To inspire more people to read in order to get to know and understand each other’s stories, the theme of this year’s festival is: Do You Read Me?
The programme will feature 20 leading novelists, social commentators, activists, playwrights and short story writers from South Africa and abroad who will participate in an exciting programme that sees a mix of panel discussions, workshops and writers’ visits.
Opening night takes place at the Ekhaya KCAP Multi-Arts Centre in KwaMashu, where all writers will introduce themselves.
‘As we enter a new decade, let the book and literature be the medium of communicating and understanding that will lead us to the future,’ said curator Ms Siphindile Hlongwa.
Hlongwa is excited about the diverse line-up of 20 writers. ‘Seasoned writers are featured and we hope they will drive the conversation forward to a better future.
‘The Time of the Writer platform was created for audiences. We are definitely sure that Durban will come out to meet and engage with their favourite writers and buy books to support them,’ said Hlongwa.
The writers are:
- Forgiveness advocate, author and public speaker Candice Mama [SA]
- Comic-book and Hindi film aficionado Ebrahim Essa [DBN-SA]
- Novelist and poet Euclene Busi Maphumulo [DBN-SA]
- Journalist and award-winning author Fred Khumalo [SA]
- Writer and poet Haska Shyyan [Ukraine]
- Ugandan fiction writer Jennifer Makumbi [Uganda]
- Storyteller and short story author Keletso Mopai [SA]
- Fiction and non-fiction writer Kirsten Miller [DBN-SA]
- Children’s book writer Lebohang Masango [SA]
- Children’s book writer Refiloe Moahloli [SA]
- Novelist Nozizwe Cynthia Jele [SA]
- Rwandan-born Namibian novelist, short story writer, essayist, columnist, poet and photographer Remy Ngambije [Namibia]
- Sociologist and writer Shafinaaz Hassim [SA]
- Literary critic, novelist, short story writer and playwright Siphiwo Mahala [SA]
- American political theorist and writer Dr Tiffany Willoughby-Herard [USA]
On the last day of the festival, the KZNSA Gallery will host a publishing forum looking at publishing perspectives in the age of media convergence, while UKZN music lecturer Dr Sazi Dlamini will facilitate an Indigenous Language Authors’ Music Archive Workshop.
The South African Music Archive Project (SAMAP) at UKZN is inviting selected authors in indigenous African languages to engage with their historical musical resources. These are comprised of audio field recordings of traditional, popular and indigenous musical performances from Southern Africa that constitute the historical online archive of the International Library of African Music (ILAM) – presently run under the Rhodes University institutional umbrella.
Authors will be engaged in transcribing musical items documented in performance using the region’s diverse ethnic languages. This workshop will mark the start of this project.
As part of the eThekwini Home-Grown programme, a group of five writers from the city was selected to participate in the daytime panel discussions and to engage with the writers on the main programme. The eThekwini writers are Joe Spirit, Nelly Shozana, Rodney Roskruge, Sylvia Garib and Zanele Dlamini.
The festival is made possible by the support from eThekwini Municipality, the National Department of Arts and Culture, and the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Arts and Culture.