The 20th Time of the Writer International Festival set to take place in Durban, South Africa from 13 – 18 March 2017. The Festival theme is “The Past Paving the Future.”
The Festival, hosted by the Centre for Creative Arts (CCA) within UKZN’s College of Humanities, will feature some of the South Africa’s most prolific writers. The daytime programme, in partnership with the eThekwini Municipality Libraries Department, will take place at various locations in Durban. The Festival’s evening programme will be held at the Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre, Howard College campus (UKZN).
This year’s Festival themed, The Past Paving the Future, will see the historic launch of the original isiZulu version of the late Professor Mazisi Kunene’s Emperor Shaka the Great, uNodumehlezi kaMenzi.
It is also a century after the sinking of the SS Mendi and there will be a tribute made at the festival. This will include the appearance of Fred Khumalo the author of Bitches’ Brew (winner of the European Union Literary Prize 2006) and Seven Steps to Heaven, now prescribed work at the University of South Africa. He will be presenting his new novel about the SS Mendi Dancing the Death Drill which has been published by Penguin Randomhouse.
Away from the theme and it’s related activities, the shall be an amazing lineup at the festival this year. They Zakes Mda the novelist, poet and playwright who has won major South African and British literary awards for his novels and plays. Some of his titles include Ways of Dying (1995), She Plays with the Darkness (1995), Melville 67 (1998), The Heart of Redness (2000), and The Madonna of Excelsior (2002).
Then there is English and Setswana writer Sabata-mpho Mokae. He is the winner of the South African Literary Award in 2011 for his first novel, Ga Ke Modisa; it also won him the M-Net Literary Award for Best Novel in Setswana as well as the M-Net Film Award in 2013. He is also a Creative Writing Lecturer at the Sol Plaatje University in Kimberley.
Another writer we have featured here also on this blog Lidudumalingani Mqombothi a writer, filmmaker and photographer from Zikhovane in the Eastern Cape a lot will also attend. In 2016, he was awarded the Caine Prize for African writing for his short story Memories We Lost, and the Miles Morland Scholarship, which will see him spend a year writing his debut novel titled Let Your Children Name Themselves.
Another award winner featured on this blog who will be attending will be Sibongile Fisher who won the 2016 Short Story Day Africa Prize for her story A Door Ajar. Other writers featuring this year include Khethani Njoko, Usha Roopnarain, Nakanjani G. Sibiya, Nkosinathi Sithole, EKM Dido, Unathi Magubeni, Ralph Mathekga, Nomsa Mdlalose.