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Friday, October 11, 2019


(Gcina Mhlophe)

Well-known award-winning KZN poet Gcina Mhlophe’s birthday falls on October 24, which is also declared National Storytelling Day .

She has announced that she will be celebrating at the Bluff Showgrounds on that day under the Storytelling Tree, a project that begins nationwide.

This will be a daytime event starting at 11h00. There will be a media presence and sister organisations as well as storytellers from other parts of South Africa.

Schools, libraries, community centres and work places are invited to attend.

For more information contact Gcina Mhlophe on 082 662 7368.


(Douglas Henshall)

October 15, 2019, sees the return of the popular crime drama Shetland to ITV Choice (Channel 123) for the fourth and latest series of this award-winning detective series.

Starting at 20h00 and running for six weeks, the show is based on the bestselling detective books by award-winning crime writer Ann Cleeves, with most of the storylines taking place on the eponymous Scottish archipelago. The series, which won the award for Best TV Drama at the 2016 BAFTA Scotland Awards, stars Douglas Henshall as Jimmy Perez, a detective inspector working for the Shetland police with a supporting cast that includes Alison O'Donnell, Steven Robertson, Mark Bonnar, Lewis Howden and Erin Armstrong.

Henshall, who won the award for best actor for his role as Jimmy Perez at the above-mentioned BAFTAS, answers a few questions about the series and his character ...’’

What do you think audiences like about the series?:
I think first and foremost it’s the characters. Secondly, closely followed by, the place that it’s set in. Not only because it’s beautiful but because it’s like another character in the show. I think people are drawn to the place because they imagine themselves there. But I really have to give credit to the writers and producers because they are the prime reason. And the books, they’re incredibly popular. All those ingredients together work very well for us!

How do you think Perez has changed since we first met him?
I think he’s slightly more disillusioned than he was. Shetland’s a lot more violent than he thought it was going to be - people seem to get murdered there a lot! And I think he’s finding being without his wife a lot harder, and the idea that he is still alone 10 years after it happened is as much of a surprise to him as everyone else. Bringing up a young daughter has been very difficult and reminds him of the loss he’s had and how he can’t be with anyone that’s not good for her.

Do you relate to Perez?
Very much. When I read the script at first, the things that sprung at me were that he seemed to be quite kind, empathetic and wanted to find the best in people. Also his relationship towards the women in his life, such as Tosh - he seems to genuinely like women, which I thought was quite unusual in a police show. All of those things drew me in and similarly I try to put my own self in there as well. I felt Perez was far removed from a typical police television character!

Can you give us a teaser of what’s in store this series?
At the start of the series, a human hand washes up on a Shetland beach. A few hours later, more body parts are discovered in a hold-all that has been dumped at sea. The victim is identified as a young Nigerian man, spotted a few days before. In investigating his murder, Perez becomes involved in the search for a vulnerable young woman, leading him to uncover a complex network of human trafficking across Scotland’s remote rural communities.


Respected author Marguerite Poland’s latest book, A Sin of Omission, was launched on October 10, 2019, at Exclusive Books Gateway. A large audience supported the event to hear Professor Mbongeni Malaba conduct a fascinating interview with Poland about the book and her experiences during its development.

Set in the Eastern Cape, A Sin of Omission is about Stephen (Malusi) Mzamane, a young Anglican priest, who must journey to his mother’s rural home to inform her of his elder brother’s death.

First educated at the Native College in Grahamstown, Stephen was sent to England in 1869 for training at the Missionary College in Canterbury. But on his return to South Africa, relegated to a dilapidated mission near Fort Beaufort, he had to confront not only the prejudices of a colonial society but the discrimination within the Church itself.

Conflicted between his loyalties to the amaNgqika people, for whom his brother fought, and the colonial cause he as Reverend Mzamane is expected to uphold, Stephen’s journey to his mother’s home proves decisive in resolving the contradictions that tear at his heart.

A Sin of Omission is published in paperback by Penguin RandomHouse. Recommended Retail Price R290. ISBN 9781485904199

The review of “A Sin of Omission” will be published on artSMart shortly.


M-NET (Channel 101) will air the start of Season 5 of Madam Secretary on October 17 at 21h00.

In the aftermath of a deadly attack, Elizabeth tries to keep a major nuclear deal from falling apart.

Former US Secretaries of States guest star in the season premiere of the acclaimed political drama.

Rating: PG13VL


Season 16 of the popular drama action television series, NCIS, will be aired by M-NET (Channel 101) on October 17, 2019, at 20h00.

A month after Director Vance was kidnapped, Gibbs is assigned the role of acting director in his absence while the team searches for his whereabouts, in the season premiere of this popular crime drama.

Rating: 13VL