Book Review: Thirteen Cents

761626Every city has an unspoken side. Cape Town, between the postcard mountain and sea, has its own shadow-side lurking in its lap:

a place of dislocation and uncertainty, dependence and desperation, destruction and survival, gangsters, pimps, pedophiles, hunger, hope and moments of happiness.

This book therefore is an extraordinary and unsparing account of the coming of age on the street in Cape Town – a place of dislocation and uncertainty, desperation with glimpses of happiness.

This novel won the coveted Commonwealth Writer’s Prize.


Word of the day:Precocious

Say it: pre-co-cious

Function: Adjective

Definition: 1. (of a child) having developed certain abilities or inclinations at an earlier age than is usual or expected.

2.(of behaviour or ability) having developed at an earlier age than is usual or expected.

3. (of a plant) flowering or fruiting earlier than usual.

Etymology: Latin

Synonyms; Smart, Forward, Talented

Example: She was a precocious child who could read before she went to school.


South African school kids hospitalised after being fed glass

Johannesburg: At least 66 South African children have been hospitalised after eating school lunches tainted with crushed glass and stones, education officials said today.

Kids from five schools in the northern rural province of Limpopo suffered diarrhoea, dizziness, vomiting and cramps after eating contaminated beans supplied through a government scheme for feeding the poor.

The primary and secondary school children were admitted to hospitals and local clinics, but most have now been treated and discharged.

Spokesman Elijah Mhlanga said the Department of Basic Education was considering “laying criminal charges” against two companies whose services have now been cancelled.

Thousands of South African children from impoverished households rely on the feeding scheme for nutritious meals.

But the feeding schemes also spell lucrative contracts for well connected companies bidding for tender.

The department of education promised to introduce stricter monitoring measures to ensure the safety of food. (AFP)