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Sunday, February 18, 2018


(Award winning creative author, Ayọ̀bámi Adébáyọ̀, from Nigeria)

Compelling and thrilling line-up of Authors Headline the 21st Time of the Writer International Festival

Fifteen authors from across Africa and the world are coming to Durban during this year’s 21st Time of the Writer International Festival that is set to take place from March 12 to 17, 2018. The writers convene under this year’s theme of ‘Changing the Narrative’ and will engage with this notion as it relates to their work and the direction in which literature is moving towards in this context.

Announcing this year’s line-up, the Acting-Director of the CCA, Ms Chipo Zhou said: ‘’ We are very excited to be hosting Time of the Writer yet again and celebrating the diverse voices that make up our African literary continent. The CCA is grateful for the support from our various stakeholders, without which this festival would not be possible. In an ever-changing global village, the backing of the literary giants in attendance this year, is most humbling, 21 years on. We look forward to an intellectually engaging event that will entertain and challenge our creativity.”

This 21st edition of Time of the Writer will consist of a day programme that is hosted in four community libraries (Austerville, Westville, Chesterville Extension and Tongaat), art centres and schools around eThekwini where workshops and panel discussions will take place.

In the evening panel discussions will be hosted at the Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre at University of KwaZulu-Natal, Howard College. The full programme will be released on the social media channels of the festival. Tickets for the evening program are available on Computicket, however the day programme is free of charge.

Regarding the theme Changing the Narrative, Zhou, remarked: “Nelson Mandela once said: “The education I received was a British education, in which British ideas, British culture, British institutions, were automatically assumed to be superior. There was no such thing as African culture.” A very sad statement which to a great extent, even now, speaks the reality that is our education system in Africa. A new generation of scholars is on the rise, demanding recognition of the African intellect and its contribution to literature, an “African Renaissance”, if you will. We cannot rewrite history, but we can question and maybe alter it. And most definitely, we will write the future. In the words of Kakwe Kasoma, it is time to correct this colonial hangover. As we celebrate Mandela’s centenary year, it is our hope that we can reflect fairly on this history and begin a new chapter as we own our stories and change the narrative.”

The 15 writers participating during Time of the Writer 2018 are:

- Award winning Creative Author, Ayọ̀bámi Adébáyọ̀, from Nigeria;
- Experimental Author, Jennipher M. Zulu, from Zambia;
- Dynamic Author, Kafula Mwila, from Zambia;
- Poet, performance master and author of 12 books, Lesego Rampolokeng, from Johannesburg, South Africa;
- Gritty and intense Author, Luka Mwango, from Zambia;
- Author, award-winning filmmaker, recording artist, and distinguished professor, MK Asante, from the USA;
- Best-selling author, Refiloe Moahloli, from Mthatha, South Africa;
- Outspoken political commentator, scholar and musician, Sizwe Mpofu-Walsh, from Johannesburg, South Africa;
- isiZulu, short story and children’s Author, Themba Qwabe from Durban, South Africa;
- Unathi Slasha who reimagines and subverts Nguni folklore to write the unlanguaged world that is South Africa today, from Port Elizabeth, South Africa;
- Award winning novelist and short story writer, Yewande Omotoso, born in Barbados, raised in Nigeria and based Cape Town, South Africa;
- Novelist, journalist, poet and academic, Alain Mabanckou, born in Congo, based in France;
- Professor of political economy, Patrick Bond, from Johannesburg, South Africa, born in Belfast, Northern Ireland;
- Author, politician, diplomat, poet, academic, journalist, and cultural activist Lindiwe Mabuza from Newcastle, South Africa
- Author of the University of Johannesburg, Debut Fiction, Prize winning novel The Yearning. Mohale Mashigo, from Soweto, Johannesburg, South Africa.

There will be six days of literature, books, panel discussions and workshops

Time of the writer starts on March 12, 2018, at the Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre with an opening night that introduces all participating writers of the festival. 

Key of the festival are the other evenings at the Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre that each highlight some of the participants and engages them in a panel discussion.

As part of the day programmes, the writers will be visiting various art centres and community libraries, which include The George Campbell Museum, Mangosuthu University of Technology in Umlazi and Luthuli Museum in Groutville for various panel discussions and workshops.

This year’s festival offers a special focus on Children’s literature, which will see a storytelling session on March 17 and panel discussions around that during the week facilitated by Dr Gcina Mhlophe. On March 17, Dr Lindiwe Mabuza will be launching two children’s books.

High school learners are encouraged to submit their 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.

Meet the writers and get your books signed

Adams Book Shop will host a pop-up bookshop at the foyer of the Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre with new and older work of the participating authors. Many of the participating writers will be available to sign books.

Various book launches will take place during the festival, details will be announced closer to the festival.

Time of the Writer is presented by the Centre for Creative Arts (University of KwaZulu-Natal), the 21st Time of the Writer is made possible by support from eThekwini Municipality, National Department of Arts and Culture, National Arts Council and Alliance Française Durban.

The Centre for Creative Arts is housed in the School of Arts, College of Humanities at the University of KwaZulu-Natal.

For more information follow @Timeofthewriter on Twitter or like the festival on Facebook at