The guest list for Berlin’s African Book Festival 2019 has been unveiled. The festival curated by writer and filmmaker Tsitsi Dangarembga runs from April 4-7, 2019.
In 2018, writers from across Africa and its diaspora converged on Berlin for the African Book Festival with Chris Abani as the headliner. The festival organised by InterKontinental and curated by Olumide Popoola looked at transnationalism and migration in a more literary sense of “keeping in motion”.
As preparations for the 2019 edition kicked off, organisers announced on September 25, 2018, that it would be curated by Zimbabwean author and filmmaker Tsitsi Dangarembga. That announcement would follow with the unveiling of the festival headliner for 2019 Booker Award winner Ben Okri.
The team at the festival have announced the artists who will be making their way to Berlin to attend the shindig with the theme “Transitioning from Migration.” They represent an array of countries from across Africa like Botswana, Ghana, Kenya, Somaliland, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Uganda, Sudan, Liberia, Malawi as well as diaspora countries like the USA and the UK.
Many of those attending are familiar to followers of African writing like award-winning South African author and scholar Zakes Mda and Nigerian author Sefi Atta. Some of the other writers who will feature are Fred Khumalo, Novuyo Rosa Tshuma, Christopher Mlalazi, Chike Frankie Edozien, Ayesha Harruna Attah, Olumide Popoola, Elma Shaw, Thando Mgqolozana, Ijangolet S Ogwang, Pumla Dineo Gqola, Shadreck Chikoti, Siphiwe Gloria Ndlovu, Emmanuel Sigauke, Fungai Tichawangana, Donald Molosi and Panashe Chigumadzi. Caine Prize winner Namwali Serpell and writer of highly anticipated debut novel imagine The Old Drift will also feature.
Harriet Anena who recently won the Wole Soyinka Prize, Chirikure Chirikure and Safia Elhillo are some of the poets who will feature.
There are also those who might not be writing books but are an important part of the writing ecosystem that will feature like publishers Ellah Wakatama Allfrey (Indigo Press), Bibi Bakare-Yusuf (Cassava Republic Press) and Yana Makuwa (Graywolf Press). There will also be Hargeysa International Book Fair founder Jama Musse Jama as well as literary bloggers Ainehi Edoro-Glines and James Murua.