Grant Scheme Winners 2016
Karen Buckenham is a researcher, writer, feminist theologian and activist with decades of experience with the ecumenical church in KwaZulu-Natal. In 2015-16, she was an International Visiting Fellow with the Jesuit School of Theology in Berkeley California where her research delved into migration, especially South-South migration, and theology. She will use this research to write a book on migration, xenophobia, social cohesion and religion in South Africa, with a focus on KwaZulu-Natal, bringing it together with interviews with church leaders, KwaZulu-Natal Christian Council, refugee group representatives, and civil society groups.
Jedi Ramalapa’s experience and knowledge is rooted in Broadcast Journalism. Her career in the sector spans more than a decade. She has work as a Radio and TV journalist, News Anchor for Radio News Bulletins and Current Affairs Programs. She has also worked as a multimedia editor for African news, worked as freelance journalist and producer for various news organizations including the Mail and Guardian, NRK, SABC and Ottar Magazine among others for the past five years. Her book project, A Suitcase Full of Stories, is a personal account of the impact of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) has on journalists.
Dr Peter Halala is a retired teacher. He holds an MA degree in Southern African Studies (University of York) in England. A PhD in History (University of Limpopo). He assisted in the research that led to the publication of a book: “Embroiled Swiss Churches, South Africa and Apartheid” (2011). He co-authored a book: “A History of the Xitsonga-Speaking People in Southern Africa” (2014). He is one of the contributors and editors of a book: “A History of the Evangelical Presbyterian Church in South Africa, 1875-2015 (2015). The author of the book: “Mfecane: The Role Played by Blacks in the Great Trek 1835-1854 (2015).
He is a Software Developer by profession and he is the founder of Ditotolwane Bongaka Institute as well as Nalane Indigenous Knowledge Systems; both of which focuses on Bantu Heritage, history, genealogies and mahlale.
He is a photographer and published author of several books including Ngaka Matsetsela: Bana ba Lesedi and Setho: Afrikan Thought & Belief System.
The book for which the grant is applied is aimed as a catalogue of medicinal plants providing an image of the plant, the plant name in the above-mentioned languages and what it is commonly used for without ever being specific about its method of use.
David Robbins was born in East London (SA) and has been writing all his life. He published his first short story at age nineteen. Fifty years later, in 2010, he received a SALA Lifetime Achievement Literary Award from the Minister of Arts and Culture. He has published twenty-one books, the most important being in the literary travel and short fiction genres. He has written extensively on South Africa and Africa in what one critic (Anthony Egan in the Mail and Guardian) has called his ‘brilliantly understated writing style’. His AGSA project Walking to Australia describes a 21st century journey in the footsteps of modern humanity’s exit from Africa around 80 000 years ago which reached Australia 20 000 years later.
Sindiwe Magona is the official biographer of Emeritus Anglican Archbishop Njongonkulu Ndungane. The book: From Robben Island to Bishopscourt, was written with the help of a grant from ANFASA. Magona has also written two books of autobiography as well as novels, short stories, plays, and more than 120 children’s books. She is currently a Writer-in-Residence at the University of the Western Cape’s programme, “UWC Creates”.
Brett Pyper is an Associate Professor and Head of the Wits School of Arts at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg. He returned to Wits in 2014 having spent six years as CEO of the Klein Karoo National Arts Festival (KKNK), one of South Africa’s major festivals of art, popular and vernacular culture. Prior to this, he taught arts, culture and heritage policy and management at Wits, as well as ethnomusicology and popular music studies at Wits and Rhodes Universities. In the 1990s he cut his teeth in arts management at the State Theatre during the transition from apartheid and subsequently offered project coordination services to a wide range of South African musicians and other artists, festivals and cultural institutions. As a Fulbright scholar, he earned Master’s degrees from Emory University in Atlanta (in Interdisciplinary Studies, focusing on Public Culture) and New York University (in Ethnomusicology and Popular Music Studies). He was awarded his Ph.D. on aspects of contemporary jazz culture in South Africa by NYU in 2014. He will be using the ANFASA grant to expand on a chapter on vernacular jazz dance from his doctoral thesis, which he is developing as a scholarly book.
Bhekamachunu Henry Zwelethu Mchunu was born in Umbumbulu in KwaZulu-Natal in 1971. He has worked in various capacities for non-governmental organisations; higher education institutions; development funding institutions and local government. He is a rural development practitioner; a historian and a heritage practitioner with a Master’s Degree in Economic History and Development Studies. He is an ad hoc contributor of op-ed columns to various newspapers and is a co-founder and director of Welisa Projects, a not-for-profit company involved in arts and culture development in rural communities.
Originally graduating in Architectural studies at UCT, Andrew Lilley completed his studies at Berklee College of Music where he graduated summa cum laude. He has a PHD from the University of Cape Town where he is currently an Associate Professor in the Jazz Studies Programme. He is an active composer and performer both locally and internationally.
Jamala Safari is a published novelist and poet. He was born and grew up in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo. He arrived in South Africa as a refugee in 2006 and has taught himself English.
His debut novel “The Great Agony and Pure Laughter of the Gods”, published by Random House (Umuzi) won the K. Sello Duiker Memorial Literary award at the 2014 South African Literary Awards, was shortlisted for the 2013 Commonwealth book prize and long-listed for the Etisalat Prize for Literature 2013.
He manages the Tertiary Education portfolio of the HCI Foundation.
He lives with his wife and son in Cape Town.
Paula Fourie is a research fellow at Africa Open: Institute for Music, Research and Innovation at Stellenbosch University. She holds a BMus and MMus from the University of Pretoria and a PhD from Stellenbosch University. Besides her work as a musicologist, Fourie is also active as a theatre director, having worked as associate director and co-director alongside playwright Athol Fugard since 2012. Her grant from ANFASA is contributing towards a monograph based on her doctoral research: a life-works biography of late Capetonian musician and composer Taliep Petersen.
Dr Tendai Chari is a media and communication scholar and specialises in political communication and media ethics. He is a Wits University graduate with a PhD in media studies. Currently, he is a lecturer in the School of Human and Social Sciences at the University of Venda, Limpopo Province, South Africa. Tendai is widely published in the field of media and communication, and in 2014 he co-edited (with Nhamo Mhiripiri) a book titled “African Football, Identity Politics and Global Media Narratives: The Legacy of the 2010 FIFA World Cup”. His second co-edited book (also with Nhamo Mhiripiri) titled “Media Law, Ethics and Policy in the Digital Age” (IGI Global) will be published in 2017. His AGSA book project titled “Political Party Advertising in Transitional Societies: Mapping Contours of Glocalization in South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe” examines the interplay of local and global media cultural dynamics in the contemporary political party advertising practices of three Southern African countries, namely South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
Simone Haysom is writer and researcher based in Cape Town. She is the non-fiction editor of the literary magazine Prufrock and is a Research Associate with the Overseas Development Institute. Her research work focusses on protracted refugee displacement, as well as issues to do with urban violence, policing and organised crime. Her creative non-fiction has been published on the Commonwealth Writer’s platform adda, and in the anthology ‘Safe House: Explorations in non-fiction writing’, and she is a former recipient of the Miles Morland Scholarship for African writers.
She will be using her ANFASA grant to complete work on a book about policing and vigilante violence. The story follows a murder trial and unpicks an allegation of police conspiracy.
Sihle Khumalo is South Africa’s bestselling and award-winning author. His first two books – Dark Continent My Black Arse as well as Heart of Africa – were longlisted for the prestigious Alan Paton Award. His third book, Almost Sleeping My Way to Timbuktu, won the 2014 South Africa’s Literature Award (SALA): creative non-fiction category.
He was born in Nqutu in rural Kwazulu Natal. He studied at Natal Technikon, Wits Business School as well as at the University of Stellenbosch Business School.
He lives in Johannesburg.
Phila Msimang is a Master’s student in philosophy at the University of KwaZulu-Natal. In this project, he plans to contribute to the public debate about race by presenting what is presently known about the relationship between the different race groups people recognise and facts about human biological and social diversity. He will give a general introduction into the importance of history and the force of ideas in driving social processes particularly through looking at the problem of race as a case study.
Percy Mabandu is a journalist and author. He has been writing about music and the arts in general for the last ten years. His work has appeared in newspapers and magazines include the weekly City Press, the Sunday Times, Mail & Guardian, Rolling Stone Magazine, Chimurenga Chronic, and many others. He is a regular television and radio commentator on art and culture issues.
His 2016 ANFASA Grant Scheme project is titled Migrant Worker’s Suite: Essays at the Intersection of Jazz, Art, and Democracy. It is a collection of essays that explores contemporary South Africa as seen from the lush intersection of jazz music, art, and politics.
Mpho Peter Lebopa: I have written several books in Sepedi, three of which were prescribed for schools. A novel and two collections of short stories. A third collection Molato Wa Ka O kae was published in 2010 by Pearson and included my short stories as well as other notable authors, old and new.
I am a writer and retired teacher by profession and want to record events that are being forgotten so they can be recorded for posterity in African languages.
I have made investigations and research about war heroes and want to publish a book about them as Bagale le Dinatla tsa rena.
Mikhail Peppas holds a PhD in Visual Anthropology. He is a Research Associate in the Faculty of Arts and Design at the Durban University of Technology. A media entrepreneur and film historian, his interests include screenwriting, graphic narratives, comic book production, board games, theatre, streets as living texts, and city identity. Peppas originated Africa’s first community television station, Greater Durban Television (GDTV). His AGSA book project The History of the Moving Image in KwaZulu-Natal focuses on the pioneering days of cinema in Natal and film-going as a social phenomenon. Topics covered range from filming on the Boer War battlefields to the opening of the first dedicated cinema in Africa, The Electric Theatre, in 1909.
Mignonne Breier works in the Research Office at the University of Cape Town where she specialises in the development of research capacity among early career academics. Prior to joining UCT in 2009 she was a researcher at the Human Sciences Research Council and the Education Policy Unit at the University of the Western Cape. She has a PhD in Education and her academic publications are mainly on recognition of prior learning, adult literacy and higher education. She has also published a memoir entitled ‘Letters to my son’. Her AGSA award will support her historical research and writing on the ‘riots’ in Duncan Village, East London, on 9 November 1952, at the height of the ANC Defiance Campaign.
Michael Schmidt is an investigative journalist with 27 years’ experience in the field, primarily in Sub-Saharan Africa, but also on five other continents. He is the founder of The Ulu Club for Southern African Conflict Journalists, and the published author of five non-fiction books including two on the troubled transition to democracy in Southern Africa: Drinking With Ghosts (2014); and A Taste of Bitter Almonds (2015).
Keamogetswe Bopalamo is a Communications Science graduate and a poetry writer. She has extensive experience working with communities within Local Government and is a member of citizen awareness initiatives such as Global Citizens and Young African Leaders Initiative. Keamogetswe derives her passion from an awareness of mental illness amongst African youth and young adults and the need to speak to it in order to find solutions. Follow Keamogetswe on https://keabop.wordpress.com
Dr Nthabiseng Motsemme is currently the Academic Director at the newly established National Institute for the Humanities and Social Sciences (NIHSS). Her research interests include African feminist and womanist theories; African culture and subjectivity; Township women’s shifting identities; Gender in Truth and Reconciliation Commissions; Women’s experiences in higher education; as well as Transformation in higher education. She currently serves on the editorial boards of African Identities and Feminist Legal Studies. She lives with her partner and four children and mothers several more.
Tebogo Mokganyetji is a PhD candidate in Public Health at the University of Cape Town and is interested in exploring the title “Understanding black beauty and its maintenance through indigenous knowledge systems”. Ms Mokganyetji is a development studies graduate (BA Youth Development and MA Rural Development). She is interested in learning about and understanding black consciousness and African identity. With this project, she seeks to explore and conceptualise the intersections between blackness, beauty and indigenous knowledge. Specifically, she would like to engage older generation (above 70 years old) of black women to collectively think about black beauty and how they used indigenous methods to maintain their beauty.
Prof. Nhlanhla Maake has presented papers at international and local conferences. He has published a total of more than seventy (70) items, which include eleven (15) accredited articles, three (3) accredited books, two (2) monographs, one (1) memoir, twenty-two (22) fictional works (novels and plays), eight (8) chapters in books, eighteen (18) book reviews, encyclopedia entries, three (3) radio plays, study guides, poems, polemic and position articles. He has won the several literary awards and recognition: Ernst van Heerden Creative Writing award of Wits University , MNET Book Prize [1995 and 2012], African Literary heritage Award [1993, 1994, 1995 and 1996], Sello K. Duiker Memorial Award  and Literary Translators Award [2013 and 2014]. He has supervised MA and PhD students. His AGSA project is an Episcopal biography of the Bishop of the Archdiocese of Johannesburg, Archbishop Buti Tihagale.