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BOOKS: Two first-time women authors competing for SALA newcomer award

Two exciting women authors are competing for this year's South African First-Time Published Author Award.

Malebo Sephodi has been nominated for Miss Behave, while Celesté Fritze was recognised for her debut novel, Verlorenkop.

The winners will be announced at a glittering awards ceremony on the 6th November at UNISA.


Malebo Sephodi is an activist and writer who takes special interest in gender, development, science and economics in Africa. She is known as ‘Lioness’ and describes her life as nomadic. She is the founder of Lady Leader, a platform that allows black women to just be.

Miss-Behave challenges society’s deep-seated beliefs about what it means to be an obedient woman. In this book, Malebo tracks her journey on a path towards achieving total autonomy and self-determinism.

Miss-Behave will challenge, rattle and occasionally cause you to scream ‘yassss, yassss, yassss’ at various intervals.

Celesté Fritze was born in 1959 on a farm in district Belfast. She matriculated at Frans du Toit high school in Phalaborwa and studied languages at the University of Pretoria. From 1981 to 2006 she worked as language practitioner at among others the Pretoria city council, and since 2006 she’s been freelance. Celesté lives in Pretoria.

Verlorenkop tells the story of Jo, who has always been fleeing something: her family and the farm; the country’s politics; her own sexuality. Her expat life in the USA limps on after the death of her young son, but when her husband also dies, Jo – armed with her lesbian aunt Christine’s journals of her time as a lone woman farmer – has to finally come to herself in the Karoo.

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