ROSE Francis, who founded African Perspectives Publishing, was born and grew up in Durban but now lives in Johannesburg. Her first job was at a press-cutting agency. She is regarded as one of the country's first, high-profile black female models and "paved the way for black models to make the transition from township hall beauty pageants to industry recognition locally, and even internationally, working in London, New York and Paris" in the 1980s.

She founded Rose Francis Communications in 1980. Francis is an entrepreneur and communications guru, and is passionate about the written word - her main interests being history, literature, politics and anything to do with Africa. She travels to Burkino Faso, Kigali, Dar es Salaam, Dakar, Namibia, Tanzania, Rwanda, Italy, Senegal and India regularly.

In November last year, Francis met and shared a platform with the secretary-general of Pan African Writers, Prof Atukwei Okai, who is also the Poet Laureate of Ghana.

She has published and distributes some of Africa's most influential writers, such as Ntsiki Mazwai, Lebogang Mashile, Sandile Mamela, Sol Rachilo, Oshebeng Alphie Koonyditse, Bishop Trevor Mwamaba, Sabelo Mahlalela, Don Mattera, Latepe Maisela and Sulette Gardiner.

SOURCE: Rose Francis