Seriti sa Sechaba Publishers NPC (Registration number 2013/202294/08) is a non-profit publisher. The name Seriti sa Sechaba means dignity of the nation. Seriti’s logo is that of Imhotep, architect medical doctor, priest, poet and, most importantly, scribe of ancient Egypt, who lived during the period 2630–2611 BCE.
Seriti sa Sechaba (‘Seriti’) was started by Christine Qunta in 2013. Pinky Khoabane assisted with the administrative tasks of setting up of Seriti. The aim of Seriti sa Sechaba is to publish fiction and non-fiction by Black (African, Coloured and Indian) authors that reflect the lived experience and culture of the majority of the people in South Africa. It is dedicated to publish such works both in English and indigenous languages, which at present are virtually invisible except for educational material. In a normal society the marginalisation of African languages should be regarded as a national crisis. Publishing in African languages will commence in 2018.
Seriti’s primary objective is to contribute to restoring the voices and stories of those silenced by marginalization. No society can flourish when the culture and voices of the majority are suppressed or neglected.
John Tengo Jabavu started the first African-owned and run newspaper, Imvo Zabantsundu. In 1903 John Langalibalele Dube (1871–1946) co-founded Ilanga lase Natal, the first Zulu language newspaper. John Soga (1860–1941) and Sol Plaatje (1876–1932) were both dedicated to research, writing and recording the histories and lives of Africans. They all left a powerful and inspiring legacy for future generations.
In a time of freedom, Seriti seeks to build on this legacy.
Seriti will achieve its objective through the following;
- Actively recruiting new writers from the black (African, Coloured and Indian) community telling authentic stories reflecting our past and present
- Attracting established and well-known writers for both general and academic writing
- Publishing original works especially targeted at young people in African languages
- Taking steps to stimulate the market for African language books outside of the education field
- Publishing non-fiction works that raise the level of intellectual debate in the public sphere
- Publishing works that challenge the dominant Eurocentric paradigm
- Publishing books that promote indigenous knowledge systems and pre-colonial history
- Reprinting African language classics to add to work of Department of Arts and Culture
- Encouraging writing by and on women
- Promoting writing for children in African languages.
Seriti’s debut publication was the novel by Sindiwe Magona titled Chasing the Tails of my Father’s Cattle, which was published in November 2015. A book of essays by Christine Qunta titled Why We’re Not a Nation will be published on 26 April 2016 and in June 2016 a coffee-table book of photographs by Peter Magubane will be published on the 40th anniversary of the 1976 uprisings.
Seriti will announce its 2016 publication programme in May 2016.