The programme for the South African Book Fair 2020, which takes place online from September 11-13, 2020 was announced on August 19, 2020.
The South African Book Fair which started in 2006 as the Cape Town Book Fair was originally managed by the Publishers’ Association of South Africa. Since then, it has seen changes as it moved to Johannesburg, the country’s commercial capital, with a new name under the management of the South African Book Development Council. We covered the book fair on this platform in 2015 and 2017.
The 2020 iteration of the fair offers a topical, immersive, and engaging virtual experience for readers and book lovers of all ages as well as for authors, illustrators, poets, and members of the book and publishing industry. A simplified version of the annual physical Fair, the virtual Fair will nonetheless continue to offer a full and exciting programme of stimulating online discussions, entertainment, and fun with something for everyone.
Many writers and others in the publishing chain from within South Africa and across the continent in Kenya, Nigeria, Namibia, and many other African countries are taking part. Some of those who will enthralling those who attend are Abi Daré, Ainehi Edoro-Glines, Alma-Nalisha Cele, Chiké Frankie Edozien, Dudu Busani-Dube, Fiona Snyckers, Jacob Dlamini, Jennifer Malec, Judge Dikgang Moseneke, Karabo Kgoleng, Kopano Ratele, Lauren Beukes, Lerato Mogoathle, Lethlhogonolo Mokgoroane, Mishumo Madima, Mohale Mashigo, Mũkoma wa Ngũgĩ, Niq Mhlongo, Njabulo Ndebele, Pumla Dineo Gqola, Rehana Rossouw, Rémy Ngamije, Sabata-Mpho Mokae, Siphiwe Gloria Ndlovu, Siphiwo Mahala, Sisonke Msimang, Tiffany Kagure Mugo, Troy Onyango, Wally Serote, Dr Wayétu Moore, and Zukiswa Wanner. You can find the full list of those taking part alongside their profiles here.
These personalities will be taking part in events with titles like Staying Sane: Lockdown Chronicles; Down To Earth: From Garden To Table; Time, Space And The Anthropocene: Fiction And The Fall Of Man; Is The Glass Half Empty? How To Create Economic Opportunities In South Africa, The World Looks Like This From Here: Masculinity, Misogyny And African Psychology; White Privilege; Exposé! Stories That Gripped The Nation; Giving Books A Place Of Pride In Africa; The Role Of Literary Journals On The Continent; Law And Justice; Feminism: Our Bodies, Our Truths; Collecting From Afar: Stories Full Of Home; and more. Click here to get the full programme.
Apart from those events, there will be other events like a performance-poetry evening hosted by Mutinta Bbenkele, a Battle of the Book Clubs, a Magic Tent for the kids, and a market place for those who want to buy books by those who participate.