Practical Action to Decolonise the “White Literary Landscape”

Due to the excitement generated by the Wits discussion, we have hosted a number of talks at our offices over the past few months. Our last one for this year is on Thursday 3 September.

Join us for a glass of wine as our guest speaker, the successful self-published author Mofenyi Malepe, tells us how he managed to sell 4 000 copies of his book 283: The Bad Sex Bet. Was it out of his boot? Was it his branded wardrobe or his sparkling personality?

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New Releases

  • Murderers, Miscreants and Mutineers
  • When Loving Him Hurts
  • Garden Aloes
  • Political Parties in Africa
  • The Shouting in the Dark
  • The Refined Player: Sex, Lies and Dates
  • Rape: A South African Nightmare
  • The Black Sash
  • A City Refracted
  • Institutional Architecture & Development
  • Jafta's Mother
  • Jafta's Father
  • Jafta
  • BRICS: An Anti-Capitalist Critique
  • The Congress of the People and Freedom Charter: A People’s History
  • Selling Apartheid
  • Sacrifices
  • Dub Steps
  • J.M. Coetzee & the Life of Writing
  • When I was a Fish
  • Birthmark
  • In Love & Intimate
  • Everyday Matters
  • Cooking with Gas
  • Rough Diamond
  • What Will People Say?

Andrew Miller Wins the 2015 Dinaane Debut Fiction Award for Dub Steps

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Andrew Miller Wins the 2015 Dinaane Debut Fiction Award for Dub Steps

The inaugural Dinaane was judged by a panel of three judges: Maureen Isaacson, Fred Khumalo and head judge Pamela Nicols. Thirty-one manuscripts were eligible for the prize, and the judges stressed the variety of the entries received, which gave them a privileged insight into South African society and how people conceive the contemporary. 


The Dinaane replaces the European Union Literary Award and as before celebrates an outstanding fiction manuscript from a debut writer. The winning manuscript is published by Jacana Media and the winner awarded a R35 000 cash prize. The Dinaane is supported by Exclusive Books’ Homebru campaign. This year, the first runner-up will also receive a significant prize: a writing bursary to the value of R20 000, in memory of Gerald Kraak, who was instrumental in the successful running of the Jacana Literary Foundation until his passing away in 2014. 


Andrew Miller is a Johannesburg-based freelance writer. He has worked extensively in the city arts scene over the last decade, and has helped a wide range of emerging artists to develop their careers. Andrew is also a public speaker and performance poet, and has appeared on many stages across Gauteng, from business schools to the Daily Maverick Gatherings, where he discusses ideas such as urban culture, disability, death and the challenges of being South African.

Jacob Dlamini speaks to News24

Jennifer Sanasie spoke to Jacob Dlamini on News24 to ask him about the people he met and interviewed for his latest book, Askari: A story of collaboration and betrayal in the anti-apartheid struggle. Askari refers to anti-apartheid operatives who were turned by torture and interrogation to help apartheid security officials find and kill their former comrades.


Click here to learn more or to buy the book online

Memoirs of a Born Free goes international


Jacana Media is delighted to announce that international rights for Malaika wa Azania’s Memoirs of a Born Free  have been sold to New York City-based Seven Stories Press

In making their offer, Dan Simon, publisher at Seven Stories Press, compared Malaika to “a young Steve Biko, someone I have long revered for the directness and clarity and power of his vision and his words.” The Press plans to publish in the US in 2015, and will be seeking further international publishing opportunities in the new year for the young firebrand. Jacana Media congratulate Malaika on this publishing coup.

At just 22 years of age, Memoirs of a Born Free is not only Malaika’s long-overdue letter to the ANC but is also a journey of the extraordinary life that she has lived. From the dusty streets of Meadowlands, the reader follows Malaika as she discovers and blossoms in her politics, in her Pan Africanist ideals and as a fighter and future custodian for blackness. She has been on international observer missions and worked closely with politicians, from Thabo Mbeki to Julius Malema. Malaika’s story is not a reflection of the freedom spoken about in the romantic speeches of government officials. It epitomises the ongoing struggle for liberation and for emancipation from the mental slavery that still exists even in the ‘born-free’ generation.

Click here to read more about Memoirs of a Born Free.

Jacana Media is proud to announce a new imprint, Russel Wasserfall Food


Jacana Media is proud to announce a new imprint, Russel Wasserfall Food

Russel is one of South Africa’s foremost food photographers with a career reaching well back into the film era. In additon, he is an author and restauranteur, and loves food in all its forms.

Russel is one of South Africa’s foremost food photographers with a career reaching well back into the film era. In additon, he is an author and restauranteur, and loves food in all its forms. Whether it is photographing a restaurant, penning a story on an asparagus farmer, discussing a restaurant concept with an entrepreneur, or visualising food retail space, Russel Wasserfall is a singular South African foodie with a mission to tell the story of our food! The restaurant he runs with his chef wife, Camilla Comins, celebrates the best of seasonal local produce and operates on Overgaauw Wine Estate near Stellenbosch in the Western Cape.

In introducing RWF, we are also pleased to announce the publication of the first two titles from this fledgling imprint, Market Day and Jardine: Cooking with an Accent.

The Sol Plaatje EU Poetry Award Winner Announced

Mongane Wally Serote calls on government to pay closer attention to our poets, at the fourth Sol Plaatje European Union Poetry Award

The Jacana Literary Foundation is pleased to announce Thabo Jijana as the winner of the Sol Plaatje European Union Poetry Award 2014. He accepted the honour for his poem ‘Children Watching Old People’ at a prize-giving ceremony at the Goethe-Institut in Johannesburg, on Tuesday night. Second place went to Rochelle Jacobs for her poem ‘Something Other’. Jim Pascual Agustin’s poem ‘Illegal, Undocumented’ was given third place by the distinguished jury of three and head judge Dr Mongane Wally Serote.

On Tuesday night an enthusiastic crowd was addressed by Ambassador Roeland van de Geer, the Head of the European Union Delegation to South Africa, and Dr Serote. Ambassador van de Geer noted the similarities between democratic South Africa and the European Union, and outlined the EU Delegation’s support for cultural initiatives in South Africa over the past 20 years. Dr Serote’s address, speaking to the three finalist poems as well as the pantheon of other voices in the four Sol Plaatje EU Poetry anthologies published since 2011, was a sobering call for South Africans, particularly our politicians, to pay attention to our poets. He stressed how all art – and poetry in particular – evokes an ethical response in us which must be heeded.  

This year’s anthology, collating the best of the poems entered into this year’s competition, was also launched on Tuesday night. The Sol Plaatje European Union Poetry Anthology Vol IV honours the spirit of the legendary intellectual giant, Sol Plaatje, the activist, linguist, translator, novelist, journalist and leader. This year’s jury for the Award was comprised of three celebrated South African poets: Ingrid de Kok, Johann De Lange and Goodenough Mashego. The jury deliberated on the entries – 303 in all, submitted in five of South Africa’s eleven official languages – and sent a shortlist to Dr Serote, who chose the winner.

About the finalist poets

First place: Thabo Jijana’s work is informed by his rural upbringing in rural Eastern Cape. His poetry has appeared in publications including New Contrast, the Kalahari ReviewPoetry Potion, and most recently the 2013 and the 2014 Sol Plaatje European Union Award anthologies. His first book, Nobody’s Business, an attempt to understand his father’s life and death and the world of taxi violence, has just been published by Jacana Media. A journalist by trade, Thabo lives in Port Elizabeth. 

Second place: Rochelle Jacobs is a 24-year-old student in her final year at Stellenbosch University studying a BA in Politics, Philosophy and Economics. Rochelle’s passions boil down to three things: helping the world, getting the adrenaline flowing and literature. Rochelle and a group of friends have recently begun a rape awareness campaign on Stellenbosch campus called 'Unashamed' which is aimed at removing the guilt which permeates the discourse surrounding rape in South Africa, and her prize-winning poem ‘Something Other’ was written in this context.

Third place: Jim Pascual Agustin writes and translates Filipino and English poetry. He grew up in the Philippines and now lives in Cape Town with his wife and their twin daughters. His fifth and sixth poetry books, Kalmot ng Pusa sa Tagiliran (poems in Filipino) and Sound Before Water, were simultaneously published in 2013 by the University of Santo Tomas Publishing House in Manila. These books will be followed, in 2015, by a new collection called A Thousand Eyes.



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