However, he was far from alone among the newcomers and they all made meaningful contributions along the way. JJ Engelbrecht, Trevor Nyakane, Siya Kolisi, Jan Serfontein, Piet van Zyl, Arno Botha and Jano Vermaak were given opportunities during the Series and all looked at home in the test arena. South Africa claimed the honours in the Castle Incoming Series on Saturday night after an impressive 56-23 victory over Samoa in the final at Loftus Versfeld. Scotland finished third after scraping a 30-29 win over Italy. With le Roux installed at number 15, one now recalls why former fullbacks Andre Joubert and Gysie Pienaar were such fan favourites; a running fullback, with an understanding of when to attack, adds a new dimension to a backline and it is something that the Springboks have missed in recent seasons. 24 June 2013 Engelbrecht scored tries in each of the three tests, while Kolisi was named man of the match after coming on early for an injured Botha in the test against Scotland, and prop Nyakane rounded off the win over Samoa with a popular try at Loftus Versfeld, which was followed by a celebratory dance. After a few errors at the start of the contest, Willie le Roux, one of the newcomers to international rugby, showed why he deserved to be wearing the green and gold with some exciting incisions into the backline, including setting up Bryan Habana for the opening try of the match. Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SAinfo material ‘Physical’“It was always going to be a physical game against Samoa, but I think the boys stepped up. It was a physical game from both sides and that’s what makes it exciting. The guys didn’t back away from the challenge and made an impact,” Louw told Jacaranda FM’s Trevor Cramer. “It’s a great effort,” said Bok captain Jean de Villiers at the post-match press conference. “To score 50 in a career is great, to score 50 for your country is really special. “It’s been an unbelievable ride,” he said after the game. “Hopefully I keep on improving, not only on the rugby field, but off it as well, and hopefully I continue contributing to the success of Springbok rugby.” Having introduced so many players to the green and gold jersey, Meyer will no doubt be pleased with what he saw from them. The opposition was not as tough as that the team will face in the Castle Lager Rugby Championship, which begins in August, but they provided just the kind of stepping stone that the coach would have liked to order before the big southern hemisphere showdowns. Before the Series began, coach Heynecke Meyer was surely hoping to see game by game progression from his charges and against Samoa it was clear that the players had begun to gel as a unit. They produced a good, at times excellent, all- round game to overpower a team that had beaten Scotland 27-17 and crushed Italy 39-10 in its two previous outings. Most obvious improvementLe Roux’s contribution was the most obvious improvement for the Springboks and credit to him as a player with Griquas, traditionally not one of the country’s leading provincial teams, for making such an impact that his national team candidacy could not be ignored. “But he’s a classy player. He’s a world class player. He’s been IRB World Player of the Year [in the past] and there always seems to be magic when he touches the ball. He’s a special guy and hopefully he can continue with that form.” ExcitingCiting some of the greats he had played with in his career, including Os du Randt, Percy Montgomery, Victor Matfield, Bakkies Botha, John Smit, Fourie du Preez, Schalk Burger, Habana said it was exciting to have played with them and to now be part of a young team. The two flanks, Francois Louw, who missed the previous test because it clashed with his marriage, and battering ram Willem Alberts, who was out with injury, were singled out by coach Meyer for praise. “I thought Francois and Willem brought a lot of physicality to the game and Francois was brilliant in the loose. I knew he was going to play a great game.” DanceNyakane elaborated: “The dance is something I always do with Free State with Raymond (Rhule), so when I scored the try Bryan was like ‘We have to do it, brother’ and I was like ‘okay’. He’s my senior. He’s been there before me. Why not? It was my first [test] try so I had to celebrate and I enjoyed it quite a lot.” Teamwork“But I think he will be the first to say, as well, that a lot of the hard work was done by the forwards and the other guys on the field, and sometimes he was just there at the end,” De Villiers said. Encouragingly, decisive contributions came from national team veterans and rookies alike. From an individual standpoint, the highlight of the win over the Samoans was produced by Bryan Habana, who, with two tries, became the first Springbok to score 50 test tries. Before they return to international action, the players will complete the Super Rugby season, which resumes on 28 June and finishes on 3 August.
South African author Lauren Beukes is helping to promote a culture of reading in South Africa. The proceeds from her latest charity art show are going to the children’s literary organisation, Book Dash. Pages from her book, Broken Monsters, were turned into creative designs and sold for R1 500 each. Pages of Lauren Beukes’ book Broken Monsters were turned into pieces of art to raise money for a children’s literary organisation, Book Dash. (Image: Supplied) Priya PitamberSouth African science fiction and fantasy writer Lauren Beukes has strong opinions about reading. “It should be available to everyone,” she wrote on her website.And Beukes is trying to do just that with her latest charity art show. Entitled Broken Monsters Charity Art Show, “proceeds will go to a kids literary non-governmental organisation, Book Dash with over a hundred stellar South African artists creating an original work on a page ripped out of my novel, Broken Monsters“.Beukes has partnered with curator Jacki Lang on the project, as well as chicken restaurant chain Nandos. Each unique art creation was sold for R1 500, only one per person, and the money will enable Book Dash to print books for children across South Africa, in the country’s major languages.“Reading is also about understanding the world and who we are in it,” she continued. “Stories allow us to live other lives, to spend time in someone else’s head, to feel empathy.”She recently gave a Tedx talk about stories being powerful, how they allow people to be more than they are, “allowing us to imagine other people and other lives”.With the charity show, she said a story was able to make a difference in reality, because every art work sold meant Book Dash could print 150 books for children who needed them. “It’s a story being turned into art being turned back into stories (and art) in the form of kid’s picture books,” Beukes mused.My @etchedvector @laurenbeukes @Book Dash fundraiser with #nandos pic.twitter.com/KXZw9rkmHA— Angel Kamp (@AngelKamp) November 14, 2015Group effortBeukes described Lang as an old friend, someone who always put together interesting art shows.Speaking of the collaboration on the Broken Monsters Charity Art Show, Beukes said: “She’d just returned from London and I wanted to go bigger and more ambitious with The Shining Girls Art Show because I’d had such success with a novel and I wanted to share the spotlight and use it to do some good in the world.”Book Dash did such good work because it created what she called “beautiful original South African picture books with amazing local artists and writers in several different languages that they distribute free through local literacy organisations and also free on their website for anyone to print out”, Beukes said.“They really care about the power of story to open doors in our heads and in the worlds and their dream is for every child to own 100 books of their own by the time they’re five years old.” Beukes said it tied in beautifully with the theme of her book. Find out more about Book Dash:As for Nando’s, Lang approached the chicken restaurant chain because it had already shown commitment to local art. “They are known for dipping their wings in playful and unusual marketing,” Beukes said. Artists created unique pieces of art for the Broken Monsters Charity Art Show. (Image: Supplied) Each piece of art was sold for R1 500 and all proceeds went to charity. (Image: Supplied)Not the firstBeukes has used her books previously for good causes.“The stuffed toy Moxy monsters raised R15 000 for a women’s project in Montagu, the Zoo City Art Bares raised R18 000 for the Suitcase Project in Hillbrow,” she explained.“We auctioned off a sloth scarf for Khulisa, which works with offenders and ex-offenders and we levelled up when I brought ace curator Jacki Lang on board and The Shining Girls Charity Art Show raised R100 000 for Rape Crisis.Broken MonstersWhen her novel Broken Monsters was published in 2014, there was talk about creating an art show for a children’s literary organisation. “But I was on a hectic international tour schedule, so the timing just didn’t work out,” Beukes recalled. “But we picked up on it this year.”She explained Broken Monsters was chosen because “it’s my novel and my passion project”.From Cape Town to JoburgThe first exhibition was held in Cape Town on 12 November; Beukes described it as “so great”. “I was blown away with the art – and the sheer range of styles and mediums and interpretations,” she said.Blown away by the talent and generosity of the artists who created original work to raise money for @Book Dash pic.twitter.com/LL238c0EJN— Lauren Beukes (@laurenbeukes) November 13, 2015The queue, she said, went around the block and the show raised over R200 000, double the amount raised during The Shining Girls show.Lang shared a similar sentiment. “I was so overwhelmed with the beautiful and generous responses from our artists,” she said. “They gave so much of their time, input, creativity and resources and each and every artwork was unique.”Lang said it was a magic recipe: artwork came from many sought-after artists and emerging talent; it was created specifically for the event; and it was for a great cause. “I am so grateful to everyone that came and everyone that took part.”Their collaboration shows in Joburg for the first time on 26 November and they have high hopes for it. “The work is all new work – in most cases our artists donated two pieces – one for Cape Town and one for Joburg – so it’s going to be a whole new show,” Lang said.The culture of reading“Reading statistics report that only 14% of the South African population are active book readers, and a mere 5% of parents read to their children and over half of South African households (51%) do not have a single leisure reading book,” said Rejoice Mabudafhasi, the deputy minister of arts and culture at the launch of National Book Week in September.“Hence we deemed it fit that we continue to strengthen our partnership with the South African Book Development Council as we instil a culture of reading, with a strong focus on promoting indigenous languages, local authors as well as library awareness and access,” Mabudafhasi said.It was through reading that South Africans would continue to ensure that their diversity and unique heritage united them as a nation. “Reading will take us on a journey to discover who are we as a people and embrace our diversity.”