August 2019 promises just as much activity as the previous months on the African literary calendar. Here are four literary festivals and book fairs across the continent to check out.
July 2019 was a great month for the African literary community. In West Africa, there were two festivals in Nigeria in the Niyi Osundare International Poetry Festival and the Abuja Poetry Festival. In East Africa, there was the Garoowe International Book Fair and the Kismayo Book Fair in Somalia while in Somaliland there was the Hargeysa International Book Fair. In Southern Africa, Mozambique’s Poetas D’Alma International Festival ended a few days ago as did the Jozi Book Fair. The Zimbabwe International Book Fair is currently going on and ends on August 2.
In August, like in other months, there are festivals for bibliophiles to buy books and meet authors. Here are details for four of them.
- South Africa Children’s Book Fair 2019 – Johannesburg, South Africa, August 01-04
The South African Children’s Book Fair, founded by Vuyokazi Biyana, is one of the few festivals dedicated to literature for children. The fair in its third year will be held at the Blue Wing Conference and Events Venue, Ticketpro Dome in Northgate, Johannesburg, South Africa. Activities include puppet shows, animation, readings, workshops and more. For more information about the fair please click here.
- Mogadishu Book Fair 2019 – Mogadishu, Somalia, August 21-23.
Mogadishu and Somali public will interact with authors, scholars, poets, booksellers, publishers, and other professionals at the fifth edition of the Mogadishu Book Fair. They will take part in poetry and prose readings, book launches, panels, film screenings, and many other activities. Apart from Somali artists from within Somalia and from all over the planet, guests can expect to interact with international guests like South Africa/Zimbabwe’s Panashe Chigumadzi and South African Mzilikazi wa Afrika. For more information about this event please click here.
- Writivism Festival 2019 – Kampala, Uganda, August 15 – 17
The Writivism Festival was first hosted in Kampala, Uganda in 2012 and has gone on to become the most famous from the East African country. The festival with the theme “Unbreakable Bonds” will have the usual book launches and readings, panels, poetry, and others that we have become accustomed to. One of the books to be launched is UnBreakable Bonds, an anthology of fiction, photography and nonfiction from Eastern Africa and the UK diaspora edited by Bwesigye Bwa Mwesigire, Esther Mirembe and Sumayya Lee. After shortlists announced in May, the winners of the Writivism Short Story Prize 2019 and the Koffi Addo Creative Nonfiction Prize 2019 will also be revealed. For more information, check out the Writivism Festival Facebook page.
- Ghana International Book Fair 2019 – Accra, Ghana, August 20 – September 1.
The Ghana International Book Fair, celebrating its seventeenth year, is a platform where local and international book industry players come together to trade books and negotiate deals. With the theme “Reaching the World Market through Effective Book Distribution Networks” you know this is a publishing industry trade event. Those who live in Accra get access to a variety of good books and buy them at highly discounted prices. You can also expect some non-book buying activities like a literary legends evening in honour of the late professors Kofi Awoonor and Atukwei Okai, an afternoon of spoken word, workshops and more.