Leila Aboulela

Leila Aboulela for International African Women Writers’ Symposium 2018.

The International African Women Writers’ Symposium 2018 is set to happen in venues in Johannesburg, South Africa from 29 November to 6 December. Among the many authors making an appearance will be Leila Aboulela.

The African Women Writers Symposium aims to promote and develop writing within the continent and its diaspora. Over the years, the Symposium has hosted significant writers including the late Nadine Gordimer (SA), Willie Kgositsile (SA) and poet Jayne Cortez (USA), Aminata Forna (Sierra Leone/UK), Sapphire (USA), Gillian Slovo (SA),Lorna Goodison (Jamaica), Linton Kwesi Johnson (Jamaica), Tsitsi Dangarembga (Zimbabwe), Vangi Gantsho (SA) to name a few.

This is the sixth edition of the symposium and like in previous years you can expect Workshops on music, poetry, writing as well as panels from some of your favourite writers, and the odd keynote address. The Memoriam Lecture for Nadine Gordimer will be given by award-winning author Leila Aboulela at the Joburg Theatre at Space.com on Thursday 6 December. Leila Aboulela is the author of The Kindness of Enemies, The Translator, a New York Times 100 Notable Books of the Year, Minaret and Lyrics Alley, Fiction Winner of the Scottish Book Awards.

The Symposium will launch on Thursday 29 November at 18:30 at Joburg Theatre, The Fringe featuring writers on a panel exploring Racism and Marginalisation with Malaika Mahlatsi (author of Memoirs of a Born Free, Reflections on the Rainbow Nation), Nosipho Mthembu (former teacher from Rustenburg Girls in Cape Town), Willie Perdomo (USA, Afro Latino, award winning poet, publisher and academic) and Prof J Ndlovu Gatsheni (Unisa).

On Friday 30 November at 18:30 at Joburg Theatre, The Fringe, there will be a special panel on “Writing the truth in contested times” with journalist, radio host and award-winning author Redi Tlhabi, recipient of the 2013 Alan Paton award for Endings and Beginnings . Her latest bestseller, Khwezi, is a remarkable account of the life of President Jacob Zuma’s rape accuser Fezekile Kuzwayo. Featured on the same panel is Chris Steyn, author of The Lost Boys of Bird lsland, which looks at the abuse of young boys by senior members of the Nationalist Party. The book is co-authored by the Mark Minnie, who tragically died recently. The panel will be convened by researcher and activist on land and gender issues Nomboniso Gasa.

Here are the events in full.

Panel Discussion 1:  Thur 29 Nov 2018, from 6.30 pm at the Fringe, Joburg Theatre
Topic:  Racism and Marginalisation: Legacy of the Past or Failure of the Present?
Panellists:
Ms Nosipho Mthembu (Teacher formerly employed at Rustenburg Girls School, Cape Town)
Ms Malaika Lesego Samora Mahlatsi (Author of Memoirs of a Born Free: Reflection on the Rainbow Nation)
Willie Perdomo (USA, writer, publisher and educator)
Convenor : Ms Slyvia Vollenhoven ( Author of “Keeper of the Kumm’”)
Q&A will follow after the session

Panel Discussion 2: Fri 30 Nov 2018, from 18:30 at the Fringe, Joburg Theatre
Topic: Writing the Truth in Contested Times
Panellists:
Redi Tlhabi (Author of Khwezi)
Chris Steyn (Co-author of The Lost Boys of Bird Island)
Convenor: Ms Nomboniso Gasa
Q&A will follow after the session
After the Panel Discussion there will be Poetry Performances and Live Music
Guest Poets include Willie Perdomo (USA), Vangi Gantsho and others.

4th In Memoriam Lecture for Nadine Gordimer
Thursday 6 Dec 2018 from 18:30 at Space.Com, Joburg Theatre
Keynote address: Leila Aboulela (Sudan/Egypt)
Leila Aboulela is the author of five novels: Bird Summons (due for publication in March 2019), The Kindness of Enemies, The Translator (a New York Times 100 Notable Books of the Year), Minaret and Lyrics Alley (Fiction Winner of the Scottish Book Awards). She was the first winner of the Caine Prize for African Writing and her latest story collection, Elsewhere, Home is currently short-listed for the Saltire Fiction Book of the Year. Leila’s work has received critical recognition and a high profile for its distinctive exploration of identity, migration and Islamic spirituality.

Q&A will follow after the session

 

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