The struggle to free South Africa from its apartheid shackles was long and complex. One of the many ways in which the apartheid regime maintained its stranglehold in South Africa was through controlling the freedom of speech and the flow of information, in an effort to silence the voices of those who opposed it. United by the ideals of freedom and equality, but also nuanced by a wide variety of persuasions, the voices of liberation were many: African nationalists, communists, trade-unionists, pan-Africanists, English liberals, human rights activists, Christians, Hindus, Muslims and Jews, to name but a few.
For decades, South Africans aspiring to make the perfect biryani have turned to Indian Delights, the best selling cookbook produced by Zuleikha Mayat and the Women´s Cultural Group. This is the story of the women behind the recipes; it is an account that brings to life the changing, gendered worlds of Muslim women in 20th century Durban.
How has the end of apartheid affected the experiences of South African children and adolescents? This pioneering study provides a compelling account of the realities of everyday life for the first generation of children and adolescents growing up in a democratic South Africa. The authors examine the lives of young people across historically divided communities at home, in the neighbourhoods where they live, and at school. The picture that emerges is one of both diversity and similarity as young people navigate their way through a complex landscape that is unevenly post-apartheid. Historically and culturally rooted, their identities are forged in response to their perceptions of social redress and to anxieties about others living on the margins of their daily lives. Although society has changed in profound ways, many features of the apartheid era persist: material inequalities and poverty continue to shape everyday life; race and class continue to define neighbourhoods, and integration is a sought-after but limited experience for the young.
Many were filled with hopes as high as Mahjoub's stars as they crossed the kala pani (the sea) making their way from India to Durban in southern Africa in the late 1800s. But dreams of a better life and the opportunity to save money and return to the village as 'success stories' were not to be for many who returned 'home' with less than they had started out with, and found that home was no longer the place they had left. Neither were they the same people. Caste had been transgressed, parents had died and spaces for reintegration closed as colonialism tightened its grip. Home for these wandering exiles was no more.
"Salt comes from the north, gold from the south, but the word of God and the treasures of wisdom are only to be found in Timbuktu." 15th-century Malian proverb
In a joint project between South Africa and Mali, a library to preserve more than 200 000 Arabic and West African manuscripts dating from the 13th to the 19th centuries is currently under construction. It is the first official cultural project of the New Partnership for Africa's Development (Nepad), the socio-economic development plan of the African Union, and when the library is built, the cultural role of Timbuktu will be revived, as it becomes the safehaven for the treasured manuscripts. The manuscripts prove that Africa had a rich legacy of written history, long before western colonisers set foot on the continent.