Strange new truths of kids in a strange new land
That’s How It Is was an online magazine started in 2009. It was a platform to publish stories from young South Africans who were keen to write and be vocal about their position in SA. I am I was the magazine’s editor. The stories in this feature are snipp
When Thando Sangqu approached me out of the blue to write this preface, I was reluctant at first. Many people ask me to write prefaces for all sorts of things, just as many others send me their unsolicited manuscripts, expecting me to attend to them pronto. I have learnt to turn down such requests; otherwise I would spend all my life reading and commenting on other people’s writing instead of attending to my own work.
My first instinct then was to reject Thando’s request. But when he outlined his purpose and objective, I was impressed by his initiative and the clarity of his vision.
This anthology, with contributions from a number of writers, photographers and artists, he told me, aims to explore how young South Africans confront their truths and inner political struggles in the quest for relevance.
He wrote: “The book ultimately looks at how in a society that seeks so much validation in brand and social affiliation that perhaps young people need to learn to be their own greatest assets and favourite brand,” he added. “We launch this book in the 21st year of South Africa’s democracy, as I think it is important that we finally ask the question: where to from here? “We have neglected to confront our truths, and perhaps this book is that turning point for South Africa to wake up by reading the sociopolitical musings of young people in the infancy of their careers who have either just graduated or are about to graduate.”
Who could say no to such noble objectives?
As soon as I received the manuscript, I delved into it with relish and immediately fell in love with its words and images.