The Time of the Writer is one of the most respected festivals for writers on the continent. The festival which is in its 17th year is hosted in March ever year with writers from around the continent and the world converging on Durban, South Africa.
Some of the more well known East African folks who have been at this event in years past include Ngugi Wa Thiongo (Kenya), Ali Mazrui (Kenya), Billy Kahora (Kenya), Binyavanga Wainaina (Kenya), Doreen Baingana (Uganda), Elieshi Lema (Tanzania), Nuruddin Farah (Somalia), Shailja Patel (Kenya), Henry Chakava (Kenya), MG Vassanji (Kenya/Canada) Monica Arac de Nyeko (Uganda), Moses Isegawa (Uganda) and Yvonne Adhiambo Owuor (Kenya). Away from Kenya the festival has hosted Nobel prize winners Wole Soyinka (Nigeria) and Nadine Gordimer (South Africa). Other international writers are Ama Ata Aidoo (Ghana) and Arundhati Roy (India). The full list of former participants at the festival can be found here.
This year’s festival will be happening on 17th – 22nd March at the UKZN Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre with twenty writers from India, Kenya, Nigeria, Botswana, Togo, and Guinea. They will be will be gathering for a week of literary dialogue, exchange of ideas and stimulating discussion under the theme Freeing Our Imagination.
The Kenyan participant for the event will be Mshai Mwangola who is the chairperson of the Governing Council of the Kenya Cultural Centre. Mshai is a talented performance scholar, storyteller, and oraturist who has performed, conducted performance workshops, researched and worked with and for diverse performance ensembles and individuals in four continents. She has been doing this in a career spanning over 25 years in acting, directing and story-telling.
The whole list of panelists include;
- New Voices from India – Indian authors Satyagit Sarna and Prajwal Parajuly facilitated by author, Shubnum Khan.
- Mzansi Women Voices – South African writers Angela Makhlowa and Praba Moodley facilitated by author, Shafinaaz Hassim.
- Writing the Policy Debate – South African writers and political analysts Professors Adam Habib and Paulus Zulu facilitated by Ben Fogel.
- Writing in Francophone Africa: trends and issues – authors Sami Tchak (Togo) and Tierno Monénembo (Guinea) facilitated by Bernard DeMeyer of UKZN French department.
- Writing the Historical Moment – researcher and political economist Professor Patrick Bond facilitated by Xolani Benedict Dube.
- Chronicling The Contemporary African Story – South Africa authors, Kgebetli Moele and Niq Mhlongo facilitated by Duduzile Mabaso.
- Story-telling Programme – Nomsa Mdlalose and Mshai Mwangola facilitated by Dr. Gcina Mhlophe.
- From The Mouth of Babes – Lauri Kubuitsile (Botswana) and Khulekani Magubane (South Africa) facilitated by Saneliswe Ntuli.
- New African Women Writers Rising – Hawa Jande Golakai(Liberia) and Chibundu Onuzo (Nigeria) facilitated by Sandile Ngidi.
- Finding the South African Funny Bone – South African writers, Sarah Britten and Zukiswa Wanner facilitated by writer and radio personality Ndumiso Ngcobo.
Keep it here for details.