South Africa

Cape Town Pride – Accepting, Isolating, but mostly enlightening

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Cape Town Pride took place this past weekend, and while it was a lot of fun, it raised a lot of feelings and struggles within me.

Any and every LGBTQIA march is important because it highlights a community which despite its issues is brave enough to come together and celebrate who they are. The queer community often gets told that we’re perverse or that there is something wrong with us, but Pride is when we come out to show that we’re proud of who we are.

Pride is the queer community coming together and saying that we will not be shamed for being who we are, and loving who we love.

Cape Town Pride was an interesting experience for me. It illuminated a lot of things that I still need to deal with, and some noticeable flaws within the community itself.

Before I get onto some of the issues of Pride and the community, let me first address some of my issues.

Pride made me realise that I have to get over my issues of slut shaming. It’s not something I’m particularly proud of, but I think for me acknowledging that I unintentionally slut shame others is a good way for me to begin addressing the issue.

There were numerous instances, where a person was making out with someone, and within the next 5 minutes, they were locking lips with someone else. It didn’t only happen once, but more times than I could count.

I would often stare incredulously, signally at those around me like, “Did you see that? That’s totally unbelievable!” but it would always be with the intention of like “Damn, they sure get around.”

At the end of the day, who they hooked up with was none of my business, and if they wanted to make out with 5 or 20 strangers, and sleep with any of those strangers, it still didn’t affect me and my life.

Yes, practising safe and responsible sex is important, but people are adult enough to make decisions over their own lives and behaviours. It’s not for me to deem what is considered safe and responsible for them, I only need to focus and informed about my sex life and whoever I sleep with.

We’re entering a stage as a society where we are recognising that people have autonomy over their bodies, and we’re slowly losing the stigma surrounding what it means to be promiscuous.

For me to cast judgement or criticism at those individuals is on me, and something I need to address myself.

I have questioned myself enough to know, that my level of conservatism comes from my time growing up within a traditional Christian value system.

I was raised to be very obedient, and that the word of the biblical text was law – believing that sex before marriage is sinful and the bible-bashing rhetoric had a massive impact on me.

Even to this day, I’m struggling to reconcile my belief in God with the fact that I’m gay because it was preached for so long that you have to choose one or the other.

This is also compounded by society constantly screaming out “this is right” or “this wrong” regardless of whether or not it has anything to do with their lives…which is something people like to do, especially in regards to sex, and also women’s bodies.

I’m trying to do better and be better, but it’s a process unlearning all these unhealthy habits.

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Picture: Cape Town Pride

 

Cape Town Pride was also at times isolating.

It was wonderful being around many people within the queer community who I felt accepted by.

I was with my friends, just having a great time, but after my friends left, I was left to my own devices, and sometimes that can be very overwhelming.

I am a friendly-enough person, and even my job as a journalist requires me to make conversation with strangers, but in social settings and surroundings, my reasons for engaging with someone change from it being “for work” to “making casual conversation” and that creates a lot of anxious feelings within me.

If I had to choose between being in the company of 2 strangers and making conversation, versus that of my own, I’d much rather be by myself.

Social interactions feel very overwhelming for me.

However, when checking social media I noticed someone I follow was also at Pride.

I sent them a message and after some milling about, I found them, and then by pure coincidence discovered a mutual acquaintance who I had met once before. Within a span of 10 minutes, I ended up hanging out with new people.

Later, I met another person from social media that I knew, and it all ended up with me having a lot of fun.

Every queer person will agree that another interesting experience about Pride is when you see a person you’ve slept with.

The community is so small that you WILL bump into a person you slept with. You have to be a big person, and at least greet them because if you’ve had your penis/fingers/tongue in them, a hug is the least you can do.

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The queer community is also very big into its kinks and fetishes. The straight community is too, but it’s a lot more visible to the queer community.

A guy I went on a date with, and who I’m still in regular contact with, is into a particular kink and engages within that sub-community. He was at Pride, and as we were hanging out, he mentioned that the group he was about to introduce me to was part of this kink community.

He was kind enough to give me a heads up, which I really appreciated. As he mentioned this, my flight instinct wanted to kick in, and I was having a mild freak out, to say the least.

Part of the reason for this was because I had this notion of what kink meant in my head, and I also cast judgements on them before meeting them, which also didn’t really help the extremely awkward level of uncomfortable feelings that sat in the air.

It doesn’t help that I’m a socially awkward individual.

Now, I’m not saying that kink is for me, because it’s not, and it’s not something that everyone is comfortable with, BUT instead of just seeing them as people, I judged so heavily and that just made a situation infinitely messier than it needed to be.

Again, while I have a minutely limited understanding of kinks, it’s not my place to be a moral judge.

While feeling uncomfortable was a completely valid feeling for me, other people’s sex lives have nothing to do with me.

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Now onto the issue where Cape Town Pride was being problematic:

Many people knew about a pre-planned protest to disrupt Pride, as there was a message going around on social media:

Love lives here…PHI??
Where is the love?
Where is the love for Noxolo Xakeka, 23, assaulted, humiliated and murdered in January 2018?
Where is the love for Noluvo Swelindawo, 22, abducted, assaulted and shot to death?
Where is the love for Nonkie Smous, 28, whose body was so badly burnt her own family could not recognize her?
Where is the love for Joan Thabeng, whose mutilated body was found after having been dragged through the streets?
The list could go on if anyone cared to put actual numbers on paper.
So sorry to put a damper on your party but ours is the Pride too. Cape town pride, among other problematic prides, is an exact replica of what is happening in society at large and we intend to put an end to it.
Cape Town Pride is accustomed to being oblivious of the struggles endured by the LGBTQI+ community.
Cape Town Pride is blind to the discrimination, rape and murders.
Cape Town Pride is capitalist, entertainment machine that has traded in its responsibilities for a fistful of Pink Rands.
We are aware that many others, over the years, have tried to stop the injustice and it has not worked and we are the ones who have been awaited and something WILL change.
THIS IS IT
Since 2012 1 in 9 Campaign was kicked out of Gauteng pride in Joburg and as a result exposed the racism that exists in these spaces, Cape town and Durban pride included.
WE ARE SAYING ENOUGH IS ENOUGH as 80% of the black majority that lives in this country.
We are reclaiming our purpose. We are reclaiming our Pride.
We are saying that this cannot be the case that an entire 80% is not represented
Especially while BLACK WOMXN bodies suffer in silence.
WE WLLL NOT HAVE IT ANYMORE

YOU CANNOT BE SAYING THAT “LOVE LIVES HERE”

While there is absolutely no love for black LGBTIQP+ bodies

We intend to disrupt this celebration for we are not in the mood to party while our community is being plagued by discrimination, violence and corrective rapes.
There cannot be any celebration when all the resources are being geared towards the entertainment of privileged White males and empowered people.
WE REFUSE to allow this to continue
We have tried to contact and involve the Cape Town Mayor Patricia De Lille before but she has not responded to our cries.
So
We may not have a pink rand to spare but we have our value.
We are going to take the matters into our own hands.
We have been polite
We have done “polite” protests, silent protests amongst many others.
We have engaged and tried to get a black lesbian or two to sit on the board and it has not worked because it is an EXCLUSIONARY STRUCTURE.
It’s a PREJUDICED WHITE SUPREMACIST PATRIACHIAL structure that excludes Black LGBTIQP+ bodies
So perhaps love lives here means that LOVE LIVES WHERE BLACK QUEER BODIES DO NOT LIVE!!!!!

– Where Is The Love? Disrupting Cape Town Pride!

News of this protest caused a lot of complicated feelings for everyone.

These feelings stem from the fact that many feel like Cape Town Pride isn’t inclusive and caters to predominantly white gay males, and that many others who aren’t white gay males don’t feel as included.

The issue of exclusion relates to a topic I tackled previously in a post, “THE RACIAL CURRENCY IN CAPE TOWN, AND IT’S GAY SPACES“.  People of colour often feel a constant level of being uncomfortable in predominantly “white” spaces because those spaces all make us feel unwelcome.

Pride is this issue on steroids, being that many within the queer community, who aren’t white and gay, feel unwelcome by those who are meant to be there as a support structure for them.

The pride organisers have tried to help remedy this, but others have seen their efforts as half-assed.

This issue is too complicated to tackle here, but its problem that has persisted for recent years, and doesn’t appear to be going away anytime soon.

The reason why a pre-planned protest didn’t go through was that an arrangement was reached by the two parties, which included a moment of silence for the deceased.

Cape Town Pride Festival

In remembrance of our fallen black lesbian sisters we will be having a 15 minute silence at the beginning of the parade to morn these atrocities. We are one community that will win as one.

Many people, myself included, were relieved that an agreement could be reached because while we wanted to honour and show our respect for our fallen sisters, we also want to celebrate what it means to be gay.

We want to be joyous and be proud of who we are because there is a laundry list of horrible things that come along with being gay, and it’s baggage that for one day we want to put aside.

It created many complicated feelings.

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Cape Town Pride is fractured, and this was corroborated when witnessing who people were interacting with.

There was rarely any crossover.

People of colour would hang out with people of colour, while many white members of the queer community would be relaxing with those who too looked like them.

One can argue it is Pride and everyone doesn’t always want to interact with strangers, but if this is true, then why even come out with Pride.

Pride is supposed to be about solidarity and coming together as a community, NOT just sitting with your friends who you see the rest of the year.

Pride should be commended for the fact that more people of colour seem to be attending than in previous years, however, it is saddening that they sometimes sit outside the gates of the Pride party because they don’t get the luxury of paying the R50 entrance fee.

Of course, if the money didn’t go to a good cause then entrance would be free and open to all, but it’s a definite catch 22.

This may be a non-issue and could be something that happens in many other Pride festivals, but it is saddening regardless when you see how people who have so much in common not really communicating with each other.

That said Cape Town Pride, much like the city that it represents, has a very long way to go when it comes to addressing inclusion. When will that happen? I don’t know, but I am hopeful that I will see that inclusive day.

Theo. Over and Out.

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The Racial Currency in Cape Town, and it’s Gay Spaces

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Picture by: https://love-dimitra.deviantart.com/art/Table-Mountain-348838189

I’ve been planning to write this for a while, but I didn’t really know how to start.

Fortunately, a conversation I had with a friend and fellow journalist helped me find my intro.

To set the scene, we went to grab drinks after work at a bar, when she surveyed our surroundings and then pointed out this point.

Her: “Do you notice what I notice?”
Me: “That everyone is mostly a person of colour?”
Her: “Yes, but it’s more than that. Look at that spot across the road. It has nearly the exact same prices, but then when you look at the place across the street…”
Me: “…It’s predominantly white people.”
Her: “It’s weird how Cape Town is divided so racially…well not weird, because Cape Town is racist, but it’s crazy when you think about it and see how some spaces are geared towards certain people in terms of race.”

It was this very thing that has been on my mind for a bit about Cape Town, including how queer spaces are almost separated to race.

Yes, socio-economic status plays a part in this, because white privilege and generational wealth is a big deal in, not only Cape Town but, the country too (because Apartheid and slavery were things that greatly impacted on the socio-economic status of people of colour).

ALSO READ: Turning to the person who hurt you…

In Cape Town, for some reason I don’t yet know, this is compounded.

There is a trading of racial currency at play, where a particular skin colour has a different value at certain places, and also sometimes on different nights.

As a person of colour, when you enter predominantly white spaces, you feel immediately uncomfortable. People even tend to act differently.

I remember when I was at a gathering with mostly coloured people, we had been laughing and having a good time at a restaurant when suddenly a group of white people walked in.

There was an audible reduction in how loud we were speaking, and even how expressive we were. Someone, who hadn’t been paying attention to the arrival of the white patrons, asked: “Why did everyone get quiet?”

We pointed in the direction of the new people, and the person understood. We eventually relaxed again and continued to be more of ourselves, but the fact that roughly 10 people had noticed the arrival of white people in a restaurant, and became visibly muted, feeling like we shouldn’t have been as loud, indicates to a problem.

We had every right to be in the space as what the white patrons did, but we automatically became reserved, as if to accommodate them, because it’s how we’ve usually felt throughout our lives.

Every person of colour has had an experience where while out with friends or family, they have felt uncomfortable in spaces with predominantly white patrons.

Another instance of this was a discussion that another friend, who happened to previously be a waiter, had divulged.

They had said how sometimes, while the waiting staff would treat everyone the same, they knew that white patrons were more than likely to tip better, so they’d put in perhaps 5-10% more effort.

He mentioned that, yes there were many times when people of colour would tip well, but that mostly they knew they were likely to get better tips from white patrons.

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We had mentioned how unfair and wrong that was, which he had immediately acknowledged, but he said it’s just how things are. This could be attributed to how white people typically are more financially secure than people of colour.

It was pointed out that this could be because people of colour have to stretch their limited income twice as far for basic domestic needs.

Yes, there are exceptions to the rule, but we live in a country where for white people, going to Spur is usually a weekly treat, where for people of colour, that’s a monthly treat.

I’ll be honest and say that because people of colour have this representation of not being good tippers, I make sure more than 10% tip is given in instances where I receive good waiting service.

It’s like I’m psychologically trying to combat this stereotype and fight against it.


Cape Town gay spaces are not exempt from this.

I want to discuss two particular gay places, where I see the trading of racial currency at play – Zer021 and Crew.

Crew

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Crew is very problematic unless:

  • You are a white gay male
  • You’re from a particular tax bracket
  • You’re mainly from the Central Business District
  • You like to objectify straight males who serve you booze

The place is fun don’t doubt that, but there are micro-aggressions you experience as a person of colour in such spaces.

Sometimes the underwear-clad straight boys working at the bar will overlook you and serve everyone else around you. Usually, the people who were around you were white.

Sometimes, I might be inclined to tip well, but when that happens the bartenders do lose out on whatever tip I was gonna give them because I’ve been ignored for so long.

I can concede that sure, these clubs get busy and they can’t get to everyone, but for it to have happened to me regularly on more than one occasion, means that there is definitely some grain of truth here.

We won’t also delve into the problematic objectification of straight males and slippery slope it causes.

I get that some spaces are geared and advertised towards a particular market, but that doesn’t mean you exclude other potential customers and markets. That would be turning away money.

Zer021

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I was initially hesitant to go to Zer021, and it took a while to grow on me, and there was a reason for it.

That reason was that I was unfamiliar being in a queer space where the patrons were predominantly people of colour who looked like me.

The fact that I needed to adjust to a space where most of everyone around me looks like me, should indicate just how fractured Cape Town is and the racial dynamics at play in its spaces, not just queer ones.

The interesting thing about Zer021 is also how it has more inclusion of queer people that aren’t just gay men:

  • There are more drag queens
  • There are more lesbians (not just gay men)
  • The prices are more affordable for queers of colour
  • The people who are bartending aren’t dressed in underwear – and some are gay and some are straight.

I was having a conversation about another friend, who I had mentioned to that I was going to be writing about this, and they had asked if perhaps I was choosing to see race in an instance where there was none.

ALSO READ: Dating outside of your social class… [Abstract]

I gave him an satisfactory answer explaining my point but I’ve have since thought about it more and come to this realisation – as a person of colour, I don’t have a choice in choosing to see race, I just do.

When you’ve grown up a someone non-white, the colour of your skin and the fact that you aren’t white are one of the first things you notice.

Of course, there are those who argue that you can choose not to see race but is very problematic because there is a lot of cultural heritage, identity and socio-economic status linked to race. It ignores those and gives someone the ability to see part of a person, not the whole.

Also lets not forget that racism is a thing.

Things are not always blatantly related to race but it does play a big part of the conversation. Even more so in queer culture where many people still see whiteness as something to be achieved.

I’m also a part of this problem given how I typically am attracted to white men.

I am NOT solely attracted to and interested in white men, but for a majority of my dating years I have been attracted to them. That doesn’t rule out me being interested a person of colour in the future.

However, I’m still a part of the issue.

Of course, when looking outside of these two predominantly gay spaces, you will be able to find spaces that cater to those within the queer community who don’t identify as gay or don’t identify to a singular gender, but those spaces are even more limited, and it’s something you have to look into, not something you easily stumble across.

Like many things that come with being queer, these things are things you learn over time, often on your own.

With all this said, I LOVE CAPE TOWN.

It is very problematic and has a laundry list of issues that it needs to work on. Don’t even get me started on the problematic portrayal of coloured people specifically and how we’re only seen as caricatures.

It’s a lot.

Cape Town does have its good qualities but doesn’t always put it on display.

Race plays a big part in our daily lives and our spaces – queers not excluded. I hope that in future, posts like this are relics of a bygone era, but alas, that time can’t come soon enough in my opinion.

Theo. Over and Out.

CEA Writers without Boundaries – Part 4

CEA Writers without Boundaries, the debut volume for the general fiction anthology from Celenic Earth Publications has been released, and along with that comes stories to exciting, scare and thrill you.

Seven writers and myself from the National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) group in the Western Cape Region have been hard at work putting stories together for you to enjoy.

For the next few days, I’ll be revealing the short interviews that I had with the writers of each story to give more insight into not only their story but the writers themselves.

Next up we have Fiona Tanzer and Shameez Patel Papathanasiou:

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The Smell of Roasting Meat

by Fiona Tanzer

Question: What did you enjoy about writing it?

Fiona: I enjoyed having this story just flowing out and onto the page quickly and without a great deal of conscious thought. I suppose that this is because the story premise comes from my long-standing fascination with people’s beliefs (ever since I can remember!) and something that I have frequently ruminated over for many years.

Q: How did the inspiration for your story come about?

Fiona: My inspiration was in one sense my abiding interest in how would a person’s beliefs appear in practice? – and in the more immediate sense, the title phrase just popped into my mind one day and sparked my thoughts on people’s beliefs – and I just sat down to write without any planning.

Q: What do you want people to take away from it? If there is anything you want to get across?

Fiona: I would like people to take away from my story the reality that whoever we are as people, we all share the same love of family and care for one another, however different our beliefs may appear on the surface. After all, we developed our beliefs and practices ultimately as a sign of our spiritual care for one another.

Q: What was the most challenging aspect of the process?

Fiona: The most challenging aspect in this case was the notion that I am writing about another cultural belief system and while I believe that I have done so respectfully, I hope it came across well. I also wanted to make the story general to Africa rather than particular to one specific locality in South Africa, and to give no indication of historical period so that the generality of the belief system comes through. I chose my characters’ names according to names that I happened to like – but unwittingly I chose names from different traditional groupings in Southern Africa. Ms Masobeng pointed this out to me (for which I am grateful) and I gave it some more thought but decided in the end to keep the different names in token of the intended generality of this belief system. So the name choice ended up adding to the story theme. Obviously, it would have been too much of a stretch to use East and West African names as well.

Q: Anything else you’d like readers to know?

Fiona: I’ve chosen the story to be loosely set in Southern Africa because that is where I live and have grown up, but the basics of this old traditional spiritual belief system in Southern Africa is shared not only throughout much of the rest of Africa, but indeed throughout most of the rest of the world at one time and another – both today and throughout history. And that, I find fascinating.

 

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In.Hold.Out

by Shameez Patel Papathanasiou

Question: What did you enjoy about writing it?

Shameez: I love writing about smart, strong women

Q: How did the inspiration for your story come about?

Shameez: I have experienced the anxiety of having an intruder in my house and it was a different situation, but inspired it nonetheless

Q: What do you want people to take away from it? If there is anything you want to get across?

Shameez: Someone, somewhere will read your story and enjoy it. If you don’t, that’s okay too

Q: What was the most challenging aspect of the process?

Shameez: My story is anxiety-inducing and I am easily frightened, so basically, I frightened myself

Q: Anything else you’d like readers to know?

Shameez: Keep writing, regardless of recognition and money, as long as you enjoy your own work

If you would like a copy of CEA Writers without Boundaries, then click here.

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CEA Writers without Boundaries – Part 3

CEA Writers without Boundaries, the debut volume for the general fiction anthology from Celenic Earth Publications has been released, and along with that comes stories to exciting, scare and thrill you.

Seven writers and myself from the National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) group in the Western Cape Region have been hard at work putting stories together for you to enjoy.

For the next few days, I’ll be revealing the short interviews that I had with the writers of each story to give more insight into not only their story but the writers themselves.

Next up we have Rets’epile Motiki and Caroline M Reid:

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HIDDEN FIGURES

By Rets’epile Motiki

Question: What did you enjoy about writing it?

Rets’epile: Hmmm…the last part of my story makes me smile. Now finally everything falls into place in favour of Mary. She exposed to everyone and most importantly to her father, the kind of friend he has…despite the pain she was feeling, laying in hospital…she smiles, “…Daddy…Mummy!”
Her father was her favourate and so, even she speaks to them both, she always calls first her Dad.

Q: How did the inspiration for your story come about?

Rets’epile: More often than not, most girls suffer silent abuse by people who are pretty close to them. And even when they speak out to make parents aware, they are not believed.

Q: What do you want people to take away from it? If there is anything you want to get across?

Rets’epile: People should basically beware of everything and everyone. No matter how close one is to them, they just need to take a special note that there is always that hidden musk-like figure behind each person and each and everything.

Q: What was the most challenging aspect of the process?

Rets’epile: The biggest challenges I met were the naming of the characters and expressing the depth of each character’s immense being as of how I wanted the message to cut across.

Q: Anything else you’d like readers to know?

Rets’epile: Either way good or bad, people have hidden figures. Know that.

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DR WHYE & sSOPHEE

By Caroline M Reid

Question: What did you enjoy about writing it?

Caroline: Writing can be solitary, and this collaborative project mixed it up a bit. There was a community created around this anthology; writing, reading, and editing. (And a busy WhatsApp group!)

Q: How did the inspiration for your story come about?

Caroline: I am surrounded by scientists who have an intense dedication to their art. 

Q: What do you want people to take away from it? If there is anything you want to get across?

Caroline: I wanted to write about how research can be an isolating experience and take over your life.

Q: What was the most challenging aspect of the process?

Caroline: The leap from having your story as a private document on your computer, to putting it in the public sphere.

Q: Anything else you’d like readers to know?

Caroline: Enjoy!

If you would like a copy of CEA Writers without Boundaries, then click here.

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CEA Writers without Boundaries – Part 2

CEA Writers without Boundaries, the debut volume for the general fiction anthology from Celenic Earth Publications has been released, and along with that comes stories to exciting, scare and thrill you.

Seven writers and myself from the National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) group in the Western Cape Region have been hard at work putting stories together for you to enjoy.

For the next few days, I’ll be revealing the short interviews that I had with the writers of each story to give more insight into not only their story but the writers themselves.

Next up we have Wesley Jade and Agnes Masobeng:

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Wesley wrote the first the story that first appears in the anthology:

FATAL PERFORMANCE

Question: What did you enjoy about writing it?

Wesley: I enjoyed the process if diving into a world that’s different from our own.

Q: How did the inspiration for your story come about?

Wesley: I was thinking about actors and how they would be perfect assassins because they could pretend to be anything they wanted. It was a really random thought. And then I was thinking about lost civilizations, the Akkadians, the Atlanteans and the Muin (Lemurians). Then I just combined the two thoughts, and Fatal Performance was born. This story is only the beginning of a bigger story I’m working on.

Q: What do you want people to take away from it? If there is anything you want to get across?

Wesley: I think that sometimes people do things that we think is wrong, but is actually done to protect others. I dunno, I think that people who end up in bad positions always start out with good intentions and a pure heart. It’s up to the good and honest people to help those who are on the beaten track, to help them find the right path again.

Q: What was the most challenging aspect of the process?

Wesley: Finishing it! Haha! I always start things easily and the flow well, but halfway through I peter out. So the challenge comes in finishing something.

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Uitlanders’ Sweet Bitter Revenge 

by Agnes Masobeng 

Question: What did you enjoy about writing it?

Agnes: Describing my characters especially their physical appearance. Putting them out there, visualising and contemplating about them managed to put smile on my face. The other thing I really liked was the boldness of the students. It is not always the case to find young people standing up against the elders fighting for what they belief to be true.

Q: How did the inspiration for your story come about?

Agnes: Camping at the strict church B&B in town one time for the Macufe WordFest brought the slighted inspiration of this story as I imagined how it’d be like for strangers to do the unspeakable in the unknown land. Clearly what they’ve been advised against when they left their country and when they were allowed accommodation at the B&B.

Q: What do you want people to take away from it? If there is anything you want to get across?

Agnes: Revenge. Most of the time the story of revenge never produces sweet fruits. It is true that most avengers have good clear intentions and motives about their vengeance but, as I know of, revenge often times never serves a good cause in the end.

Q: What was the most challenging aspect of the process?

Agnes: Changing non fiction to fiction. Every time I wrote a word it always forcefully wanted to reflect back to the actual events of the WordFest. Therefore creating the atmosphere, the plot where the story is at the moment was very challenging.

Q: Anything else you’d like readers to know?

Agnes: In the end, I guess we all have to stand up for what we belief in sometimes. No matter how dangerous as long as we are opinionated, raising our voice to be heard and doing away with exploitation, oppression, corruption and et cetera. We’ll be good to go.

If you would like a copy of CEA Writers without Boundaries, then click here.

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CEA Writers without Boundaries –

CEA Writers without Boundaries, the debut volume for the general fiction anthology from Celenic Earth Publications has been released, and along with that comes stories to exciting, scare and thrill you.

Seven writers and myself from the National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) group in the Western Cape Region have been hard at work putting stories together for you to enjoy.

For the next few days, I’ll be revealing the short interviews that I had with the writers of each story to give more insight into not only their story but the writers themselves.

First up is the man who came up with the concept, and pulled a variety of different writers together – Shaun M Jooste who also wrote, Maze for the Dying.

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Q: What made you want to do an Anthology?

Shaun: I’ve always wanted to write with other writers. Being a publisher now, I have the opportunity to gain exposure for other writers.

Q: How exciting/strenuous was the process of wrangling writers, who are notoriously slow movers, to get involved?

Shaun: It was more exciting than strenuous. Im pretty easy when it comes to deadlines and I found that when you all share a passion for writing it is easy to work together.

Q: What was the process like of putting together?

Shaun: Since I have my own templates that I have set up for ebook and paperback, pretty easy. It is just a case of copy and paste into my formats, and then setting up the distribution agreements. If I have structure in my workflow, it becomes a piece of cake. The only issue is finding the time, which becomes tough with a family of two kids and a day job.

Question: Turning attention to your story, “Maze for the Dying”, what did you enjoy about writing it?

Shaun: Developing the suspense and thrill at each turn.

Q: How did the inspiration for your story come about?

Shaun: The original Resident Evil game and movie.

Q: What do you want people to take away from it? If there is anything you want to get across?

Shaun: That nothing is ever as it seems.

Q: What was the most challenging aspect of the process?

Shaun: Developing a thrilling story with suspense that makes sense and drives fear.

Q: Lastly, how proud are you of the finished product?

Shaun: Absolutely on top of the world. I think all writers pulled their weight and above on this one and we all have a reason to be proud.

If you would like a copy of CEA Writers without Boundaries, then click here.

 

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