Writers

The Jakes Gerwel Foundation is proud on the growing list of writers who benefited so far from our various programmes, offered at Paulet House in Somerset East.


Books created at Paulet House

The Jakes Gerwel Foundation is bursting with pride over the writers who worked on their manuscripts at Paulet House in Somerset East and have published their books in the meantime. Pleas see the list below of outstanding authors.

André Trantraal – Die nuwe vriend in the Keegen & Samier series

 

André Trantraal is a writer, illustrator and translator who is rapidly making a name for himself on the South African literary scene with his works that appear in Cape Afrikaans (Kaaps) and English. His comic strips have appeared in the Beeld, Burger, Rapport, Cape Argus and Cape Times and have already been exhibited in Cape Town, Hamburg and Amsterdam. André’s English translations of poems written by his brother Nathan Trantraal have been published in the New England Journal. He is also the co-author of the graphic novels Stormkaap Drome kom altyd andersom uit and Coloureds.

During his residency in Paulet House in 2020, which was made possible by the Jakes Gerwel Foundation in partnership with PEN Afrikaans, André worked on, among other works, the fourth book in his series – Keegen en Samier – that is aimed at beginner writers. In Die nuwe vriend there is a new girl, Alysha, in their school. Keegan likes her a lot, but the twins, Samier and Samia, are upset about it that Alysha performs better than Samia in everything. Keegan tries to keep peace between all his friends.

Bronwyn Davids – Lansdowne dearest: My family’s story of forced removals

 

Bronwyn Karen Davids was born in 1961 in 10 Heatherley Road in Lansdowne where her family lived. She completed her school education at the St Ignatius Catholic School and Livingstone High School in Claremont, although their family moved to Woodlands in Mitchells Plain in 1976, to the so-called new city for coloured people.

After taking up different directions of study and following different careers, Bronwyn became a reporter in 1988 and completed a diploma in journalism at the Peninsula Technikon in 1989. From 1988 to 1992 she was a reporter at the Argus and Cape Times.

Bronwyn’s wandering years to about 20 countries and six continents followed. Afterwards she kept herself busy for a long time with painting and other work before she returned to Newspaper House as a general news journalist for the Cape Times, Cape Argus and Weekend Argus in 2016. She freelances at the moment.

In 2019 Bronwyn participated in the Foundation’s mentorship programme for upcoming writers of fiction and non-fiction, which was presented in collaboration with NB Publishers. This programme made it possible for her to pen down her memories of Lansdowne and her family’s changing fortunes, and to have her book published. It was Bronwyn’s Scottish great-grandfather Joe McBain who built the house in Lansdowne where she was born. Bronwyn gives an apt description of the life of the different generations that lived in this house; she tells of doekpoeding for Christmas, neighbourliness and how the children of the neighbourhood all played kennetjie together. In this touching family story, many of Bronwyn’s memories have to do with irrecoverable losses that followed in the wake of apartheid. With the family home in the centre, a story that is characterised by humour and detail unfolds and lingers in the reader’s mind for a long time.

Engela Ovies – Draairivier

 

Engela Ovies was born in 1968 in Onseepkans, a small-town north of Pofadder in the Northern Cape and that also serves as border post on the Namibian border. As the third youngest of nine children, she spent her school years here on the banks of the Orange River at the St Philomena Roman Catholic School. Like the other children she had to help out on the farm where they lived when she came home from school every day. She now lives on Noudonsies near Augrabies with her two sons, her daughter and two grandchildren.

For Engela writing was the way in which she could expressed her sadness over the deaths of a sister, her only brother and her father in close succession. Draairivier is Engela’s debut novel that appeared in 2020 after the mentorship she received from the Foundation, in collaboration with NB Publishers, in 2019. In Draairivier the life story of Suzanna, or Sanna, Jansen is told in the first person. It was the Christmas holiday of the year before her matric year that would determine the path of the young girl living with her parents and her brother Gert in a worker’s house with a simple reed roof on a farm near Kakamas. Whenever she bumps into the neighbour’s son, Johannes, she gets butterflies in her tummy. And then there is her friendship with the blond Inge whose disability keeps her like a sleeping beauty prisoner in the ‘big house’. A gripping story of the family ties, love and friendship in the life of Sanna unfolds gradually and keeps the reader reading.

Lynthia Julius – Uit die kroes

 

Lynthia Julius was born in Springbok, grew up in Kimberley and now lives in Bloemfontein. She obtained an honours degree in philosophy at the University of the Free State and is busy wither master’s degree in creative writing. In 2018 she was crowned as the winner of the AVBOB Poetry Competition in the Afrikaans language category. Uit die kroes is her debut poetry collection and she worked on this during the Jakes Gerwel Foundation / PEN Afrikaans Writers Residency of 2019.

Uit die kroes calls up a Northern Cape context by means of, among other techniques, incorporating Nama words in the poems. Poems shift between a very personal space and focus, on the one hand, to the historic space of women who are now all but forgotten on the other. Through Lynthia’s masterful use of words, the poems enter into conversation with works of other poets, without losing the appeal of words that come from the heart and speak to ordinary people.

Nathan Trantraal – Oolog

 

Nathan Trantraal, poet, translator and columnist, was born in Cape Town and is married to the equally well-known poet Ronelda S. Kamfer. In 2008 Tafelberg published the graphic novel Stormkaap: Drome kom altyd andersom uit of which he is the co-author. His debut collection of poems Chokers en survivors, written in Cape Afrikaans, was awarded an ATKV Woordveertjie in 2014 and earned him the Ingrid Jonker Prize the year after. His second collection Alles het niet kom wôd appeared in 2017. In 2018 Nathan published his Cape Afrikaans translation of a young adult book by the award-winning American writer, Jason Reynolds, under the title Lang pad onnetoe as well as his Wit issie ’n colour: Angedrade stories, a collection of columns and other pieces. Nathan recently completed his master’s degree at Rhodes University.

Oolog, that appeared in 2020, is Nathan’s third poetry collection and the book on which he worked during his residency at Paulet House in 2019. The residency has been made possible by the Jakes Gerwel Foundation and PEN Afrikaans. In Oolog, conflict, violence and warfare, be it on national, international, local or personal level, take centre stage. By exploiting the strong metrical possibilities of Cape Afrikaans to the extreme, Nathan Trantraal ensures that the reader can’t escape the violence of the stories and images in his poems. Nevertheless, in this dark work there is a counterbalance of humour, lighter moments, compassion and humanity.

Ronelda S. Kamfer – Chinatown

 

Ronelda Kamfer was born in Cape Town and spent a large part of her childhood in Grabouw and her teenage years in Eerste River. She obtained her honours degree in Afrikaans and Dutch in 2011 at the University of the Western Cape and her master’s degree in creative writing at Rhodes University. Her debut poetry collection Noudat slapende honde (2008) was awarded the Eugène Marais Prize and grond/Santekraam (2011) received an Afrikaans Onbeperk Award for a Young Voice. Hammie, her third collection, appeared in 2016 and received the sought-after Jan Rabie and Marjorie Wallace Writing Bursary in the same year. Some of her poems have already been published in English, Dutch, Italian and French.

In 2019, Ronelda was selected as a participant of the Jakes Gerwel Foundation / PEN Afrikaans Writers Residency at Paulet House, during which she worked on her fourth collection Chinatown. The poems denounce gender-based violence, patriarchal systems, racism and poverty with a burning anger about how these injustices are dismissed, denied or even excused. While the poems aim to shock, they reveal, at the same time, a compassion for the vulnerable and an appreciation for real strength.

Ryan Pedro – Pienk ceramic-hondjies

 

Ryan Pedro was born in 1993 and grew up in Kakamas on the West Coast. He currently lives in Gordons Bay with his life partner. Some of his poems appeared in Nuwe Stemme 6 and he worked on his debut collection pienk ceramic-hondjies during the 2019 Jakes Gerwel Foundation / PEN Afrikaans Writers Residency.

In pienk ceramic-hondjies, the reader encounters the fresh and new voice of Ryan Pedro who writes about an experienced world that is still almost unexplored in the body of South African literature. The poems are often presented from the point of view of a small-town coloured child in his formative years. His exposure to different worlds within a family context or that of a small town offers a view of the fluidity of identity and the complexities brought about by race, class and education. The different worlds are also reflected by differences in register and vernacular in the poems. In this poetry collection, a unique voice from a new generation enters the Afrikaans poetry scene.

Veronique Jephtas – Soe rond ommie bos

 

Veronique Jephtas is ’n writer, poet, actrice, director, spoken word artist and activist from Paarl. She completed her honours in drama and theatre studies at Stellenbosch University with creative writing as specialisation in 2019. She made her debut in 2020 at the Woordfees with the play Hoe change hulle, which has also been published in Staande ovasie. She was recently seen as the crow in Malan Steyn’s award-winning production Jakkals en Wolf Onbeperk. Veronique Jephtas was chosen to participate in the Jakes Gerwel Foundation / PEN Afrikaans Writers Residency in 2020.

Veronique is one of the voices from the new generation of South Africans that are being referred to as the ‘born frees’. She continues with the tradition of protest poetry of earlier poets, but in a new way. In Soe rond ommie bos Veronique writes about an imaginary community that is free from conversations that go around the bush. With her courage to speak up against injustices and to believe in change Veronique is a writer to look out for in the future.


Playwrights involved at JGF

NATi Young Stars

With this project, presented in partnership with NATi, the Suidoosterfees, Jakes Gerwel Foundation and Artscape, we help develop emerging playwrights. The Foundation offers the mentorship programme for script development at Paulet House, while the Suidoosterfees develops the productions.

See the list below of writers and artists who benefited from this programme so far.

2020

Die Al kind

With Jill Levenberg, Oscar Petersen, Jurgen McEwan and David Viviers
Script: Herschelle Benjamin

Herschelle Benjamin

Die Al Kind tells the story of a woman who slaves away to provide for her family after a severe drought in the region has claimed her husband’s job. Their only son, a student in England, returns home after many years. What happens when parents build their dreams of a better life on the sole foundation of their child’s education?

Herschelle Benjamin held the Elizabeth MacLennan international bursary for Theatre at the University of Edinburgh.

Ek, Eva

With Wahnice du Toit, Robyn September, Brutney Singrew and Meggan Johnston
Director: Stephren Saayman
Choreographer and stage manager: Wyatt Afrika
Script: Stephren Saayman and cast

Last year’s winner of the DCAS Drama competition combines physical theatre with a beautiful poetic touch. When Eva opens her eyes, she finds herself in a space with three other women. A snake tempts them with lies. Who will yield to the serpentine? As the masks are lowered, truths about women’s utmost vulnerabilities come out into the light.

Stephren Saayman grew up in Riversdal and is rapidly making a name for himself as an actor and theatre producer.

Jessie, die man en die maan

With Carlo Daniels
Director: Kanya Viljoen
Script: Kanya Viljoen
Designer: Kanya Viljoen

Kanya Viljoen

From a young age Jessie sees the moon as a place of mystery and wonder – a home where he dreams of living one day. The moment Jesse came into the world, his dad knew that Jessie’s obsession will become an unbearable burden. Time and again, throughout their lives, a father must surrender his son to the moon.

Kanya Viljoen is working on a master’s degree in Theatre Studies and has received a number of awards.

Kaap

With Lee-Ann van Rooi and Faith Kinniar
Script: Dianne Albertze

Dianne Albertze

No sacred cows are spared in this play. A writer is sent to Cape Town to tell a story at the Vrye Burgers Festival. His own story takes a turn when he encounters two people: Angel, a former Voëlvry groupie; and Faatiem, a charming scoundrel. When the writer falls in love with Faatiem, a dangerous power struggle ensues. Keep an eye out for the Cape minstrels, as well as Kewpie and Skipskop.

Dianne Albertze, who grew up in Namakwaland, had been nominated for a Fleur du Cap as most promising student.

Miela’s Box

With Zenobia Kloppers, Gary Naidoo and Liandé Valentyn
Director: Rafiek Mammon
Script: Tasneem Daniels

Tasneem Daniels

There is a crisis in the Henderickse-household in Woodstock. Miela, Salie and his pregnant wife fight about who should inherit the family home. Baby and Salie have plans to restore the house for their offspring, but Miela, the current owner, can’t let go of nostalgic memories. A drama that will stay with you for a very long time.

Tasneem Daniels is a playwright, teacher and heritage researcher.

Slim mense

With Charlene Le Roux, Stephren Saayman and Elmarie Johnson
Director: Mercy Kannemeyer
Script: Keanen Engel

Keanen Engel

For Cathy, faithful matriarch of an Overberg family, the world slowly caves in as she becomes entangled in the supernatural. The effect of trauma, faith and the individual’s personal history is a central theme in Engel’s production. Slim mense explores the predicament of vulnerable people who don’t have the means to take care of themselves.

Keanen Engel grew up in Bredasdorp and holds an honours degree in Drama and Theatre Studies.

2021

Al dra ’n aap ’n goue ring

Writer: Margo Kotze
Director: Andrico Goosen
With: Margo Kotze, Eldon van der Merwe and Veronique Jephtas

Margo Kotze

Debbie, an elderly white lady, becomes the most reviled woman in the country after posting a problematic photo on Facebook. Darren, a brown journalist, wants to get to the bottom of the story. Debbie must prove to him (and South Africa) that she is not a racist. She calls in the help of her grandchild, Janie, and hires a black actress to assist. She hangs out Bafana Bafana flags, cooks Malay curry, plays the marimba and quotes Tata Madiba whenever she can. A comical look at people’s obsession with transformation and political correctness.

But Baby, I Love You

Writer: Andrico Goosen
Director: Tinarie Van Wyk-Loots
With: Carel Nel and Mbulelo Grootboom

Andrico Goosen

This two-hander is set in a boxing gym somewhere in the East Rand. It tells the story of an ageing boxer, Seconds Khumalo, and his trainer’s son, Jerry van Tonder. The play reflects on issues of masculinity, gender-based violence, rape culture, and at the heart of it lies the theme of betrayal. The play is fast-paced, energetic and physical, demanding on both performers and the audience.

Die workshop

Writer and director: Fabian Rainers
With: Gary Naidoo, Ivan Abrahams and Keeno-Lee Hector

Fabian Rainers

Die workshop is set in a vehicle repair centre run by mechanic-duo, Tony Koop-and-Verkoop Gusmundo and Ras Nige Kammies. At first, Tony and Nige seem like ordinary mechanics who care only for pistons, camshafts and petrol filters. But they spend their time debating issues like globalisation, artificial intelligence and identity politics. Their customers come not only to fix their cars, but to make sense of a fast-changing world. Every visit turns into a debate that will make you laugh and question life.

It’s My Baby

Writer: Xolisa Ngubelanga
Director: Gaerin Hauptfleisch
With: Stephanie Hough and Zhikona Jacobs

Xolisa Ngubelanga

Mrs Hollard struggles to keep her farm going after the murder of her husband. Justice is served when Sipho is sent to jail for the crime, but a twist follows when Mrs Hollard’s son, Robert, insists that Sipho’s father Jacob, who works on the farm, should not get dismissed by association. An air of suspicion lingers as Mrs Hollard and Jacob must honour Robert’s wishes. However, matters reach boiling point when Precious, the domestic assistant, returns from maternity leave with a baby, and with news that Sipho has been released.

Kokon

Writer and director: Carlo Daniels
With: Beviol Swartz, Darion Adams and Ayden Croy

Carlo Daniels

This physical theatre production, set in the Cape Flats, tells the story of Josh, a high school student who struggles with his sexual identity as he is bullied. With movement and sound, the audience travels with Josh towards tragedy through a landscape where cruelty breeds below the surface.

Mannetjie

Writer: Gerhard Visagie
Director: André Samuels
With: Stephren Saayman and Stian Bam

Gerhard Visagie

Mannetjie tries to get through his teenage years in an orphanage. He yearns for a place in the sun and finding his own identity. This two-hander dramatically exposes the trauma of sexual abuse and the devastating effect when older boys perpetrate violence on younger boys.

The Infinite Woman

Writer: Misha Krynauw
Director: Lee-Ann van Rooi
With: June van Merch, Rene Cloete and Liandé Valentyn

Misha Krynauw

A homage to the legacy of motherly love. The Infinite Woman peels back the layers smothering interactions in a family of women haunted by their past and their present. Anna Meyer is having a mental breakdown and creates an alternative reality to cope with her mother’s suicide. Misha Krynauw’s thought-provoking debut explores the vulnerability of women facing adversity.


List of beneficiaries

SKRYWER | WRITER  PROGRAM BETROKKE | PROGRAMME INVOLVED 
2019
Bronwyn Davids Deelnemer: Mentorskapsprogram vir opkomende skrywers 2019
Chase Rhys Vlaamse / Afrikaanse dialoogprogram 2019
Denver Breda Vlaamse / Afrikaanse dialoogprogram 2019
Du Toit Albertze Deelnemer: Jong Sterre-mentorskapsprogram vir jong dramaturge 2019
Engela Ovies Deelnemer: Jong Sterre-mentorskapsprogram vir jong dramaturge 2019
Herschelle Benjamin Deelnemer: Jong Sterre-mentorskapsprogram vir jong dramaturge 2019
Jeremy Vearey PEN Afrikaans – skrywersverblyfprogram 2019
Kanya Viljoen Deelnemer: Jong Sterre-mentorskapsprogram vir jong dramaturge 2019
Keanen Engel Deelnemer: Jong Sterre-mentorskapsprogram vir jong dramaturge 2019
Kirby van der Merwe PEN Afrikaans – skrywersverblyfprogram 2019
Lynthia Julius PEN Afrikaans – skrywersverblyfprogram 2019
Miriam van Hee Vlaamse / Afrikaanse dialoogprogram 2019
Nathan Trantaal PEN Afrikaans – skrywersverblyfprogram 2019
Rachida Lamrabet Vlaamse / Afrikaanse dialoogprogram 2019
Ronelda S Kamfer PEN Afrikaans – skrywersverblyfprogram 2019
Ryan Pedro PEN Afrikaans – skrywersverblyfprogram 2019
Shana Fife Deelnemer: Mentorskapsprogram vir opkomende skrywers 2019
Sharon Mogoaneng Deelnemer: Mentorskapsprogram vir opkomende skrywers 2019
Tasneem Daniels Deelnemer: Jong Sterre-mentorskapsprogram vir jong dramaturge 2019
2020
Andre Trantraal PEN Afrikaans – skrywersverblyfprogram 2020
Andrico Goosen Deelnemer: Jong Sterre-mentorskapsprogram vir jong dramaturge 2020
Audrey  Jantjies Deelnemer: Mentorskapsprogram vir opkomende skrywers 2020
Breyten Treurnicht Deelnemer: Mentorskapsprogram vir liriekskrywers 2020
Brumelda Bell Deelnemer: Mentorskapsprogram vir liriekskrywers 2020
Carlo Daniels Deelnemer: Jong Sterre-mentorskapsprogram vir jong dramaturge 2020
Deidre Jantjies Deelnemer: Mentorskapsprogram vir opkomende skrywers 2020
Faiben Rainers Deelnemer: Jong Sterre-mentorskapsprogram vir jong dramaturge 2020
Gabriel Plaatjies Deelnemer: Mentorskapsprogram vir liriekskrywers 2020
Gerhard Visagie Deelnemer: Jong Sterre-mentorskapsprogram vir jong dramaturge 2020
Helena Troskie Kommadagga Kortverhaalprojek 2020
Jeremeo le Cordeur PEN Afrikaans – skrywersverblyfprogram 2020
Khadija Tracy Heeger PEN Afrikaans – skrywersverblyfprogram 2020
Lebohang Mbalenhle Mazibuko Deelnemer: Mentorskapsprogram vir opkomende skrywers 2020
Margo Kotze Deelnemer: Jong Sterre-mentorskapsprogram vir jong dramaturge 2020
Miriam Telanie Deelnemer: Mentorskapsprogram vir opkomende skrywers 2020
Misha Krynauw Deelnemer: Jong Sterre-mentorskapsprogram vir jong dramaturge 2020
Naaim Briesies Deelnemer: Mentorskapsprogram vir liriekskrywers 2020
Nico Klopper Deelnemer: Mentorskapsprogram vir liriekskrywers 2020
Olivia M Coetzee PEN Afrikaans – skrywersverblyfprogram 2020
Regardt Visser Kommadagga Kortverhaalprojek 2020
Sandile Ntuli Kommadagga Kortverhaalprojek 2020
Stephanie Cupido Kommadagga Kortverhaalprojek 2020
Theolla Langenhoven Kommadagga Kortverhaalprojek 2020
Veronique Jephta PEN Afrikaans – skrywersverblyfprogram 2020
Xolisa Ngubelanga Deelnemer: Jong Sterre-mentorskapsprogram vir jong dramaturge 2020
Zama Lehlogonolo Moyo Deelnemer: Mentorskapsprogram vir opkomende skrywers 2020
Zubyar Charles Kommadagga Kortverhaalprojek 2020