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For The People

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A small town’s struggle for freedom against apartheid
‘They call her Nobantu. I call her mother.’

Anelia Schutte grew up in Knysna – a beautiful town on the coast of South Africa centred around a picturesque lagoon and popular with tourists.

But there was another side to Knysna. In the hills surrounding the town, with its exclusively white population, lay the squatter camps where black people were forced to live.

Most white children would never venture over the other side of the hill, but Anelia did. As a young child in the 1980s, she often went there with her mother – a social worker who served Knysna’s black community and found herself swept up in their struggle.

Thirty years later, Anelia returns to Knysna to uncover the stories of a town that was torn apart by apartheid, and her mother’s tireless work during the political unrest that clouded the country at the time.

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The writer and author Anelia Schutte visited FRIEDA for a reading and signing event of her new book “For the People” on Sunday, October 6 2019.

Anelia has lived in Cape Town, Durban, London and New York, but she still calls Knysna home.  She has loved writing all her life: essays for school, poetry for fun, and eventually copywriting for a living. Her short story, The Unkindness of Ravens, was published in From Here to Here: Stories inspired by London’s Circle Line in 2005. Somewhere in a drawer she also has an unpublished children’s story about a bullied dung beetle.  Now based in New York, Anelia is Chief Executive Officer at the language consultancy The Writer. The rest of the time, she runs along rivers and over bridges, makes bobotie and rusks for her American friends, and spends hours on the phone to her mother.

You can find more of Anelia’s work at FRIEDA at 320 Walnut Street or check their website.


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