Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is set to feature at the Abantu Book Festival 2018 on Friday, December 7. The Nigerian author will be in conversation with Prof Pumla Dineo Gqola at the Eyethu Lifestyle Centre, Soweto, Azania.
The Abantu Book Festival was founded to build a space for black South African readers and writers to interact. Such an openly African/black event was considered a risk back then as 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 January, the journey towards the 2018 edition of the festival began with the organisers announcing that it would be running from December 6-9, 2018. On October 23, Abantu announced the artists who would feature with a bulk of them rightly coming from South Africa. They also promised to announce more artist names as the festival dates came closer.
Today the festival team has announced that one of their artists will be Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. She has won numerous awards since her debut novel, Purple Hibiscus (2003), Half of A Yellow Sun (2007), Americanah (2013) as well as other publications. Her awards include the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize, the (US) National Book Critics Circle Award, The Orange Prize, and many more. Her work has been translated into over 30 languages.
Adichie will be in conversation with South African academic and writer Prof Dineo Gqola. Prof Gqola, who is a dean at Fort Hare University, is the author of the Nonfiction titles What is Slavery to Me (2010), A Renegade Called Simphiwe (2013), Rape: A South African Nightmare (2015), and most recently a memoir called Reflecting Rogue: Inside The Mind of a Feminist (2017). She has won the Sunday Times Literary Awards for her writing.
As Abantu is unapologetically geared towards African readers and writers, if you are an African, we highly recommend that you attend this festival in general and this event in particular if you are in the general country code area.