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Franschhoek Literary Festival

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Archive for the ‘Humour’ Category

Learning to Laugh at Ourselves: Zapiro, Van Wyk and Ngcobo at the FLF

Zapiro, Ndumiso Ngcobo, Mike van Graan, Chris van Wyk

“Humour is universal. All around the world people laugh at more or less the same things. It is only certain authority figures that think they have the right to tell us what we shouldn’t find funny – figures like politicians for instance.” So said Zapiro at the start of a discussion with Chris van Wyk and Ndumiso Ngcobo, chaired by Mike van Graan, at the Franschhoek Literary Festival. He proceeded to show clips from ZA News, the satirical show about South African politics, which the SABC has continuously refused to broadcast.

Is It Coz I'm Black?Eggs to Lay, Chickens to HatchPeople from different walks of life have told Chris van Wyk that they have enjoyed his humorous new book Eggs to Lay, Chickens to Hatch, thus he could attest to this universality.

Ngcobo thinks humour is so appealing because it always contains some brutal truth. “My grandmother who lived to the age of 85 told me her secret for a long life was laughing at herself, but more importantly, laughing at other people!” Equally, his definition of stupidity is people who take themselves way too seriously.

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FLF Live! Who’s Afraid of the ANC? with Zapiro, Kader Asmal and Rhoda Kadalie

BOOK SA Ben Williams livetweeted the Franschhoek Literary Festival’s “Who’s afraid of the ANC?” panel discussion from the Franschhoek school hall. Some top tweets from the stream:


#flf10 Greetings from the school hall in Franschhoek, where we’re live at one of the most highly-anticipated events of the festless than a minute ago via web


#flf10 And we’re off! Rhoda Kadalie says that Kader Asmal asked her to be impartial today, but “it’s not in my DNA”less than a minute ago via web


#flf10 Kadalie introduces Zapiro as an “equal opportunity pisser-off”less than a minute ago via web


#flf10 Franschhoek school hall packed to the rafters http://flic.kr/p/82dsRXless than a minute ago via Flickr


#flf10 Kadalie introduces Kader Asmal as an ANC member who stands up to his own partyless than a minute ago via web


#flf10 She hands over to Asmal. “I’m the only member of the ANC on this panel… and possibly the only member in the hall!”less than a minute ago via web


#flf10 Asmal: The fundamental issue in the Constitution is the right to dignity. Anything else you can think of flows from that.less than a minute ago via web


#flf10 Asmal: I’m surprised that ministers, like the police, haven’t asked to be called Generals, etc. It’s decadent enough for them.less than a minute ago via web


#flf10 It’s all Asmal here in the hall. “I say this carefully, but it’s wrong that there should be demonstrations around court houses”less than a minute ago via web


#flf10 Asmal on Malema’s latest squirmings: “Military training my foot”less than a minute ago via web


#flf10 Khadalie wrests back the platform. She says to Zapiro, “You’ve said you’re afraid of no-one. But should we be afraid?”less than a minute ago via web


#flf10 Zapiro: I’ve had incredible, near-absolute freedom, and don’t see that diminishing soon, so it’s better to be angryless than a minute ago via web


#flf10 Kadalie, in an aside: I don’t trust Ebrahim Patel (econ cabinet member), he’s an old commieless than a minute ago via web


#flf10 Zapiro: Rhoda, can I say one thing? Kadalie: No, you’re a white male.less than a minute ago via web


#flf10 Q from the audience to Asmal: Why didn’t you rail against the ANC when you were in Parliament, when you had clout?less than a minute ago via web


#flf10 Asmal: After I stopped being a minister, I took an AIDS test and railed against the govt’s stand on Zim w/in a monthless than a minute ago via web


#flf10 Asmal: When I was a minister, I had to weigh up decisions in relation to how effective I could be in my own portfolio.less than a minute ago via web


#flf10 Zapiro challenges Asmal on the question of why he didn’t stand up to the ANC while he was a ministerless than a minute ago via web


#flf10 Kadalie: the feeling is that internal democracy inside the ANC is dead, and that the rot will spread to civil societyless than a minute ago via web


#flf10 Asmal says something that causes quite a murmur: “I hope that Cope proves to be a success”less than a minute ago via web


#flf10 Zapiro: The late Van Zyl Slabbert’s recommendation about changing our electoral system, for more accountability, has been ignored…less than a minute ago via web


#flf10 Kadalie: Zapiro is angry but not a cynic; Kader is an optimist; but I’m not feeling great about the ANCless than a minute ago via web


#flf10 Final word from Kadalie: “God is dead, Marx is dead, and I’m not feeling too good myself”less than a minute ago via web

More live FLF coverage in the widgets below:


Nelson Mandela - from Freedom to the FutureDon't Mess with the President's HeadRunning with Horses

Book details

  • Nelson Mandela – from Freedom to the Future: Tributes and Speeches edited by Wilmot James, Kader Asmal, David Chidester
    EAN: 9781868421725
    Find this book with BOOK Finder!

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FLF Live! Is Sport the New Politics? with Ndumiso Ngcobo, Jeremy Boraine, John Carlin and Tim Noakes

BOOK SA editor Ben Williams livetweeted the Is Sport the New Politics? panel in the Franschhoek School Hall. Read a selection of tweets from the event:


#flf10 …and Chris Thurman gets things going. “Is sport the new politics” is a richly ambiguous question, he says, then makes the introsless than a minute ago via web


#flf10 “Sport has also been a unifying factor” chiefly in the sphere of raceless than a minute ago via web


#flf10 Noakes: administrators manage sport for their own agenda. Sees that sport’s real benefactors are the people at the top. Sport = mafialess than a minute ago via web


#flf10 Now Ngcobo jumps in: “When Francois Pienaar lifted the trophy in 1995, I admit I was watching soccer.”less than a minute ago via web


#flf10 Ngcobo: In 1995, I told myself, “I will *not* watch rugby”. Instead, I watched another game that Englishmen brought us.less than a minute ago via web


#flf10 Carlin: Slabbert recalled a moment from the 1995 rugby wc: a tear-streaked Afrikaner chanting “That’s my president!” at the finalless than a minute ago via web


#flf10 Boraine’s turn. “Last night I was thinking about the question before us. Perhaps it shd be inverted: ‘Is politics the new sport?’”less than a minute ago via web


#flf10 Thurman: What about sport and the literary experience? (Quotes JM Coetzee about SA’s terrible sportswriting)less than a minute ago via web


#flf10 Carlin (who’s a sportswriter, among other things): Coetzee’s so bloody miserable, isn’t he?less than a minute ago via web


#flf10 Boraine calls sport, rather memorably, “ritualised barbarism”. The writing about it will necessarily be secondary.less than a minute ago via web


#flf10 …and I’ve noticed that the only people who complain about vuvuzelas are people who don’t normally go to football matchesless than a minute ago via web


#flf10 Carlin: I think we’ve come to the crux of the matter: S Africans will be united as never before through hatred of FIFAless than a minute ago via web

Follow more FLF tweets – and add any comments of your own using the Facebook livestream tool!


Is It Coz I'm Black?InvictusLore of RunningSport Versus Art

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FLF Live! Doing it Weekly with Ndumiso Ngcobo, Jacob Dlamini, Tyrone August and Marianne Thamm

BOOK SA editor Ben Williams livetweeted the Doing it Weekly session at the Franschhoek Literary Festival on column-writing with Ndumiso Ngcobo, Jacob Dlamini, Tyrone August and Marianne Thamm. Here is a selection of tweets from the event:


#flf10 Welcome to the “Doing it Weekly” panel discussion at the FLF. BOOK SA coming to you live from the School Hall in Franschhoekless than a minute ago via web


Thamm introduces the panel and asks, “What gives you the right to your column?” #flf10less than a minute ago via web


#flf10 August: “Your own individual voice gives you the right.” Dlamini: “If the anti-columnist is the specialist then we are the antiwonks”less than a minute ago via web


#flf10 Ngcobo: “I just like to write fluff!”less than a minute ago via web


#flf10 Ngcobo: I never studied writing, I’ve a scientific background. So I have a method, which starts with… white noise!less than a minute ago via web


#flf10 Ngcobo: I end up taking 4-5 showers a day, simply for the noise.less than a minute ago via web


#flf10 August: Sometimes I ask myself, Did I get it wrong? Once I compared the Zim youth brigade to the Hitler youth brigade…less than a minute ago via web


#flf10 Question from the audience: “what’s the diff between columns and blog posts?”less than a minute ago via web


#flf10 Thamm: There’s a vast difference. Blogs look like writing, smell like writing, feel like writing… but they’re not writing.less than a minute ago via web


#flf10 Thamm: Asks the audience, Do you read columns? A resounding “yes!” in the school hallless than a minute ago via web


#flf10 Dlamini calls for a moment of silence for The Weekender.less than a minute ago via web

Follow more FLF tweets – and add any comments of your own using the Facebook livestream tool!

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Is It Coz I'm Black?Native NostalgiaFairlady Collection

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Christopher Hope on “Satire in a Time of Impotence” at the FLF

Christopher Hope and Toby MundyToby Mundy, Head of Atlantic Books UK, introduced Christopher Hope as the “temporary mayor of Franschhoek” for these few days because of his position as founding director of the FLF.

Hope identified two ways of looking at South African society evident in South African literature: The first he termed the Alan Paton path, a kind of pastoral view, the second, his view, that of a Grecian tragi-comedy. This is where satire in Hope’s work shows itself. Hope said that he often responds to what he finds appauling with “wild hilarity” – we see this particularly in his debut novel, Separate Development a satirical comment on contemporary South African society. Mundy responded with the truism, “you don’t slay your enemies with fine words, you slay them with laughter.” And the thing about truisms is that they’re usually true.


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