‘The real significance of this book lies in the fact that it tells us more about the everyday life of black South Africans. It delves into the essence of black family life and the secret anguish of family members who often battle to cope.’ – Niq Mhlongo
A secret torment for some, a proud responsibility for others, ‘black tax’ is a daily reality for thousands of black South Africans. In this thought-provoking and moving anthology, a provocative range of voices share their deeply personal stories.
With the majority of black South Africans still living in poverty today, many black middle-class households are connected to working-class or jobless homes. Some believe supporting family members is an undeniable part of African culture and question whether it should even be labelled as a kind of tax.
Others point to the financial pressure it places on black students and professionals, who, as a consequence, struggle to build their own wealth. Many feel they are taking over what is essentially a government responsibility.
The contributions also investigate the historical roots of black tax, the concept of the black family and the black middle class.
In giving voice to so many different perspectives, Black Tax hopes to start a dialogue on this widespread social phenomenon.
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When she was last spotted on the crossroads of Swart and Gevaar Roads, Coconut Kelz was drinking Woolies water and spreading her ‘truth bombs’ about the state of the nation, why corruption is okay when white people do it and why black people don’t win in life…
Coconut Kelz (‘Kelello, but call me Kelz!’) is a young Caucasian woman trapped in a black woman’s body. Kelz lives in – and tries never to leave – Sandton and is a staunch member of the DA. She often takes issue with her reverse racist dad, while her mother has to remind her that Braai Day is actually called Heritage Day.
With handy tips on how to achieve the white right standard of beauty, how to catch yourself a white guy (‘elongate your vowels, get yourself into white spaces’), the best suburbs to live in and how to host the perfect Caucasian shindig, Kelz offers a complete guide for a full Caucasian conversion. She also shares her thoughts on the differences between race groups, the top three political parties, public transport, how to avoid contact with sgebengas and why one should never stray beyond the Line of Caucus.
Coconut Kelz’s adoration of all things white has riled up many unsuspecting viewers. Of course the real butt of the joke is the white South Africans whose prejudice and dishonesties are laid bare by this character.
Buy Coconut Kelz’s Guide to Surviving This Shithole here:
A single moment can change a life forever…
A van full of men armed with AK47s is stopped by two policemen while driving through Bethlehem in the Free State. They open fire on the policemen and, from that moment, their lives are irrevocably changed. So too for Fusi Mofokeng, resident of Bethlehem, who was not at the scene of the crime but was the brother-in-law of one of the perpetrators. He is accused of being an accomplice and tried, sentenced and jailed.
Nineteen years later, in 2011, Fusi is released into a world that has changed beyond recognition, a world in which his mother, father and brother have all died. Throughout his incarceration he fought for his release, appearing before the TRC, and schooling himself in law. Even today, he seeks a presidential pardon.
It is to this life that award-winning author Jonny Steinberg turns his attention in One Day in Bethlehem. In examining the life and struggle of Fusi Mofokeng, Steinberg shines a searing light on the burden of the ‘everyman’ in his quest for justice. In doing so, he also captures a country as it violently sheds the skin of the past to emerge, blinking, into the modern era.
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‘Next year I’m going to be 80 years old. My car will be 20 years old. Together we’ll be 100. We’re going to drive to London.’
‘And what route are you going to take?’
‘I have no idea. I think I’ll keep to the right.’
When 80-year old Julia Albu calls into her favourite radio show with a zany, half-baked idea, she has no idea that it will lead her to the adventure of a lifetime. With her trusty 20-year-old old Toyota Conquest, Tracy, a giant map and unbounded enthusiasm, Julia sets off on the long drive through Africa and into the UK where she hopes to meet the Queen of England.
Beginning in South Africa, she travels through deserts, over mountains and across grassy plains. All along the way, she is accompanied by family and friends. She stays in hotels and hovels, breakfasts with a giraffe and hangs out with baboons, and meets a host of colourful characters who all can’t help but be drawn to the charming, white-haired octogenarian in their midst.
My African Conquest is a funny, feel-good story about adventuring through life – and never acting your age.
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When Siya Kolisi leads the Springboks out onto the field at the Rugby World Cup in September 2019, it will be the crowning glory of an incredible journey that began on the impoverished streets of Zwide, a township outside Port Elizabeth. As the first black South African to captain a Springbok rugby team, Kolisi’s remarkable story is unique and deserves to be heard.
His mother was a teenager when he was born. She left him in the care of his grandmother who brought him up until she died (in his arms) when Siya was twelve. He found love and acceptance playing junior rugby with the African Bombers club until his talent was spotted by the prestigious Grey High School who offered Siya a full scholarship that changed his life.
He adapted well to the posh private school, but it was on the rugby field where he excelled. Siya was rewarded with a call-up the SA schools team and a contract to join the Western Province rugby union.
Author Jeremy Daniel tracks Siya’s journey from running wild on the streets of Zwide, through some crucial games in high school, into the Western Province rugby set-up and his fight to become Springbok captain. He goes deep inside the systems that identify junior talent, the characters who shaped his journey and the moments where he showed who he really was. Siya never forgot where he came from, and ultimately adopted his mother’s other two children after she died when he was in high school.
His life has not been without controversy, and his marriage to a fiery young white woman was a lightning rod for racial politics. But he is a shining beacon of hope for South Africa, he is massively popular and there is a huge appetite from the public to know about his life and to support him as Springbok captain.
Buy Siya Kolisi: Against All Odds here: