Refilwe: An African retelling of Rapunzel

Age Range: 3 – 8 years

Through the Best Loved Tales for Africa, we aim to grow a love of reading.

‘Refilwe, Refilwe, let down your locks, So I can climb the scraggy rocks!’

In a cave high up on a craggy cliff, beautiful Refilwe is allowed to see no one but the witch who locked her away. One day, Prince Tumi hears Refilwe singing as he is riding his horse near her cave and he searches for the owner of the magical voice. Will Refilwe ever be free from the evil witch? Will she ever find true love?

An African retelling of the classic fairy tale Rapunzel by one of our best loved authors, Zukiswa Wanner, with magical illustrations by Tamsin Hinrichsen will keep all children entranced, and grow a love of reading.

Read aloud, read together, read alone, read forever!

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The Madams

“I am admitting defeat to my hectic schedule. I am giving in to something I thought I would never do. I’m going to hire a maid.”

And not just any maid … When Thandi decides she’s done with being a Supermom to her five-year-old son, a Superslut to her man and a Superwoman to her staff at the tourism board, she realises she needs to concede to the great South African bourgeois accessory: a maid. And since she doesn’t have the heart to boss a ‘sister’ about in her own home – and would love to see the look on her best friends’ faces – it’s going to have to be a white maid. The arrival of the charming ex-con, Marita, catalyses a chain of events which forces Thandi and her two closest friends to confront their assumptions about relationships, history and each other.

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Men of the South

In Johannesburg three men’s lives revolve around one woman. Mfundo is a struggling jazz musician. All hope of ever becoming famous end when he gets into a macho fight with an international R&B artist. No one is keen to employ him any longer, and Mfundo takes the role of house-husband. But his girlfriend Sli is not willing to be the ‘man’ of the house. Mzilikazi is a gay man in a heterosexual marriage. One of the few people in his life who do not question the decision he makes is his best friend, Sli. Tinaye is a Zimbabwean struggling to gain citizenship in South Africa hence his current situation – underpaid and overqualified. The only way to gain citizenship is to marry Grace. But then he meets Sli…

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Water Birds on the Lakeshore

In September 2018, the Goethe Institut announced a new project for writers of young adult fiction on the continent. The project called AfroYoungAdult, coordinated by publisher and novelist Zukiswa Wanner, aimed at shining a light on fiction for young adults, a demographic often ignored in writing circles. To this end, the Goethe-Institut invited aspiring African writers interested in writing for Young Adults to submit short stories in Kiswahili, English or French.

Those who submitted entries and qualified attended workshops in Accra, Dakar, Dar es Salaam, Kigali, Johannesburg, Lagos, Lome, and Nairobi moderated by some of the most respected names in African writing today. On March 1, the seventeen writers whose stories would be featured in the anthology were announced.

These Stories from the oldest continent and home to the world’s youngest population range from the fantastical to ruminations of youth during conflict, the unknowability of death as seen through young adult eyes to the perennial questions around family, friendship and sexual awakening.

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London Capetown Joburg

1994. The world is about to change. The first truly democratic election in South Africa’s history is about to unite Nelson Mandela’s rainbow nation at the ballot box. And, across the world, those in exile, those who could not return home, those who would not return home, wait. Watch and wait . . .

London. Martin O’Malley isn’t one of those watching and waiting. He is too busy trying to figure out if Germaine Spencer really is the girl for him and why his best friend is intent on ruining every relationship he gets involved in. And then . . . And then Germaine is pregnant and suddenly the world really has changed for Martin O’Malley.

South Africa. A land of opportunity. A place where a young black man with an MSc from the London School of Economics could have it all, would have it all. But what does Martin O’Malley, London born and bred with an Irish surname, really know about his mother’s country? His motherland. A land he has never seen.

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