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Saturday, March 25, 2023



As the 26th Time of Writer Festival, which ran from March 16 to 21, presented by the Centre for Creative Arts at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, came to a close, the organisation is reflecting on the tremendous success of this year's event. From an inspiring, cross-generational line-up of writers to engaging panel discussions, the festival has been a celebration of literature and storytelling.

Over the past several days, the festival has brought together both local and international writers and poets, creating a truly unique and diverse literary experience. The festival programme was filled with events, including book launches, writing workshops, poetry performances, and panel discussions – all of which were well received by audiences gathered live at Alliance Française in Morningside and online on the festival’s social media pages, where several sessions were streamed.

“We are thrilled with the response from the literary community for the duration of the festival. It has been a wonderful occasion to bring together writers and readers to celebrate the power of words and the importance of storytelling,” said CCA director, Ismail Mahomed.

The festival did not only provide an opportunity for writers to engage with their audiences; it also served to promote a deeper understanding of literature and its importance in society. The event was an embodiment of the festival's theme, Placemaking: Influence, Expression, Roots, Imagination as it celebrated the richness of South African literature and the diversity of voices that make it such an important and vital part of our culture.

Some of the live sessions included a panel on South Africa’s Contemporary dating scene, which featured writers Thabile Shange, Lebohang Masango, Dudu Busani-Dube, facilitated by Sue Nyathi, in which the women dissected what it takes these days to succeed in the world of dating.

Also hugely successful was the online staged reading by performance artist Nondumiso Lwazi Msimanga who presented a work-in-progress in honour of Toni Morrison’s literary legacy and her work in excavating slave memory, through invoking image and multivocality.

The festival closed off with a packed house on March 21 with a celebration of not only Human Rights Day, but also of World Poetry Day, and striking performances by many of the great poets that South Africa knows and loves, including vangile gantsho, Ongezwa Mbele, Nhlanhla Rebel Souljah Mkhwanazi, Sindiswa Zulu, Pralini Naidoo and Kwanele Nyembe.

As the organisers bid farewell to this year's festival, curator Sibahle Khwela shares: “We want to say a big thank you to all writers, publishers, readers, and supporters who have made this event such a success. We are already looking forward to next year’s event, which promises to be bigger and better than ever before.”

This year’s festival was made possible with the support of the National Arts Council, President Employment Stimulus, Department of Sports Arts and Culture, KwaZulu-Natal Department of Sports, Arts and Culture, Alliance Française de Durban, University of Johannesburg, Wits Writing Programme, Africa Centre for the Study of the United States at the University of Witwatersrand, Open Book Festival Cape Town, Embassy of Ukraine of the Republic of South Africa, Denis Hurley Centre, Luthuli Museum and KCap.

For more information about the Time of the Writer Festival, visit

Find the archive of all online sessions at:


For more information on the Centre for Creative Arts, click on the advert logo to the right of this article.