School of Arts

Successful Opening for 22nd Time of the Writer Festival

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The opening night featured 13 South African writers who gathered for a thought-provoking week of literary dialogue, exchange of ideas and interesting discussions.

Audiences were treated to a sneak peak performance by Flatfoot Dance Company and Sifiso Khumalo’s latest work that will premiere in its fuller form in April 2019 in the upcoming season called Under the Same Sky.

Acting Director of the CCA and UKZN Performing Arts lecturer Ms Lliane Loots said: ‘The festival has made a commitment to let South African voices be honoured in 2019 as we move ourselves into the centre of our own ability to write ourselves and to write (alternative) futures for ourselves. This festival claims an activist space that joins with a growing South African (and African) discontent with outmoded and outdated ways of speaking truth to power.’

Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Head of the College of Humanities Professor Nhlanhla Mkhize spoke on the festival’s theme Centring the Indigenous.

He said: ‘This theme dovetails into the vision and mission of UKZN to be the Premier University of African Scholarship. It is imperative that indigenous knowledge systems be at the centre of the knowledge enterprise.’

Head of Parks and Recreation at the eThekwini Municipality Mr Thembinkosi Ngcobo said: ‘This festival is a central space for the generation and circulation of ideas. We will be expanding the creative space in South Africa and will continue to support all the CCA festivals.’

Winners of the Schools Short Story Competition were announced on opening night. The competition inspires learners to showcase their creative writing skills.

Learners submitted their original short stories. Winners received cash prizes and book vouchers, generously sponsored by Adams Campus books and festival tickets.

The Adjudicators for the 2019 English category were Marcia Mzindle, Jason Barber and Tarin Lee-King, while the adjudicators for the 2019 isiZulu category were Sakhile Gumede, Mbali Nguse and Ncebakazi Mbuyeleni.

The English category winners:

  • Daniella Samouilhan (St Mary’s) for A Mouse Without Whiskers (1st Place)
  • Priyanka Maharaj (Westville Girls’ High School) for Some People Would Do Anything For Recognition (2nd Place)
  • Angela Corbett (Durban Girls’ College) for Stairway To Heaven (3rd Place)

The 2019 isiZulu category winners:

  • Olwethu Picho (Silver Heights Secondary school) for Uze Ungayilibali Imiyalo yami Bahluphile (1st Place)
  • Amahle Mjoli (Harding Secondary School) for Ebukhosini (2nd Place)

During the activity-rich week, audiences engaged with the writers on the creative and technical processes, and perspectives that shape their writing.

In addition to nightly showcases, there were daily activities including book launches, seminars and workshops to promote a culture of reading, writing and creative expression.

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