When Deon Scott and Simon Tshabalala get stuck in a lift one Friday evening during a power cut in post apartheid South Africa, they are forced to face their demons of a traumatic time not only for the country, but in their own lives. Deon is a well off white businessman while Simon is a black security guard. Despite their different backgrounds, upbringings and current status, they were both touched by the violence that gripped the country as it fumbled towards democracy. As they begin to break down the social barriers and talk about their lives, Deon realises the effect his actions had on Simon’s and other people’s lives.
Some of the best writing I’ve ever read. Especially the dream chapter. (Northwood, Middlesex resident)
John Samson’s novel, ‘Powerless’ unflinchingly portrays the complexity and anguish of
apartheid and post apartheid South Africa.
The two main characters, Deon, a well-off white
businessman and Simon, a black security guard are both stuck in a lift during a power cut.
Despite different backgrounds and current status, they have both been touched by extreme violence as the country fumbled towards democracy. The imagery springing from their stories is explosive. Anyone wishing for a clearer understanding of South Africa should read this book which is, without question, a considerable achievement.
Playwright, Monologue writer and poet.