattered by the brutal murder of artist Freddie Swarts and her adopted daughter.

But Freddie’s journalist sister Sara is not convinced that this was a typical farm attack.

Amid a spate of stock thefts, Beeslaar must solve this high-profile crime, all the while training his two rookie partners, Ghaap and Pyl.

After more murders, the disturbing puzzle grows increasingly sinister, as age-old secrets and hostilities surface, spurring the local inhabitants to violent action. No one is above suspicion, not least the mysterious Bushman farm manager and falconer, Dam.

Weeping Waters is Maya Fowler and Isobel Dixon’s translation of the Afrikaans bestseller Plaasmoord, a novel that peels away the layers of a landscape steeped in conflict, and hails the arrival of a bright new voice in South African crime fiction available in English.

About the Author


Karin Brynard is the author of the novels Plaasmoord and Onse vaders. She has won several literary awards, including the University of Johannesburg Debut Prize and two M-Net Awards. She is a journalist and has worked as political correspondent for Rapport for many years. She lives in Stellenbosch. 

Photo credit: Ansie Zondagh du Toit

View Karin‘s Facebook page HERE

Follow Karin on Twitter @karinbrynard

Published by Penguin Books

ISBN: 9780143539124

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Third World Child by GG Alcock

Third World Child is about living in South Africa in the time of apartheid and also living here today – about being truly African even as a white person.  It is about the adventures, the cultural challenges and the future possibilities of South Africa. 

Cover - Third World Child LR

Says GG, ‘This is the story of my world or, more accurately, the worlds in which I live.’

GG Alcock’s story mirrors that of many of his people, the journey of a tribal society learning to embrace the first world. He does not shy away from the violence and death that coloured his childhood years surrounded by savage faction fighting, nor how they affected his adult life. His story is one of heartbreak and tragedy and, paradoxically, of vibrant hope and compassion. A restless energy and sardonic humour permeate his writing, which is compelling in its honesty and spontaneity.

GG’s parents, Creina and Neil, were humanitarians who gave up comfortable lives to move to rural Zululand. In a place called Msinga they lived and worked among the Mchunu and Mthembu tribes, fighting for the rights of people displaced by the apartheid government’s policy of ‘forced removals’. They also fought against the corruption of police and government officials, as well as local farmers, which did not sit well with their white fellow citizens.

When GG was fourteen his father was assassinated by rival tribesmen.

GG’s early life in rural Zululand in the 1970s and 80s can only be described as unique. He and his brother Khonya, both initially home-schooled by their mother, grew up as Zulu kids, herding goats and playing with the children of their neighbours, learning to speak fluent Zulu, learning to become Zulu men under the guidance of Zulu elders, and learning the customs and history of their adopted tribes. Armed with their father’s only legacy – the skills to survive in Africa – both young men were ultimately forced to move into the ‘white’ world which was largely unknown to them.

Astonishing. Alcock has written the first report from the next South Africa. You might think you know South Africa, but this book will show you otherwise.’RIAN MALAN, author of My Traitor’s Heart

View the Third World Child website HERE

About the Author

GG Alcock Photo-01

GG Alcock has been at times a shebeen owner, political activist, community worker and African adventurer. Today he is the CEO of Minanawe Marketing, a division of The Creative Counsel. Minanawe is the leading activations agency in the South African mass market, where GG’s singular upbringing has given him the ability to unearth unique insights and creatively apply these to marketing solutions for a number of multi-national companies.

GG is very happily married to Sue, and has two beautiful blonde daughters, Zandi and Consi, for whom he insists in Zulu fashion he can expect a lot of lobola one of these days. GG lives in Joburg although his love of Africa leads him on many explorations of the continent. His staff is convinced that he never works but spends as much time as possible on one or other adventure – motorcycling across deserts and mountains, mountain biking among Zulu villages, paragliding or kayaking. ‘It’s not true,’ says GG. ‘I don’t spend enough time doing this!’

Courtesy of Tracey McDonald Publishers, view the official book trailer below: 

View GG‘s travel blog HERE

View GG‘s Facebook page HERE

Published by Tracey McDonald Publishers

ISBN: 9780620595346

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