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Authors inspires people to tell their story
One of the main events of Day 2 at the Articulate Africa Book and Art Fair was open discussions on addressing the atrocities of pre- 1994. A powerful panel lead by Judge Albie Sachs, Chris Steyn co-author of Lost Boys of Bird Island, anti-apartheid activist Terry Bell and Mojalefa Dipholo set the tone for discussions under the topic ‘Let’s talk about the truth: pre- 1994 atrocities.’

Judge Sachs a veteran anti-apartheid activist had his right arm amputated after a political car bombing in Mozambique in 1988 said that the Truth and Reconciliation Commission is an important platform to address the horrific apartheid history of South Africa. Judge Zach said that addressing the past is not enough and South African must work towards democracy. “We are not going to get a beautiful nation from the outside world, we have to create it. We must focus on the positive and appreciate that we have the freedom to vote in the up and coming elections in May,” he said.

Chris Steyn co-author of Lost Boys of Bird Island spoke about the book The Lost Boys of Bird Island (2018), a non-fiction book by Mark Minnie, a former police detective and Steyn, an investigative journalist. The book is about alleged corruption within the apartheid government and a paedophile network whose notable members were allegedly took children to Bird Island (Algoa Bay) where they were abused, and some possibly murdered

Steyn spoke tearfully about the ‘suicide’ of Mark Minnie after the book was released. “The police have reopened the case and this is our last shot at justice for the victims,” said Steyn. The audience were visibly captivated by the true life stories that the panellists shared.

On a lighter but equally serious note, a separate panel discussion was held under the theme ‘Knowledge Production in African Art.’ UNISA Professor Nombeko Mpako said that there was a slow development of knowledge development among intellectuals in the country. “Our art, our stories are important. Most of our indigenous knowledge was stolen by anthropologist.

They take our knowledge repackage it and bring it back to us,” said Professor Mpako. She encouraged people to embrace who they are and to embrace of indigenous knowledge. “Sometimes there is no money to publish your art. How can you think creativity if you are hungry?” she questioned.
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