SHE once swam with a cobra. Quite literally. Black Sash founding member and well-known Grahamstown resident Rosemary Smith, that is. Modjaji Books will launch Smith's memoirs of life in the Eastern Cape at Rhodes University's Cory Library on Tuesday 27 March. Based on Smith's diaries since movingto Grahamstown from England 50 years ago, she paints a picture of the turbulent 60s, 70s and 80s during apartheid, and the formation of the Black Sash. This activist group became one of the leading women's voices against apartheid and is a leading theme in "Swimming with cobras". We're given a glimpse of apartheid South Africa through the eyes of a foreigner who is initially unfamiliar with the country and, its strife, but becomes an activist over the course of the diarised accounts of her life. Smith will sign copies of her book at the launch, where you can buy it for R170 (and R195 thereafter).