The latest issue of wordsetc, the one that should be in your mailbox if you are a serious literature connoisseur is a celebration of women and the words they make. It’s a commemoration of their resilience and steadfastness in the face of political and social torment.
Publisher Phakama Mbonanbi wraps it nicely in his editorial when he writes, “we admire them (women) for taking a greater load of life’s tasks on their shoulders and still retaining their pose”.
The cover of this Third Quarter issue is a shrewd nameplay graffiti of women writers from Maxine Case (All that is left Unsaid) to Fatima Meer then the theme which is (WOMEN&WORDS) then there’s Sindiwe Magona (To My Children’s Children) to Isobel Dixon. Reading through the cover I felt blessed to have personally interacted in different forums with at least Liesl Jobson (100 pages), Makhosazana Xaba (These Hands), Doreen Baingana, Miriam Tlali (Footprints in the Quag), Antjie Krog (Country of My Skull), Gcina Mhlophe, Elinor Sisulu, Nokuthula Mazibuko (Spring Offensive), and not etc. This is not a mean feat for a blogger from the periphery of the country.
wordsetc is the brainchild of Mbonanbi and I can remember that the first issue carried my advertisement and was launched during the South African Literary Awards in December at Vodaworld. That was the closest I came to the magazine, through seeing it on a table with other books. Last week it popped up in my physical mailbox like spam.
This is a beautiful magazine that bridges the gap between the literature fanatic and the creative whose passion is to produce the words that make the world go round. Arguably women have been relevant since Adam was given Eve but in 1956 they outdid the rest and cemented their place in world history indelibly.
The inside pages have beautiful-thought-provoking content from and about strong women. Journalist and book critic Arja Salafranca reminisces about a Spanish childhood that never happened in Málaga as she retraces her unfound nostalgia and does not find anything full of broken memories and promises as she expected.
Then there is a whole revisiting of Olive Shreiner (From Man to Man) and what made her tick like a Rolex watch. In a blurb it is written ‘she was no doubt the first emancipated woman in
The stories women tell are explored and then there are articles about women writers and the aesthetic of their style and approach to storytelling. There are short stories in this magazine, feature articles, essays, book reviews, and interviews with Dr Mamphele Ramphele and Magona.
Questioning women solidarity Dr Ramphele is brave to say, “a few years ago when a young woman was sexually assaulted in parliament the women leaders never came to her aid. What does that tell you about women in leadership? If a woman cannot be helped in parliament what hope is there for other abused women elsewhere? We have one of the highest incidents of women abuse in the world. Have you ever heard the ANC Women’s League saying anything about it?” Brave I must say, with the Zuma lynch mob out sniffing any sound of dissent.
Then we meet women publishers as they speak about the books they make.
Come on now, go out and buy this masterpiece instead of reading this review until my blog bleeds ink.
It costs a paltry R49, 95 or visit www.wordsetc.co.za. I would advice my good brethrens like Maromo Sekgobela and Tshwarelo eseng Mogakane to visit the site and be on the lookout for opportunities of either contributing or having their books reviewed between these hallowed pages. This is the flagship and has clout.