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Thursday, March 19, 2020


The University of KwaZulu-Natal’s Centre for Creative Arts (CCA), in partnership with eThekwini Municipality, will host the 23rd Time of the Writer International Festival Virtual Edition from March 19 to 25, 2020.

The physical edition of the festival, that was due to start on March 16, had to be cancelled on the morning of opening night in view of the current corona pandemic. Almost immediately the team and the writers decided to take the festival to a digital space.

(Right: Haska Shyyan)

The festival is proud to announce the writers that will participate during Time of the Writer 2020 Virtual edition are:
-Forgiveness advocate, author and public speaker Candice Mama (SA)
-Comic-book and Hindi film aficionado Ebrahim Essa (Durban SA)
-Journalist and award-winning author Fred Khumalo (SA)
-Writer and poet Haska Shyyan (Ukraine)
-Fiction and non-fiction writer Kirsten Miller (Durban SA)
-Children’s book writer Lebohang Masango (SA)

(Left: Refiloe Moahloli)

-Children’s book writer Refiloe Moahloli (SA)
-Novelist Nozizwe Cynthia Jele (SA)
-Rwandan-born Namibian novelist, short story writer, essayist, columnist, poet and photographer Remy Ngambije (Namibia)
-Sociologist and writer Shafinaaz Hassim (SA)
-Literary critic, novelist, short story writer and playwright Siphiwo Mahala (SA)
-American political theorist and writer Dr Tiffany Willoughby-Herard (USA)
-One City, One book winner Zanele Dlamini (SA)
-Novelist and poet Rodney Roskruge (Durban – SA)

Curator Siphindile Hlongwa is now excited about this change of the festival: “In response to the cancellation of the physical version of the festival, we are still able to give access to a wide audience as we are going to engage literature lovers while taking advantage of technology.”

(Right: Siphiwo Mahala)

The online programme promises to become a thought-provoking week of Twitter Q&A’s, live Instagram interviews, watch parties, virtual book launches, tips & tricks video’s and live readings for children. Time of the Writer features a diverse gathering of leading novelists, social commentators, activists, playwrights and short story writers.

The online facilitators are Michelle Constant, Karabo Kgoleng, Musa Hlatshwayo and Nancy Richards. To catch all the action, tune into the Instagram, Twitter and Facebook pages of the festival.

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.

In 2017, the City of Durban was awarded the first African UNESCO City of Literature and at the fore is Time of the Writer. Time of The Writer promotes South African and African writers in the current cultural climate that sees literature as part of a bigger social process around nation building and social cohesion within South Africa and our continent. This festival has – and continues – to encourage debates and dialogue around all forms of the spoken and written word as part of the Centre for Creative Arts’ agenda to celebrate contemporary culture and histories, both local and international.

The festival is made possible by the support from eThekwini Municipality, National Department of Arts and Culture, KwaZulu-Natal Department of Arts and Culture.