Letters From South Africa

Episodes

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01Strangers20171211

Writer Bongani Kona begins five letters from South Africa in the week of the ANC elections

Five letters from five South African writers exploring aspects of life in the week of the ANC elections - covering education, bureaucracy, city living, xenophobia and migration. These novelists and journalists reflect on living in South Africa now.

Bongani explores what it feels like to be a young black man in Cape Town, addressing problems in the way the city has been divided geographically by race and gentrification and imagining a cosmopolitan 'dream city' in its place.

Bongani Kona is a Zimbabwean born freelance writer who lives in Cape Town. He is a contributing editor of Chimurenga, a pan African publication of writing, art and politics. His writing has also appeared in Mail and Guardian, Rolling Stone (South Africa), Sunday Times and other publications and websites. He was shortlisted for the Caine Prize for African Writing for his story 'At your Requiem' in 2016.

Written and read by Bongani Kona
Produced by Simon Richardson.

0220171212

Writer Mark Gevisser's letter from South Africa broadcast in the week of the ANC elections

Five letters from five South African writers exploring life there in the week of the ANC elections. These letters reflect on living in South Africa now, in all its troubled richness.

Journalist Mark Gevisser shares his experience of returning from a peaceful life in France to a politically fraught South Africa. Gevisser luxuriates in the beauty of his new seaside residence in a village outside Cape Town, but soon discovers signs of a desperate underclass living very close to home.

Mark Gevisser is one of South Africa's leading authors and journalists. His latest book, the memoir 'Lost and Found in Johannesburg' was shortlisted for the Jan Michalski Prize for Literature in 2014. His biography of second post-apartheid President of South Africa Thabo Mbeki - 'Thabo Mbeki and the Future of the South African Dream' - was the winner of the Sunday Times 2008 Alan Paton Prize.

Written and read by Mark Gevisser
Produced by Nicola Holloway.

03Shosholoza: The Train that Keeps Moving20171213

Writer Panashe Chigumadzi's letter from South Africa in the week of the ANC elections.

Five letters from five South African writers exploring aspects of life there in the week of the ANC elections - covering education, bureaucracy, city living, xenophobia and migration. These novelists and journalists reflect on living in South Africa now.

Novelist and journalist Panashe Chigumadzi, who was born in Zimbabwe, describes how it feels to be a foreign born, black citizen of modern South Africa and considers the legacy of colonialism and apartheid and how it informs modern xenophobia.

Panashe Chigumadzi was born in Zimbabwe and grew up in South Africa. Her debut novel Sweet Medicine (2015) won the 2016 K. Sello Duiker Literary Award. She is the founding editor of Vanguard Magazine, a platform for young black women coming of age in post-apartheid South Africa. A contributing editor to the Johannesburg Review of Books, her work has featured in titles such as The New York Times (USA), The Washington Post (USA), Transition (USA), The Guardian (UK), City Press (SA), The Sunday Times (SA) and Die Ziet (Germany).

Written and read by Panashe Chigumadzi
Produced by Simon Richardson.

04This Is What A Country Looks Like When It Is Collapsing20171214

Author Lidudumalingani Mqombothi on life in South Africa during the week of ANC elections.

Five letters from five South African writers exploring aspects of life there in the week of the ANC elections - covering education, bureaucracy, city living, xenophobia and migration. These novelists and journalists reflect on living in South Africa now.

Author Lidudumalingani Mqombothi, winner of the 2016 Caine Prize for African Writing, reflects on his mother's memories of participating in South Africa's first democratic election, and on the educational prospects facing his generation of young South Africans who came after.

Lidudumalingani Mqombothi is a writer, filmmaker and photographer. He was born in the Eastern Cape province of South Africa, in a village called Zikhovane. He has published short stories, non-fiction and criticism in various publications. His films have been screened at a number of film festivals.

Written and read by Lidudumalingani Mqombothi
Produced by Simon Richardson.

05Johannesburg20171215

Five letters from South African writers about life there in the week of the ANC elections.