Abantu Book Festival shining light on black voices

The inaugural Abantu Book Festival will kick off on Thursday in Soweto, featuring over 50 authors from South Africa, Africa, and the diaspora.

It hopes to be the first of many more annual literary events providing black authors and readers due recognition.

The Abantu Book Festival will be a melting pot of readings, discussions, music and other forms of storytelling.

Festival curator and author Panashe Chigumadzi explains that the concept was born from historical exclusion of black authors and readers from existing literary circles.

In particular, she says the announcement by author Thando Mgqolozana at Franschhoek Literary Festival that he was "quitting the white literary industry", was a catalyst for change.

The festival came out of black writers thinking that they need to love themselves enough to do something for themselves.

Panashe Chigumadzi, author and Abantu Book Festival curator

Chigumadzi explains that the event is an extension of the decolonisation project, creating a space that does not feel exclusionary or alienating.

The people who have to do this are us, black writers. We have to do it for ourselves. No one can do it for us.

Panashe Chigumadzi, author and Abantu Book Festival curator

She says it is part of an effort to disturb the dominant narrative on industry editors, publishers, distributors.

According to Chigumadzi, the programmes encompasses various different politics, perspectives and views.

Blackness has different kinds of expression. But because we are forced into those white literary spaces, we can't have room.

Panashe Chigumadzi, author and Abantu Book Festival curator

Do not miss the wide line-up of black writers - which she says only scratches the surface of black literary talents.

Books on sale will be from the African Flavour Books, which was founded in 2013 Fortiscue and Nokuthula Helepi.

Day events (from 09:30- 16:00 ) are free and are taking place at Eyethu Lifestyle Centre.

The evening events (1730 - 21:30) cost R20 and will be at the Soweto Theatre.

Visit the Abantu Book Festival website to learn more.

Listen to why you should be at the Abantu Book Festival this weekend:

Read More
Justice Dikgang Moseneke on his life and memoir 'My Own Liberator'

Justice Dikgang Moseneke on his life and memoir 'My Own Liberator'

Justice Dikgang Moseneke's memoir 'My Own Liberator' is testament to the age-old adage "It takes a village to raise a child".

Abantu Book Festival promises to be "umgidi we ngcwadi" for black people

Abantu Book Festival promises to be "umgidi we ngcwadi" for black people

Mgqolozana has emphasised the importance of black self-determination without the colonial white gaze.

Why VAT on books must fall (and 11 page-turners to keep you busy these holidays)

Why VAT on books must fall (and 11 page-turners to keep you busy these holidays)

Reading advocate Tebogo Ditshego discusses South Africa's poor reading culture, the costs of books and recommends holiday reads.

Considering self-publishing? Founder of BlackBird Books has some advice

Considering self-publishing? Founder of BlackBird Books has some advice

Thabiso Mahlape has published Panashe Chigumadzi's Sweet Medicine and Nakhane Toure's Piggy Boy Blues under her company label.

Top 10 books for your kids to sink their teeth into

Top 10 books for your kids to sink their teeth into

South African children are encouraged to read from a young age, particularly relevant and local books that stimulate the mind.

SA author offers comfort to families grieving the loss of a child

SA author offers comfort to families grieving the loss of a child

After losing her son and experiencing bereavement, Kate Polley penned a book that's changing the silent nature of death and grief.

Popular articles
Driving lessons to be incorporated into SA school's curriculum

Driving lessons to be incorporated into SA school's curriculum

Spokesperson for Transport Minister, Dipou Peters, says learners will be given an opportunity to become good and safe drivers.

LISTEN: I paid for sound system from my own personal account - Phahlane

LISTEN: I paid for sound system from my own personal account - Phahlane

Acting National Police Commissioner Khomotso Phahlane says he paid for his R80 0000 sound system at his house in Pretoria.

Public servants to have their red carpet moment at SA politician awards

Public servants to have their red carpet moment at SA politician awards

The brains behind the South African Politician Awards denies that he is hosting the event to rub shoulders with political bigwigs.

Madonsela warns against appointing woman President as a proxy

Madonsela warns against appointing woman President as a proxy

Former Public Protector Advocate Thuli Madonsela addressed the Cape Town Press Club on a number of issues.

Lumka Oliphant sorry for insulting women while defending Minister

Lumka Oliphant sorry for insulting women while defending Minister

Minister Bathabile Dlamini's spokesperson says people should stop spreading lies that minister drinks alcohol.

It's not the end of the road... Top tips to improve your matric

It's not the end of the road... Top tips to improve your matric

"Recognise that it’s not the end, it’s the beginning." Expert advise for school-leavers who want to improve their results.

Meet Chuma Somdaka, a homeless artist who blogs about art

Meet Chuma Somdaka, a homeless artist who blogs about art

Chuma spends her days making art and her nights on a bench in The Company's Garden in Cape Town where she displays her artwork.