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Pippa Hudson chats with Dr Emmanuel Taban, author of The Boy Who Never Gave Up, at FLF

Pippa Hudson chats with Dr Emmanuel Taban (The Boy Who Never Gave Up), who is Daily Maverick’s Africa Person of the Year. He walked from war-torn Sudan to JHB, survived torture and kidnapping, and then became a pioneering pulmonologist.

About Dr Taban:
In 1994, the 16-year-old Emmanuel Taban walked out of war-torn Sudan with nothing and nowhere to go after he had been tortured at the hands of government forces, falsely accused of spying for the rebels, until he finally managed to escape.

When he arrived in Johannesburg, he had only five years of education behind him. Today this former MEDUNSA student is a highly qualified pulmonologist, with a European Diploma in adult respiratory medicine. During 2020, he was at the forefront of the treatment of Covid19 patients in ICU in Johannesburg. Dr Taban released his first book, The Boy who Never Gave Up in 2021.

About Pippa Hudson:
Pippa Hudson hosts the lunchtime show on radio station Cape Talk, which includes a mix of news and lifestyle content, from food, travel and parenting advice to health, legal, environmental and consumer content.

As avid reader, Hudson loves inviting authors to join her in the daily feature profile slot ‘On the Couch’ and in her weekly Book Club segment.

The show was a winner in 2019 of a Titanium Award for Best Health Media Coverage, and a Diageo Award. In 2020 Hudson was the recipient of the Petco media award for coverage of recycling, waste management and environmental issues. Her show has also been a finalist in the Best Daytime Show category at the annual Radio Awards, for the last 4 consecutive years (2018-2021 inclusive).

Bulelani Ngcuka and Albie Sachs reflect on Ngcuka’s story: Bulelani Ncuka – The Sting in the Tale.

After several years of serving on opposing sides of the law, former National Prosecutor, Bulelani Ngcuka and former Constitutional Court judge, Albie Sachs reconnect and reflect on Ngcuka’s story - Bulelani Ncuka – The Sting in the Tale. by Marion Sparg.

“Highly relevant today as prosecutors deal with the aftermath of State Capture. Fascinating from the first page to the last.” - Albie Sachs, Former Justice, Constitutional Court.

In this sweeping biography, based on many hours of interviews with Ngcuka, author Marion Sparg uncovers the roots of his fearless activism and tells his side of the story. She goes back in time to his modest beginnings in the Eastern Cape, to his lawyering years with the formidable Griffiths Mxenge, his various periods of detention, exile, and his homecoming.

Ferial Haffajee in conversation with Mark Gevisser regarding his latest book " Thabo Mbeki: A Dream Deferred"

Did Thabo Mbeki set the table for state capture? Mark Gevisser’s prize-winning Thabo Mbeki: A Dream Deferred has just been published in an updated and revised edition, and Ferial Haffajee tackles him on Mbeki’s legacy.

Mark Gevisser is one of South Africa’s foremost writers. He is the author of five works of non-fiction, including Thabo Mbeki: A Dream Deferred, Lost and Found in Johannesburg and The Pink Line (2020). His journalism has been widely published in South Africa and he frequently writes for the Guardian, The New York Times, Granta, and many other publications.

In 2022 a brand new edition of Thabo Mbeki: A Dream Deferred will be released, including a detailed epilogue exploring Mbeki’s legacy since he fell from power 15 years ago.

Mark has been a Writing Fellow at the University of Pretoria and at the Wits Institute for Social and Economic Research (WISER). Since 2018, he has been a judge on the Gerald Kraak Award for writing on gender, human rights and sexuality in Africa. He lives in Cape Town.

Ferial Haffajee is a recipient of the 2014 International Press Freedom Award, Ferial Haffajee is one of South Africa’s most trusted and respected journalists. She is known for her clear-cut political analysis and her unwavering dedication to the truth. Haffajee has worked in numerous print and online newsrooms including holding the positions of editor at City Press and the Mail and Guardian before joining Daily Maverick as Associate Editor. Her new book Days of Zondo will be published by Maverick 451 in 2022.

Dr Wamuwi Mbao talks to Yewande Omotoso about her new novel An Unusual Grief at FLF

Dr Wamuwi Mbao talks to Yewande Omotoso about her new novel An Unusual Grief, whose protagonist outlives her daughter – and then rediscovers her.

Wamuwi Mbao is an essayist and cultural critic. He writes on literature, pop culture, and politics and is a literary reviewer for the Johannesburg Review of Books. His short story ‘The Bath‘ was named as one of the 20 best short stories written during the two decades of South Africa’s democracy.

Yewanda Omotoso’s 2022 book An Unusual Grief is her third novel. She is an architect and holds a Creative Writing MA from the University of Cape Town. Her debut novel, Bom Boy, won the SA Literary Award First Time Author Prize. Her short stories include How About The Children and Things Are Hard. Her second novel The Woman Next Door was shortlisted for the International Dublin Literary Award and longlisted for the Baileys Women’s Literature Prize.

Dr Pumla Dineo Gqola joins internationally acclaimed Tsitsi Dangarembga at FLF

Dr Pumla Dineo Gqola joins internationally acclaimed Tsitsi Dangarembga (Nervous Conditions, The Book of Not & This Mournable Body) – to discuss her stellar writing career, her life in Harare, and the choices of women besieged by patriarchy.

Tsitsi Dangarembga is a Zimbabwean novelist, playwright, and filmmaker. Her debut novel, Nervous Conditions (1988), which was the first to be published in English by a Black woman from Zimbabwe, was named by the BBC in 2018 as one of the top 100 books that have shaped the world. In 2020, her novel This Mournable Body was shortlisted for the Booker Prize.

Dr Pumla Dineo Gqola is a feminist writer and Professor of Literary and Cultural Studies. She is the SARChl Chair in African Feminist Imagination at Nelson Mandela University. Her publications include, What is Slavery to Me?, A Renegade called Simphiwe, Alan Paton Award Winner Rape: A South African Nightmare and Reflecting Rogue. Her latest book, Female Fear Factory, the much anticipated follow up to Rape, was released in May 2021.

Serial troublemaker Lionel Shriver in conversation with writer and editor Karina Szczurek at FLF

Karina M. Szczurek talks to Orange Prize winner Lionel Shriver (Should We Stay Or Should We Go) and her knack for exploring social and cultural fault-lines.

Lionel Shriver is a journalist and author of 14 novels. Born in North Carolina, she divides her time these days between London and New York. A regular columnist for the Spectator in Britain and Harper’s Magazine in the United States, Shriver has also written commentary for the New York Times, The Guardian, and The Wall Street Journal, among other publications. Shriver’s 2003 novel, We Have to Talk About Kevin, sold more than 2 million copies, won the prestigious Orange Prize, and was made into a movie. She was also a finalist for the National Book Award in 2010 with her novel, So Much for That, a contemplation about the American health care system.

Shriver’s latest book, Should We Stay or Should We Go, imagines a parade of possible outcomes when a healthy couple in their early 50s decide that when they reach their 80s, they will commit suicide.


Karina M. Szczurek is a writer, editor and literary critic based in Cape Town. Most recently, she has co-edited the 2015 SSDA anthology Water: New Short Fiction from Africa (with Nick Mulgrew) and published her memoir, The Fifth Mrs Brink (2017). She reviews books for the Cape Times and LitNet.

A look into South Africa's gangs: Jonathan Ancer in conversation with Liz McGregor, Mark Shaw and Caryn Dolley

A look into South Africa's gangs

Author Jonathan Ancer is in conversation with Liz McGregor, Mark Shaw and Caryn Dolley for this episode of Pagecast.

The episode delves into the lastest books by Liz, Mark and Caryn, which all touch on the role that gangs play in South Africa, personal dealings with gangs and the operations within.

Unforgiven, by Liz McGregor, tells a story seldom told: what happens to a family when one of their own is murdered? In a country where, year upon year, tens of thousands of people lose a loved one to violence. Where restorative justice is preached but not practiced. Where prisons are universities of crime. What would it take to achieve redemption? For the victim, the perpetrator and the country?

Give us more Guns, by Mark Shaw, is based on hundreds of interviews with police, experts and the gangsters themselves, telling the story of this callous crime for the first time. Shaw explores how the guns get into the hands of South Africa's crime bosses and describes the bloodshed that ensues. He also uncovers accounts of rampant corruption within the police and in the state's gun-licensing system, probing the government failure that has been instrumental in arming the country's gangsters.

To The Wolves: How Traitor Cops Crafted South Africa’s Underworld, by Caryn Dolley, tells the true-life story of how South Africa’s underworld came to be, what continues to fuel it today and how the deception and lies go all the way to the top.

Enjoy the episode!

John Maytham in conversation with Sarah Lotz author of Impossible.

A deliciously witty romance with a closing twist that will take your breath away, Impossible deploys all the suspense and craft of Lotz's bestselling thriller The Three in a gleefully unpredictable tale of two strangers looking for love.

This isn't a love story. This is impossible.

Nick: Failed writer. Failed husband. Dog owner.
Bee: Serial dater. Dress maker. Pringles enthusiast.

One day, their paths cross over a misdirected email. The connection is instant, electric. They feel like they've known each other all their lives. Nick buys a new suit, gets on a train. Bee steps away from her desk, sets off to meet him under the clock at Euston station.

Think you know how the rest of the story goes? They did too... but this is a story with more twists than most. This is impossible.

Unforgiven: Face to Face with my Father’s Killer by Liz McGregor

“Liz McGregor has always been a great journalist but only South Africa could have wrung out of her this single-minded account of the murder of her beloved father. The book is an indescribable duty, exquisitely done.” – Peter Bruce

“An enthralling account of the journey by a daughter to meet with those convicted of her father’s murder.” – Trevor Manuel

A searing, intimate memoir tracing the author’s attempt to find out the truth about her father’s murder.

Robin McGregor, an older man who has recently moved into a small town outside Cape Town, is brutally murdered in his home. Cecil Thomas is convicted for the crime, but his trial leaves more questions than answers. As much as his daughter Liz McGregor tries to move beyond her grief – she finds new work, she even discovers love – she still wants answers. What drove Thomas to torture and kill a complete stranger?

The author meets the murderer’s family and discovers that he comes from a loving, comfortable home. He is educated and skilled, there is no apparent reason for his descent into delinquency. After protracted obstruction from the prison authorities, she finally gets to confront him but not without putting herself in danger. She finds answers, but not the answers she is looking for.

Unforgiven tells a story seldom told: what happens to a family when one of their own is murdered? In a country where, year upon year, tens of thousands of people lose a loved one to violence. Where restorative justice is preached but not practiced. Where prisons are universities of crime. What would it take to achieve redemption? For the victim, the perpetrator and the country?

Mind Over Mountain by Robby Kojetin

A simple mistake at an indoor climbing gym sentenced 28-year-old Robby to a year in a wheelchair, shattering his aspirations of becoming a mountaineer. In the months that followed, Robby faced depression, anxiety, suicidal thoughts and a complete loss of his sense of identity.

But from somewhere deep inside him, he summoned up the strength to keep going even when all seemed lost; he embarked on a monumental journey, a feat of mental and physical strength. His weakness became his power. This story is more than a biography or an account of a mountaineering expedition – it showcases the human spirit and shows us all how it is possible to rewrite the definition of what is possible.

From those dark days, Robby has become the embodiment of perseverance and possibility, overcoming the odds to join the handful of people who have summited Mount Everest.

Terreur en Bevryding: Die ANC/SAKP, die Kommunisme en geweld (1961-1990) - by Leopold Scholtz.

Wie vandag se ANC, sy beleid en regeerstyl wil verstaan, moet feitlik ’n eeu terug begin delf. ’n Deel van die antwoord lê in sy verhouding met die Suid-Afrikaanse Kommunistiese Party (SAKP) en die invloed van die kommunisme, asook die ANC/SAKP se optrede in ballingskap, skryf die politieke kommentator en historikus Leopold Scholtz.

In Terreur en bevryding toon hy aan hoe die SAKP reeds in 1928 opdrag van die Kremlin ontvang het om die ANC te infiltreer. Die doel was om mettertyd die partyleiding oor te neem as deel van ’n beoogde revolusie in twee fases: ’n nasionaal demokratiese revolusie – ’n konsep wat steeds deel is van ANC-beleid – gevolg deur ’n Marxisties-Leninistiese “diktatuur van die proletariaat”. Volgens Scholtz sou dit ’n immorele stelsel met beperkte vryheid meebring.

Dit was ook die SAKP wat die dryfveer agter die gewapende stryd was.

Scholtz plaas die kollig op die dodelike kombinasie van erge interne intoleransie en onbekwaamheid binne die ANC/SAKP in ballingskap, die korrupsie deur ’n deel van die leierskorps en die ernstige menseregtevergrype in die ANC se buitelandse kampe. Hy voer aan dat dit wat tans in Suid-Afrika op al drie regeringsvlakke gebeur ’n voortsetting is van ’n kultuur wat al tydens die alliansie se jare in ballingskap gevestig is.

Rescue by Ian Goldin

An optimistic vision of the future after Covid-19 by a leading professor of globalisation at the University of Oxford.

We are at a crossroads. The wrecking-ball of Covid-19 has destroyed global norms. Many think that after the devastation there will be a bounce back. To Ian Goldin, Professor of Development and Globalisation at the University of Oxford, this is a retrograde notion.

He believes that this crisis can create opportunities for change, just as the Second World War forged the ideas behind the Beveridge Report. Published in 1942, it was revolutionary and laid the foundations for the welfare state alongside a host of other social and economic reforms, changing the world for the better.

Ian Goldin tackles the challenges and opportunities posed by the pandemic, ranging from globalisation to the future of jobs, income inequality and geopolitics, the climate crisis and the modern city. It is a fresh, bold call for an optimistic future and one we all have the power to create.

39 episodes

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