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Current Awareness 2018: April

General topics of interest

What is Current Awareness?

Current awareness is the term used to describe staying informed by keeping up to date with the latest publications, research and news in your field.

The perspective of current awareness is the present and the forthcoming, as opposed to the retrospective. 

Current awareness ranges from looking for information on specific topics on a regular basis (and this usually involves the assistance of your Personal Librarian to help you set up a search profile matched to your research interests) to embracing a wider, more general, and cross-disciplinary view that brings an element of serendipity into your search for the latest information.

Informally, researchers remain alert in all contexts for useful information and insights that will inform their daily practice, their research, and spark off innovative and creative ideas for new avenues of research

Website of the Month

To honour World Malaria Day on 25 April 2018, our website for the month of April is the World Health Organization's website, and the resources on malaria in particular:


To find the resources on malaria, click on the embedded link above, then click on the pull-down menu for Health topics, click on the letter M under All topics>> and then on Malaria. The latest available figures are for 2016: 216 million cases of malaria occurred worldwide, and 445 000 lives were lost to the disease. The website offers a wealth of information on this subject of great concern, and numerous other health-related topics.

About the Monthly Current Awareness Page

The year is marked with many special days, weeks, and months dedicated and devoted to raising awareness about important issues.

This monthly post, compiled by the Information Search Librarians Team, will note special dates and themes, and draw your attention to possibly interesting cross-disciplinary topical references intended to inform and to inspire ideas for research.

Selected Noteworthy Days

APRIL 2018

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Winnie Madikizela-Mandela (1936-2018): first Black medical social worker, anti-apartheid activist, political prisoner, former wife of President Nelson Mandela, member of Parliament, Deputy Minister of Arts, Culture, Science & Technology, President of the ANC Women's League, Mother of the Nation. See the Library's copy of 491 Days: Prisoner Number 1323/69 by WInnie Madikizela-Mandela

2 April            Winnie Madikizela-Mandela (1936-2018) passes away over Easter weekend 

2 April            World Autism Awareness Day  

7 April            World Health Day (World Health Organization)

23 April          World Book and Copyright Day

25 April          World Malaria Day (World Health Organization)

27 April          Freedom Day

30 April          United Nations Vesak Day (Day of the Full Moon) acknowledges the contribution of Buddhism to the spirituality of humanity

In the Media

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Should you wish to read Current Awareness guides of previous years, please visit the archive:




Looking for Upcoming 2018 Conferences?

If you are looking for 2018's forthcoming conferences, the following websites are helpful:

Golden Oldies

La Guma, Alex (1988) And a Threefold Cord (book). London: Kliptown. Available in the Unisa Library's Pretoria Open Collection at 823.914 LAGU (5th floor).

"The late Alex La Guma is one of the most important black literary figures of 20th century South Africa. His second novel, “And a Threefold Cord” (1964), is set in the Cape Flats and explores contemporary themes of class conflict.

The book tells the haunting tale of a coloured family living in the shanties of the Cape Flats and their daily struggle to survive. It’s a heavy critique of the apartheid regime and has been praised for its accurate representation of economic conditions in the 1960s Western Cape, where housing shortages displaced many coloured residents at the time. It paints a stark picture of suffering and defiance in the face of misery, and it succeeded not only in giving the coloured community a much-needed voice, but also shining a light on the inhumanity of the apartheid regime.

La Guma’s literary works have been all but forgotten over the years. With the exception of the 1969 Lotus Prize for Literature, there has been little to no mention of La Guma’s works on the coloured community outside of the confines of marginal black political writings. “And a Threefold Cord” is both a superior piece of complex storytelling and a scathing rebuke of injustice. It should be held to higher acclaim than it currently is." Quoted from: Mosiuoa, Thapelo (2016) '6 books that shaped apartheid South Africaokayafrica, 4 November. 

Plaatje, Sol T. (1996) Mhudi (book). Cape Town: Francolin. Available via online request from the Postal Collection in the Pretoria Library. 

Plaatje, Solomon Tshekiso

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"[Plaatje's] novel Mhudi (1930), a story of love and war, is set in the 19th century. The characters are vivid and the style that of a traditional Bantu storyteller (a mixture of song and prose)." Quoted from: 'Solomon Tshekiso Plaatje' (2016) Encyclopaedia Britannica, 24 February.