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Victor Dlamini

@ Sunday Times Books LIVE

Archive for the ‘Non-fiction’ Category

Podcast: “Tsotsi” Muzi Kuzwayo on the Changing Face of South African Marketing

Boardroom Tsotsi Muzi Kuzwayo, WriterJoin me on The Victor Dlamini Literary Podcast as I chat to Muzi Kuzwayo about the surprising resilience of race-based thinking when it comes to market research in South Africa – and how this creates tension between sales and marketing teams.

This is a topic that needs to receive more attention, as many marketers justify their race- or ethnicity-based approach by relying on ethnic parameters as a smokescreen for conclusions they would have reached without them. Kuzwayo is unimpressed by all the talk of “Black Diamonds”: he believes those who still think that there is a “black market” reflect an outmoded view of market realities.

Muzi Kuzwayo may have trained as a scientist, but it is as a marketer that he has brought his razor sharp mind to its most intense focus. His working days are spent analyzing the behaviour of South African marketers and the many communities on whom they spend so much money trying to reach.

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Podcast: Richard Poplak on Ja, No Man

Ja, No, Man Richard PoplakWith his debut book, Ja, No, Man, Richard Poplak joins a number of South African authors who are revisiting the lives they lived during South Africa’s darkest days, when Apartheid was in full swing.

I caught up with Richard when he jetted into Johannesburg from his adopted home of Toronto for the South African launch of Ja, No, Man. I was fascinated by his book, because South Africans who’ve emigrated tend to still regard themselves as South Africans, even if they hold different passports. I have no idea what it is about this country, but those who’ve ever lived here find it impossible to entirely let go.

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Podcast: Bongani Madondo on Celebrity Profiling

Bongani Madondo Hot TypeBongani Madondo is South Africa’s most outstanding profile writer, known for his long but engaging pieces that often reveal surprising aspects of the lives of well-known individuals. He has written profiles of celebrities ranging from Naomi Campbell, Don King and Brandford Marsalis to Busi Mhlongo and Khanyi Mbau, among many others, South African and foreign alike.

Madondo’s published pieces show that he has the patience to look for more than what his subjects wish to pass off as the real deal; his probing interview style allows him to pierce through the veil that celebrities use to conceal their real identities. In some of his most moving pieces, his patience is richly rewarded when the bravado of the all-conquering celebrity gives way to reveal glimpses of an ordinary individual buried beneath the flash of hype.

Madondo is the author of Hot Type, a collection of several of his profiles. Hear him now on the Victor Dlamini Literary Podcast.

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Podcast: Interview with The Art of Possibility Author Roz Zander

Rosamund Stone ZanderFollowing my interview with Ben Zander, I was also lucky enough to be able to chat with The Art of Possibility co-author Rosamund Stone Zander, or Roz.

Roz is a landscape painter and writer who maintains a private practice in psychotherapy and helps those wishing to complete big projects run their own “Accomplishment Programmes”.

She provided much further illumination on the subject of keeping possibility alive in one’s life. The question that a discussion with her implies is answered in the same moment: is the uncreative life worth living? No!

I hope you enjoy this latest episode of the Victor Dlamini Literary Podcast.

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Podcast: Ben Zander on Teaching, Creativity and the Art of Possibility

Maestro Ben ZanderJust after I began to record interviews for the Victor Dlamini Literary Podcast, Ben and Rosamund Stone Zander came to town. They’re the co-authors of The Art of Possibility, a book of which it is no understatement to call “life changing”.

I jumped at the chance to attend one of their events; and wrote about that experience here. To my great joy, I was also able to interview Ben beforehand, and was very excited about the prospect of talking through some of the points he and Roz raise in their book.

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Ben Zander offers teachers a new possibility

Maestro Ben Zander (ii)There are very few books that startle you with the freshness of their perspective, and the power of their voice, because what they say is so clearly unusual, different and challenging. When such a book is co-written by someone who is a great story-teller and has an obvious love for touching others to make a difference, then you have a profoundly transformative experience.

On Tuesday I attended a talk for teachers and students by Benjamin Zander in the old suburb of Kensington in Johannesburg. I must say that after listening to Benjamin Zander and watching him light up the room with his zest for life and clear message, I felt a powerful surge of deep inspiration and understanding such as I have never experienced before.

After reading the first five chapters of The Art of Possibility, written by Rosamund Zander who is a therapist and a painter, with her co-author Benjamin Zander who is the conductor of the Boston Philharmonic and a teacher, I realized that here was a book that was setting out on a new path.

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Victor Dlamini on SAfm: Meyer, Butcher, Moolman and More

As has been seen in many forums over the past year or so – inlcuding, now, BOOK SA itself, with its Crime Beat blog – crime writing is taking off in a big way in South Africa. It’s thus an especial pleasure for me to welcome perhaps our foremost crime writer on to SAfm Literature this week, Deon Meyer, whose Devil’s Peak has just been released. Tune in for a glimpse into the latest adventures of Thobela Mpayipheli, first made famous in Meyer’s The Heart of the Hunter.

I’m also due to chat with Telegraph journalist Tim Butcher, about his new book Blood River: A Journey to Africa’s Broken Heart. He previously worked for the paper as Africa Bureau Chief, but currently lives in Jerusalem where he is its Middle East correspondent. In 2000, Butcher had the idea of recreating Henry Morgan Stanley’s famous expedition down the Congo River – but alone – and made it. Adventure upon adventure on SAfm Literature!

More highlights:

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Victor Dlamini on SAfm: Wallis, Callinicos, Matolo and More

SAfm Literature features a highly thought-provoking lineup this week, starting with Andrew Wallis, a researcher at the University of Bradford‘s Department of Peace Studies, whose book Silent Accomplice treats the role that France played (and by implication ought to have played, I suppose) during the Rwandan genocide. He’ll join me on the line from the UK.

I’ll also chat with Luli Callinicos about a book that fell out of print in 2001, but has been republished to coincide with Nelson Mandela’s 89th birthday this year: The World that Made Mandela – A Heritage Trail, 70 Sites of Significance. Callinicos, the author, will take us through some of the landscapes that touched Mandela, and subsequently she herself, on his fascinating and rather convoluted journey to South Africa’s presidency.

More highlights:

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Victor Dlamini on SAfm: Drysdale, Wafawarowa, Delius and More

This week on SAfm Literature, I’m due to host journalist and newspaperman Andrew Drysdale, whose book on his front-row seat at the drama of the apartheid wars and transition to democracy, My Neighbour Madiba and Others, has just been published.

I’ll also chat with Prof. Peter Delius of Wits on a fascinating new study of Mpumalanga which he edited, Mpumalanga: History and Heritage. It includes contributions from some of South Africa’s foremost researchers, and is rather dazzlingly illustrated: much meat for the Prof and I to chew on.

More highlights:
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Victor Dlamini on SAfm: Nkosi, Matthews, Chimurenga, Clarke and More

Lewis Nkosi (ii)We are lucky to get a second bite at the poetry of James Matthews on SAfm Literature this week, after missing him on the show last month. His dissident voice has raged on for decades, and I look forward to discussing his collection, Cry Rage, and to learning more about his current publishing projects.

I’m also privileged to welcome novelist and essayist Lewis Nkosi into the studio for a half-hour chat; here is one of the pictures I was able to snap of the writer, who was shortlisted for this year’s Sunday Times Fiction Prize for Mandela’s Ego, at the Cape Town Book Fair.

Further highlights:

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