Constitution Hill is a living museum that tells the story of South Africa’s journey to democracy. The site is a former prison and military fort that bears testament to South Africa’s turbulent past and, today, is home to the country’s Constitutional Court, which endorses the rights of all citizens.
There is perhaps no other site of incarceration in South Africa that imprisoned the sheer number of world-renowned men and women as those held within the walls of the Old Fort, the Women’s Jail and Number Four. Nelson Mandela. Mahatma Gandhi. Joe Slovo. Albertina Sisulu. Winnie Madikizela-Mandela. Fatima Meer. They all served time here. But the precinct also confined tens of thousands of ordinary people during its 100-year history: men and women of all races, creeds, ages and political agendas; the indigenous and the immigrant; the everyman and the elite. In this way, the history of every South African lives here.
Constitution Hill is also a place of contrasts: of injustice and justice, of oppression and liberation. Our precinct is testament to the importance of preserving sites of atrocity for posterity, and also to recreating them so that they can serve the purposes of the present and serve to mould the future.
We offer daily tours of the precinct and conduct regular public events, enabling visitors from every walk of life to interact with our space. There are also a variety of venues on our site available to suit your every eventing need, from small private functions to large corporate conferences.
We invite you to explore our space, to experience it, to feel it. Touch our textured walls, read their graffiti, listen to their echoes, stride up the Great African Steps, stand in the highest court in our land, and learn what constitutionalism means in South Africa.
The festival will comprise a book fair, music and theatre festivals. Although there will be many self-published authors, independent publishers and bookshops exhibiting and selling their books, the programme will feature authors – both young and old – who have been invited to present their books through readings and engagements with the audiences in sessions on children’s and adult literature. The topics cut across all societal interests, demographics and ideological leanings. Saul Molobi, Group CEO and Chairman of Brandhill Africa – an award-winning competitive identity and public diplomacy group – curated the book fair. The profiles of authors are below:
- Dr Leslie Dikeni
Leslie Dikeni was senior researcher at Mistra in the faculty of Humanities. He has an MSc in Rural sociology (university of Wageningen, Netherlands)and was a doctoral candidate at Ecole Practique des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociale (school for advance studies in the Sociale Sciences). Dikeni is a visiting research fellow at the school of public and development management ( university of Witwatersrand) and a research associate at the university of Pretoria. His research interest is the social construction of knowledge and it’s dynamics. Dikeni has co-edited with William Gumede The Poverty of Ideas: The Retreat of Intellectuals the New Democracies and is the author of South African Development Perspective in Question and also Habitat and Struggle: The Case of the Kruger National Park in South Africa.
His fourth coming book working title is called Music Agency and Power.
He is currently a Senior Analyst for Palladian Advisory Services.
2. Stan Montsho
Stan Montsho is the author of a number of books including: The Tone of a Broken Horn; The Rage Ashes; Diphiri Diphirimisi; Tears in my Hands, Under the Shade of Wisdom, Lonely by the Window, Emotionally Disarmed; Roger and Megabaru e wetša Lerageng. He is also a publisher of amongst others, Love Chambers and Yet We Pray.
He is a graduate of Wits University, UNISA and AAA School of Advertising. When not writing or executing an idea in the business world, Stan Montsho cooks, participate in road races, watches theatre productions and inspires community upliftment projects, one of which including producing a COVID-19: Kiddies’ Guide in various global languages including, Mandarin, French, Kiswahili, IsiSwati, Shona, Kalanga and RSA languages.
3. Karen Hurt
Karen Hurt spent her early childhood in Ndola and Lusaka, Zambia. She has warm memories of her mother reading stories to her from books and ‘out of her head’ under the mosquito net over her bed at night. Karen’s family moved to South Africa when she was ten years’ old. Travel and stories have always been an essential part of her life. Karen gets a lot of joy from writing as a way to escape, learn new things, and to stimulate her imagination. Karen is the winner of the 2013 Golden Baobab Prize for Early Chapter books for her story, 179 Jabulani Street, which is set in Yeoville. This is the first in a series of Daring Duo adventures. Karen works as a writer, editor, educational materials developer and trainer in communications. She especially loves facilitating writing workshops.
4. Saul Molobi
A former South Africa’s Consul-General to Milan, Italy (2012 to 2016), he’s now the founding Group Chairman and CEO of Brandhill Africa – a ‘Brand Leadership Award 2021’-winning competitive identity and public diplomacy group that specialises in tourism and investment promotion while at the same time helping to open market access opportunities for Africa’s strategic exports. The group’s subsidiary, Brandhill Africa Media Holdings (Pty) Ltd has interests in cultural industries such as news and book publishing, film and theatre productions.
He has established three successful platforms that promote opportunities accruing from the AfCFTA in order to boost intra-African trade and investment mobilisation. These are the CEO Forum – which is a structured engagement mechanism for CEOs of economic development agencies in Africa; Jambo Africa Online, a weekly trade news portal; and Biashara Services and Products Africa (BiSPA) Conference and Exhibition – a series of annual conferences with quarterly webinars in-between.
A Doctor of Business Administration candidate at the University of Northampton, his highest qualifications are an MSc in Global Marketing (Liverpool) and MA in Dramatic Art (Wits). His area of specialisation is on how a country’s nation brand impacts on investor and consumer decision making. This former Publishing Director of Heinemann Publishers and Commissioner to the South African National Pavilion at the Venice Biennale (2012 to 2016) has over 30 years experience as a brand architect, diplomat, journalist, poet, publisher and filmmaker. This Head of the Cultural Diplomacy and Strategic Alliances of the National Writers Association of South Africa (NWASA), has just teamed up with the legendary cartoonist, Mogorosi Motshumi, and adapted his children’s reader, “A Quick Trick”, published in 2000 by Heinemann Publishers as part of the Junior African Writers Series (JAWS), into a cartoon strip forming part of his “Magic Series” of children’s stories. The “Foreword” to his latest adult book, “Sound and Fury: The Chronicles of Healing”, was written by H.E. Kgalema Motlanthe, former President of South Africa.
5. Buhle Mthethwa
Buhle Mthethwa was born in Midrand on the 14September 2007, she is the youngest and only girl in a family of three.
Buhle started her schooling at Foointeintjie Kindergarten in Birch Acres. She continued with her schooling at Laerskool Mooifontein in Kempton Park. Her insatiable passion is reading. She’s also highly conscientious as she strongly believes in helping others. She believes in the dictum: “mens sana corpore sano” – which means, sound mind in a sound body, and so she believes in regular exercise by playing hockey and netball. Dispelling the myth that those who are creative aren’t mathematically gifted – the same way that art master Leonardo Da Vinci – her favourite subjects are Mathematics and Science and would like to pursue medicine one day.
Buhle is an author of the “Big Fat Naughty Cat”, a book she wrote at the age of nine and was published in October 2017 followed by an acclaimed launch two months later in December. At that tender age, she was determined to change the trajectory of literacy and instill the culture of reading amongst her peers.
She developed a passion for reading because some of her friends could not read properly. She helped them through her spare time mostly after school using the books from the library.
This led her to decide on writing stories that her peers could relate to in order to inspire them to learn to read and to enjoy reading for pleasure. Her goal is to write books for young children so that they can start reading at an early age. She has started a book club at home and has received support from her teachers and the Headmaster, Mr Jorrie Jordaan, who also contributed to the “Foreword” to the “The Big Fat Naughty Cat”. She hopes a Good Samaritan may come forward to help her reach many more kids in her drive to inculcate a culture of reading among her peers.
Following the successful launch of her debut book in December 2017, Buhle made it to “The Top 10 of South African Heroes”. More accolades, recognition and support followed. In January 2018 Cell C sponsored a special print run for Thabaneng Primary School in Orlando West where she donated 1000 copies of The Big Fat Naughty Cat. This was part of the Cell C’s “Act of Kindness” programme.
Furthermore, Miss South Africa, Ade Van Heerden, distributed donations of her book with the author herself. She is the recipient of the African Authors Award and the recipient of the Gauteng Women’s Award “Girl Child Category”. She’s a consummate motivational speaker who encourages her peers to believe in themselves, have self confidence, and read as much as possible so that they could be knowledgeable about their environment and the world they live in.
6. Abdul Mogale
Abdul Mogale is the President of the National Writers Association of South Africa (NWASA), Thembisa born political activist who rose through student politics, through to the civic movement, the trade union movement, and the broader Mass Democratic Movement in South Africa. He is a Liberation Military Veteran from the ranks of Umkhonto we Sizwe, the military wing of the African National Congress.
He is the author of Warriors, Kings, and Queens of Africa, which takes the reader back in time on a journey invoking the spirits of the departed heroes so as to immortalise them in print and speech around wood fires in evenings, as well as in classrooms, lecture halls, and around dinner or coffee tables.
Abdul Mogale has played a pivotal role in the writer’s movement and is the current Treasurer of the National Writers Association of South Africa (NWASA), having previously served as the Deputy President of the Congress of South African Writers (COSAW). His works were previously published in different newspapers such as the New Nation, trade union magazines, and publications such as Botsoso among others.
Abdul is a farmer and a businessman, with vast experience in Local Government, having served as a public representative for fifteen years, from 2000 to 2016 in the City of Ekurhuleni, becoming its first Chief Whip of Council in 2001 and later serving as the Member of the Mayoral Committee for Economic Development, through which he championed the adoption of the Aerotropolis Strategy as a key strategy for Economic Development for the City.
His academic achievements include amongst others a Diploma in Journalism, Certificate in Local Government Studies, and Certificate in Management Studies.
7. Sibahle Madliwa
During its Inaugural National General Council in March 2021, the National Writers Association of South Africa (NWASA) awarded different Awards to deserving recipients. Among them was Sibahle Madliwa, a “tweenager” (a concept as coined by neuromarketer, Martin Lindstrom) author aged thirteen, who was awarded the Rising Star Award for her book, Piki in Fegypt. Furthermore, she was acknowledged as the youngest member of the NWASA.
At a special event held at the Radisson Blu Hotel in Sandton on Sunday, 10 October 2021, Abdul Mogale, President of the NWASA, took the advantage of the school holiday break to present Sibahle Madliwa with her long overdue certificate for the Rising Star Award.
The occasion was graced by Sibahle’s elated mother, Thando Madliwa, friends and several young children who see a beautiful role model in Sibahle. The event took place right after the church service at Church in Sandton, led by Apostle Sam Fidelis who blessed Sibahle for using her talent to send a powerful message on climate change to the world.
In her own message to parents, Sibahle’s mom urged other parents to encourage their children to read and write. She shared the fact that her daughter wrote Piki in Fegypt when she was only nine years old. This was her second manuscript although she has not yet published the first one. Her next manuscript is now ready to be sent to her publisher and the cash award of R5 000.00 from NWASA will contribute towards covering some of the publishing services costs thereof.
The NWASA President called on well-wishers to support Sibahle with the publishing of her new book and the purchasing of a laptop which are estimated at R30 000.00. Ssali Publishing House has committed to make a generous contribution of 25% discount on the cost of the publishing services the company will provide.
NWASA’s President has a special mission to see one hundred writers under the age of 16 years published, and to establish libraries in rural villages during his three-year tenure, as announced during his Inaugural Address earlier this year.
8. Unati Mgandela
Unati Mgandela was born in Mthatha, Eastern Cape
She obtained her Bachelor of Administration degree from University of the Western Cape in 1998. In 2006 she completed a Management Advancement Programme at WITS business School.
In 2011 she completed her Diplomatic Training from the Diplomatic Academy at Department of International Relations and Cooperation.
She went further to study her Masters Of Business Administration (MBA) at Milpark Education in 2015.
In 2018 she received a certificate of “Women in Power Leadership Programme” from Duke Corporate Education in Partnership with Black Management Forum.
She is an alumnus of the Africa Ventures programme – A leadership Development Programme offered by Common Purpose Africa.
She is very passionate about benevolent work. She was appointed as a Common Purpose Advisory Panel member in 2019.
In 2020 she initiated a mentoring platform called “Meaningful conversations with Unati “where +_15 women get access to prominent individuals who give them advice about day to day issues like the importance of financial planning and importance of having a tribe of women supporting you- to name but a few.
In 2021 she was appointed as a trustee of the Mhakazi Trust, a charitable trust which supports development initiatives for orphaned children and youth in KwaZulu-Natal.
She has recently started a shoe drive – an initiative that will see her supplying school shoes to indigent environment to ensure that there are no kids that are segregated because of their circumstances.
She co-authored her first book with Stan Montsho (a renowned author), the book is titled Imiphumela Yobulumko/ Maungo A Botlhale (which means the outcomes of wisdom).
She is a senior Public Affairs Specialist at Discovery Limited.
9. Sandile Memela
Sandile Memela is a well-known journalist, novelist, cultural critic, polemicist and public servant. He is reputed to be an intellectually provocative writer. A passionate creative thinker and writer, Memela has published five books.
The latest is Malume’s Painting- Reliving the 16 June Legacy (CEM Publishing 2019) that is part factual history and part fictional story portrays the journey of a young Soweto student activist who left for exile 1976 to later return to a democratic society after the fall of apartheid.
Significantly, his short story, The Trap was one of the Top 20 winners in the Short Sharp Stories national competition and was published in Bloody Satisfied.
In 2014 he published What Mother Told Us, a special tribute to ordinary women who have kept the flame of struggle alive.
Noteworthy was Zenzele: Young Gifted & Free (Porcupine Press 2014) a motivational book for children and youth that is a practical application of the tenets of Black Consciousness spirit of self-determination.
This was preceded by His Master’s Voice (Geko Publishing 2011) which was Memela’s semi-autobiographical book thattraces the experiences of black professionals in a capitalist controlled economy, especially in the media.
The first book was Flowers of the Nation (Kwa-Zulu Natal University Press, 2005.)
He has also contributed short stories to Soweto Inside Out(Zebra Press, 2004) and Crossing Over (Kwela Books, 1994.)
10. Prof Mills Soko
Professor Mills Soko teaches International Business and Strategy at Wits Business School, and is a former Director of UCT Graduate School of Business. He is the author of the recently released book South Africa and the World, published by Tracey McDonald Publishers.
He holds a BSoc Sci degree from the University of Cape Town, an MA in International Studies from the University of Stellenbosch, as well as an MA and Doctorate in International Political Economy from the University of Warwick in the United Kingdom. His doctoral thesis examined the political economy of trade policy reform in post-apartheid South Africa.
He was previously employed by the Institute for Democracy in South Africa as a researcher on parliamentary affairs, monitoring and preparing reports on the work of parliamentary committees in South Africa’s first democratic national legislature.
He also worked as researcher to the Select Committee on Trade and Industry, Foreign Affairs, and Public Enterprises in the National Council of Provinces (NCOP). This was followed by his appointment as Head of Policy and Legislation in the NCOP, where he oversaw and coordinated the work of committee researchers.
He is a member of the editorial boards of Global Governance, Journal of Common Market Studies and AfricaGrowth Agenda. He is a research associate of the South African Institute of International Affairs as well as the Institute of Global Dialogue.
He is a member of the advisory boards of Namibia Business School and TSIBA Business School. He has previously chaired the board of Inyathelo (The South African Institute of Advancement). He is also a member of the board of the Field Band Foundation.
He formerly chaired a working group on education and employment under the auspices of the Africa-Germany Partnership, an initiative of the former President of the Federal Republic of Germany Horst Köhler. And he was a member of the Warwick Commission on The Future of the Multilateral Trading System.
He is an ardent writer on pertinent local and global issues. He is a Fin24 columnist and also writes regularly for local newspapers including Business Day, Daily Maverick, Sunday Times, Business Times, Financial Mail and The Conversation Africa. He also writes for World Financial Review. He is also a frequent guest on current affairs programmes on radio and television, including “SAFM Sunrise” (SABC), “African Dialogue” (SABC Channel Africa), “Power Breakfast” (Power FM), “#Africa” (eNCA), “The Pulse” (Newzroom Afrika), and “Weekend Breakfast” (CapeTalk).
11. Boitumelo Mothupi
Boitumelo Mothupi is an educator and a writer from Lehurutshe in the North West. She is the author of a children’s book The Girl with 21 Questions published in 2021. She is passionate about developing children’s critical thinking and creative writing skills. She holds a Bachelor of education degree(Bed) and is currently in the process of obtaining her postgraduate diploma in the psychology of education. She strives to educate the younger generation to understand themselves and make sense of the world they live in.
13. Nompumelelo Runji
Nompumelelo Runji is a socio-political analyst, researcher, entrepreneur and a published author. In her memoir titled How I Took Back My Power, published by NB Publishers, she shares the story of her childhood abuse and of being in a toxic, dysfunctional marriage and writes about the steps she took to protect herself and to place herself on a path to a healthy and satisfying life. She has a deep commitment to empowering herself and others to exercise their agency to free and heal themselves from trauma, cycles of abuse and from toxic and dysfunctional relationships and to find peace and fulfilment in their personal and professional lives.
14. Thabiso Sikwane
Thabiso Sikwane is a mother, a seasoned talk-show specialist, former ambassador for the Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital, beekeeper, owner of a swimming school business and story teller with a passion for rewriting our stories of our history to include the woman’s voice which has been stifled.
Thabiso was motivated to pen “Modimo o a go rata” after being constantly frustrated by the lack of diversity in children’s books which has been a topic of discussion for many years but is changing too slowly. It is Thabiso’s aim to help younger children have a wider variety of great books to choose from, especially those that deal with the day to day reality of the world so that all young readers get to see themselves reflected in the books that they read. Thabiso wants to give all children a sense of belonging in helping them understand that if they may be different, it is okay and to empower them to let their uniqueness shine regardless of the colour of their skin, background or abilities.
Thabiso truly believes that each family’s strength comes from within and that it is critical to build the family with the inclusion of children. She is committed to helping build the core of each child. Thabiso is further determined to give power to children in order to raise their self-esteem so that each child can recognise their ability to be productive and respectable in their families, communities, the country and the world.
15. Jaki Seroke
Jaki Stone Seroke is an anti-colonialist and anti-imperialist activist. His poetry and opinion pieces have appeared in literary journals and op-ed pages in major newspapers. He was an editor of The Classic magazine and in the collective editorial of Staffrider. Aa a founder member of Skotaville Publishers, he was before then a book editor at Ravan Press. He is a known Africanist who served time on Robben Island Maximum Prison. His memoir, “Zwelethu – Our Land” was released last September (2021) by Tafelberg Publishers.
15. Rose Ssali
Rose Ssali is a poet, author, editor, ghostwriter and publisher. A semi-retired attorney, she was encouraged to read from an early age and between trips to the bookstore to purchase the next set of books, her parents encouraged her to write her own stories.
She is also the founder of the Sandton-based Ssali Media House as well as Ssali Publishing House, and has put out more than 50 titles to date. She is a highly experienced editor and ghost-writer and has authored six novels in the last two years.
Ssali Media House, the official media partner of the African Business Council, seeks to provide opportunities for the youth in all things media ranging from writing, graphic design, film and drama. The Media House covers news, titbits and conducts critical analyses of international affairs in order to separate fact from fictitious information.
As a Book Review Editor at the Thabo Mbeki African School of Public and International Affairs, Rose serves a diverse – a regional, continental and international – clientele.
Rose graduated from the University of Florida, Gainesville, FL with a master’s degree in International Relations, with a focus on International Trade and Diplomacy. After practising commercial law for a couple of decades, she retired and is now focused on her passion, publishing African narratives by African authors.
16. Tshidi Monkoe
Tshidi Monkoe is a free spirited and open-minded woman whose purpose in life is to heal and teach others through her life experiences.
She is a Speaker, qualified Relationship & Wellness Coach, NLP Coach, NLP Practitioner, Lyricist and a Self-published Author of a book titled Prison Love. She also established two organizations: a private company specialising in catering as well as a Non-Profit Organization with the objective of providing support for women whose partners have been incarcerated.
When she is not writing or making a difference in people’s lives, Tshidi enjoys reading the word of God, listening to music, daydreaming and spending time with her two children.
7. Kalvyn More
Kalvyn More is a proud Pan African and an economic avant-garde. A former chairperson and curstor of the “Tshwane World Economic Forum Global Shapers”. A founder of “Africa Translate Me Campaign”. He holds B. Tech (Agriculture Development); B.Com (Finance); and a postgraduate qualification in “Africa & International Trade – Building an African Developmental State”.
His books are Change is Changing: Write Your Story or Some Idiot Will; Conversation With My Elders: A Remarkable Courage & Proud Legacy of Bakwena Ba Mogopa; and Hey! African Child” (which is partly inspired by the “Black Lives Matter Movement”).
Programme for the Human Rights Festival Book Fair: 19-20 March 2022
- 19 March 2022
- Children’s literature programme: 10h00 to 17h00
- Karen Hurt: 10h00 to 10h45
- Boitumelo Mothupi: 10h45 to 11h30
- Thabiso Sikwane: 11h45 to 12h30
Lunch plus tour of book stalls
- Buhle Mthethwa: 14h30 to 15h15
- Zulaika Patel: 15h15 to 16h00
Tour of book stalls
- Adult literature programme: 10h00 to 17h00
- Nompumelelo Runji: 10h00 to 10h45
- Thabiso Sikwane: 10h45 to 11h30
- Dr Leslie Dikeni: 11h45 to 12h30
- Tshidi Monkoe: 12h30 to 13h15
Lunch plus tour of book stalls
- Prof Mills Soko: 14h30 to 15h15
- Jaki Seroke: 15h15 to 16h00
Tour of book stalls
- 20 March 2022
- Children’s literature programme: 10h00 to 16h00
- Saul Molobi: 10h00 to 10h45
- Sandile Memela: 10h45 to 11h30
- Sibahle Madliwa: 11h45 to 12h30
Lunch plus tour of book stalls
- Ntandoyenkosi Kunene and Thokozani Dyosini:14h30 to 15h30
Tour of book stalls
- Adult literature programme: 10h00 to 16h00
- Refilwe Moahloli: 10h00 to 10h45
- Abdul Mogale: 10h45 to 11h30
- Rose Ssali: 11h45 to 12h30
Lunch plus tour of book stalls
- Stan Montsho and Unati Mgandela: 14h30 to 15h30
- Saul Molobi:15h30 to 16h15
- Kalvyn More: 16h15 to 17h00
Tour of book stalls