UKZN Press invites you to a lecture, jointly hosted by the Royal Society of South Africa. Title: "Zulu Bird Names and Bird Lore: the world of birds, the Zulu language and the cultural beliefs of the Zulu people" by Adrian Koopman,Emeritus Professor of Zulu Studies, University of KwaZulu-Natal
Date: Thursday, 1 August 2019 Time: 5.45 pm Venue: John Bews Lecture Theatre, Life Sciences Campus, Pietermaritzburg. Adrian Koopman, an Emeritus Professor of Zulu Studies at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, taught Zulu language, linguistics and literature for 37 years before his retirement in 2012. His research interests have long been in onomastics (names, naming and naming systems) as is reflected in his books Zulu Names (2002) and Zulu Plant Names (2015). His latest book, Zulu Bird Names and Bird Lore, just published by the University of KwaZulu-Natal Press, focuses on the way Zulu bird names reveal the dynamics between birds in the natural world, the Zulu language and the cultural beliefs of the Zulu people. Prof. Koopman’s lecture will explain different aspects of the system involved in bestowing Zulu avian nomenclature; how ‘Names and Identity’ differ in western Linnaean-based taxonomy of birds (family, genus, species, for example) compared to the non-Linnaean ‘folk taxonomy’ of the Zulu. Another aspect of difference is the way in which Zulu bird names reflect the appearance, calls, diet and other aspects of birds. Professor Koopman’s many yearsof research on Zulu oral poetry have revealed the important role of birds in extolling the praises of kings, chiefs, clans and individuals. The role of birds in traditional Zulu proverbs and riddles is also discussed. The reference to ‘bird lore’ in the title refers to traditional Zulu cultural beliefs about birds, such as their roles as portents of ill fate, bad or good omens, harbingers of the seasons, or as the subject of taboos. The Yellow-billed Kite, for example, is described in bird lore as a ‘tooth-fairy’. The lecture ends with a look at the Zulu bird name workshops held annually between 2013 and 2018, where Zulu-speaking bird experts, most working as professional bird guides, came together and discussed the coining of new names for the roughly two-thirds of the KwaZulu-Natal species of birds that previously had no species-specific names. These ‘newly-minted’ names provide a perfect foil for the older, previously recorded bird names and the traditional beliefs associated with them. The topics covered in the talk are captured in more depth in the book Zulu Bird Names and Bird Lorewhich will be offered for sale at a special price of R300 (RRP: R365) by UKZN Press. All are welcome. Please support this interesting lecture! Light refreshments will be supplied. Enquiries: Dr Edith Elliott – 082 415 9435 or 033 260 5435 or Adele Branch (UKZN Press) – 033 260 5255 or 083 235 2412
Jeff Opland and Peter Mtuze have been shortlisted for the South African Literary Award in the Literary Translators category for Iziganeko Zesizwe: Occasional Poems (1900-1943) by S.E.K. Mqhayi and Umoya Wembongi: Collected Poems (1922 – 1935) by John Solilo, published by UKZN Press.
The South African Literary Awards pay tribute to South African writers who have distinguished themselves as groundbreaking producers and creators of literature, while it celebrates literary excellence in the depiction and sharing of South Africa’s histories, value systems and philosophies and art as inscribed and preserved in all eleven official languages of South Africa. The awards have become the most prestigious and respected literary accolades in South African literature. Selections are made from published authors whose primary input is in imaginative writing – fiction as well as creative non-fiction. The work must demonstrate good linguistic presentation, the nation’s identity, societal values, universal truths, and cultural aesthetics. It must also contribute to social cohesion, nation building and transcendence of time. Since its inception in 2005 SALA has honoured one hundred and eighty two recipients.
The Johannesburg launch of Daniel Magaziner's book, THE ART OF LIFE IN SOUTH AFRICA takes place at David Krut Bookstore on Thursday, 17 August. Join us for an extraordinary evening of engaging conversation between author Daniel Magaziner and African philosopher Achille Mbembe. Copies of the book will be on sale.
Over four decades ago, radical scholars began to suggest a new way of looking at South African society, one that blamed the economic power of those who owned property for the racial bondage of the black majority. Their work, and the debates it triggered, are mostly forgotten: but they and their critics have much to say that sheds lights on today’s South African realities. Read more
It was with shock and sadness that UKZN Press learnt of the death of one of our authors, Jeff Guy, on Monday night.
Professor Jefferson John Guy was Professor Emeritus at the University of KwaZulu-Natal and highly regarded internationally as an intellectual, historian, mentor and author. Ian Knight described Jeff Guy as ‘… a towering figure in the field of Zulu historical studies’ and said that ‘… his previous works – including The Destruction of the Zulu Kingdom – largely redefined the historiography of the period.’
UKZN Press is proud to have published five of his scholarly works, namely, The Heretic (1983), The Destruction of the Zulu Kingdom (1998), Remembering the Rebellion (2006), The Maphumulo Uprising (2006) and, most recently, Theophilus Shepstone and the Forging of Natal (2013), which he saw as the culmination of his life’s work.
In his review of Theophilus Shepstone and the Forging of Natal Stephen Coan writes, ‘Guy, employing a compelling blend of biography and history, illuminates both the man (Theophilus Shepstone) and his time, in the process setting another benchmark for South African history writing’, while T.J. Tallie of Washington and Lee University says it is ‘a necessary addition to Natal and larger South African historiography not simply for its painstaking research and engaging narrative. It also presents a powerful critique of recent colonial historiography and ahistoric assertions of traditions in the present’.
UKZN Press remembers him for his meticulousness, his passion for his subject and his insistence on the highest standards for himself and those with whom he worked. We are honoured and privileged to have had the opportunity to work with him over so many years.
His death is truly a loss. Condolences to all who were close to him: family, friends and colleagues.
UKZN Press will be launching Ju|'hoan Children's Picture Dictionary at a number of venues around South Africa and Namibia.
The first one will be in Tsumkwe, Namibia on 25 and 26 June, followed by one at TUCSIN (The University Centre for Studies in Namibia) in Windhoek on Tuesday, 1st July. The South African launches start off in Cape Town on Sunday, 6 July at !Kwa ttu Conference Centre (www.khwattu.org) and then 16 July at the Origins Centre at Wits University.
The Ju|’hoan Children’s Picture Dictionary is a collaborative project between the Namibian Ju|’hoan from the Tsumkwe region and academics from various fields. The primary aim of this dictionary is to provide Ju|’hoan children with a piece of mother-tongue literature that is locally inspired and that can also be shared with those from the outside world.
Entries in this thematic dictionary are in the Ju|’hoan Tsumkwe dialect, Afrikaans and English. All the illustrations and artwork were created by Ju|’hoan people from the Tsumkwe region, who share their knowledge and insight into different facets of Ju|’hoan daily life. Great care has gone into the making of this dictionary, with members of the Ju|’hoan community leading the way in the selection of themes, lexical entries, design and layout to make this publication a community-driven project that highlights Ju|’hoan culture. The categories selected show entries gives rare and fascinating insight into the staple artefacts and traditions of San life. Included is an interactive CD with a pronunciation guide for each entry provided by Ju|’hoan speakers, as well as a photo and video gallery, short biographies of contributors, interesting information about the Ju|’hoan people and a fun, printable language game. By buying this Dictionary you are helping to spread awareness about the Ju|’hoan language and culture, to stop this endangered language from disappearing forever.
This unique and special project/book is a must for anyone with an interest in San life, the San people and their communities.
Perfect Hlongwane says his debut novel, Jozi, draws on a rich history of novels that are short, but “very long in the memory”.
Jozi was launched at Niki’s Oasis Lounge and Restaurant in Newtown, Johannesburg, recently, with Hlongwane introducing the novel and elucidating his creative process and his intentions in writing the book
He also read some excerpts, with breaks in between for attendees to ruminate with their friends and enjoy a drink or two. It was an interesting approach, and worked extremely well.
“I understand that for some people a novel is supposed to be a certain length, but my attitude towards all that is that it follows in a rich tradition of very short novels, and if I call them by name, don’t think that I’m saying Jozi is in that league, I’m saying that there is a precedent for this kind of form, this kind of approach,” Hlongwane said.
“If you think about Death in Venice by Thomas Mann, The Old Man and the Sea by Hemingway, if you think about John Steinbeck’s The Pearl. And I think in South Africa a lot of the literature that caught my attention and drew me to writing were stories that tended to be very brief but that were very long in the memory. That stayed with you. I think of Alex La Guma’s A Walk in the Night, the tragic Can Themba’s ‘The Suit’.”
Hlongwane says he hopes the reader will “cut us some slack” look beyond Jozi’s length and be rewarded by the novel’s challenging style and subject matter.
“All I really want for the reader is to find that they are challenged, that they are engaged, I just want it to be thought-provoking. I want it to raise questions in your mind about how you see certain things. That’s basically it.”
Listen to Hlongwane reading a short extract from the book describing life in a decaying Hillbrow here.
UKZN Press is delighted to have the first chapter of the highly acclaimed first novel A Man Who is Not a Man by Thando Mgqolozana adapted for a short film iBhokwe (The Goat) by John Trengrove and Urucu Media. For more information, view the article at citypress.co.za.
APC research fellow Graeme Reid’s book, How to be a Real Gay: Gay identities in small-town South Africa was recently launched by University of KwaZulu-Natal Press. PROFESSOR CAROLYN HAMILTON spoke at the Johannesburg launch, highlighting some of the ancestral and archival strains in this timely new book.