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Angelina Sithebe

@ Sunday Times Books LIVE

The Interview

To Dolly’s surprise when she phoned a few of those in power they were quite pleasant and eager to meet with her. A few suggested exploratory coffee, which sounded terrific and quite civilized. Then the time shifted to dinners, usually from the dodgy husbands. When the date and time of meeting did materialise, Dolly discovered that these days most people do not adhere to African time like sauntering an hour late without an apology or laughing in your face for trying to live like an English woman. They just don’t show up. As you wait they could be five hundred kilometres away or travelling overseas which you discover when you phone their roaming cell phones at your expense. An emergency cropped up, a friend they haven’t seen in ten years has died suddenly and their presence is required immediately. They might be waiting at the salon while their child is implanting hair extensions for four hours, tasting wine or any freebee, maybe buying food for their non-pedigree dogs. Or they might be at the doctors with the influenza while you hear the loud music playing and their chums laughing in the background. He might yelp in your ear while he’s gate-crashing a function, “I’m at the Conference Centre. I’ll call you now. Hey there’s the Minister…” And there is no phone call that follows. They’re never where they say they will be. Their word is as worthless as their bouncing cheques. If fortunately they do remember the meeting it is two hours late and they expect you to drive an hour to meet them. No apologies. Then they promise to make you a star as you listen to the eulogy of their deals.
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The Job Search

She contemplated her own future. Top on her mind was job hunting. She had leafed through the thousands of jobs in the papers. She read about the skills shortage in the country with unemployment rates that reflect society. While 6% for whites less than some European countries, it is immeasurable for black people, around 50% or more. With those odds, she counted on her skills. But there was never any reply.

She went to friends, who were an unexpected source of no help at all. If people offer their lips to be kissed by her, Dolly did expect that they could bother to listen to her. When she broached the subject of work, they always said, “We’ll talk, call me…” while they pat her patronisingly on the shoulder and callously offered gossip about their best friends’ sacred secrets. Life is on the terms of those inside the gilded door and Dolly was still salivating at the tantalising prospects that were brandied but had not yet materialised. She would sell portions of her soul to join their exclusive blissful lives of decadent extravagance as a woman of leisure and drive around in big cars, live in a mansion with two maids and gardeners. And get exhausted from shopping for eye creams and obscure prawns straight after chasing mistresses and standing guard over health issues of the delicate kind.
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Sunday Times Notes and Podcast

I was in the Sunday Times reading room this week:

Load-shedding has taken me back to my childhood and the nostalgic pleasure of reading by candlelight without the distraction of television.
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UFS Cuisine

For many it will be: where were you when you heard about the UFS stew?

On an innocent day I was watching the news expecting the usual menu of crime, mayhem and celebrities in and out of rehab when it hit my screen. CNN played it over and over until I could anticipate the next scene like a favourite movie.

I was so outraged I wanted to run to the Free State, I couldn’t wait for the bus or to consult and share with my trusted the details of that video. Across the world there was outrage. Except for some South African whites who were angry crime didn’t draw as much attention – it was, after all, just a stew with the unusual ingredient. They didn’t see that this was not about them, it was about the humiliation of the humanity of others, who also happen to be the first target for criminals.
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Welcome to Angelina Sithebe’s Blog

Angelina Sithebe…where I would like to communicate with fellow writers and keep up to date with the industry in general, but mostly to interact with the readers of my work and other literature, because they are the ones with enough interest to take their cash and actually support the books. Not to exclude the critics, so far they’ve been generous, Bless them.

My current offerings are my South African debut novel, Holy Hill, and the Target Life short story series which is available on (click the link to view).

Holy Hill

Holy Hill

When Christina Nana Mlozi leaves Holy Hill, a Roman Catholic convent school in Zululand, she is broken spiritually, mentally and physically. A problem child who sees little men who tell her to do mischief and who is more at home in ‘the brown place’ of the spirit world, Nana was sent to the Convent by her parents at an early age to be tutored and disciplined.
A rebel who drifts between relationships, jobs, homes, Nana is accompanied by her guides and protectors, spirits and souls that find in her a suitable host. The novel opens in the year 2004 in Durban where she meets her nemesis and saviour: Claude Dema, former child soldier, opportunistic male prostitute, part-time drug dealer, a drug addict who is a born-again Christian. Propelled towards her own demise and desperate for answers, Nana returns to Holy Hill after an absence of sixteen years.

A powerful and disturbing South African story of the present, Angelina Sithebe’s novel prods harshly to a level of discomfort, raising issues about religion, patriarchy, child-rearing in African society, xenophobia and justification for petty crime.