Prince Pro

Prince Pro

About my father's record collection and my mother's tennis racket.

Object Relations: Essays and Images.  Edited and photographed by Stephen Inggs | Michaelis School of Fine Art, 2014. Reprinted in Monday Monthly | 1 December 2014.

...It is a Prince Pro, with a dark frame and a brown grip. Once, in the 1970s perhaps, it was cutting-edge, the era when my mother was wielding it from the baselines of the Rec Club (she was never much of a net player), dispatching her trademark cross-court slices. The grip seems to be the original, and is worn smooth like old wood by the serves and volleys, the ceaseless changing between forehand and backhand, rough or smooth, p or d.

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The Life of the Mine

Remembering Nadine Gordimer (1923-2014)

Business Day | 22 July 2014.

‘…From the first lines of her first novel, The Lying Days, her prose has been scoured clean of any naïve lyricism. Its opening chapter, ‘The Mine’, unfolds as a virtuoso piece of descriptive prose: a complex narrative voice weaves us through the complex social geography of Rec Club and Married Quarters, of concession stores and the Compound, from where the general manager ‘borrows’ teams of off-shift miners to tend his enormous, lush garden. As someone who also grew up on a deep-level mining town, I can remember the extraordinary scale of these Company gardens, watered with undrinkable effluent from the workings underground, spilling all the way down the slope to the golf course where that contaminated water could still be smelt on all the fairways…’

Those single unshaded bulbs which burned everywhere in the prodigality of ‘mine electricity’, making the mine’s own daylight in sheds and offices and fly-screened Quarters of the Property, go out – following economic decrees as apparently immutable as natural laws.

Nadine Gordimer, On the Mines (1973).

Cambridge History of South African Literature


“For the reader in Benoni, and the reader in Beijing” | UK launch of the The Cambridge History of South African Literature | Friday 3 February 2012 | University of York(LitNet).

Speaking with Many Voices | The Cambridge History of South African Literature Cape Town launch | Tuesday 13 March 2012 | Book Lounge (LitNet).

Transcript of opening address by Njabulo Ndebele.

The Many Voices of South Africa's Past David Attwell, Mail & Guardian (2 March 2012).

...As the editors, we hope that readers will be able to trace a path through the book, following experts in the field, and build a respectable impression of a particular literature but also that they will find many useful distractions along the way. Canonised figures such as Herbert Dhlomo, NP van Wyk Louw and Roy Campbell are juxtaposed as modernists of the same period. Commercially successful imperial adventure fiction published in London is placed alongside the painstaking growth of Afrikaans and African-language literatures. And so on, with many more examples: continuity is challenged and invigorated by contiguity. In this perspective, the blind spots and failures of mutual influence are as ­telling as the successes.

For some years now literary historiography has flourished in the relative absence of literary history. Which is to say, the question of how to do literary history and whether it could or should be done at all seemed more interesting than actually rolling up the sleeves. This is not surprising: theory always flourishes when empirical research loses its way, or loses confidence. But who was the historiography reaching?...Instead of more historiography, what the field needs now is narrative... [Continue reading]


‘Anodyne’ Cambridge history still hits the mark - Graham Riach | 23 July 2012 (SLiPnet).

Many literatures, few readers: The end of SA literary culture? - Nedine Moonsamy | Mail and Guardian Literary Festival | 2 September 2012 (SLiPnet).

Toward an inclusive literary history: Three scholars review The Cambridge History of South African Literature - Helize van Vuuren, Andries Oliphant and Linda Kwatsha | 26 September 2012 (LitNet).

Chasing Shadows

  Santu Mofokeng | Chasing Shadows

These photographs explore a part of me which I have so far neglected in my work, – my spirituality. There are several reasons why it was ignored: ambivalence, embarrassment, fear of the political and other implications or perhaps the deflection of my gaze...

I grew up on the threshing floor of faith. A faith that is both ritual and spiritual – a bizarre cocktail of beliefs that completely embraces pagan rituals as well as Christian beliefs. And while I feel reluctant to partake in this gossamer world, I can identify with it. It does not strike me as 'peculiar'. Yet, I still try to avoid being trapped in its hypnotic embrace, which seems to mock my carefully cultivated indifference and self confidence. I feel ambivalent about my ambivalence, embarrassed at my embarrassment.

Santu Mofokeng, 1997.

Platform | South African Photography and Contemporary Literature Zoe Wicomb and Ivan Vladislavic | Bergen Kunsthall, 14 January, 2012.

Three easy pieces


















Newlands Forest, Table Mountain, Cape Town (2003).


Amroth, South Wales (2004).


Luskentyre, Isle of Harris, Outer Hebrides (2006).