On our Lists this week: Prodigal Daughters, Sisters of the Yam, and Natalie Lue

Sisters of the Yam:Black Women and Self-Recovery by bell hooks (South End Press)

Sisters of the Yam:Black Women and Self-Recovery by bell hooks (South End Press)


Prodigal Daughters: Stories of South African Women in Exile edited by Lauretta Ngcobo (UKZN Press): The Women’s Day public holiday gave me time to savour this book. Seventeen ANC and Pan Africanist Congress women write about fleeing South Africa to avoid imprisonment and their return. The contributors include Nomvo Booi, Ruth Carneson, Mathabo Kunene, Baleka Mbete and Mohau Pheko.
What makes Prodigal Daughters isn’t the triumph of return. Rather it’s the personal accounts of work each woman put in — on political, academic, professional and domestic fronts— to survive exile. (ZH)

Sisters of the YamBlack Women and Self-Recovery by bell hooks (South End Press): My friend Chloe gave me this book after a long discussion about our relationships with our mothers. Here, hooks really drives home the importance of personal self-actualisation in the project of political self-actualisation, creating a sound argument for restoring the weakened familial ties that have connected black people for generations. Starting with mother-daughter relationships. It’s been emotional. (MB)


Difela tsa Sione: Technically this should go under the Reading List because it’s a book. But it’s a book of hymns. My mother, born and raised in the Methodist church, thought it was funny how bad my reading in indigenous languages is when I recited the songs to her. But deliberate practice will pay off and soon I will be leading the family in the mandatory Joko ea hao e bobebe hymn the next time we have a get-together. (ZH)

The Baggage Reclaim Sessions: At first this podcast was like listening to your friend who has her life together talk down at your frayed edges of a life. I switched it off after 10 minutes. But when my ego was ready to get out of the way and listen to wisdom about things like focusing on yourself, deleting your lurking ex, setting boundaries and taking social media diets, I found Natalie Lue’s advice really helpful. There are more than 90 episodes and a whole blog. (MB)

The Lists were compiled by Milisuthando Bongela, Kwanele Sosibo, and Zaza Hlalethwa

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