Tuesday, June 29, 2010

DEEPEST SPRINGS - a masterpiece by NMM Duman

What a literary tour de force by the author, NMM Duman!!!

This is a story of love during the apartheid years. Follow the riveting story of the protagonist, Dikeledi...

395 pages!!!

Publisher: Ad Print (2010)

ISBN 978 - 0 - 620 - 46876 - 3

A majestic work by a superb, imaginative African (black) writer. Fluent, incisive, brilliant prose. A pearl of a work showcasing the best in authentic African literature.

Read NMM Duman's Deepest Springs now!!!


By writer Flaxman Qoopane

NMM Duman is the Whole School Evaluation Supervisor, at the Quality Assurance Directorate in the Free State Department of Education in Bloemfontein (South Africa).

She started to write her novel in September 1996. It took her thirteen years to finish the novel in September 2009. She says: “The book originally had 800 pages. When I wanted to publish it, I was told that it was too thick and we decided to publish it to 395 pages.”

The initial South African edition of the novel was launched at the Bloemfontein Public Library in Bloemfontein on 18 June 2010. The cover was designed by Mmamuso Manyo. Duman is the mother of three daughters: Loondo, Xoliswa, and Baraka.

She says her love for creative writing showed itself from a tender age. “I was fortunate to be introduced to reading early in my life. At that time I was 9 years old at Roma in Lesotho. I was attending a class, we had no grades. Every morning we had English workbook. Later we did some kind of literary exercises. I started writing my own stories including the Golden Idol, a story about Tyrannasaurus Rex, invading our school. I made a booklet with pictures.”

She continued: “When I was 12 years old, I wrote more stories; adventure stories, about espionage and love stories. I went to the National University of Lesotho to Study B.Sc, and I studied Masters in Science Education at the University of Southampton in Britain. I stopped writing because I was busy with my studies,” she vouchsafes.

Her parents are retired Professor Mbuyiselo Edward, and Tlhaku Victoria Makhanya. They live at Yellow-wood in Durban. Her father was a Professor in Geography and he lectured at several Universities including Fort Hare, University of Botswana, Lesotho and Swaziland in Manzini, Swaziland and at the National University of Lesotho. Duman’s mother trained as a professional nurse and also as a social worker.

In 1997 Duman joined the Free State Department of Education. “I was employed as the Education Specialist in ABET until 2001. I got promotion to Deputy – Chief Education Specialist until 2009.” Thereafter, she got a transfer to the Quality Assurance Directorate in Department of Education in the Free State, where she is employed as the Whole School Evaluation Supervisor until to date.

Duman was born at Phola Park Benoni, East Rand on 08 December 1965. She is the eldest child; in a family of four children, her sister Mathabo Makhanya – Angura is a medical doctor, and she lives in Roodeport. Her other sister Thembi Makhanya, who was also a Medical Doctor, died in November 2008 in Johannesburg. Her brother, Tshepo Makhanya is an IT Specialist in Durban.

Sunday, June 20, 2010


(Above) The USA published book, "African Writers"

Lovers of African literature will always appreciate general books on African writing, documenting our continent's creativity over the years.

Celebrated books along the line include Jane Wilkinson's Talking with African writers; and Indaba with African Writers (by Stephen Gray)

It is thus exciting to learn about a new book on African writing (2010) just released into the international market. I am particularly enthused that a fellow Algerian, Tahar Lamri, is included/profiled in this new book.

But there are other well known, or fairly well known African writers also profiled in this new book (even on the cover) - like Wilbur Smith, Ayi Kwei Armah, O Bolaji, Bloemhof...

Those interested in ordering this new international book can check out the links below:





- B Madjer

Wednesday, June 2, 2010


Book: How do I talk about my Ordeal?
Author: Maxwell Perkins Kanemanyanga
Publisher: Eselby Jnr Publications

Review by Paul Lothane

This work, How Do I talk about my Ordeal? follows on the heels of the author’s first book, Enemy of the State (2009). This new book reinforces the literary fecundity of the author, Maxwell Perkins Kanemanyanga.

Kanemanyanga has the penchant to produce works that are somewhat didactic, with moralistic undertones. It is no surprise that this continues in this new work, starting with the Introduction. This gratuitous, sometimes irritating approach can be seen from when Gogo spouts the following to a nurse in the very first story:

“But gogo tell me, what is wrong with our society today?” nurse Sibanda asked gogo maMoyo as they were waiting for the results.

“Uh, it’s not easy. You children of today don’t listen to your elders anymore. You say you went to school and us we know nothing. But look at me; I have seen my grandchildren, something that you are failing to do. You are dying young. Go to the cemeteries you will see what I am talking about. Born 1980, died 2000, born 1981 died 2009, born 1985 died 2010. During our time we learnt how to cook like our mothers but now you, learn to drink like your fathers. The young men are like bulls. They leave babies all over they go. The first born is in Bloemfontein, second born in Eastern Cape, the third born in Polokwane all with different mothers. How do you survive this disease? Your children grow up without guidance, because they don’t know their fathers. Every day they are introduced to a different man saying he is your father. A child needs a moral compass. That means instilling a sense of right and wrong. The moral compass for children is their parent’s behaviour. Unfortunately for you children of today, family is no longer important and that is very bad. By the time you will you realize this most of you will be dead.”

An ominous forecast. Yet despite her horrifying ordeal, Maze the young lady violated in the opening story manages to go on with life. As the aphorism points out “As they say the axe that cuts quickly forgets but the tree that was cut will never forget.”

Yet this initial story, like others, goes on and on to the point of becoming tedious. One gets the impression that perhaps this story should have been further developed into something like a novella.

Once again, fine expressions intermittently come to the fore and are lavished on us; the display of eclectic knowledge and references still predominate; eg “She remembered one of the best statements from William Shakespeare’s books and tears began to flow on her pretty face. “The liquid drops of tears that you have shed shall come again, transformed to orient pearl advantaging their loan with interest of ten times double again of happiness.” And the likes of Martin Luther King Jnr are quoted with relish too.

We have what comes close to true pathos in the story “Beautiful Ghost” as a woman is abused and humiliated by her husband. “One night she heard her husband arguing with another woman in the next room. What else could she do anymore? Was it because she was dying? But she had always been there for him. In the dawn of that same night Janet passed away in the arms of her mother whilst, her husband was sleeping in the arms of another woman. She died with a heavy painful heart.” This is heart-rending.

Yet the story is a disjointed one that can easily confuse, with the didactic fulminations once again overdone, and the authorial intrusions sometimes jarring. The author wants to make a point here, and certainly does so.

The story, “Baby from the plastic” might have been a success, but once again it is marred by the author’s penchant to go on and on -even including a long discourse on football, Arsene Wenger and his regime at Arsenal. It is clear the author loves football. But here in this context it comes across as gratuitous, over-stretched and even boring.

But by and large, this is an impressive work by Maxwell Kanemanyanga; his commitment to his art, his principles (even if overdone to the extent of marring his artistic level), and his love for general knowledge have to be commended.

Kanemanyanga has started his literary career by publishing two books of short stories. Many in the literary fraternity will now reckon that his next step should be a novel or at least a novella. In these days where when imaginative writing is thin on the ground at grassroots level, one can not but wish Mr. Kanemanyanga all the best.