The Abantu Book Festival 2018 artist line up was announced on the event’s social media platforms on October 23, 2018. The festival now in its third year is set for Soweto, South Africa from December 6-9, 2018.
The Abantu Book Festival was founded in 2016 to build a space for black South African readers and writers to interact. It was a bold experiment by Cape Town based Thando Mgqolozana as organising such an openly African/black event was considered a risk. This was because before it showed up, the South Africa literary establishment was mainly founded on white readers and writers with a few black faces for variety.
The festival would run to much praise in 2016 and would come back in 2017 with an even bigger and better offering for those who attended. In those two years, some of the most influential black and African people would attend the events in the famous township of Soweto.
In January, the journey towards the 2018 edition of the festival begun with the organisers announcing that it would be happening from December 6-9, 2018. The festival today announced the names of the people who would take part in this year’s festivities in the Southern African country. There are names new and not so new to the festival featuring with a bulk of them coming from South Africa.
The full list of people attending the festival this year are Gcina Mhlophe, Fred Khumalo, Uhuru Phalafala, Kagiso Lesego Molope, Phumlani Pikoli, Wamuwi Mbao, Mphuthumi Ntabeni, Mxolisi Ntshali, Novuyo Rosa Tshuma, Nozizwe Jele, Sue Nyathi, Thuli Nhlapo, Lebohang Masango, Nozuko Mapoma, Jolyn Phillips, Gail Smith, Phemelo Motene, Sihle Khumalo, Ijangolet S Ogwang, Rosie Motene, Chwayita Ngamlana, Bibi Bakare-Yusuf, Monde Nkasawe, Nolundi Luwaya, Esinako Ndebeni, Lesego Semenya, Helon Habila, Lebo Mashile, Diana Ferrus, Mmabatho Montsho, Pumla Dineo Gqola, Tembeka Ngcukaitobi, Sibongile Fisher, Tumelo Moleleki, Zanele Ndlovu, Haji Mohamed Dawjee, Athi-Nangamso Nkopo, Panashe Chigumadzi, Rethabile Mashale Sonibare, Tsitsi Dangarembga, Chikane Rekgotsofetse, Dudu Busani-Dube, Sihle Mthembu, Tumelo Buthelezi, Mzuzukile Soni.
For those in Johannesburg and South Africa in general, I suggest that you start making plans to head to this event. It’s a really amazing experience especially if you like books