WOMAN ZONE STORIES
By WOMAN ZONE
Woman Zone is a Cape Town based organisation designed to bring together women of all different backgrounds and cultures, to get to know and understand one another by sharing stories. We have several podcast series WOMAN ZONE STORIES; FINDING HERSELF: shared journeys; the new MEET THE AUTHOR: women writers and their work and special collection ARTSCAPE@50 - CONVERSATIONS. We hope you enjoy them as much as we do. Feedback on firstname.lastname@example.org. Happy Listening!
WOMAN ZONE STORIES Apr 20, 2021
MEET THE AUTHOR: Chantal Stewart - The Veil of Maya
Award winning author of The Veil of Maya, doctor/writer Chantal Stewart shares the back story to her writing and her debut novel with Beryl Eichenberger .
MEET THE AUTHOR: Nana Darkoa Sekyiamah - The Sex Lives of African Women
A book that was a long time in the making, The Sex Lives of African Women is about so many more things than sex - like culture, religion, patriarchy, abuse - to name a few. It's also about self-discovery, freedom and healing. Author Nana Darkoa Sekyiamah shares the inside stories of over 30 women
WOMAN ZONE STORIES: Dr Sindiwe Magona @ 80
As an official Living Legend there could be no better person to celebrate than writer Sindiwe Magona. To close the Artscape Women's Humanity Festival 2023, her lively 80th birthday event featured friends, family, lots of fun and the presentation of a special tribute book Sindiwe's Gift.
FINDING HERSELF: Vintage Margaret Newman
At 93, Paarl-born Margaret Newman's brain is as fresh as a daisy. Here she shares her secret and gives a glimpse into a life well-lived despite the challenges that only South Africa could offer.
ARTSCAPE CONVERSATIONS II: Karen Lazar 'W is for Witness'
The Woman Zone Book Club guest author of the month during the Artscape Women's Humanity Festival, was Karen Lazar author of 'W is for Witness'. Following a stroke, Karen is also disabled. She shares thoughts on that and on writing with Beryl Eichenberger...
ARTSCAPE CONVERSATIONS II: She Had a Name 365
An installation in the Marble Foyer at Artscape as part of the Women's Humanity Festival, contains uncomfortable statistics. It's called She Had a Name 365 - performance artist Carin Bester explains...
ARTSCAPE CONVERSATIONS II: The FMR Woman Zone Show
Every year as part of the Artscape Women's Humanity Festival, Fine Music Radio give Woman Zone an hour of airtime to showcase some of the women featured in the Festival. Presented by Theresa Smith and produced by Beryl Eichenberger, this year guests included: Marlene le Roux CEO of Artscape, Fatima Dike playwright, Acting Judge Rehana Parker, Hayley Philander founder of IseeU mentoring programme and poet Lebo Diverse. Listen here!
ARTSCAPE CONVERSATIONS II: Knit & Natter rocks!
Knit & Natter is a Woman Zone 'Everywoman' project. And on Sunday August 6th, as part of the Artscape Women's Humanity Festival it sure attracted a lot of women...listen in here!
ARTSCAPE CONVERSATIONS II: Fatima Dike - A Life in Theatre
The first black woman in South Africa to have had a play published and performed, there is much to celebrate about Fatima Dike. At 75, she is one of the Artscape Women's Humanity Festival icons, hear her as she shares just some of her story.
MEET THE AUTHOR: Nadia Kamies - Off-Centre and Out of Focus
In her book, Off-Centre and Out of Focus (Fourthwall Books) Nadia Kamies reflects on what it was like Growing up 'Coloured' in South Africa, primarily through photography. She spoke to Theresa Smith at the Woman Zone Book Club.
FINDING HERSELF: Egonne Roth - author
Writing Searching for Papa’s Secrets in Hitler’s Berlin took its toll on author Egonne Roth. It uncovered for her how her father’s experiences shaped her life – but ultimately it also helped her find her own identity. She talks here to Beryl Eichenberger.
MEET THE AUTHOR: Melanie Verwoerd - Never Waste a Good Hysterectomy
Many thousands of women, in South Africa and across the world, have hysterectomies every year. Often they come as a shock, as hers did for Melanie Verwoerd. But aside from the trauma, pain and rage that it caused her, this feisty writer and political analyst used hers to throw a light, not just on her own life, but on understanding the procedure that so many women suffer in silence. Listen here as she tells the story behind her book - and listen further to her own podcast of the same name filled with information and advice.
MEET THE AUTHOR: Louisa Zondo - Dearest MaRiky: A Mother's Journey through grief, trauma and healing
There is so much to be learned from this book. Not just how Louisa Zondo, lawyer and political actvist, coped with the suicide of her second born son, MaRiky, but what it means to reflect back on your life, your loves, your family, work, pain, parenting and healing. It begins with the expedition Louisa undertook to Mount Everest Base Camp soon after Riky died - it ends in hope, and her resolve to continue his legacy.
WOMAN ZONE STORIES: Marina Cantacuzino on Forgiveness
The Forgiveness Project was founded in 2004 by journalist Marina Cantacuzino. Nearly twenty years later she has synthesized many of the stories she has heard, and learnings that have come with them, into a book called simply Forgiveness - An Exploration (Simon and Shuster, distributed in South Africa by Jonathan Ball). On a visit to The Women's Library she shared the background.
MEET THE AUTHOR: Athambile Masola on Noni Jabavu
She was described as 'a woman who couldn't be conventional if she tried', and Noni Jabavu (1919-2008) writer was certainly original. Born in SA and educated in the UK from the age of 13 she was also 'a woman of two worlds'. Amongst other things she wrote two books of memoir, but in 1977, she penned a series of columns for the Daily Dispatch. These have been co-ordinated and compiled into a book called A Stranger at Home (Tafelberg) by Makhosazana Xaba and Athambile Masola. Cape Town based Athambile shares the story.
MEET THE AUTHOR: three Cape Cultural Collective poets share words in 'Beyond Truth's Edge'
The Cape Cultural Collective cover a number of performing arts, but poetry holds a special place. Three of the fifteen poets whose work is included in their second anthology, Beyond Truth's Edge, joined us at the Women's Library to share their words and their stories of becoming poets. They were Zenariah Barends, Afeea Omar and Diana Ferrus and you can listen to what they had to say right here...
MEET THE AUTHOR: Pumla Brook Thomae - The Rainbow Nation Cookery Guide
As a proudly Xhosa woman herself, in helping to put together The Rainbow Nation Cookery Guide, TV celebrity cook Pumla Brook Thomae stretched her own knowledge range of other cultures kitchens enormously. The book was an initiative of The Rotary e-club of Greater Cape Town, but here project manager Pumla gives us the inside story.
FINDING HERSELF: Aviva Pelham - opera diva
Following the release of her book My Musical Odyssey, Aviva Pelham sat down with Woman Zone's Beryl Eichenberger to talk about her journey to becoming an extraordinarily versatile and internationally acclaimed singer. Whilst opera is her first love, she has also 'found herself' as an actress performing in musicals, as a director working with others, and as a passionate motivator and lecturer inspiring any number of aspirant and talented young singers.
MEET THE AUTHOR: Cape Cultural Collective anthology 'Beyond Truth's Edge'
The Cape Cultural Collective cover a number of performing arts, but poetry has a special place. Three of the fifteen poets whose work is included in their second anthology, Beyond Truth's Edge, joined us at our Women's Library at Artscape to share their words and stories about becoming poets. They were Zenariah Barends, Afeea Omar and Diana Ferrus - and you can listen to what they had to say, right here...
MEET THE AUTHOR: Anne Schlebusch
Although not technically a Woman Zone Book Club Guest Author of the Month, it was irresistible to put ANNE SCHLEBUSCH, author of Bloomer (Modjaji books) up on this site. At 70 (and a recent cancer survivor) her debut novel is fresh, fun and a bit mad. It features the lovable Maggie and her friends at the Hazyview Mansions Retirement Home, who collectively call themselves Invictus. We spoke to Anne at a Rosebank Writers event at Bertha House in Mowbray, Cape Town, and recorded it her so you can listen, and chuckle.
MEET THE AUTHOR: Nadine Aisha Jassat & Blaq Pearl Janine Van Rooy
Two writer-poet-performers, living worlds apart in Scotland and South Africa respectively, have much in common - not least The Glasgow Women's Library! Meet Nadine Aisha Jassat and Blaq Pearl aka Janine van Rooy Overmeyer as they discuss their connections and their histories, at The Women's Library in Cape Town.
MEET THE AUTHOR: Dr Shahieda Jansen
What began as an ’accidental’ group therapy session with a bunch of male students nearly 25 years ago turned, first into intense study of the mental health of men and boys, and finally into the book: Masculinity meets Humanity: An Adapted Model of Masculinised Psychotherapy (UNISA). Author and compassionate clinical psychologist, Shahieda Jansen shares the journey and just some of what she has learned along the way.
WOMAN ZONE STORIES: Elbe Coetsee and Mogalakwena's Stitches in Time
To share your culture through your own life story is powerful. To share it using embroidery puts it on another level, of creativity. Dr Elbe Coetsee, founder of the Mogalakwena Craft Art Development Foundation tells the story of the women embroiderers in Limpopo.
FINDING HERSELF: Prue Leith - Cook
In culinary circles Prue Leith - caterer, restaurateur, food guru and visionary - needs no introduction, but her memoir reveals her to be so much more. On a recent visit to South Africa to coincide with the relaunch of the memoir, I'll Try Anything Once, as well as the launch of Bliss on Toast, her latest cook book, she spoke to Nancy Richards for the Woman Zone Finding Herself series.
WOMAN ZONE STORIES: The Story of The African Worry Dolls
We all have worries, but the SOUPER TROOPERS of Cape Town have found a way to help you shed them - using their tiny African Worry Dolls. But what's the story - who and what are these little dolly artworks...and who are the Souper Troopers? Just before the Christmas break of 2022 when the production lines were buzzing, Nancy Richards went along to meet the team at their Humanity Hub in Woodstock...
FINDING HERSELF: Janet Pillai
Said to be one of the busiest women in Cape Town, Janet Pillai, founder & CEO of MLT Car Hire & Tours, amongst other things, has more recently gone 'jetsetting' - listen here as she describes her journey, and herself.
MEET THE AUTHOR: Nancy Richards
To close the WZ Book Club year of 2022, we went down to the sea, to Beach Blanc Cafe next to the lighthouse on Woodbridge Island to hear the story of The Skipper's Daughter by Woman Zone founder Nancy Richards and published by Karavan Press. Nancy was in conversation with artist Kim Gurney author herself of a book called Panya Routes. Listen here for some salty tales!
MEET THE AUTHOR: Penny Haw
Due for release any day now, The Invincible Miss Cust by Penny Haw (Sourcebooks) is a real must for anyone who loves animals and the stories of unsung women from the past - because Aleen Isabel Cust on whom this book is based was the woman who defied her family and society to become Britain and Ireland's first woman veterinary surgeon. Amazing. Hear how Penny came across this extraordinarily determined woman - and her take on living the dream.
MEET THE AUTHOR: Nondwe Mpuma
It's not often we welcome a poet to be WZ Book Club guest author of the month, but 26 year old Nondwe Mpuma was a real piece of treasure. She was heard reading at the Poetry in McGregor Festival by writer-publisher Karina Szczurek of Karavan Press who speaks to her about her debut anthology Peach Country published by uHlanga Press
WOMAN ZONE STORIES: Qarnita and Shoki at The Cape Flats Book Festival
'Strong female characters' was the topic up for discussion at the 2nd Cape Flats Book Festival held recently in Mitchell's Plain, with strong female writers, Qarnita Loxton, author of the series: Being Kari, Being Lily, Being Shelley and Being Dianne and Resoketswe Manenzhe whose debut novel is called Scatterlings. Nancy Richards spoke to them and you can listen in on the conversation here - but be sure to attend the Festival in person next year to hear a whole lot more.
WOMAN ZONE STORIES: Isisele Senyathi - A Home for African Women's History
A joint project between Ilitha Labantu, CPUT (Cape Peninsula University of Technology), AWIF (African Women Independent Forum) and UN Women, Isisele Senyathi, translated as Reservoir of Knowledge has been conceived as a hub for African women's history and stories. A three-day conference was held at CPUT's Bellville Campus, where Woman Zone went along to listen in on the thinking, the stories - and the powerful singing.
MEET THE AUTHOR: Sara-Jayne Makwala-King
Her strong, assertive radio voice with it's undertone of humour, belies the tough passage Sara-Jayne Makwala King has had in life. Like her first book, Killing Karoline, her second book Mad Bad Love (mf books), pulls no punches on the trauma she's had to work through. In this case, discovering that the things we love can nearly kill us. She speaks here to journalist Theresa Smith
WOMAN ZONE STORIES: I MISS DADDY Alicia and Matthew English
Tragedy struck when Noel English, 45yr old father of two from Mitchell's Plain, died of COVID 19 in January 2021. A phoenix from the ashes however, was the book I Miss Daddy written by his son Matthew and wife Alicia. Despite her crushing grief, it also prompted Alicia to launch an initiative called The Olive Exchange - listen here to find out more...
MEET THE AUTHOR: Margie Orford
It's been a while coming, but Margie Orford's new book The Eye of the Beholder (Jonathan Ball) is strong stuff. In his cover shout, bestseller crime writer Ian Rankin calls it 'As powerful as it is elegant - grips like a vice.' He's not wrong. But Margie has many tales to tell about her journey with this title, and as a writer in general.
ARTSCAPE CONVERSATIONS: #7 Louisa Treger
London based writer Louisa Treger was in South Africa recently to launch her latest book, Madwoman (Bloomsbury). It tells the extraordinary, and shocking, story of American journalist, Nelly Bly who back in the late 1880's had herself admitted to a New York asylum for 'mad women' - so she could both write about it and expose the appalling conditions. At our Women's Library, Louisa was in conversation with writer- publisher Karina Szczurek.
ARTSCAPE CONVERSATIONS: #6 Dr Anne Biccard
Medical Dr Anne Biccard works in a very busy hospital in Johannesburg, But busy as she is, she also finds time to write. In her second book Holding My Breath: Further exploits of an ER doctor (Jacana)– she captures the challenges and the humour faced by her profession – specifically in the COVID years. Intro music Beautiful Woman is by Tina Schouw
ARTSCAPE CONVERSATIONS: #5 Gertrude Fester
In her book Prison Notebook V2957/88, Human Rights activist and former Commissioner on Gender Equality, Gertrude Fester describes a life of struggle as well as the horrors of being a political detainee and spending 104 days in solitary confinement. Her book is published by Military Veterans. Song Beautiful Woman is by Tina Schouw
WOMEN OF SOIL - the gardeners speak
Whilst the stories of the ten women Home Food Gardeners are written and printed in Women of Soil - changing lives, at the launch of the book, which took place as part of Artscape's Women's Humanity Arts Festival, the women were invited to briefly tell us how being trained by Soil for Life had impacted their lives. It made for moving listening. (Both the launch and this podcast open with the voice of singer, storyteller Philippa Kabali-Kagwa)
ARTSCAPE CONVERSATIONS: Women's Day radio show on FMR
Woman Zone's annual Women's Day show, broadcast this year on August 8th on FMR, radio station based at Artscape, features Dr Marlene le Roux, CEO of Artscape; details of the performance Broken Crayons with disability and social justice activist Nothukela Makohliso; Cindy Buske, CEO of Soil for Life; Nina Geraghty of the Life Righting Collective and finally Beryl Botman, author of With (-out) You. If you weren't able to tune in on the day, here's a chance to catch it again. Presented by Theresa Smith and produced by Beryl Eichenberger.
ARTSCAPE CONVERSATIONS: #3 Beryl Botman
Grief is an inevitability of life, and each of us handles it differently. It took Beryl Botman some years before she was able to process hers following the death of her husband Prof Russel Botman in 2014. In her book With (-Out) You, she shares in first hand detail how she felt, coped, struggled and ultimately survived. She spoke at her launch at the opening of Artscape's Women's Humanity Festival. (intro song: Beautiful Woman by Tina Schouw)
ARTSCAPE CONVERSATIONS 2022 #2: Karen Lazar
Twenty-one years ago, Karen Lazar, academic and language lecturer suffered a stroke that left her paralyzed down one side and disabled. It doesn't define her, but has impacted her life dramatically. A champion of gender and disability, in her books Hemisphere - Inside a stroke and Echoes an anthology she describes how. (Intro song, Beautiful Woman is by Tina Schouw)
ARTSCAPE CONVERSATIONS 2022 #1: Dr Marlene le Roux
MEET THE AUTHOR: Joy Watson
First time novelist, but well practiced feminist researcher, Joy Watson's The Other Me (Karavan Press) is an eye-opening book with a damaged but fascinating central character. Writer, editor, publisher Karina Szczurek digs deeper to get the back story...
WOMEN OF SOIL - changing lives: Natasha de Leeuw
MEET THE AUTHOR: Finuala Dowling
Writing her latest novel, The Man Who Loved Crocodile Tamers (Kwela), brought author and poet Finuala Dowling to tears on occasion. It's the story of her father, Paddy Dowling, but laced with fiction, creative licence and a lot of love and experience, it makes for a memorable read, that may well bring a reader to tears too.
FINDING HERSELF - Mokgadi Itsweng
A featured chef at the Plant Powered Show in Cape Town, life-long foodie and author of Veggielicious Mokgadi Itsweng shared her journey as committed plant-based food evangelist.
MEET THE AUTHOR: Angela Miller-Rothbart
In her debut novel, Lightness of Air (Texture) Angela Miller-Rothbart weaves the real life reminiscences of a holocaust survivor into a piece of art.
FINDING HERSELF: Rose Ssali - writer, poet, editor, publisher
Kenyan born Rose Ssali tells the remarkable tale of how she traded her attorneys gown for the writers pen and publishers passion - across the world.
MEET THE AUTHOR: Athambile Masola & Xolisa Guzula
Co-authors of the Imbokodo trilogy of books Athambile and Xolisa have showcased 10 Inspiring Singers, Writers & Artists; 10 Extraordinary Leaders, Activists & Pioneers and 10 Curious Inventors, Healers & Educators (Jacana). In Woman Zone's 10th year, we where thrilled to host them at our first Book Club meeting of the year back at Artscape.
MEET THE AUTHOR: Estelle Neethling
Adolphine Misekabu's flight from then Zaire (DRC) to South Africa back in 1996 was long, horrendous and terrifying. Like that of so many refugees. Many years later she shared the journey with writer Estelle Neethling, the result is a book called Escape from Lumbumbashi (Unisa Press). It was an emotional experience, for both of them, as Estelle explains.