The first seminar on the novel was held on Wednesday, 14 December 2016, at 10:00 at the Natural Science Museum at Wyatt Street in Central Durban. This second instalment in the programme included discussion on the themes of education, history and culture by the following panelists:
- Dr Betty Govinden (UKZN);
- Dr Eubulus Timothy (Deputy Chairperson of the Writers’ Guild);
- Mr Logie Naidoo (Ex-councillor: eThekwini Municipality)
- Mr Mdu Ngidi (Principal: Kwadinabakubo Secondary);
- Dr BP Singh (author).
Dr Govinden presented an interesting paper on the writing style of the novel, and its space within the larger sphere of literary work locally and internationally ,with her presentation available as her review. Dr Timothy elaborated on the importance of South African writing and its resultant impact on the film industry. Mr Naidoo explained in detail the context of the story, providing detailed explanation on the manner in which the post-apartheid government attempted to address the housing challenges of the previous regime, as well as its attempts to address this issue even today. Mr Ngidi’s perspectives of current challenges with integration and tolerance at school level were supported and elaborated on by many members of the audience.
The programme to the audience of more than a hundred attendees included various presentations, entertainment and a healthy rapport with the audience. The Programme Director, Mr Saniel Singh, deftly ensured that the interest and enthusiasm of the audience did not wane. Mr Musa Radebe, the facilitator for the panel discussion, phrased questions that highlighted the relevance of the work to the current South African realism today. The presence and input by some of characters in the novel, viz Mrs Thokozani Ngidi and Mr Govi Moodley, provided the house with an insight into the realism of the work itself.
The Deputy Head of Libraries, Mr Guy Redman, and the Manager of Library Procurement, Ms Thobile Ngidi, emphasized the intent of the eThekwini Municipality to promote both reading and writing as these activities were critical in creating a literate society rich in culture. Calls for the 2017-18 ‘One City One Book’ nominations will be going out shortly.
There are more seminars and library activities that form part of the ‘One City One Book’ that will be held at other parts of the municipality in the new year. More launch photos can be viewed at the gallery.
Mr Saniel Singh, of Musgrave Municipal Library, manages the process as Programme Director
Ms Thobela Ngidi, Library Procurement Manager, presents the official welcome and opening of the programme
Miss eThekwini, Ms Nompumelelo aka Lelo, addresses the forum on the importance of literacy, as well as the impact of the ‘One City One Book’ programme on her personally.
Mr Musa Radebe, Programme Co-ordinator for the ‘One City One Book’ 2016-17 project, serves as facilitator to the panel discussion on the novel.
Dr Betty Govinden presents her paper on the novel. Her academic and literary knowledge provided an indepth analysis to the nature and context of the written piece.
Dr Eubulus Timothy presents a talk on the impact of South African literary writing on production and promotion of South African film locally and internationally. His video presentation placed his presentation in context.
Dr BP Singh speaks to a slide presentation on the context of the written piece.
The panelists who responded to questions from the facilitator, Mr Musa Radebe (standing on far right of photograph). The panelists also responded to comments and questions from the audience as well. From left to right are Dr Betty Govinden, Mr Mdu Ngidi, Dr BP Singh, Mr Logie Naidoo and Dr Eubulus Timothy.
Mr Guy Redman, Deputy Head for Parks, Recreation & Culture, addresses the forum on the programme.
Seen here are some members of the audience. From left to right are Ms Charmaine Prammoney, BP, Ms Deshini Pillay and Mr Govi Moodley (character in the novel).
Uncle Daniel, a character from the novel, explains to Dr Betty Govinden the challenges faced in the acquisition of the land and house as presented in the novel. Dr Govinden had visited the house at L5 Tulip Terrace, Buffelsdale, prior to the seminar to experience the aura of the house and surroundings personally.
Mr Thevan Harry. Education Officer, eThekwini Municipality