Award-Winning Children's Book Author Lesley Beake
   





Writing

Over a period of ten years, I wrote articles for most of South Africa’s top magazines, including Fairlady, Femina, House and Leisure and Cosmopolitan and contributed for almost five years to the radio programme Woman’s World (later Woman Today) as correspondent from Namibia in a monthly ‘Letter from Windhoek’ and as a travel writer.


Editing

I learned the basics when working on Air Malawi’s Reflections magazine – of which I was Features Editor and then Editor for several years, writing almost everything from the Contents to the (hopefully) amusing last page. It was incredibly valuable training for writing to order – and fast.

The Art Director of Reflections asked me if I’d like to start a magazine on southern Africa and I leaped headlong into Savanna Magazine, of which we were immensely proud.

This was followed by a wine tourism magazine called Winescape, which I wrote for and edited until its 14th edition.

I have also been involved in various one-off publications such as the magazine for the congress of the International Board for Books for Young People (IBBY).

Reflections - Editor and contributor (12 editions)
Savanna magazine - Editor and contributor (10 editions)
Winescape magazine - Editor and contributor
Souvenir magazine for IBBY - Editor and contributor

Occasional articles for:

Fair Lady
Femina
Cosmopolitan
House and Leisure
Reader’s Digest
Wildside
(KwaZulu Natal Parks Board)





WINE.CO.ZA

I first became hooked on the immediacy and vibrancy of the worldwide web when the CEO of South Africa’s wine industry web portal asked me to be involved in a daily Newsfeed to, and about the industry.

This involved managing large numbers of publicity releases, writing and commissioning new articles and acting as a liaison between the Internet site and the industry. I worked at this for ten years (1995 – 2005) until the demands of educational publishing claimed my full attention once more.


Kalahari Peoples

In 2007 I was lured back – both to working on the Internet, and to working with San people and the organisations that represent them.

This has been a long-standing interest, dating back to the research for my novel Song of Be in 1990. I have been involved ever since, mostly on a volunteer basis, with the Village Schools Project (VSP) of which I was a co-founder with Megan Biesele and Patrick Dickens. This project, in Nyae Nyae in eastern Bushmanland in Namibia is now government run and brings mother-tongue education to Ju/’hoansi children in remote villages.

The new website aimed to bring a connection between widely separated groups of San people speaking many different languages and living in South Africa, Namibia and Botswana. It will also provide up to date and accurate information to the many people, worldwide, who look to the Internet for information about the San.

The website was under the auspices of the Kalahari Peoples Fund (KPF).

I ran this website for four years, including organizing and conducting nine major training courses for adult San youth in Namibia, Northern Cape and Cape Town. (See under PROJECTS). In all, we trained around 50 San students in basic technology, writing and reporting for the website and general writing skills (some people attended more than one course).

This website was archived in 2014 as the focus changed to social media and cellphones became more generally available to people living in remote areas. It will be permanently archived in an American University (still under discussion) as a record of a unique period of transition for San people.

www.kalaharipeoples.net


Children’s Book Network

In 2012 I began a reading activism project with colleagues Gcina Mhlophe and Sindiwe Magona. (See under PROJECTS). This included a very active website – www.childrensbook.co.za.

I am responsible for editing all material and writing most of it, as well as providing photographs of workshops and events.


Work in progress

CLCP Website

I am currently working on a website to be launched in February 2016 for a project in which Children’s Book Network was closely involved. The Clanwilliam Dam Community Project reached adults as well as high school and primary school children to educate them about the landscape of the Cederberg Mountains and the Clanwilliam dam ahead of the raising of the dam wall, and subsequent flooding of prehistoric and rock art sites.


 
Phone: +27 (0) 82 6464 420  |  lesley@lesleybeake.co.za