Whispers from the Depths by Liz Wickins and Mike Wickins


Whispers from the Depths, written by Liz Wickins and Mike Wickins, is the story of the building of Kariba Dam in the mid-1950s, but it focuses as much, if not more, on the significant consequences of the project, most notably on the inhabitants of the area, and the wildlife.

It covers a brief history of the two main countries involved, modern day Zimbabwe and Zambia, explaining the political circumstances surrounding the decision to dam the Zambezi for hydro-electric power. The primary driver was to the demand created by the burgeoning copper industry in Zambia, which was being hamstrung at the time, by unreliable power supply. In engineering terms, the project was massively ambitious for its time, and would take 5 years to complete, despite the many setbacks it faced. At the time, the pyramids of Egypt were considered the only man-made structures in Africa bigger than the mammoth dam wall. The challenges of location and weather were huge and the consequences far-reaching, which gives this story great dimension.

As the reservoir began to fill, animals got trapped on newly formed islands which led to ‘Operation Noah’ which was the rescue of these animals.  As part of examining the consequences of building the dam, the facts have been extended to current times.

The heart of the book however, surrounds an estimated 57 000 Tonga people, who had lived alongside the Zambezi in the Gwembe valley for centuries. They would be forcibly removed from the valley to make way for the gargantuan reservoir that was to form. They were people driven by ancestral worship who had to walk away from family graves and spiritual sites that are now buried in the depths of Kariba waters.  That is what motivated the title for this book. The book describes the Tonga people before and after resettlement, showing them to be a good natured people with a complex and interesting culture. Resettlement was not always kind and led to great hardship and the book seeks to demonstrate the failing in proper planning and care for them.

Hopefully it will provide a lesson to be remembered for the future.

View the Whispers from the Depths website HERE

About the Authors


Liz Wickins has always lived in Johannesburg. Her writing was originally inspired by the need to tell the story of the life of her son, Jonathan, who was born with Down syndrome and has since passed away. This was the start of putting thoughts on paper.

She stumbled onto the subject of Kariba while researching another book and became totally fascinated and engrossed and has felt a very strong commitment to tell the story of Kariba as she believes South Africans deserve to know about it.


Mike Wickins was born and raised in Johannesburg, where he also qualified as a lawyer, a field in which he practiced for several years, before joining an investment bank, where he currently works in the field of Energy finance.

Mike became involved in writing Whispers from the Depths when Liz Wickins, his aunt, told him of the story she was researching.

Mike is married to Vanessa and they have three children.

Published by Tracey McDonald Publishers

ISBN:  9780994658647

All This Has Nothing To Do With Me by Monica Sabolo

‘Set to be one of the coolest novels of the year’ Stylist


When journalist ‘MS’ interviews the mysterious ‘XX’ for a job at her magazine, she hires him straight away – because he’s gorgeous.

As one date leads to another, her obsession spirals. MS finds herself writing letters to Facebook (to see if XX can tell how many times she views his page), to her phone company (can they delete messages she regrets sending?) and to XX’s favourite author (who is dead), whilst the object of her affection remains aloof, a moodily seductive Vespa-riding urbanite.

All This Has Nothing To Do With Me is an exposé of a broken heart. With full access to MS’s photos, diary extracts and emails, it documents MS and XX’s relationship from jubilant start to painful finish, and lays out her life – and past – for our scrutiny.

Highly original, extremely funny, and darkly moving, this is an unputdownable glimpse into the depths of one woman’s psyche.

About the Author


Monica Sabolo is a journalist and writer, and was until recently the editor in chief for the cultural pages of Grazia in France. She lives in Paris.

Her novel All This Has Nothing To Do With Me won France’s Prix de Flore in 2013.

View Monica‘s Facebook page HERE and follow her on Twitter HERE

Published by Pan Macmillan

ISBN: 9781447274964

How Long Will South Africa Survive? by R W Johnson


In 1977, RW Johnson’s best-selling How Long Will South Africa Survive? provided a controversial and highly original analysis of the survival prospects of apartheid. Now, after more than twenty years of ANC rule, he believes the situation has become so critical that the question must be posed again.

‘The big question about ANC rule’, he writes, ‘is whether African nationalism would be able to cope with the challenges of running a modern industrial economy. Twenty years of ANC rule have shown conclusively that the party is hopelessly ill-equipped for this task. Indeed, everything suggests that South Africa under the ANC is fast slipping backward and that even the survival of South Africa as a unitary state cannot be taken for granted.The fundamental reason why the question of regime change has to be posed is that it is now clear that South Africa can either choose to have an ANC government or it can have a modern industrial economy. It cannot have both.’

Johnson’s analysis is strikingly original and cogently argued. He has for several decades now been the senior international commentator on South African affairs, known for his lucid analysis and complete lack of deference towards the conventional wisdom.

About the Author


R W Johnson is an Emeritus Fellow of Magdalen College, Oxford, and was the only South African Rhodes Scholar to return to live in South Africa after the fall of apartheid. He has published twelve books, scores of academic articles and innumerable articles for the international press. His former students include three members of the current British cabinet, an editor of The Economist and a large number of leading academics and journalists. He lives in Cape Town.

View R W Johnson‘s website HERE

Published by Jonathan Ball Publishers

ISBN: 9781868426348

The Honours by Tim Clare


1935. Norfolk. War is looming in Great Britain and the sprawling country estate of Alderberen Hall is shadowed by suspicion and paranoia.

Thirteen-year-old Delphine Venner is determined to uncover the secrets of the Hall’s elite society, which has taken in her gullible mother and unstable father. As she explores the house and discovers the secret network of hidden passages that thread through the estate, Delphine uncovers a world more dark and threatening than she ever imagined.

With the help of head gamekeeper Mr Garforth, Delphine must learn the bloody lessons of war and find the soldier within herself in time to battle the deadly forces amassing in the woods …

The Honours is a dark, glittering and dangerously unputdownable novel which invites you to enter a thrilling and fantastical world unlike any other.

About the Author


Tim Clare is a performance poet based in the UK. He was born in 1981, and grew up in Portishead, in South-West England. He heads up Homework, a regular poetry night in Bethnal Green and has an MA in Creative Writing from UEA. As a stand-up poet, Tim has performed nationwide including at the Edinburgh Fringe and countless festivals. He has appeared on TV, Radio and has written for the Guardian, The Times, The Independent, The Big Issue and Writing magazine, amongst others. This is his debut novel.

View Tim‘s website HERE

Like Tim‘s Facebook page HERE and follow him on Twitter HERE

Published by Penguin Random House

ISBN: 9781782114765

Eugene de Kock: Assassin for the State by Anemari Jansen

Eugene De Kock_Eng_300dpi

‘One day I summoned all my courage: ‘Eugene, how does it feel to kill another human being?’

His facial muscles involuntarily pulled in horror. ‘The person, the victim, gives off a smell,’ he says. ‘Even today I can still recall that smell. It makes me nauseous to the core of my being; that particular smell of fear that bursts through a person’s pores and his body fluid.’”

The blood of several anti-apartheid activists is on Eugene de Kock’s hands and for most South Africans he represents prime evil.

Is there any humaneness to be found in the man who many call a monster; and how did he come to be an ‘assassin for the state’? Anemari Jansen went in search of answers by looking at De Kock’s strict upbringing, his first exposure to gruesome scenes as a young police officer on the East Rand and in the Border War where he became a hunter of people.

Jansen had exclusive access to De Kock’s family as well as former Koevoet and Vlakplaas colleagues. She paints a picture of a highly intelligent but complex individual who was an outsider since childhood.

Jansen also quotes extensively from De Kock’s diaries and an unpublished manuscript. In his own words, De Kock is scathingly honest and he doesn’t shy away from describing atrocities in detail or identifying the superiors from whom he received his orders.

The book sketches an era and the environment in which Vlakplaas took place, but also offers a unique insight into De Kock’s soul and his humanity.

About the Author


Anemari Jansen is a published writer of fiction who published her first nonfiction title on the life of Eugene de Kock in 2014. Her debut nove, Glipstroom, was also published in 2014 by Tafelberg,

She first met De Kock in 2011 while he was incarcerated and went on a journey to get to know De Kock as a person and to better understand the events during the apartheid years. Her research took her to all the corners of South Africa and brought her into contact with many former members of Koevoet and Vlakplaas.

View Anemari‘s Facebook page HERE and follow her on Twitter HERE

Published by Tafelberg (An imprint of NB Publishers)

ISBN: 9780624070276

Eat Smart for Sport (2nd Ed.) by Liesbet Delport & Paula Volschenk


Eat Smart for Sport is a practical guide to what, how much and when to eat when competing in sport, whether you are an amateur, a professional sportsperson or a concerned parent. Simply go to the tables at the back of the book and see how many carb, protein and fat units you need in a day to maintain or lose weight if you do up to 5 hours of exercise per day. Additional food tables tell you how much of different types of food equals one unit of carbohydrate, protein or fat. There are also many examples of eating plans for different weight groups. It also helps you compile a flexible eating plan for before, during and after competition. Learn how to use lower fat eating and the Glycemic Index (GI), as well as the concept of Glycemic Load (GL). This book is the ultimate sports nutrition guide.

About the Authors

Liesbet Delport


Liesbet Delport is one of South Africa’s best selling health authors. She is a founder member of the Glycaemic Index Foundation of South Africa and has a successful private practice in Nelspruit. She has written articles on various aspects of nutrition for magazines, journals and newspapers and regularly delivers talks and lectures.

View Liesbet‘s Facebook page HERE

Paula Volschenk


Dr Paula Volschenk RD (SA) has a doctorate in nutrition from Cambridge University and is a registered dietician in South Africa and in the UK. She has been in private practice in Pretoria since 1994.

View Paula‘s website HERE and Facebook page HERE

Published by Tafelberg (An imprint of NB Publishers)

ISBN: 9780624069942

Roar of The African Lion by Chika Onyeani

“I have been accused of being angry—if you know what is going on within the Black Race, I ask you, why wouldn’t you be angry?”


The African Lion, Dr Chika Onyeani, is back and roaring. The author of the phenomenally successful Capitalist Nigger, which has sold more than 100 000 copies in South Africa alone, offers a new collection of his speeches, articles and other writings over the last fifteen years.

In Roar of the African Lion, Dr Onyeani’s unblinking gaze and plain speaking are directed at many of the burning issues of the day. He outlines his revolutionary Spider Web Doctrine – aimed at financial self-reliance and the upliftment of black communities –and attacks the parasitic leaders whose greed has robbed the people of Africa of opportunities for advancement and development since their liberation. He is equally scornful of the failures of the African elite to influence the direction of their countries, and has trenchant comments to make about racism, xenophobia and hypocrisy in Africa, America and elsewhere.

Dr Onyeani also tackles the persistence of slavery on the continent, the West’s ambivalent attitude to aid and debt relief, rampant corruption and the ‘whiteness’ of Barack Obama. Looking to the future, he cautions Africa to be wary of China’s embrace and to pursue its own solutions to African problems.

About the Author


Chika Onyeani is a journalist of international acclaim. A former diplomat, Onyeani is the publisher and editor-in-chief of the cutting-edge, African Sun Times, the largest and only weekly African newspaper distributed nationwide in the US. Onyeani has received numerous awards for journalistic excellence. A sought-after speaker, Onyeani has been quoted, interviewed and written up by practically every major medium. He is an alumnus of several institutions of higher learning, both in the UK and USA.

View Dr Onyeani‘s Facebook page HERE and follow him on Twitter HERE

Published by Jonathan Ball Publishers

ISBN: 9781868426744

This One Time by Alex van Tonder

What happens when living the dream turns into a nightmare?


Much-maligned blogger Jacob Lynch aka Brodie Lomax has been called many things:Professional Douchebag, the King of Fratire, Tabloid Maverick, Mr Misogyny, Revenge Porn Romeo, that Sex-Tape Guy and Assholepreneur. And now he can add ‘Multi-Millionaire’ to that list.

With the renewal of his reality TV show as well as his eight-figure book deal, life is good for New York’s most notorious blogger. But he’s suffering from a serious bout of writer’s block, and the distractions of endless parties, drugs and meaningless sex are not helping. Trapped within his life of excess, he is teetering on the edge, the next stop: rehab. So Jacob flees the city for an isolated hunting lodge in Alaska where he can focus on getting his manuscript done, once and for all.

When the mysterious beautiful Alicia unexpectedly emerges from the icy landscape, he knows he shouldn’t invite her in, but pretty young things have always been his greatest weakness. The next day Jacob wakes up chained to a bed, and that’s when things take a turn for the terrifying.

‘Alex van Tonder has a straight razor on the pulse of pop culture. Scathing, witty and incisive.’ – LAUREN BEUKES

About the Author


Alex van Tonder lives and works in Cape Town. She studied copywriting for advertising and has had a successful creative career spanning more than ten years. During this time she has both won and judged awards, and has worked on advertising campaigns for brands such as Levi’s, Microsoft and Johnnie Walker. Alex is known for her satirical blogs, including My Branded Life and Cape Town Girl, and was named one of South Africa’s most influential women on Twitter in 2011 by Memeburn. This One Time is her debut novel.

View Alex‘s Facebook page HERE and follow her on Twitter HERE

Published by Pan Macmillan

ISBN: 9781770104235

The Battle of Savate by Piet Nortje


On 21 May 1980, under the codename Operation Tiro-Tiro, 32 Battalion attacked and routed a FAPLA brigade at Savate, a small town 75 kilometres inside Angola. Fifteen members of 32 Battalion were killed in the action and many more wounded. It was the highest South African casualty rate in a single skirmish since the start of the Border War. Overall, however, Savate was a significant victory for 32 Battalion. FAPLA suffered heavy casualties and the invaders captured a great many vehicles, weapons, ammunition and other equipment.

Despite the number of casualties, Operation Tiro-Tiro, or the Battle of Savate as it became known, was 32 Battalion’s biggest victory since its formation in March 1976. To this day a remembrance service and parade is held annually to commemorate the battle and to remember 32 Battalion’s victory and the price they paid.

Drawing from official documents in the Department of Defence Documentation Centre that have only recently been declassified and from testimonies of soldiers on both sides, The Battle of Savate is the definitive account of one of the greatest battles of the Border War, describing in detail the operation, its motivation and planning, its achievements and failures, and vividly recreating the experience of what happened on the ground.

About the Author


Piet Nortje joined the SADF Permanent Force in 1978 and rose rapidly through the ranks in 32 Battalion. In 1985 he was appointed as the unit’s Regimental Sergeant Major, the youngest RSM ever in the SADF. Although his involvement with 32 Battalion came to an end in 1988, he continued to serve in the SANDF until his resignation in 2005. He is now a major in the United Arab Emirates Armed Forces. His previous books are 32 Battalion and The Terrible Ones.

Published by Zebra Press (An imprint of Penguin Random House)

ISBN: 9781770227798

Kingsmead Book Fair 2015


In 2011, a group of Kingsmead College parents hosted a small Book Fair for the school community at which eight top South African authors spoke.  The response from the parents, teachers and girls was so overwhelming that the parent body felt encouraged to grow the Fair and make it a public event for all to enjoy.

Now in its fourth year, the Kingsmead Book Fair is proud to have become a significant event on South Africa’s literary calendar.

The sessions take the form of one-on-one conversations, discussions between two or three writers and a facilitator, and occasional talks.  There’s plenty of comparing, sharing, discussing and debating on the day.

The number of participants grew last year to well over 70, as did the number of visitors who came to listen to their favourite authors, journalists, entertainers and newsmakers discuss a wide range of topics, debate our politics, chat about their books or simply entertain us.

Kingsmead College, Saturday 23 May
Gates open at 09h00 and close at 20h00 

Book via Webtickets or on the day:  Entrance fee R30, each session R50 per person.

Click HERE for the full programme and HERE for a list of authors attending.