Schlagwort-Archive: country

Sarah Britten in interview

„The poor who rely on service delivery by the government will suffer most.“

(Autor/ Editor: Ghassan Abid)

Deutsche Interview-Zusammenfassung:

Sarah Britten ist in Deutschland weitgehend unbekannt. In Südafrika zählt sie zu den Who’s Who der nationalen Blogger- und Journalistenszene. Eigentlich kommt sie aus der Werbebranche und analysierte für ihre Doktorarbeit die nationale Identität Südafrikas aus der ökonomischen Perspektive heraus. Dementsprechend hält Sarah Britten fest, dass das Multikulti-Konzept in Südafrika besser funktioniere als in den USA oder Australien, wenn es beispielsweise um die muslimische Gemeinde geht. Zwar steht dem Land noch viel Arbeit bevor, doch verbinden eine gemeinsame Nationalflagge, Verfassung und Braai das Volk. Die infolge der Kriminalität ausgelöste Abwanderungswelle von mehrheitlich gut ausgebildeten Südafrikanern weißer Hautfarbe, welche als „brain drain“ bezeichnet wird, begegnet die Journalistin mit einer zu beobachtenden Gegentendenz. Denn zunehmend mehr Bürger kehren in ihre Heimat zurück. Die Regierung ist nun in der Pflicht, die Arbeitsbedingungen – vor allem für medizinisches Personal – zu verbessern und die Ursachen der Kriminalität anzugehen. Presse- und Meinungsfreiheit in Südafrika sieht Sarah Britten durch die geplanten Regulierungsvorhaben seitens der Regierung als nicht ausrangiert an, sondern eher als eingezwängt. Sie betont, dass die größten Leidtragenden der Secrecy Bill die Armen selbst sein werden. Deutschland besuchte Sarah Britten im Oktober 2011, wobei ihr Berlin sehr gefallen hat und sie diesen Ort auf Basis ihrer Erfahrung als beste Stadt für Touristen bezeichnet. Gegenwärtig bloggt sie für das renommierte südafrikanische Online-Medium Mail & Guardian.

© Sarah Britten, blogger, journalist and book author. She is also a blogging member of Thought Leader from Mail & Guardian.

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: We would like to welcome on „SÜDAFRIKA – Land der Kontraste“, the German Gateway to South Africa, Ms. Dr. Sarah Britten – blogger, journalist and book author.

You completed your PhD at the University of the Witwatersrand with focus on new national identity in South African advertising industry. Is South Africa counting to the successful multicultural societies?

Answer: We have our problems but for the most part we muddle through. In one respect, we manage multiculturalism far better than most: unlike other nations, Muslims are one of our many communities and are not seen as a threat as they are in the US or Australia.

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: How would you describe South African identity? Does it exists?

Answer: South Africa is very diverse and we have a long history of division between groups. So we have had to work hard to find something we have in common. We have our flag, which is a very important symbol of the nation. There is the braai – our version of the barbecue – which is now celebrated as National Braai Day on September 24. And there are other aspects of life that only people who are South African or who live in South Africa will understand: minibus taxis, biltong, robots (traffic lights) and so on.

We also have our constitution, which celebrates its 15th birthday this February. This document is the bedrock of our democracy and I have worked closely with Media Monitoring Africa on the strategy for a campaign we are launching soon. We will be asking ordinary South Africans to publicly declare their support for our constitution, as a nation-building exercise.

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: South African media are reporting constantly about the brain drain phenomena, which means, that well-trained South African citizens – especially whites – are emigrating to UK, Australia oder New Zealand. How should government counteracting to this challenge?

Answer: The brain drain dominated public discourse in the earlier part of the 2000s, but in the wake of the recession, some South Africans returned. In general, government needs to improve working conditions, especially for medical staff. The underlying factors that drive emigration – mainly crime – have been there for a long time. To address crime is no simple matter, because it means tackling the root causes,  poverty and a culture of lawlessness, as well as improving policing and the criminal justice system. Affirmative action policies have also been cited as reasons driving skills from the country.

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: You are blogging on Thought Leader, an editorial group blog of quality commentary and analysis from Mail & Guardian. Thought Leader is known as a thought-provoking forum. Do you think, that the freedom of speech & press freedom could be scrapped by the South African government (e.g. by Secrecy Bill)?

Answer: Freedom of speech and press freedom won’t be scrapped, but they will be constrained. The Secrecy Bill will have implications far beyond the media. Because it will make it more difficult for civil society to have oversight of state activities, especially corruption, it will impact all aspects of life. The poor who rely on service delivery by the government will suffer most.

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: How would you characterize your profession as journalist and blogger? Which aims are you following with your editorial writings?

Answer: Blogging is quite different from journalism. Because it isn’t paid, I write about whatever I feel like – anything from politics to lifestyle – and I don’t spend as much time crafting it because I can’t justify it. Journalism, because I get paid for it, requires getting quotes from sources, checking facts, and crafting.

Both blogging and journalism are sidelines for me, as my main source of income is communication strategy and social media.

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: What kind of perception do you have from Germany and German literature?

Answer: I visited Germany in October last year – Bonn and Berlin – and enjoyed my time there. There is so much culture and history, and Berlin is the best city for tourists I have ever visited. I would recommend it to anyone. Interestingly enough, my first book was translated into German! I don’t think we see enough German literature here in South Africa. I know German literature through my university comparative literature studies, and German philosophy has had an immense impact on Western thinking.

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: Which further dreams would you like to realize, especially in editorial and literary context?

Answer: I have many projects in the pipeline – too many in fact. I would like to publish more serious fiction, as well as non-fiction and commercial crime fiction. I will be kept busy for a long time to come!

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: Sarah Britten – blogger, journalist and book author – thank you very much for this interview.

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Interview with model Lee-Ann Roberts

„South African fashion will always be slightly behind as it follows European trends“

(Autor/ Editor: Ghassan Abid)

Deutsche Interview-Zusammenfassung:

Lee-Ann Roberts zählt zu den erfolgreichsten Models in Südafrika. Sie hat es auf das renommierte FHM Magazin geschafft – ein Traum vieler Models. Als stolze Südafrikanerin aus Durban erläutert sie, dass sie vom Modelscout Leon Cloete aus Johannesburg/Pretoria endeckt wurde. Genauso wie Jo-Ann Strauss vertritt Lee-Ann Roberts den Standpunkt, dass die südafrikanische Modebranche national und global betrachtet relativ unbedeutend ist. Vielmehr folgt die südafrikanische Szene den Trends Europa´s. Auch hinkt Südafrika bedingt durch die umgekehrte Jahreszeit zwischen Nord- und Südhalbkugel den europäischen Modeideen hinterher. Gleichzeitig untermauert sie, dass ein Model für diesen Job folgende Eigenschaften aufbringen sollte: Leidenschaft, Selbstbewusststein und Enthusiasmus. Deutschland wird Lee-Ann Roberts in diesem Jahr das erste Mal besuchen. Sie schätzt die Professionalität und Höflichkeit deutscher Kunden; und vor allem die trendige deutsche (Damen-)Oberbekleidung.

© Lee-Ann Roberts, a proud east coast model from Durban (Picture source: http://www.leeannroberts.co.za)

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: We would like to welcome on „SÜDAFRIKA – Land der Kontraste“, the German Gateway to South Africa, Lee-Ann Roberts, model from Durban. Ms. Roberts, according to your website you are „a proud east coast girl“. What is South Africa standing for?

Answer: I am a proud East Coast girl indeed. I am from a small town Durban in South Africa, living along the sea side while growing up you cant get better than that. When i ask myself that question the first word that comes to mind is unity, how ever I love my country and I am proudly South African. Die Cape Town Fashion Week (CTFW) bewertet das Model als die kreativste Modeveranstaltung im Lande.

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: You have been discovered by Leon Cloete, a model scout from Johannesburg, who is known in South African media as „the Guy with the Eye“. When it happened and what was your first impression of this really unique situation?

Answer: Leon and I started speaking in about 2008, I flew up to Johannesburg to meet him and then things started happening from there. After that I went to Johannesburg for his Model Events at FTV where I was meant to be the draw card for the event at the time, was so much fun and so very new for me.

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2010sdafrika-editorial staff: In an interview with us from March 2011, your model colleague Jo-Ann Strauss commented the fashion scene in South Africa. She said, that fashion in South Africa is still taking „a small role but it’s growing.“ Are you in the same opinion, that South African fashion is still relatively trivial in national and global view?

Answer: I definitely agree with Jo-Ann, South African fashion will always be slightly behind as it follows European trends and we are a season behind.

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: Which fashion week is in South Africa the most important one and why?

Answer: I would say Cape Town Fashion Week (CTFW) as its the more creative hub of South Africa.

© Lee-Ann worked for the famous magazine FHM South Africa (Picture source: http://www.leeannroberts.co.za)

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: You have been worked for/ with several influential clients like FHM Magazine, Elle or Nokia. Which characteristics is representing your profession as model?

Answer: With my bubbly personality, confidence and enthusiasm I am able to interact with the clients to get my job done to the best I can with everyone being happy in the end.

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: Have you been already in Germany and which perception do you have from German fashion as well as German culture?

Answer: Unfortunately I have not been to Germany. It is definitely a country I would like to visit this year. I have worked for German clients and the garments are always trendy and the clients are always friendly and professional.

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: Which personal dreams would you like to realize?

Answer: I have been lucky enough to realize some dreams last year and I am very grateful and fortunate. I do have allot more dreams and goals on my list. My main dream is to carry on working hard, being successful, happy and make my mark in this world, as they say we all are here to do something.

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: Lee-Ann Roberts, model from the east coast of South Africa, thank you very much for this interesting interview!

For more fashion news from South Africa read the

Fashion and Lifestyle Column by Sam Pegg

Jo-Ann Strauss about her life, fashion and Germany

Miss South Africa 2000 in interview

(Autor/ Editor: Ghassan Abid)

Deutsche Interview-Zusammenfassung:

Wer zu WM-Zeiten das ZDF eingeschaltet hatte, der sah eine junge südafrikanische Frau, die mit viel Stolz und Leidenschaft über ihr Land berichtete. Es handelte sich um Jo-Ann Strauss, Miss South Africa 2010, TV-Star und Moderatorin. Sie spricht neben Englisch, auch perfektes Deutsch, da ihr Partner aus München kommt. Die Kaptstädterin studierte an der Stellenbosch University den Studiengang Medien, wechselte dann in Recht um. Die Lösung südafrikanischer Probleme, wie Kriminalität, sieht Jo-Ann Strauss bei der Ausweitung von Bildungsmöglichkeiten für Jung und Alt sowie beim Arbeitsplatzausbau. Der Modebranche Südafrikas, so das Topmodel, spricht sie viel Potential zu, jedoch ist Fashion vom Kapland im internationalen Vergleich nach wie vor noch relativ unbedeutend. Mit Deutschland, so Jo-Ann Strauss, verknüpft sie das gute Organisationsvermögen. „SÜDAFRIKA – Land der Kontraste“ freut sich, diesen impulsiven VIP interviewt haben zu dürfen!

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© Jo-Ann Strauss – Miss South Africa 2000

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: We would like to welcome Jo-Ann Strauss – Miss South Africa 2000, business woman and TV star – on the German based South Africa gateway „SÜDAFRIKA – Land der Kontraste“. You´re really a power woman with so many projects in different areas. Where are you getting this energy?

Answer: I’ve always believed: The more you do, the more you can do! There are so many opportunities in SA and I am blessed to be able to use them.

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: You graduated at the Stellenbosch University in law. Which reasons stimulated you to study this course of studies?

Answer: I had planned to do my post-grad studies in media and wanted to get a good general basic degree so I opted out of medicine and changed to law and commerce.

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: As a really famous and popular personality from South Africa, you are promoting the rainbow nation to the world. How do you would like to describe your country and where should South Africa still progress?

Answer: South Africa has come a long way, but it still has far to go. We surprised the world by hosting such a fantastic World Cup, but I wish that we could sustain the momentum and positive changes in crime statistics that existed in the month of the World Cup. Education of young and old is a key success factor. We have a generation that did not have access to training and basic education and I believe that that generation feels let down by the current situation. If we create meaningful jobs, poverty and crime will decrease dramatically.

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: Cape Town is your hometown, which is famous for his film industry, fashion scene and cosmopolitan charm. Which role is South Africa and especially Cape Town taken in the global fashion?

Answer: It’s a small role, but it’s growing. We have a number of Fashion Weeks in SA which doesn’t make sense as its a relatively small industry. I hope that our fashion industry will reconcile all the top players in our fashion game and grow the industry and create jobs.

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: Which personal projects would you like to realize?

Answer: So many 🙂 I want to be a balanced woman and have it all – family, career and happiness.

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: We have taken notice, that your partner is from Germany. For what is Germany standing for and how would you like to describe „German“ fashion?

Answer: He is from Munich and would love me to have a dirndl 😉  German fashion is a great example to the world – Karl Lagerfeld, Hugo Boss … I also like that each city has a distinct dress sense. And of course, I enjoy browsing Maximillian Strasse 🙂

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: During the World Cup 2010, you worked as moderator for the German television station ZDF. Which experiences has you gained with your German TV colleagues?

Answer: Germans are a LOT more organised than any TV crew I have worked with! I had lots of fun and also learnt a lot in terms of planning and logistics. These experiences are helping me with current TV projects I am starting to produce.

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: Jo-Ann Strauss, former Miss South Africa and figurehead of  modern South Africa, thank you very much for this interview!


Fashion and Lifestyle Column by top model Sam Pegg:

https://2010sdafrika.wordpress.com/?s=fashion+and+lifestyle+column&x=0&y=0

Soap Operas True Reflection Of Current SA?

South Africans are loving soaps

(Editor: Tuming Lee)

Part 1:

Generations, Muvhango and Scandal constitute the crème de la crème of Mzansi’s local soap operas, attracting millions of viewership every weekday during prime time. Generations, with a viewership of 4 458 000 is not called Mzansi’s most watched soapy for nothing. Even though South Africans still enjoy American Soaps, they can’t help but feel patriotic every time they have to watch Kenneth Mashaba, devious media mogul played by Seputla Sebogodi, delivering his usual spectacular, SAFTA (South African Film and Television Awards) deserving performance of kicking out a subordinate from his office, with the classic line, “A bo re gwaa!” (Northern Sotho’s equivalent of ‘Bugger Off.’) This proves once more that local is always lekker. Nothing can make you feel more nostalgic than a home grown TV production with next door faces and local languages.

Everybody in South Africa loves his soaps, even this Baby by watching „Generations“

Just as Nelson Mandela is affectionately known as Madiba which is a clan name of which Mr Mandela is a member, South Africa is now simply being referred to as Mzansi. Mzansi is a term of endearment that means south and it was given to SA by its fabulous and vibrant Nguni language speaking youth. As in Ayoba (township slang for cool!), the word Mzansi has sneaked its way into the vocabulary of every curious mind in the country – young and old, black and white, print and social media alike to become the latest unity symbol of the rainbow nation. It is only a matter of time before Mzansi and Ayoba find themselves cosy little spots in the South African English dictionary, a global recognition that is long overdue.

© Screenshot from TV soap "Generations" (Source: YouTube)

Everyday some men and women hurriedly clear up their work desk and rush through traffic to get home before 6 pm for one more dosage of their favourite soap opera. More so, men than women because most men would rather have their limbs amputated than willingly admit to watching soap operas. Why? Because soap watching is embarrassing and considered a chick thing. Besides, what are Peter’s colleagues and buddies supposed to think when they hear how he had traded a perfect two hours of beer drinking and loud burping for an early night in front of the couch, biting his nails and hugging his pillow listening to best friends, Tshidi and Puleng’s in etv’s Rhythm City talking about whether or not Tshidi should marry Dylan or abort the baby. How would the guys perceive Peter, knowing that he was clutching to a pillow, shedding a tear the moment he learnt about Cheryl’s conspiracy to snatch her employer, Braam le Roux and marry him from right under her best friend’s Marlien’s nose in order to gain control of BLR Empire and get back at his number one enemy, former prisoner and millionaire ex-husband Barker Heinz.

The convoluted commentary typically characterises a soap opera plot where normally everybody is related either by marriage or birth but continues to intermarry, resulting in family disoriented off springs with a serious series of identity crises. The producers think it is a winning formula hence the recurring, feminine plot in almost all soap operas, leaving men with little or no entertainment.

Uninviting as soap operas might be to men, more and more males are rationalising their soapy watching as an occasional sneak peek in order to keep up with their women’s interests and so they let the world believe. They are quick to label soaps as hogwash and are always on tenterhooks waiting to deny their involvement in soap operas. Unsettling behaviour indeed.

Kgogo e e lelang pele, lee ke la yone – loosely translated, this saying means ‘the egg belongs to the hen that crows first’. The first ones to deny watching soap operas are usually the ones that watch it. It is an attention deflecting tactic away from the real culprits.

Even though men would be the first to confess that they do not find the plot of soap operas the least bit appealing and that they are only watching because of their wives or girlfriends, it is surprising how quick they are to proclaiming, that even if one does not watch soap operas for a year, Brooke would still be pining for Ridge while Eric Forrester will still be lusting after another bold and beautiful young thing to take as his next wife.”

Lo and behold, one year later, Brooke is standing by Ridge’s office door at Forrester Creations wearing a little red number that leaves a lot to the imagination and Ridge is left drooling and speechless one more time. Across the hallway in another office, Eric is on the phone, charming the pants off of Brooke’s sister Donna, inviting her to meet him at the Big Bear Cabin because he is divorcing Stephanie who has finally agreed to sign the divorce papers. What a strange coincidence! It is either soap opera’s plots don’t change that much or the men are lying and do actually watch soap operas behind women’s back. Female intuition says it is the latter.

On a serious note though, if so many people watch soap operas, doesn’t that put responsibility on the soapy production team to provide material that contributes positively towards the advancement of society? Therefore the question remains: Are local soap operas a true reflection of the current South Africa? More on this in Soap Operas True Reflection Of Current SA, Part 2.

Andrew Brown – Südafrikas literarisches Sozialgewissen

Kapstädter Schriftsteller zu den Chancen und Risiken des Projektes „Regenbogennation“

(Autoren/ Editors: Anne Schroeter, Annalisa Wellhäuser, Ghassan Abid)

© Schriftsteller Andrew Brown

Deutsche Interview-Zusammenfassung:

Das südlichste Land des afrikanischen Kontinents konnte sich nach dem Ende der Apartheid in vielerlei Hinsicht kräftig entwickeln, unter anderem auf der literarischen Ebene. Mit Andrew Brown –  einem Juristen, Polizisten und Schriftsteller aus Kapstadt – verfügt Südafrika eine weitere Persönlichkeit, die sich mit sozialen Themen im Lande beschäftigt. Während der Apartheid wurde er von Polizisten aufgrund einer Freundschaft zu einem Schwarzen festgenommen. Nun thematisiert er als Buchautor die gegenwärtige und zugleich schwierige Lage von Flüchtlingen in Südafrika. Nigerianer sind oft der Willkür südafrikanischer Behörden ausgeliefert und müssen ferner die fremdenfeindliche Stimmung in den Townhships dulden. In seinem Buch „Würde“ geht er auf genau diese soziale Schieflage in Südafrika ein und verbindet die unterschiedlichsten Protagonisten miteinander: Richard Calloway ist ein weißer und erfolgreicher Anwalt der Kapständer Mittelschicht, der trotz Ruhm und sozialem Aufstieg ein tristes Leben führt. Doch eines Tages trifft er auf Abayomi, eine Immigrantin aus Nigeria. Schnell erkennt Calloway, dass er ihrem Wesen sehr aufgeschlossen ist und sich zunehmend in ihrer Welt verfestigt – mit ungewissem Ausgang. Das Buch ist deshalb so bemerkenswert, weil Andrew Brown hierfür umgangreiche und hintergründige Gespräche mit nigerianischen Einwanderern in Südafrika unternommen hat.

Zum Sinn und Zweck der WM 2010 für die Volkswirtschaft des Gastgebers äußerte sich Brown dahingehend, dass er grundsätzlich von langfristig positiven Effekten ausgeht, die vor allem dem Tourismus zugute kommen werden.  Der Kriminalität im Lande können man jedoch nur mit einer Ausweitung des gesellschaftlichen Bildungsstandes begegnen, so der Kapstädter Schriftsteller gegenüber dem Südafrika-Portal. Der aktuellen Debatte um die Regulierung der Medien durch die südafrikanische Regierungspartei ANC schaut Brown, auch ein ANC-Mitglied, jedoch mit großer Sorge entgegen, wofür man notfalls erneut auf die Straße ziehen müsste. Zum Abschluss äußerte er seinen Wunsch, noch ein weiteres Buch veröffentlichen zu wollen und öfters, vor allem nach Europa und Deutschland, zu reisen. Nachstehend ist das Originalinterview in Englisch als Text und als Video abgebildet.


2010sdafrika-editorial staff: Mr. Brown, you was born and raised in Cape Town / South Africa . You mobilized against the Apartheid and had been captured too. Which moment or occurrence has activate your mind for justice?

Answer: Probably when I was 17 years old and I was arrested simply because I was friendly with a black boy of my age.  I was taking him home after playing soccer and we were both arrested and held few a few days.  We were both interrogated because the police could not understand that we were simply friends.  That showed me how unjust the system was and that it needed to be changed.

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: You are a really big performer in terms of profession. I noted you are actually and at the same time a police man (in reserve), an advocate and a writer. Which personal objectives are you following in each job and which one is your most challenging one?

Answer: They are all quite challenging, but in different ways.  I get a lot of personal satisfaction out of working as a policeman, because it feels like I am making a contribution to the society that I am living in.  Writing is something I do for my own enjoyment and I don’t feel pressure to write ‘for’ anyone.  If people like my writing, then that is great, but I don’t feel that I have to produce something for publishers or readers to read.

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: During the World Cup 2010, you have untertaken as police seargent patrols in townships. Which benefits has the South African nation and the population, especially the township citizens, taken from this event? What is your mind in this matter?

Answer: I hope that there will be long-term benefits.  The focus of the world on us as a country, and the fact that it was a success, was really a big thing for us.  But that focus does not bring any benefit on its own.  Hopefully, it will result in more tourism, perhaps better trade and confidence in South Africa .  The World Cup did a lot to unite the nation and to build our sense of pride in our country, which is very important. The transport system was improved a lot before the World Cup, and I think that is one thing that we will definitely benefit from in the future.

© Cover von "Würde"

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: In your new novel „WÜRDE“ (in English it means „dignity“) – the original title called „REFUGE“- you are writing about the two faces of South Africa; the rich and the poor one. On the one hand, we have the protagonist „Richard Calloway“ – a white, successful and in security living advocate. On the other hand, you have installed the character „Abayomi“, a native of Nigeria – an immigrant. Could you please give us a short summary of this novel and which social targets would you like to achieve?

Answer: The book is partly about the white middle-class in South Africa , which often shuts itself off from the real issues going on around it.  People protect themselves against the guilt and anguish that comes from seeing the poverty around you, by pretending that it doesn’t exist.  The book is partly about a successful middle-class man who starts to reach out to touch the ordinary people around him; he comes to realise just how small and isolated his life has been.  The other part of the book is about the immigrants, the other ‘outsiders’ of our society, who are there not by choice but because they are fleeing injustice or violence. It is about how we treat them and about how we stop seeing them as equal human beings.

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: I have taken notice, that you have met with immigrants from Nigeria , in accordance with the preparation of your new book. Which impressions have you collected about the life conditions of these people in South Africa ?

Answer: I interviewed a lot of immigrants to hear their stories.  Once they realised that I was not a threat, they were very happy to talk to me and to share their stories with me.  I met incredible people who told me stories of great suffering, of courage and of humiliation at the hands of South African officials.  I have incorporated some of their stories into the book, to try and make it as realistic as possible.   I chose Nigerians in the book because they are the most stereotyped immigrants in South Africa: they are seen as all being drug dealers or prostitutes, and for this reason I wanted to show them as being human beings with their own special culture, language and lifestyle.

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: In these weeks, the African National Congress (ANC) follows up a regulation of commentatorship. South African and international media are still protesting against these plans to establish a „secrecy bill“ and „media tribunal“, which allows the government to increase their control over media. How would you like to evaluate these developments?

Answer: Because of our history, it is very concerning when government starts talking about controlling media reports and press coverage.  We are very sensitive to this kind of censorship, given what we experienced under apartheid.  People are opposing the bill and there is a petition signed by many writers and other people who are protesting against the bill.  Government has tried to explain the need for the bill, but so far we are not accepting that it is necessary.

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: As „SÜDAFRIKA – Land der Kontraste“, the German gateway to South Africa, we have interviewed the writer Roger Smith, who is denouncing in his novels the crime situation in South Africa, like you. What do you think should the government do to face this big challenge? Or rewording, how could South Africa solve this problem?

Answer: Crime is a problem in South Africa , but it should not be over-emphasised.  Our crime is a result of poverty, our history and poor education.  Of all of these, it is most important to address education, because literacy and numeracy continue to be problems, and we cannot advance our society unless we take care of these problems first.  Crime is not getting better, but it is not getting worse either.  It will not improve simply by policing, or introducing new laws.  You need to change the way that people think, about themselves and about others.  To do this, we need to concentrate on education.

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: Last but not least, which personal dreams would you like to realize?

Answer: There are many dreams I have – one would be to publish another book.  Another would be to travel more – I have travelled a lot in Africa, but not much in Europe and there are many countries and places that I would like to see.  I have so enjoyed being in Germany, and I would very much like to return to spend more time here as well.