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Everything you need to know about the Abantu Book Festival

Abantu Book Festival

The inaugural Abantu Book Festival is taking place in Soweto from the 6-10 December this year.

The festival is the brainchild of Thando Mgqolozana (director) while Panashe Chigumadzi will curate the event this year.

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The Abantu Book Festival recently announced a partnership with the Goethe-Institut, which will include a Literary Crossroads event featuring NoViolet Bulawayo and Zimbabwean spoken-word poet Cynthia Marangwanda:

The Goethe-Institut is proud to announce its partnership with the Abantu Book Festival which will be taking place in Soweto from the 06-10 of December 2016. Furthermore the December edition of Literary Crossroads will take place at the festival on Saturday, 10th of December 2016 where authors NoViolet Bulawayo and Cynthia Marangwanda will be the featured guests. Make sure you check out for more information.

If you would like to contribute to the project, you can do so via PayPal or by emailing


The Abantu Book Festival started as a story, a work of fiction posted on Facebook in September 2015, in which author Thando Mgqolozana imagined a decolonised book event as a healing project for black writers and readers.

Now, the dream is about to become reality.

There has never been a mainstream literary festival in South Africa like Abantu. When it kicks off in December 2016 it will be a powerful counter to the status quo – where all meaningful literary activity has been the preserve of privileged readers, mostly in white suburbia.

But to build this new reality we need your help. Some partnerships have been established but we are far from raising the budget we need to make Abantu happen. Various grant-making institutions are considering our proposals, but we’re afraid time’s running out.

So we are asking you to put your hearts and purses into a common purpose to build a new way of being for our literature.

Any amount you can spare, however small, will be used to help establish this platform that will raise the voice of the next generation.

We will deliver a programme that brings readers and writers together in an inspirational and unique environment. We will also collaborate with community groups to present a groundbreaking programme of activities for readers of all ages.

Abantu cannot remain a fantasy.

With thanks,
The Festival Team

The authors and full Abantu Book Festival programme will be announced soon. Watch this space!

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