Time of the Writer Festival Announces 2020 Essayist

In partnership with eThekwini Miunicipality, The University of KwaZulu-Natal’s Centre for Creative Arts (CCA) will host the 23rd installation of Time of the Writer International Festival from 16 to 21 March.

Time of the Writer is one of the largest and longest-running literature festivals in Africa. Over the years, it has hosted a wide variety of internationally-acclaimed thought leaders – such as Zakes Mda and NoViolet Bulawayo – from all over the world, with the main focus on Africa.

The festival, held in Durban, allows South African, African and international writers to gather for a thought-provoking week of literary dialogue, exchange of ideas and stimulating discussions. Time of the Writer features a diverse gathering of leading novelists, social commentators, activists, playwrights and short story writers.

The festival is proud to announce the first nine writers that will participate during this year’s progamme:

  • Forgiveness advocate, author and public speaker Candice Mama (South Africa)
  • Journalist and award-winning author Fred Khumalo (South Africa)
  • Writer and poet Haska Shyyan (Ukraine)
  • Award-winning Ugandan fiction writer Jennifer Makumbi (Uganda)
  • Storyteller and short story author Keletso Mopai (South Africa)
  • Award-winning novelist Cynthia Jele (South Africa)
  • Rwandan-born Namibian novelist, short story writer, essayist, columnist, poet and photographer Remy Ngambije (Namibia)
  • Sociologist and author Shafinaaz Hassim (SouthAfrica)
  • Literary critic, novelist, short story writer and playwright Siphiwo Mahala (South Africa)

The festival partners with eThekwini Municipality Libraries department to deliver a community engagement programme that actively promotes reading and writing in four community libraries by involving students, library users, librarians and community members. The day programme also takes place in a variety of art centres and schools around Durban where workshops and panel discussions will be held. The opening night, where all the writers will be introduced, will take place at Ekhaya Multi-Arts Centre in KwaMashu. Throughout the festival, evening sessions will feature writers on panel discussions at the KZNSA in Glenwood.

In addition, as part of the festival, high school learners are encouraged to submit short stories for the annual short story competition held in conjunction with Time of the Writer Festival. The competition aims to encourage creative expression in young people while functioning as a springboard for the future writers of South Africa. With the festival’s long standing commitment toward nurturing a culture of reading and writing, this competition has received a wide appeal that continues to grow with each edition of the festival. Winners will be awarded with cash prices, book vouchers and festival tickets.

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