Today we travel to the city of Durban in South Africa, which has one of the largest populations of Indians in Africa. With well over 1 million Indians, the majority of this figure can trace their heritage back to South India. The community recently celebrated their 150th anniversary in South Africa.
There will be a book launch for two writers, Nesan Pather & Michael Pillay who both originate from the Tamil community. It will take place at Adams Bookstore in Musgrave (a suburb in Durban) from 17h00 to 19h00 (SA Time). Both books share an Indian perspective on significant moments from South Africa’s history.
“1994” by Nesan Pather is a coming of age story, revolving around the events and happenings of an adolescent Indian boy in the suburb of Chatsworth, outside Durban. Segren is a very smart and eloquent boy, somewhat beyond his years, whom is nevertheless struggling with his identity and his place in a rapidly changing world. Apart from having to deal with an emotionally handicapped father, an overbearing mother and an aspiring karate master for a best friend, he must cope with his growing attraction for a particular girl in school with whom he seems to foul up with, with clockwork consistency. Set against the backdrop of the build up to the 1994 election, the small community of Chatsworth begins to deal with (or not) the implications of a democratic South Africa. Segren’s book smarts and savvy knack with words, he learns, can do little to prepare him for real life, as through a series of events he learns of the fragile relationship his parents share. How does he cope with this new found truth? Will Harushnee’s friends ever stop laughing at him? Does Trevor’s dream of being Chatsworth’s own Chuck Norris come true? And will Segren figure it all out before he has to hand in his assignment on the Democratic elections?
The Stars are my Guide by Michael Pillay is a story of an Indian boy from Durban, South Africa who is caught up in the liberation struggle for the freedom of his country that was caught in the throes of apartheid. It tells the tale of his life from participation in the student revolt of the 80s, his recruitment into the armed wing of the liberation forces, his travels and training abroad, as well as his trials and tribulations in operating in the country as a guerrilla, until his country is free and he sits before the Truth and Reconciliation Commission to tell his story. Set against the backdr0p of a changing nation, The Stars Are My Guide is a must read for anyone whom wants to get better acquainted with South Africa’s struggle for freedom and how unspoken Indian foot-soldiers contributed to it.
We wish Pather Media & both writers the best of luck for the launch.