Festivals South Africa

Abantu Book Festival 2018 announces December dates

The Abantu Book Festival 2018 is set happen in Soweto, South Africa from December 6-9 for the third year running. Just like in the previous edition, the festival organisers have asked that you support one of Africa’s favourite and best festivals.

The Abantu Book Festival was founded by Thando Mgqolozana who was looking to build a space for black South African readers and writers to interact in a safe space. It was a bold experiment far away from the South Africa literary establishment which is mainly founded on white readers and writers with a few black faces for flavour.

The first edition of the festival happened in December with guest artists that included Angela Makholwa, Bheki Peterson, Bongani Madondo, Bontle Senne, Chika Unigwe, Dikeledi Deekay Sibanda, Duduzile Zamantungwa Mabaso, Don Mattera, Elinor Sisulu, Eusebius McKaiser, Florence Masebe, Fred Khumalo, Gcina Mhlope, and HJ Golakai. The festival was a roaring success with readers and writers finally getting to meet without interlocutors of the paler variety. They could finally be them without worrying what their thought, feelings and words could mean to the egos of the non-blacks in the audience.

Those who attended the first edition of the festival probably thought that it was a one-off freak of a festival that could never be replicated ever; like that famous 1962 Makerere University African Writers Conference they keep talking about. They would be pleasantly surprised when the second edition of the festival was even bigger and better. The festival line-up included Zakes Mda, Tsitsi Dangarembga, Zubeida Jaffer, Gcina Mhlophe, Grace Musila, Kopano Matlwa, Ayobami Adebayo, Keorapelse Kgositsile, Mandia Langa, Shubnum Khan, Sisonke Msimang, Zethu Matebeni, Redi Tlhabi, Lebo Mashile and Pumla Dineo Gqola.

The 2018 edition of the festival dates have been announced by the festival organisers and they will be on December 6-9. Just like in the 2017 edition, they have asked those who wish for this important literary initiative to support it not just with their words but with their wallets. They are looking to recruit 1,000 festival patrons to donate R50 for 12 months which will amount to R600,000 that will go a long way to offsetting one of the most important literary initiatives in the Southern part of the continent. You can also either send a one of donation of R600 or set up a monthly standing order of R50.

Abantu Book Festival 2018 donate

If you want to donate the image attached above has all the details.

By James Murua

This blog is run by James Murua a Nairobi, Kenya based lover of books.

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