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

CityPress - - Voices -

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.

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