Archive for March, 2010

New book ‘ANGOLAN DAWN ‘ has just been published

March 24, 2010

ANGolan Dawn (Amazon)

New book ‘ANGOLAN DAWN ‘ by Craig Lock has just been published.

Tags: Books, new books, Craig Lock,  Angola, novel, historical fiction faction
A true tale of an Angolan migrant miner who goes to ‘e’Goli’, the big city of gold in South Africa.
Also a realistic portrayal of the Angolan conflict in “darkest Africa” through the eyes of a hospital orderly.
A moving and realistic novel about the evil and destructiveness of war, as well as the inherent goodness within every human spirit. In short, the story of a nation’s agony and hope.

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A short extract…

“It was just getting light with that certain freshness in the
air of early morning. Albertina Kangombe saw the figure of her husband Marcelino receding in the distance down the sandy track, walking slowly down the gentle hill. She saw him turn around once to look at her but he could not see the tears of sadness running down her face. She wondered when she would see her dear, strong
husband again. He was a tall man but he became smaller and smaller as she saw him gradually receding into the distance on that early January morning. And then he was gone… ” #

Angolan Dawn is available at: http://www.amazon.com/Angolan-Dawn-ebook/dp/B005GSGSQG and

http://www.creativekiwis.com/angolandawn.html

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REVIEW

Craig Lock’s most recent work Angolan Dawn has the following qualities in abundance: imaginative scope realism, emotion and tension. It is in my opinion a first-class work of modern fiction.

In most respects this is an individual and innovative piece with considerable character. It is conventional only in so far as the author has taken pains to structure this work in accordance with the dramatic necessities of pace, exposition and denouement. It is all the stronger for having what I would call a ‘‘classic’ plot: one which has guts to it which takes its readers on a clear and well-defined journey from A to B and leaves us feeling like we have truly experienced something at the end of it. Not that there is anything ‘obvious’ at the manner in which the tale unfolds. Far from it – the world of the novel through a fictional creation of some substance is  unpredictable and enigmatic as reality.

The essential realism carries over into the body of the text itself. The writing is packed with the body of real experience; little insights and observations combine with the fictional material to give the work a powerful relevance to its readers. Essential ‘scene-setting’ details and other information are not relayed in huge indigestible chunks, but are instead woven carefully into the fabric of the plot itself. The dialogue  is particularly well-handled: sharp and convincing. The total result of these factors working together is what papers might call ‘a thumping good read’!

The written style is excellent perfectly suited to the tale the author has to tell. Without seeming at all self-conscious the author has found a voice in which he  writes with fluency and confidence. The book is written in an engaging and convincing manner with an appealing quality of direct communication.

In short this a stylish and well-structured piece of work a compelling novel and it deserves to do well in the market-place.”

– Michael Warwick  and Arthur Thorndike (“Chief Editor” M Press )

Angolan Dawn is available at

http://www.amazon.com/Angolan-Dawn-ebook/dp/B005GSGSQG

 

All proceeds go to needy and underprivileged children –

MINE!

AN “INTERVIEW” WITH A SOUTH AFRICAN PASTOR

March 19, 2010

AN “INTERVIEW” WITH A SOUTH AFRICAN PASTOR

Tags: religion, faith, new books, resistance, power of religion, faith to effect change, Henry Porter, New Zealand, craig lock

The title of the pastor Bruce McCauley’s sermon was

RELIGION CAN DICTATE TERMS OF RESISTANCE

“Organised religion is very often the only means people have of challenging a dictatorship and bringing about enlightened political values. The faith of so many ordinary people in the blood-soaked history of our beloved country gave them the courage to go into the streets. Together, faith and passive mass resistance create an inspired force that is more than the sum of its parts. Religion can be a platform of resistence, a point of ignition…and any history of liberty and modern civilisation must concede that. Many regimes around the globe make the mistake of allowing conditions where the people had nothing but their lives to lose (having “no stake in society”).
History penalises those who do not change with the times. Only by understanding the past can we push into the future. The fire has now been lit and may the resolve of the people prevail.

In Leipzig on Oct 9 1989, just before the fall of the Berlin  Wall a statement was read from the pulpits of every church in the city appealing for peace and self control. I am now uging you people to have the same self restraint. The voice of the pastors there gave the message authority and the people of Leipzig courage. Without them the most peaceful revolution ever seen would have been very different.

And pastor Bruce closed with the stirring words: “Only by understanding the past can we push into the future. May all of you here in this church, as well as in every other church  in South Africa, serve the cause of freedom and our religion very well, as we move into the light of a bright new future in our country.”

(as adapted from the words of Henry Porter as writing in ‘The Observer’ from a report in The New Zealand Herald, Tuesday October 2. 2007).
Web site: http://www.nzherald.co.nz/buddhism/news/article.cfm?c_id=500820&objectid=10467088

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“Violence breeds violence, repression brings retaliation, and only a cleansing of our whole society can remove this sickness from our soul.” So eulogises Robert Kennedy after the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr in April 1998.

“Those who say that religion is seperate to politics don’t know what religion is.”
– Mohandas (Mahatma) Gandhi

“My religion is kindness.”
– Mohandas Gandhi

# THE AWAKENED SPIRIT (A NEW DAWN)

March 18, 2010

Tags: Books, New books, South Africa, spirit, manuscripts, Craig Lock

# A NEW DAWN:

Let the Journey Begin…

A passionate story of inspiration: hope, faith, peace and especially LOVE for the world and inspired by what I simply term God, the Ultimate Source, the Creative Source of Life itself. That is my legacy to my beloved family…and the world.

# THE AWAKENED SPIRIT

Craig Lock’s new work is a story of ordinary men and women, whose strong sense of justice and decency led to their making their own unique contribution to the liberation of South Africa. The stories in my new work not only shine a light on South Africa’s turbulent and often dark past, but tell us something about the present state of the world “and how one man’s freedom fighter, like Nelson Mandela can be another’s terrorist…and to another a ‘hero liberator’ (It just depends upon ones perspective). Therefore, it is vitally important to understand the mind of a person. And that is the mindset we are truly going to have to understand to ‘win this current war against terror’. So, by only looking to history, we always find something, a ray of hope to illuminate the present and the future.” *

* I think those were the words (powerful) of Gillian Slovo (daughter of Joe Slovo) in describing her book from which the uplifting and inspiring film ‘Catch A Fire’ was based. And I have the same sentiments and  motives in my various writings.

Sir Anthony O’Reilly: Keep believing in the new South Africa

March 8, 2010

Sir Anthony O’Reilly: Keep believing in the new South Africa

Tuesday, 24 October 2006

Sourced from: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/analysis-and-features/sir-anthony-oreilly-keep-believing-in-the-new-south-africa-421399.html

Tags: South Africa, Sir Anthony O’Reilly, Independent, hope

Those who put their faith in the new multiracial democracy should not start giving up now, argues Sir Anthony O’Reilly

Are we about to witness an ideological shift in the ANC? I don’t think so

There seems suddenly to be a rash of commentators predicting that the South African miracle is over. They point to what is undoubtedly going to be a bumpy succession when President Thabo Mbeki goes, citing anecdotal evidence of a worsening crime situation in recent months.
My reply is that those who believed in South Africa a decade and more ago should not get cold feet now. When I became the first major investor in the new South Africa back in 1993 with the purchase of Argus Newspapers and the creation of Independent News and Media SA, I never thought it was going to be an easy ride.
But I had fundamental faith in the country’s leaders, its people and their commitment to building a decent democratic system out of the ruins of apartheid. The doomsday artists predicted we would quit when the going got tough, but 13 years later we are still there, our investment has been an excellent one, and I have never regretted a moment of it.
I still regard South Africa as a modern-day miracle, thanks to the inspirational leadership of Nelson Mandela and the leadership and management skills of his successor, President Thabo Mbeki. Mbeki steps down in 2009 after 15 years as president and deputy president, and there is a great deal of debate about his successor and the direction he will take the country. The ruling ANC meets in December next year to select a new leader who, in the nature of things, would be expected to succeed to the presidency 18 months later. I have no doubt that South Africans will choose the right leader to oversee the next phase of their development when the time comes.
Already a rigorous and healthy debate is taking place about the country’s future, and how to ensure that the excellent base built by the founding leaders for long-term political stability and sound macroeconomic management survives.
South Africa’s exemplary transition to democracy was called a miracle because few outside observers thought it would work. Expectations were low and, even when the pessimists were proved wrong, there was a tendency to say that South Africa was lucky because it had Nelson Mandela, implying that without him things would have been different.
I love Nelson Mandela and would count myself among his greatest admirers, but he would be the first to do justice to all those others who made sacrifices for a just and democratic system. Mbeki’s government contains many highly talented and focused ministers: Trevor Manuel, for instance, has now been Finance Minister for 10 years and is regarded by his peers as one of the best in the world. He is not the only one. It is to take nothing away from Mandela’s stature as one of the towering figures of our age to say that, among South Africans, he is no anomaly. To the contrary, he is the quintessential South African. That is why it is always a mistake to sell South Africa short.
The achievements of the past dozen or so years have been remarkable by any standard. As the UN secretary general Kofi Annan has said, South Africa today, with its robust economy, stable democracy and commitment to the rule of law, points the way to the African continent and the world as a “beacon of tolerance and mutual respect”. This is not a miracle, but a testament to the calibre of the country and its leadership.
It is important to remember how easy it would have been for the first post-apartheid government to throw macroeconomic sense to the wind in seeking to redress the imbalances left by apartheid. Instead, the collective wisdom of the African National Congress as it settled into office was that imbalances created over generations of white rule could not be fixed overnight and that the first order of business must be create the conditions for sustained economic growth – a tall order given the sclerotic state of the economy in 1994.
Today, we are starting to see the payoff, with growth in the past year of more than 5 per cent, a rapidly reducing budget deficit, a growing tax base, an emerging black middle class, a housing boom in areas such as Soweto and other former townships, and a steadily deepening social cohesion.
With growth, however, comes growing pains. It has been clear over the past year that South Africa has outgrown its infrastructure and its supply of skills. Booming car sales have exacerbated traffic jams. Demand for electricity outpaces capacity. Infrastructural projects are running behind schedules, and government departments have often not been efficient enough to spend their allocated budgets. Service delivery has faltered in many areas. Immigration from the neighbouring (and poorer) African countries, plus a major drift off the land and into the cities, has swelled shanty towns despite the government’s priority on building houses. The rising economic tide has lifted many boats, but too many remain mired in poverty. Unemployment remains stubbornly at 25 per cent, and is falling only very slowly. Poverty in the midst of conspicuous wealth incubates crime.
Yet when South Africans put their minds to something, they usually succeed. Tourism, for instance, has been a great success: last year South Africa comfortably accommodated a record 7.5 million visitors, the vast majority of whom went home glad they came. Before 1994, the number was less than 1 million.
The government is all too aware of its problems and is intensely focused on overcoming them. The new Accelerated and Shared Growth Initiative, and associated $60bn (£32bn) capital expenditure programme, is aimed at raising growth to 6 per cent by 2010, and halving poverty and unemployment by 2014. I am a member of the President’s International Advisory Board, which includes figures from world business such as Ratan Tata, Jurgen Schremp, George Soros and Lakshmi Mittal, and to a man we are enthusiastic about what we see as a new and vibrant South Africa, which in turn has huge implications for the rest of Africa.
South Africa’s HIV/Aids programme gets serious and uninformed criticism around the world, but from what I have observed the government is very serious about HIV/AIDS. It is spending billions of dollars on prevention, care and antiretroviral drugs, more than any equivalent country.
There is no doubt that race to succeed President Mbeki has unnerved a number of observers, but the truth is that it is not so much a presidential succession battle as a leadership contest, not all that unlike in the United States or even Britain where both leaders, like Mbeki, are drawing towards the end of their periods in office. The members of the governing alliance are thrashing out their differences in public, via a free and energetic media, which is the democratic thing to do. Last week, Chief Gatsha Buthelezi, one of the political giants of the past two decades and a man with immense influence among the Zulu population (the biggest in South Africa), eloquently outlined his support for the constitution and the democratic process – a very important intervention at this particular time. To be sure, there is a fair amount of name-calling and challenging of democratic credentials. But who said democracy had to be polite?
Are we about to witness an ideological shift in the ANC? I don’t think so. The only “ism” that reliably applies to the governing party is pragmatism – a principled pragmatism in pursuit of an ambitious agenda to redress poverty, unequal opportunity and the other legacies of the country’s history. That is unlikely to change whoever is chosen as the ANC’s presidential candidate next year.
The agenda will remain the same – actually, it is in effect mandated by the constitution – and so will the realities that constrain the options for implementing it. One of the strengths of South African society, and one of the great sources of its stability, is a political culture of consultation and consensus, time-consuming though it often is. This remains an important feature of the ANC ethos.
To call South Africa an “unqualified miracle” is to assert that the people who were responsible for what was called a miracle have somehow changed or gone away. Last time I looked, South Africans were still South Africans and still very much there. And it would still be wrong to underestimate them.

The author is the chief executive of Independent News & Media

Sourced from: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/analysis-and-features/sir-anthony-oreilly-keep-believing-in-the-new-south-africa-421399.html