Nieuwe aanwinsten in de bibliotheek

25 maart 2021
Auteur: Team Zuid-Afrikahuis
Foto: ZAH


South Africans versus Rommel: the untold story of the desert war in World War II
door David Brock KatzStackpole Books 2018, ISBN 9780811717816


After bitter debate, South Africa, a dominion of the British Empire at the time, declared war on Germany five days after the invasion of Poland in September 1939. Thrust by the British into the campaign against Erwin Rommel’s German Afrika Korps in North Africa, the South Africans fought a see-saw war of defeats followed by successes, culminating in the Battle of El Alamein, where South African soldiers made a significant contribution to halting the Desert Fox’s advance into Egypt. This is the story of an army committed somewhat reluctantly to a war it didn’t fully support, ill-prepared for the battles it was tasked with fighting, and sent into action on the orders of its senior alliance partner. At its heart, however, this is the story of men at war.

Ohungipeke: Onakuziwa Yetu Moshiitalelo
Oral heritage written down by Moses Amukongo, University of Namibia Press, November 2020, ISBN 9789991642499, written in Oshindonga


 The title Ohungipeki refers to a conversion of oral heritage into written form. The ohungi session traditionally takes place in the evening during which oral stories, riddles, taboos, and traditions are taught to children. This book literally puts the teaching of the evening assembly in the hand.

The author’s rich command of Oshindonga revives archaic words that are not often used in writings of today and adds linguistic depth to the record of history and tradition. The book aims to capture significant information about the past for the sake of new and future generations (Embo ndika, nando lya nuninwa omuleshi kehe, otali neke unene omapipi omape…) and introduces readers to stories, forms of greeting, ceremonies, rituals, praise songs, ethics, fears, expectations, beliefs and the cosmology of the Aawambo in general and the Ondonga people in particular. The book will therefore prove valuable not only to traditionalists, but also to parents, teachers, linguists, ethnographers, social scientists and students of philosophy, history, culture and ethics, provided they have an understanding of the language.

The author, Moses Amkongo (1936 – 2019), served on various committees of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Namibia (ELCIN) and was the first Namibian Director of the ELOC Printing Press. He participated in drafting many guidelines related to education and is also the author and co-author of Tundeleka elaka lyoshindonga, the Oshindonga language book series for grades 5 to 12.

Vuur in sy vingers: de verreikende invloed van NP Van Wyk Louw
Red. Ampie Muller en Beverley Roos-Muller, Hermanus : Hemel & See Boeke 2020, ISBN 9781928283591


New and intimate portraits of the greatest Afrikaans poet and intellectual, NP van Wyk Louw. appear in a new bilingual book, Vuur in sy vingers (Fire in His Fingers) by his son-in-law, the late Professor Ampie Muller and Ampie’s wife, Dr Beverley Roos-Muller.

More than 46 big names in the world of literature, music, art, ballet, academia and public life have contributed to making this an extraordinary tribute to the man they recall  as influencing their lives and thinking. Nobel Laureate JM Coetzee leads the list which includes such varied and recogniseable names as Antjie Krog, Max du Preez, Koos Kombuis, Adam Small, Karel Schoeman, the artist Marlene Dumas, Mimi Coertse (who sang for him in his Amsterdam years), Peter Klatzow and Hendrik Hofmeyr who set his work to music, Eduard Greyling, former Danseur Noble, who performed in the landmark ballet Raka based on Louw’s work, Joan Hambidge and film maker Katinka Heynes; and many others of note.

For the first time, his own mixed race background is documented in detail, based on research by his eldest grandchild, Anneke Muller. Beverley has written about this as well as, in English, an essay examining his formative childhood in Sutherland (The Secret Season), and his decision as a child, schooled only in English, to become an Afrikaans writer at a time when it was not yet an official language.

The book, Vuur in sy vingers: die verreikende invloed van NP van Wyk Louw (Hemel en See Boeke) is available from bookstores and may be ordered from the publishers at Helga Steyn:

The reproductive reproductive body at work: the South African bioeconomy of egg donation
by Verena Namberger, Routledge December 2020, ISBN 9780367670832


The transnational industry surrounding assisted reproductive technology and regenerative medicine is based on the unacknowledged labour of gamete providers, surrogates and research subjects, and benefits from low labour costs in ‘enabling’ sectors such as logistics and transport. This finding calls for a comprehensive analysis of how the contemporary intersection of neoliberal capitalism and the life sciences – in short, the bioeconomy – capitalises on the body and its (re)productive capacities.

The Reproductive Body at Work uptakes this challenge as it explores the relations between value production, labour and the body in one particular realm of the global bioeconomy: the South African bioeconomy of ‘egg donation’. It highlights different forms and dimensions of unacknowledged or precarious human labour that are constitutive for the procurement, brokering and circulation of oocytes as valuable resources. The analysis illustrates that the respective organisation of value and labour renegotiate what ‘the’ (re)productive body can do, which status and roles it is ascribed, which cultural and economic values it signifies and how it is experienced and enacted within a matrix of intersectional power relations.

A theoretically profound contribution to the interdisciplinary debate on ‘New materialism’, The Reproductive Body at Work will appeal to students and researchers interested in fields such as gender studies, medical anthropology, cultural studies, sociology, political economy and science and technology studies.

Geloof alleen: Reise deur die kerkhervormings
geschreven door André Pretorius, Naledi 2017, ISBN 9780928316902


In Geloof alleen neem André Pretorius sy leser op ‘n pelgrimstog na ‘n verskeidenheid plekke waar sleutelgebeure van die Reformasie afgespeel het of waar dié geskiedenis spore gelaat het. Hy neem jou na daardie gebeure toe en dan weer terug na die hede en die neerslag daarvan. Uiteindelik neem hy sy leser na ‘n dieper verstaan van die Kerkhervorming van 500 jaar gelede, en daarmee saam na ‘n dieper verstaan van onsself. Wat sou ‘n mens meer kon vra?
Hamerslae teen ‘n Duitse kerkdeur. Vyf eeue later weergalm hulle steeds van waar Martin Luther sy rebellie teen die Kerk begin het. Van hierdie kerkdeur loop die spore van Kerkhervorming deur aangrypende landskappe.

Die reisskrywer, André Pretorius, gaan loop daardie voetval na en hoor die eggo’s in ons tyd. Hy volg Luther waar sy weg kruis met dié van Calvyn. Hy reis na plekke waar geloof geformuleer is op ‘n manier wat steeds ons wêreld vorm. Die spore lei hom van Europa na Indië en Amerika waarheen Katolieke sendelinge en Calvinistiese Puriteine uitgewaaier het.

Maar ook deur sy eie familiegeskiedenis na Suid-Afrika, van middagete op die Duitse plaas waar die Pretoriusse vandaan is tot sy NG-kinderjare op die Afri­kaanse platteland. Onderweg kom hy geloof teë, en geweld. Skoonheid vind hy in die kunstenaars van die Hervorming – Rembrandt en Bach en die Bybelvertalers. Maar ook die geskonde erflating van konflik en ikonoklasme.

Op sy reise eet, drink en gaan hy kerk toe waar die moderne wêreld baie lank gelede beslag gekry het. Dit is ‘n meesleurende reis deur ‘n wêreld wat beide oud en eietyds is.

Beneath the Surface: a transnational history of skin lighteners
by Lynn M. Thomas, Durham, Duke University Press 2020, ISBN 9781478005384


For more than a century, skin lighteners have been a ubiquitous feature of global popular culture—embraced by consumers even as they were fiercely opposed by medical professionals, consumer health advocates, and antiracist thinkers and activists. In Beneath the Surface, Lynn M. Thomas constructs a transnational history of skin lighteners in South Africa and beyond. Analyzing a wide range of archival, popular culture, and oral history sources, Thomas traces the changing meanings of skin color from precolonial times to the postcolonial present. From indigenous skin-brightening practices and the rapid spread of lighteners in South African consumer culture during the 1940s and 1950s to the growth of a billion-dollar global lightener industry, Thomas shows how the use of skin lighteners and experiences of skin color have been shaped by slavery, colonialism, and segregation as well as by consumer capitalism, visual media, notions of beauty, and protest politics. In teasing out lighteners’ layered history, Thomas theorizes skin as a site for antiracist struggle and lighteners as a technology of visibility that both challenges and entrenches racial and gender hierarchies.

Ander Mens
een film deur Quentin Krog, met Bennie Fourie, Marlee van der Merwe, Frank Opperman, Laudo Liebenberg, James Borthwick, Jana Cilliers, Tim Theron and Roeline Daneel.
Filmfinity, 2019, Afrikaans met Engelse ondertiteling.


A side-splitting action comedy, with a series of unfortunate events happening to a very unfortunate and mediocre man. Daniel Niemand is the kind of dumpy little sad-sack that even flies wouldn’t care to buzz around. And that’s on a good day. But all that’s about to change when his wife leaves him for their marriage counsellor and he unknowingly becomes integral in a high-level police ploy to capture a local crime syndicate. Welcome to the worst week in Daniel Niemand’s life.

Uitgelicht jeugdboek van de maand:
Hap (winner of the Sanlam Prize for Youth Literature 2017)
written by Lesley Beake, Tafelberg 2017, ISBN 980624081999


Sixteen-year old Lucy, from New York, is recovering from a recent, very traumatic experience. She joins her archaeologist father at Barclay Bay, on South Africa’s west coast, where she slowly makes sense of her ordeal. But Lucy cannot help but also be affected by the characters around her – including that of Hap, an early ancestor who lived in the area, and whose experiences Lucy, in a state of heightened emotion and perception, seems to sense. Can Lucy be as strong and brave as Hap had to be? Could the oppressive heat of New York make way for the open skies at the tip of Africa?

Meer nieuws

22 februari 2024, Persbericht
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Dit jaar verschijnt de Nederlandse vertaling van de roman Kompoun van de Zuid-Afrikaanse schrijver en dichter Ronelda S. Kamfer. Na vier dichtbundels is dit haar eerste roman, die oorspronkelijk in 2021 in het Afrikaans uitkwam. Zowel de vier dichtbundels als de roman zijn naar het Nederlands vertaald door Alfred Schaffer. Op 8 maart komt Kamfer naar de UB Leiden om voor te lezen uit haar roman en over haar werk als schrijver en dichter in gesprek te gaan.
12 februari 2024, Uit het Huis
Wij zoeken een coördinator voor de literaire leeskring!
De leeskring van het Zuid-Afrikahuis bestaat al sinds 2002. Acht keer per jaar komt een aantal mensen bijeen om een boek te bespreken. Meestal is dat een Afrikaanse roman, een enkele keer is het een Afrikaanse dicht- of verhalenbundel en soms is het een Engelstalig boek. Ook worden er Nederlandse romans besproken waarin de relatie Nederland˗Zuid-Afrika centraal staat.
5 februari 2024, Actueel
Reserveer een plek voor de halve finale Nigeria – Zuid-Afrika
Ziggo Sport zoekt naar fans van Bafana Bafana! Het voetbalteam staat deze woensdag in de halve finale en speelt tegen Nigeria in de Africa Cup. Ziggo Sport organiseert een Voetbal Café in Hilversum waar met een grote groep fans de wedstrijd bekeken zal worden.


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