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Archive for the ‘Namibia’ Category

Literacy in Africa?

So I am just about to start reading my fourth book this year, on average I read one book a month. I tried to do some research on literacy in Namibia and there was hardly anything worth noting here on the internet.

Just out of curiosity, and because I’m too tired at the moment to wade through websites, does anyone else have any idea about literacy rates in Africa? Or rather what is it like in your country?

Even though there are bookshops galore where I live, I am not sure how many people really do read. All my male friends that I asked about this said they are not into reading unless its the sports pages. I asked a friend what he does in his spare time and he mentioned Formula one etc. at which point I stopped listening. My female friends on the other hand (well about half of them) do make time to read and buy books regularly.

At the launch of the Budding Writers Society of Namibia last year, the Master of proceedings mentioned something sad and scary to alert guests about the low rates of literacy in Namibia. He said” if you want to hide something from a Black person, put it in a book”…

We all laughed because even though it is so sad, we knew its true.

Anyway I’m reading a book published very recently in Cape Town by a dear friend Elaine Maane.

Will definitely post something about my thoughts of the book soon…


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New womens’ magazine, OSHO, launched in Namibia – looking for writers!

At work on OSHO... At work on OSHO... At work on OSHO...

OSHOOSHO meaning “that’s what it is” is a publication which falls under the Shonga group: www.shongagroup.com.

OSHO magazine is a lifestyle magazine for Women of Africa. The magazine communicates, celebrates and reflects the world of African women from all walks of life. Our readership is focused towards forward thinking African women who are are looking for change and growth. She is looking to network with other women, looking for a platform to help others, and to celebrate all aspects of what it means to be an African woman.

The third issue will be launched at the end of February 2009 at the official launch of the magazine. On the same day, additional initiatives will be launched including the Health and Beauty Sections, Finance, the OSHO book club and much more!

Thus far the magazine has received support from members of the public, partners working in the different sections as well as banks, advertising agencies and many more to whom we are very grateful.

The first OSHO contributors meeting was held on 7th February 2009 at Cafe Zinho.Many thanks to Zita for being such a gracious host! The meeting was held to introduce contributors to staff, begin brainstorming on themes for the next three months as well as to brief contributors on guidelines for submission of articles. Finally, contributors were given some feedback on focus group discussions and an opportunity to ask the research company what kind of information they need from readers.

To view pictures of OSHO magazine staff and contributors, pictures of the cover and much more please visit our page on facebook:OSHO Womens Magazine

For our next issue we are looking for writers from the following countries: Kenya, Rwanda and Zimbabwe. If you are interested in writing for us and are based in one of those countries please email the editor: editor@shongagroup.com


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The joys of being a modern woman

During my late lunch today I announced that I was tired of being a modern woman. My brother looked at me as if I was speaking Chinese and asked me “what is a modern woman?”

I proceeded to explain that the modern woman wakes up on Sunday morning November 21st and rushes to Sunday school (where she is a teacher). She arrives 30 minutes late and even has second thoughts about going when she looks at the time and how late it is as she speeds out of her driveway.

She gets to Sunday school, everybody else is too busy to notice that she is late or they are used to it! All the same rehearsal for the nativity play (that same evening) goes well. After seeing off what feels like hundreds of little children and having a last minute talk about the play with the head Sunday school teacher she leaves the church. She rushes to the closest mall to buy breakfast because of course, she did not eat before speeding off at 8:45am. Then she remembers she needs to buy a card for the head Sunday school teacher to accompany the gift being bought by another teacher after the performance tonight.

Thereafter she takes a leisurely drive home, has a healthy breakfast (yoghurt, watermelon and a glass of water). After breakfast she remembers she put some clothes in the washing machine which need to go on the washing line. While putting in the new load she realises there is no lunch for her elderly father who has been doing manual labour in the garden all morning. Under the blazing Namibian sun as well!

She asks him what he would like for lunch and gets to ready to start preparing the meal. Luckily for her, he agrees to prepare his own lunch if she can defrost the chicken and cut up the vegetables. Relieved, she leaves the chopped up vegetables on the kitchen counter and rushes off to drop her car at the car wash while she is getting a hair cut, because her hair is starting to look ridiculous! Her hair is in that ‘not very short but not long enough to do anything exciting with it’ stage – so she is actually looking forward to cutting her hair for the fifth time this year, even though many people tell her women with short hair are not fully women and are not beautiful. Despite this, she decides that she is happy with short hair, it makes her look different and feel special.

At the car wash her usual car wash guy is absent and even though she can’t stand how dirty the outside of her car looks, she is not keen to leave it with someone that she does not know. After contemplating for two minutes (she doesn’t have more time than that to decide) she opts to get the hair cut and take the car another day.

The hair cut is relatively quick and done very well, so the 28 year old modern woman is satisfied. After lunch, she remembers that she needs to update two blogs, pack for her business trip tomorrow morning and pop into the office if she gets time.

There are three hours before the play and she realises her best bet is to finish off laundry because she will not get to it next week. She cancels her plans for lunch and plans to visit her God daughter as there is still too much to do. She has 25 minutes to get ready and rush to get the kids ready for their performance. She takes off ten minutes to write a funny post about the madness that is her life on one of her blogs.

She has a headache because she leaves everything to the last day and thinks about how her Mom would never be this disorganised. Then she asks her (half wit) brother how women with families cope?
He still looks at her like she is an alien because of course, he can’t relate because (a) he is not interested (b) is lazy and (c) has nothing to worry about besides school and where he will get his next sugar fix from.

Tonight when she gets home which could be anytime after 9pm depending on when they have finished cleaning up, she needs to iron only what she will wear during the week – no time for the rest. She will also pack the latest email from her editor because in the midst of the madness, she had somewhere along the way decided to write a book.

She is alot a little anxious because she is going to East Africa in three weeks and has not finalised any of her arrangements or bought any gifts. Could the rest of you please tell this modern young woman what your secret is, because today she feels like she is a pathetic example of the modern woman…


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Budding Writers Society of Namibia launch a success!

    Budding Writers Society of Namibia officially launched

The Budding Writers Society was successfully launched in Windhoek, Namibia on the 31st October 2008. The launch took place at the Garden Lounge of the National Theatre of Namibia.

Representatives from some of the local schools, various organizations, members of the public, published authors and poets as well as the media were present. In addition, representatives of the main sponsors of the event, Nedbank Namibia and Macmillan Publishers were also at the event.

The launch was officially opened by the Master of Ceremonies, Mr. Vickson Hangula. Two poems were read by aspiring authors that are also members of the executive committee of the society (Jemima Beukes and Viviane Kandundu).

The keynote speech was presented by Ms. Neshani Andreas, author of The purple violet of Oshaantu. The evening was closed with a vote of thanks and a toast to the new society.

The launch was well attended and opened many doors for the society. An offer was made to design and maintain a website, free of charge, for the Budding Writers Society and it should be up and running in January 2009. Macmillan publishers offered to publish an anthology of poetry by local poets from the society. The challenge for the society is to select the poems for publishing by the end of 2009.

Currently the society is compiling a database of contacts including members, editors, publishers and proof readers. The calendar of events for 2009 has been compiled and will be posted on bwnamibia soon. It includes many exciting activities such as peer reviews, creative writing workshops and much more! To the executive of the society, good luck and well done on an enjoyable and successful evening!


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Pictures from Women of Courage writing workshop

Enjoy these snaps from the Women of Courage writing workshop held recently:

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Women of Courage writing workshop very succesful

Womens’ Leadership Centre – Courage writing workshop
24 – 25 October 2008

The Womens’ Leadership Centre (WLC) hosted a two day workshop for women interested in writing stories for their upcoming anthology with the theme: Courage and risk taking in our lives.

Below participants from the workshop during discussions:

The workshop was hosted by the Director of the WLC, Elizabeth lKhaxas, who is a feminist and also conducts writing workshops. After introductions participants were given a brief introduction to other material published by the WLC. Thus far the WLC has published two anthologies of writing by Namibian women, in 2005 and 2008 respectively. In addition, women infected and affected with HIV have been trained in Photography and a book of photographs was published depicting pictures from their everyday lives.

Below a picture of Elizabeth holding one of the anthologies:

In 2008, six workshops were conducted in other regions around Namibia. This workshop was the seventh. The aim of the workshops is to get the silent stories in the lives of Namibian women out. We were asked to think deeply about our own lives and to share our experiences during the workshop.

We started with a definition of courage as well as listing emotions or feelings associated with courage. A few of the emotions or feelings suggested: fear, strength, hope, doubt, overcoming, power, persistence, determination, loss, respect and healing.

Thereafter we were asked to share some acts of courage in our lives to personalize the emotions and feelings with which we could relate.

On the second day women were given an opportunity share two or three of the stories that were written and get some feedback from the rest of the group about content and structure of our stories which was exciting and very helpful.

Below, two of the participants sharing what they had written with the rest of the women:

The workshop was well received by participants and in fact we are hoping we can meet together again as women, just to share and learn from each other. We are so grateful to Emily, Sonja, Marna and Elizabeth for organising this workshop for us.

A final group photo before concluding the workshop:


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Womens Leadership Centre writing workshop

Dear all,

Just a short note to inform you that the Womens Leadership Centre (WLC)will be hosting a writing worskhop in Windhoek. The title of the workshop is: Are you a woman of Courage?

The aim of the workshop is to train women in writing skills and to encourage them to write on how they have acted courageously in their lives.

The details are as follows:

Date: 24 – 25 October 2008

Venue: Tabitha Centre

Presenter: Elizabeth Khaxas (Director of WLC)

Please call Sonja on 061 – 22 11 06 to book a place at this workshop.


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Nerves about submitting manusciprt to publishers

I’ve been working on a book about my experience of depression for almost two years. I sent it in to someone whom I met randomly that has edited a memoir before. She believes in my book but attending the cape town book fair caused my confidence to take a knock.

Attending the bookfair was really great in terms of networking and getting an understanding of the South African market. However, that understanding also ovewhelmed me, but I achieved the purpose I set out to achieve in terms of learning.

So the next step is to finalise the comments that the editor gave to me and start sending out the manuscript to the publishers to see whether they think it is something that is publishable.

It was a bit disheartening some of what I was told when I spoke to people at the bookfair. In fact I think I may have lost momentum afterwards. One of the publishers told me that books are not published unless they have been written by someone famous or someone that has been published successfully before….that is not me at all, ha ha.

Despite that frightening piece of information I have devided to go ahead with submitting this mauscript to various publishers. I had such serious nerves that I even struggled to write an authors bio.

Well lets see what happens. I’ll keep you posted.


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Official launch of Budding Writers Society of Namibia

Dear all,

Just a quick note to let you know that the date for the official launch of the Budding Writers Society is set.

Date: Tuesday, 30th October 2008

Venue: to be confirmed

Time: 18h00 for 18h30

Dress: smart casual

RSVP: nabukenya on bwnamibia@book.co.za

I know this is not that much information but entrance is free and there will be light snacks served after the main events!

See you there, oh and watch this space for more detailed information!!!


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Are you a woman of courage?

Have you ever stood up for what you believed in? Talked back? Spoken out. Laughed in the face of fear? Surprised even yourself? Fought for your rights? Helped someone else? Believed in yourself? Taken a risk? Been spontaneous? Followed your heart? Gone out on your own? Challenged the status quo? Been true to yourself, no matter what anyone thought? If so….

The Women’s Leadership Centre wants hear your story!

Sharing your story of courage could inspire others to be courageous. What stories do you have to share about the moments of courage in your life?

How to participate

You can write a story, a poem, a song, a letter, a diary entry, or express yourself through a photograph or an artwork that can be printed in a book. WLC will conduct writing workshops later this year in Caprivi, Khomas, Kavango and Kunene regions. Call us and book your place if you live in these regions! Submissions must be between 500 and 2500 words and should focus on one specific moment of courageous action in your life. They must reach WLC by 31 December 2008. Published authors will receive two copies of the book. Post, email or fax your writing (in English) or photos of your artwork on this year’s theme to WLC at the following address:

Womens Leadership Centre
PO Box 90675
Windhoek
Tel: 22 11 06 – Fax 221 896 – Email wlc@mweb.com.na
Office: 4 Korner street, Windhoek


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