WritePublishRead Assisted Self-Publishing Progamme: Selected authors announced

  Is there hope for writers in South Africa who write in the previously under-published languages? It is true that there are too few books available to read in South African languages – other than English and Afrikaans that is. But why is this the case? And is there anything that can be done about it? In September 2017 we unveiled a new writers’ initiative, WritePublishRead, aimed at assisting authors to get their fiction published digitally. This initiative supports the Department of Basic Education’s Read to Lead Campaign by offering people a wider variety of locally produced texts. Now, just six months later, WritePublishRead, a Via Afrika and partners initiative reaches another milestone: announcing the first group of authors from previously under-published languages who will be working in the annual WritePublishRead Assisted Self-Publishing Programme on World Book Day 23 April 2018. Each of the selected authors will be assisted by having a thorough language edit performed on their manuscript. Furthermore, they will receive assistance to prepare their manuscript for digital self-publication, and will be hosted on the Via Afrika WritePublishRead website. For more information on the WritePublishRead Assisted Self-Publishing Programme, click here. Now, without further ado, we are happy to announce the selected authors for the WritePublishRead Assisted Self-Publishing Programme 2018: – Asakhe Henry Cuntsulana (isiXhosa, Collection of poetry) – Hlumeka Dumezweni (isiXhosa, Collection of poetry) – Philasande Wiseman Mfaba (isiXhosa, Collection of poetry) – Anelisa Thengimfene (isiXhosa, Collection of poetry) – Yonela Thengimfene (isiXhosa, Collection of poetry) – Banele Nolayi (isiXhosa, Drama) – Makhosandile Patrick Tisana (isiXhosa, Novella) – Theophilus Matshoba (isiXhosa, Short reads) – Zandile Mamela Qinga (isiXhosa, Short story) –...

Join us at the South African Book Fair 2017!

It’s here! The literary event of the year is around the corner, and you are invited! Join us at the South African Book Fair 2017 from 8 to 10 September at Museum Africa in Newtown, Johannesburg. There’s a wonderful lineup of events for kids and adults – and Via Afrika will be making some exciting announcements, so be sure to visit our stand. Follow the buzz on social media using #OurStories on Facebook, twitter and Instagram, and be sure to share your own stories too. For a full list of events, click here. See you...

Support education now!

We are inviting South Africans to make a difference in education, with our new I Support Education initiative. I Support Education seeks to address two key educational challenges in South Africa: Digital training for teachers, and maths education for learners. Digital education holds enormous potential to catapult the South African basic education system well into the twenty-first century, if teachers themselves are properly trained to use emerging education technology to its full potential in an educationally sound way. Parallel to that, maths education for learners at primary school level is critical not only for individual success, but for the well-being of the country’s growth and economic development. “Every South African values education,” says CEO Christina Watson, “But it’s often difficult to know where to help, or how your donations and contributions are spent. With I Support Education, we wanted to create a way for any South African not only to donate to a teacher’s digital education training or a school’s maths education, but for them to see exactly where and how that money is spent.” Via Afrika’s I Support Education initiative challenges members of the public to get involved in two ways: 1. Support a teacher wanting to undergo digital education training through the Via Afrika Digital Education Academy, or 2. Support an eligible primary school wishing to subscribe to the Via Afrika Tabtor Maths programme. How to support a Teacher The Via Afrika Digital Education Academy (VADEA) provides training courses for teachers to grow their knowledge, skills and confidence in digital technologies and digital education practices. Teachers who have applied and been identified by Via Afrika to participate in VADEA...

Hello there, Hello Tutor!

Personalised learning is the future of education. With programmes like Via Afrika Tabtor Maths, we are seeing its benefits first-hand. But there are, of course, difficulties with personalised learning:  Each child cannot have their own dedicated teacher who crafts a learning plan for them (at least not in the traditional educational model). Technology, effectively combined with digital learning principles, could address the problems around personalised learning, and we are extremely excited to see South African companies take up the challenge of fixing education in innovative ways. One such a firebrand is Hello Tutor. Have a look at the video below to see what they are doing – and how they’re doing it! This visionary company brings together the power of technology and the community in a meaningful, accessible way – we simply love everything about them!   We caught up with James West, founder of Hello Tutor, to find out what the motivating factors behind Hello Tutor are. VA: James, why did you decide to start Hello Tutor? Hello Tutor aims to assist learners from all walks of life, but was developed specifically in response to the education crisis which exists in South Africa and other developing countries around the world. Education is fundamental to the health of a society and the significant difference between the quality of education received by privileged and under-privileged learners is something which puts a lot of people on the back foot early on in life. We hope, through Hello Tutor, to be able to bridge this gap using a medium which is becoming more and more available to everyone. VA: Where do you...

Bursary recipient announced at BCF event

Bursary: A word of hope for any aspiring student. It conjures ideas of hard work, and reaping the rewards of effort put in. Via Afrika is thrilled to announce that this past Friday, one such aspiring student’s dream came true. Jimmy Nevis’ Blue Collar Foundation has announced the first recipient of its new bursary programme. In partnership with Via Afrika, the foundation aims to provide educational opportunities for young South Africans by providing a learner from the matric class of 2015 with a bursary to help fund to further his or her education. Nevis’ brainchild and passion project, the Blue Collar Foundation, looks to inspire change and create opportunity for South Africa’s youth, allowing them to reach beyond the limits of their socio-economic backgrounds. The new partnership with Via Afrika focuses on the awarding of the first Jimmy Nevis Bursary to a learner who wishes to pursue an education in the Humanities. Explaining the decision to partner with Via Afrika, Nevis says: “For understandable reasons, throughout a child’s school-going years and particularly for children from disadvantaged backgrounds, the primary focus is to get them to pass matric and into a tertiary institution. This is seen as a path out of poverty and a track to a better future. The downside, however, is that this blind focus on that one track fails to account for what happens after you achieve it, or if you don’t achieve it. “If you do achieve this goal without the proper guidance that CareerCompass can provide, a tertiary experience can turn out to be a wasted opportunity studying towards a career you don’t enjoy or love.  Additionally, for the...

Via Afrika UNtombazi takes centre stage for Grade 11

The classic drama UNtombazi, compiled by A.T. Ndlovu and published by Via Afrika, has been approved by the DBE as a set work for Grade 11 isiZulu literature. The drama is based on the history of the Ndwandwe people. It talks about how Queen Ntombazi supported her son Zwide in leading the Ndwandwe people.  Even though some of Queen Ntombazi’s ways included witchcraft, she managed to help the Ndwandwe  become one of the most powerful nations among the Nguni tribes. In his introduction of the book, Ndlovu highlights some points about  the important role that women played in history. Queen Ntombazi was later killed by King Shaka Zulu. A.T. Ndlovu has written a couple of isiZulu books and is currently working as the Circuit Manager at Umkhanyakude District in KwaZulu Natal, North Coast. The book will be in schools  next year. UNtombazi was first published in 1978 written by A.H. Dladla. A.T Ndlovu compiled this edition, ensured its CAPS compliance, and implemented the use of current isiZulu orthography. On the right is an interview with A.T. Ndlovu in Isolezwe....