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Archive for the ‘Short Stories’ Category

Imagining ourselves into existence: First ever Abantu Book Festival in Soweto a roaring success

Words and images by Thato Rossouw

My Own LiberatorUnimportanceSweet MedicineAffluenzaNwelezelangaThe Daily Assortment of Astonishing Things and Other StoriesRapeFlying Above the SkyNight DancerBlack Widow SocietyThe Everyday WifeOur Story Magic

 
“A conquered people often lose the inclination to tell their stories.”

These were the words of former Chief Justice Dikgang Moseneke at the inaugural Abantu Book Festival, in discussion with readers about the importance of black people telling their own stories and having spaces where they can share them with one another. “We have stories to tell, they are important, and they are liberating in nature,” he said.

 
Moseneke’s words came as a preamble to compliment the authors Thando Mgqolozana and Panashe Chigumadzi, and the rest of their team members, for organising a festival that not only celebrated black writers, readers, pan-African book stores, and online platforms that celebrate African literature and narratives, but also gave them a safe space to speak freely about the issues they face in their struggle to liberate themselves.

The festival, which was themed “Imagining ourselves into existence”, came as a result of Mgqolozana’s decision early last year to renounce white colonial literary festivals. In an interview with The Daily Vox in May last year, Mgqolozana told Theresa Mallinson that his decision to reject these festivals came from a discomfort with literary festivals where the audience was 80 percent white. “It’s in a white suburb in a white city. I feel that I’m there to perform for an audience that does not treat me as a literary talent, but as an anthropological subject,” he said.

 
The three-day festival took place at two venues: the Eyethu Lifestyle Centre, which hosted free events during the day, and the Soweto Theatre, which hosted events in the evening. These evening festivities cost R20 per person and featured over 50 poets, novelists, essayists, playwrights, literary scholars, screenwriters, performing artists and children’s writers from across Africa and the diaspora. Some of the writers and artists who were present at the festival include Niq Mhlongo, Unathi Magubeni, Lidudumalingani Mqombothi, Thandiswa Mazwai, Pumla Dineo Gqola, Lebogang Mashile and Chika Unigwe, among many others.

 
The first day of the festival began with a discussion featuring four black female Fallist writers, Dikeledi Sibanda, Mbali Matandela, Sandy Ndelu and Simamkele Dlakavu, titled “Writing and Rioting Black Womxn in the time of Fallism”. The discussion covered topics ranging from the role of the body, particularly the naked body, in challenging old narratives, to writing and rioting as acts of activism. It was then followed by a highly attended talk with Justice Moseneke entitled “Land and Liberation”, a concert by the group Zuko Collective at the Soweto Theatre, as well as speeches and performances at the opening night show.

Some of the riveting discussions at the festival were titled: “Land and Liberation”, “Women of Letters”, “Writing Today”, “Cut! Our Stories on Stage and Screen”, “Ghetto is Our First Love”, “Creating Platforms for Our Stories” and “Writing Stories Across and Within Genres”. The festival also included seven documentary screenings, poetry performances, a writing masterclass with Angela Makholwa and Phillippa Yaa de Villiers, and performances every night at the Soweto Theatre by Zuko Collective.

 
Dr Gcina Mhlophe gave the keynote address at the festival’s opening night, which was preceded by the singing of the decolonised national anthem and a rendition of the poem “Water” by poet Koleka Putuma. Mhlophe reminded the audience that, while it is important for us to celebrate young and upcoming artists, it is also important to remember and celebrate those that came before them. She sang and told stories about people like Mariam Tladi and Nokutela Dube and spoke about their role in the development of the arts. Dube was the first wife of Reverend John Langalibalele Dube who was the first President General of the South African Native National Congress (SANNC) which was later renamed the African National Congress (ANC).

 
The festival ended with a sold-out event at the Soweto Theatre that featured a discussion on “Native Life in 2016” between Chigumadzi and I’solezwe LesiXhosa editor Unathi Kondile, facilitated by Mashile; a performance by Zuko Collective; and a Literary Crossroads session with Unigwe, facilitated by Ndumiso Ngcobo.
 

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The hashtag #AbantuBookFest was on fire for the duration of the festival and long afterwards:


 
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2017 Caine Prize for African Writing judging panel announced

2016 Caine Prize for African Writing judging panel announced

 

The Daily Assortment of Astonishing Things and Other StoriesLusaka Punk and Other StoriesThe Gonjon Pin and Other Stories10 Years of the Caine Prize for African WritingA Memory This Size and Other StoriesThe Caine Prize Anthology 2009: Work in Progress and Other Stories

 
Alert! The five judges for the 2017 Caine Prize for African Writing were announced in London recently.

The Caine Prize is awarded for a short story by an African writer published in English. Previous winners include Zambian author Namwali Serpell, Sudan’s Leila Aboulela, Kenyan Binyavanga Wainaina, South African Henrietta Rose-Innes and Zimbabwean NoViolet Bulawayo. This year’s winner was South African author Lidudumalingani for his story, “Memories We Lost”.

Dr Delia Jarrett-Macauley, Chair of the 2016 judging panel, said the following about Lidudumalingani’s winning story: “This is a troubling piece, depicting the great love between two young siblings in a beautifully drawn Eastern Cape. Multi-layered, and gracefully narrated, this short story leaves the reader full of sympathy and wonder at the plight of its protagonists.”

The 2017 judging panel will be chaired by award-winning author, poet and editor Nii Ayikwei Parkes. The panel will consist of the 2007 Caine Prize winner Monica Arac de Nyeko, Professor Ricardo Ortiz, author and human rights activist Ghazi Gheblawi and Dr Ranka Primorac.

Parkes said he is “ecstatic” to have been asked to chair the panel and to work with “this incredible assembly of judges”. “I have been a consumer of fiction from Africa for close to four decades, revelling in its range, its humour, its insights and dynamic linguistic palette,” he said.

Parkes added: “There is, of course, the selfish pleasure, as an editor, of getting a first look at some of the finest writing coming from the continent and its foreign branches.”

Press release:

The Caine Prize for African Writing has announced the five judges for the 2017 Prize. The panel will be chaired by Nii Ayikwei Parkes, award-winning author, poet and editor. He will be joined by the 2007 Caine Prize winner, Monica Arac de Nyeko; accomplished author and Chair of the English Department at Georgetown University, Professor Ricardo Ortiz; Libyan author and human rights campaigner, Ghazi Gheblawi; and distinguished African literary scholar, Dr Ranka Primorac.

The 2017 Chair of Judges, Nii Ayikwei Parkes, said: “I have been a consumer of fiction from Africa for close to four decades, revelling in its range, its humour, its insights and dynamic linguistic palette. So, I am ecstatic to be asked to chair the panel for this year’s Caine Prize and look forward to working with this incredible assembly of judges. There is, of course, the selfish pleasure, as an editor, of getting a first look at some of the finest writing coming from the continent and its foreign branches.”

The deadline for submissions to the 2017 Caine Prize is 31 January, 2017. Publishers are encouraged to submit qualifying stories in good time. Submissions are welcome year round and late submissions will be entered into the competition for the following year.

The judging panel will meet in May to determine which entries will make the shortlist. An announcement confirming the shortlist will be made in mid-May.

For the first time in the 18-year history of the Caine Prize, the award will be announced on Monday, 3 July, at Senate House, London, in collaboration with the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), which is celebrating its centenary.

“Memories We Lost” by South African author Lidudumalingani won the 2016 Prize and is included in the Caine Prize 2016 anthology, The Daily Assortment of Astonishing Things, published by New Internationalist in the UK and supplied as a print-ready PDF to several African co-publishers.

Commenting on “Memories We Lost”, Chair of the 2016 judging panel, Dr Delia Jarrett-Macauley, said: “This is a troubling piece, depicting the great love between two young siblings in a beautifully drawn Eastern Cape. Multi-layered, and gracefully narrated, this short story leaves the reader full of sympathy and wonder at the plight of its protagonists.”

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  • The Daily Assortment of Astonishing Things and Other Stories: The Caine Prize for African Writing 2016 by Caine Prize
    EAN: 9781566560160
    Find this book with BOOK Finder!

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Winners of the 2016 Short Story Day Africa Prize for Short Fiction announced

Winners of the 2016 Short Story Day Africa Prize for Short Fiction announced
WaterTerra IncognitaFeast, Famine and Potluck

 
Alert! “A Door Ajar” by Sibongile Fisher has won the 2016 Short Story Day Africa Prize for Short Fiction.

TJ Benson is first runner-up for his story “Tea”, and Megan Ross is second runner-up for “Farang”.

Winners of the 2016 Short Story Day Africa Prize for Short Fiction announced

 

The R10 000 Short Story Day Africa Prize – the continent’s most prestigious prize for an original piece of short fiction – is awarded annually to an African writer or African person living in the diaspora.

Previous winners of the prize are Okwiri Oduor from Kenya for “My Father’s Head” (2013), which went on to win the 2014 Caine Prize for African Writing, Diane Awerbuck for “Leatherman” (2014) and Cat Hellisen for “The Worme Bridge” (2015).

 
Read more from Short Story Day Africa:

She grabbed the wailing infant and threw it against the wall.

“A Door Ajar” by Sibongile Fisher has won the 2016 Short Story Day Africa Prize for Short Fiction. Fisher’s story, which centers around two sisters trying to escape a gruesome family custom, explores the conflict between tradition and modernity. The raw energy of the writing impressed the judging panel, who were unanimous in their decision. It is the fourth speculative short story written by a woman to scoop the R10 000 prize, which was first won in 2013 by Kenyan Okwiri Oduor, who went on to win the following year’s Caine Prize for African Writing.

She is Tiv and knows no English.

“Tea”, TJ Benson’s love story in the time of exploitation, is first runner-up. Benson uses the relationship between a Nigerian girl and a German boy, who are thrown together in the worst of circumstances, to investigate what makes us different, and whether it is more important than what makes us the same.

Nèung
A cross the road from my childhood home is a stretch of ordinary
veld.

“Farang” by Megan Ross is second runner-up. Ross uses her considered prose to tell a story about the end of naivety, exoticism and otherness. Set in Thailand, “Farang” is part travelogue, part coming-of-age tale, and beautifully encapsulates the awkward space one occupies in being an outsider in another country.

The judging panel, chaired by Sindiwe Magona, called the longlist of 21 stories “outstanding”, adding that all the stories deserve to be published.

The Prize, started in 2012, is worth R10 000, with second and third place cash prizes of R2 000 and R1 000 respectively. The 21 longlisted stories are collected in Migrations: New Short Fiction from Africa, edited by Efemia Chela, Bongani Kona and Helen Moffett, due for release in January 2017.

Many thanks to the judges, Sindiwe Magona, HJ Golakai and Tendai Huchu for their time and consideration; prize sponsors Generation Africa, the Miles Morland Foundation and Books LIVE; volunteer readers across the globe who helped us sort through the entries; our publishing partners and advisors, New Internationalist and Modjaji Books; Worldreader for sponsoring the editing mentorship; and all our project sponsors, a full list of whom are available on our sponsor page.

Last, but not least, many thanks to the Short Story Day Africa board and team.

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Writing in English is a waste of ink if we consider the shortage of books in African languages – Vonani Bila at the launch of A Ri Hlanhlekangi

By Tshifhiwa Given Mukwevho

Writing in English is a waste of ink if we consider the shortage of books in African languages.

- Poet and publisher Vonani Bila during the launch of Samuel Malamulele Risenga’s Xitsonga autobiography, A Ri Hlanhlekangi

Launch of A Ri Hlanhlekangi
Moses Mtileni, Valerie Risenga (author’s wife), Prof. Samuel Malamulele Risenga and Vonani Bila

 

Professor Samuel Malamulele Risenga, who is head of the Department of Paediatric Pulmonology and Allergy at the University of Limpopo and at the Polokwane Provincial Hospital, has just launched his autobiography, A Ri Hlanhlekangi.

What makes his story unique is that he has written the book in his mother tongue, Xitsonga.

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It took Risenga about five years to finish the book, and he says the writing experience was full of emotion because he was reliving things he went through in his life, both good and bad.

“I would at times feel sad and at times feel happy for having overcome obstacles on the way,” he said.

Risenga decided to write his autobiography in Xitsonga because he says he can express himself much better in the language.

“The other reason is that there is a need to promote our indigenous languages,” he said. “If we do not do that, these languages will slowly be forgotten. Our languages are actually very rich in expression and this needs to be maintained.”

He said that the book showed that poverty should not be a determining factor in terms of achievement. It is possible to make it against all odds. “I would like to recommend it to the youth as it is an inspirational work,” he said.

Samuel Malamulele Risenga

 

The book was launched a fortnight ago at a glittering evening at Oasis Hotel in Giyani. The launch was well attended by professionals across many fields and community members who all came to celebrate a life told on paper and told in the language of the people. A talented Afro-soul singer, Mphuzi Chauke (below), rendered some songs during the launch.

Mphuzi ChaukeAttendees who had read the book before the launch all praised Risenga for his amazing use of the Xitsonga language in telling his story. Some even quoted from the book, while others spoke fondly about certain parts or chapters that they had found entertaining or touching.

A prominent poet and publisher, Vonani Bila, said that the significance of writing an autobiography was that your adventures in life were preserved for posterity.

“Although not every life lived bears the same weight, it is nonetheless crucial to record each life using your own pen so that your life is not misrepresented by secondary observers,” Bila indicated. “Of greater importance is to write in our indigenous languages, which carry the richness of cultural expression. Writing in English is a waste of ink if we consider the shortage of books in African languages.”

The director of Nhlalala Books, Moses Mtileni (below), who published the autobiography, said that A Ri Hlanhlekangi was one of only a handful of books in the genre in the Xitsonga language, with the ones preceding it published largely pre-1994. “A Ri Hlanhlekangi is published as part of Nhlalala Books’s effort at pushing boundaries in the language, publishing genres neglected and experimental works in other genres,” he stated.

Nhlalala Books' publisher Moses Mtileni

 

The publisher’s statement on the book reads:

It was his N’wa-Khimbini, when asked to name the son of Ben and Rossy Makhanani Makhubele, who said: “We will call him Buwa, a particle of soil, it will crumble like the two before it. She referred here to his two late brothers who had died in infancy. But it is 66 years today, and Buwa (Samuel Malamulele Risenga) has not crumbled. Hence the title, A Ri Hlanhlekangi (It has not crumbled). He has wrestled poverty, having lost his father at around age 14, leaving school at some point to work as a builder to save for school fees and accommodation. He reflects on the forced migration following the adoption of the Group Areas Act, on the challenges of studying medicine in the Black Section of the University of Natal, the inspiration he drew from the Chris Barnard story. It is story of triumph and loss, of perseverance and patience and a deeper thirst for learning and service.

Those interested in A Ri Hlanhlekangi can contact the publisher at nhlalalabooks@gmail.com or 0725943448.

nullThe Violent Gestures of LifeA Traumatic RevengeTshifhiwa Given Mukwevho is the author of A Traumatic Revenge and The Violent Gestures of Life, and a Tshivenda novel, A Thi Nga Tendi, which he serialised on Facebook.
 
 
 

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Happy Birthday to The Book Lounge

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Like It MattersIncredible JourneyThe Daily Assortment of Astonishing Things and Other StoriesMede-weteTjieng Tjang Tjerries and other storiesnullThe Sol Plaatje European Union Poetry Anthology: Vol. VI

 

This Thursday, 1 December, The Book Lounge turns nine years old!

To celebrate, they are giving 10 per cent off everything in store for the day, and free tea and coffee.

From 6 PM there will be drinks and readings from David Cornwell, Bongani Kona, Antjie Krog, Jolyn Phillips and Koleka Putuma.

Don’t miss it!

Event Details

Book details

  • How Free is Free? Reflections on Freedom of Creative Expression in Africa
    EAN: 9780992225216
    Read online for free!

Image: Book Lounge on Facebook


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“Finding your voice”: Announcing the 2016 Ba re e ne re Literature Festival in Lesotho (9-11 December)

Invitation to the 2016 Ba re e ne re Literature Festival in Lesotho (9 – 11 December)

 
Alert! The annual Ba re e ne re Literature Festival will take place from Friday, 9 December, to Sunday, 11 December. The theme of this year’s Lesotho-based festival is “Finding your voice” and the proceedings will kick off on Friday evening with a poetry slam event and the launch of the short story anthology Likheleke tsa puo.

This year’s guests include South African wordsmiths Sindiwe Magona, Masande Ntshanga, Ace Moloi and Joe Machina, as well as Efemia Chela, Karina Szczurek and Catherine Shepherd. Lesotho will be well represented by Thato Mochone, Liatile Mohale and Tumelo Moleleki.

The Ba re e ne re Literature Festival was first held in 2011 by the late founder Liepollo Rantekoa. Ba re e ne re is an educational organisation established to enrich the lives of Basotho people through improved literacy and creative platforms for expression. The festival aims to provide literary training for the next generation of writers and leaders, to connect Lesotho’s literary community with the rest of Africa, and to address issues through the use of literature.

The three-day event will close with a writer’s workshop hosted by The Alliance Française of Maseru and Short Story Day Africa.

For more information, visit the Ba re e ne re Literature Festival’s website and Facebook page.

Chasing The Tails of My Father’s CattleTo My Children's ChildrenThe ReactiveThe ReactiveHolding My Breath
Adults OnlyInvisible OthersWaterHer Heart

 
Press release

As the team behind Ba re e ne re, we’re extremely excited to announce that our annual event the Ba re e ne re Literature Festival will be held from 9 to 11 December, 2016. We have some incredible activities and guests lined up. We’ll be hosting a poetry open mic and Likheleke tsa puo short-story anthology book launch at Rockview in Khubetsoana from 6 to 10 PM on Friday the 9th. On Saturday, 10 December, from 10 AM to 5 PM we’ll have panel discussions, kids’ activities, a craft market with Nala Social Market and the annual Liepollo Rantekoa Keynote given by the renowned author Sindiwe Magona at Maseru Preparatory School. On Sunday, 11 December, at Alliance Française we’ll host a writing workshop facilitated by Cape Town-based collective Short Story Day Africa from 12 to 4 PM. The theme of the 2016 edition of the Ba re e ne re Literature Festival is “Finding your voice”.

2016 Ba re e ne re Literature Festival Guest biographies

International guests

Sindiwe Magona is a writer, poet, dramatist, storyteller, actress and motivational speaker. She has published autobiographical works, novels and several children’s books over the years. We are very excited to hear her address on the importance of finding our voices as writers. Until 1994 she presented UN radio programmes about the UN’s role in ending apartheid. She then worked in the UN’s Public Information Department until 2003.

Masande Ntshanga was the winner of the 2013 PEN International New Voices Award. He graduated with a degree in Film and Media and an Honours degree in English Studies from the University of Cape Town. He received a Fulbright Award and a National Research Foundation Freestanding Masters scholarship. His debut novel, The Reactive, was published in 2014 by Penguin Random House South Africa. After much interest in the United Kingdom, publisher Jacaranda Books have acquired the rights to publish Masande’s acclaimed literary novel in the United Kingdom and across the Commonwealth. An American edition of the novel was published earlier this year, and German translation rights have also been sold.

Ace Moloi graduated from the University of the Free State where he obtained a Bachelor of Arts in Communication Science. He was the editor of Young Minds Magazine, a founding editor of Student Leverage Magazine, as well as a former IRAWA Post news editor. In 2013 he self-published his first book, In her fall rose a nation, with New Voices Publishing. His second book, Holding My Breath, was published by Blackbird Books, an imprint of Jacana Media in May of 2016. Ace describes the Exclusive Books (Free State) bestselling memoir as a graveside conversation with his mother.

Joe Machina, born Norman Ncube in Bulawayo Zimbabwe, is a freelance journalist, a member of “Johannesburg writers” and a co-founder of Write Africa. Joe left Bulawayo in search of a new life in Johannesburg. When he first arrived in the new city, he worked as a journalist, and his writing appeared in the Mail & Guardian, and an array of other South African publications. Joe’s work is primarily inspired by the immigrant experience: why do people leave their homes in different parts of the world, to go to foreign lands where they were subject to discrimination, xenophobic attacks and even death? Who drives people to make these difficult decisions? Who is responsible for this suffering? His debut novel Victims of greed was published by Bahati Books.

Short Story Day Africa facilitators

Efemia Chela was born in Zambia in 1991, but grew up all over the world. She studied at Rhodes University, South Africa and Institut D’Etudes Politiques in Aix-En-Provence, France. Her first published story, “Chicken” was nominated for The 2014 Caine Prize For African Writing. Efemia’s subsequent stories and poems have been published in places like Brittle Paper, Jalada, Short.Sharp.Stories: Adults Only, Prufrock and PEN Passages: Africa. Efemia is currently a fellow of the inaugural Short Story Day Africa / Worldreader Editing Mentorship Programme and continues to write fiction whenever she can find a moment on the train and a working pen.

Karina Szczurek was born in Jelenia Góra, Poland, and lived in Austria, the United States and Wales, before finding a home in South Africa when she met and married the author André Brink. She was editor in chief of Water: New Short Fiction from Africa (with Nick Mulgrew, 2015) among many others. Her play for young adults A Change of Mind won the MML Literature Award in the Category English Drama in 2012. She writes short stories, book reviews, essays, and poetry. Invisible Others, her first novel, was longlisted for the 2015 Sunday Times Barry Ronge Fiction Prize.

Catherine Shepherd started writing as a child but it was only recently through projects like Short Story Day Africa and Writivism Literary Initiative that she got the courage to put her writing out there. Catherine has a degree in journalism from Rhodes University. Catherine is currently a fellow of the inaugural Short Story Day Africa / Worldreader Editing Mentorship Programme and is editing an anthology of young writers under the supervision of Szczurek. Her short stories have appeared in various publications including My Holiday Shorts, My Maths Teacher Hates Me, Imagine Africa 500 and the 2016 Writivism Anthology. She lives in Cape Town, but has plans to build a writer’s retreat in Suurbraak.

Lesotho-based guests

Thato Mochone is an ambassador of World Vision Lesotho, a Kaya FM correspondent, Martin Luther King Fellow, Mandela Washington Fellow, media consultant and blogger. She is an advocate for youth and women empowerment as well as the LGBT community, an activist journalist interested in social justice, a volunteer fundraiser for an orphanage in her hometown and an English and Geography tutor. She is currently the Communication and Foundation Specialist at Vodacom Foundation after over five years working as a radio personality on Ultimate FM.

Liatile Mohale is a Fulbright scholar who graduated in May 2016 with an impressive 4.0 GPA for her Master’s Degree in Theatre Arts, at San Francisco State University. Before then she obtained her BA in Drama and Theatre Arts from the University of the Free State. Besides being an avid storyteller who tackles pressing social issues and Sesotho culture through theatre, she is a theatre teacher at Machabeng college and has sat as a judge on the Vodacom superstar contest.

Tumelo Moleleki started writing when she was still young and in high school as an outlet because the creative writing she did then always felt so stifling. She self-published a book called Her Heart after which she received an offer from an American company called Dorrance Publishing. In 2006 she got the opportunity to work in Belgium where she took French lessons and developed her grammar skills. She is currently working on manuscripts in French and Sesotho.

Sponsors

Ba re e ne re Literature Festival 2016 would not be possible without the generous support of Miles Morland Foundation, Vodacom Foundation, Unesco, Maseru Prep School, Alliance Francaise, MXXL radio, Bahati Books, Short Story Day Africa, Nala Social Market and Rockview.

Background

Ba re e ne re is a registered educational organisation whose mission is to enrich the lives of Basotho people by promoting initiatives that support improved literacy and creative platforms for expression. Through our work, Basotho, and youth in particular, access training and outlets to practice literacy and share the unique stories Lesotho has to offer with local and international audiences.

Our flagship project is the Ba re e ne re Literature Festival, first held in 2011 by our late founder Liepollo Rantekoa. The festival is an annual international literary arts event, which brings writers, readers and leaders together to share ideas and creative works.

The three goals of the Ba re e ne re Literature Festival are focused for high impact. Through our programming, we aim to:

  • Cultivate the next generation of writers and storytellers in Lesotho through literary training and platforms for expression.
  • Connect Lesotho’s literary arts community with creatives in other African countries and beyond for creative exchange and improved publishing opportunities.
  • Instigate the use of literature as a tool to address pressing socio-economic and political issues within Lesotho.

For more information please visit our Facebook, our website www.bareenere.com, send us an email at Barelitfest@gmail.com or give us a call on 28322405.

Ke tšomo ka mathetho!

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2016 Morland Writing Scholarship shortlist announced

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The Gonjon Pin and Other StoriesFeast, Famine and PotluckIncredible JourneyStationsThe Myth of This Is That We're All in This TogetherThe Daily Assortment of Astonishing Things and Other Stories
Mr. and Mrs. DoctorSeason of Crimson BlossomsSaturday's ShadowsReading the Ceiling

 

Alert! The Miles Morland Foundation has announced the shortlist for the 2016 Morland Writing Scholarships.

There are four South Africans on the shortlist this year: Amy Heydenrych, Lidudumalingani Mqombothi, Nick Mulgrew and Bryony Rheam.

Of the 22 names, 11 are from Nigeria, four from South Africa, two each from Somalia and Kenya, and one each from Gambia, Ghana, and Zimbabwe.

There are two Caine Prize winners on the list, 2016 winner Lidudumalingani and 2014 winner Okwiri Oduor.

Lidudumalingani was also awarded the 2015 Short.Sharp.Stories Judges’ Choice Runner-Up Award.

Mulgrew is deputy chair of Short Story Day Africa and the man behind uHlanga Press, and has had a productive 2016, publishing both a collection of short stories and a poetry collection.

Bryony Rheam had a short story featured in Where to Now? Short Stories from Zimbabwe in 2011, and her debut novel This September Sun was published in 2012.

Other published authors on the list include Julie Iromuanya, whose debut Mr. and Mrs. Doctor has just been longlisted for the Etisalat Prize for Literature; Abubakar Adam Ibrahim, who recently won the $100,000 Nigeria Prize for Literature for his debut, Season of Crimson Blossoms; Ayesha Harruna Attah, author of Saturday’s Shadows, who was also shortlisted last year; and Dayo Forster, whose debut Reading the Ceiling was published in 2008.

Miles Morland says: “The standard of the shortlist is always high but this year we had an even greater depth of talent than before, making the choosing of a shortlist particularly difficult.

“We had over 500 entries, up from 385 last year and they came from 37 countries, compared with 27 last year. We have two Caine Prize winners on it, and a number of writers who have received global recognition. We are pleased also to have writers early in their career who show terrific promise.

“We have been blown away by the talent, imagination, energy, and humour that characterises African writing. Our only disappointment is that, although we had a number of non-fiction submissions, only one made it to the short list. We are actively trying to encourage non-fiction, Africans telling Africa’s story.”

This year’s judging panel is Ellah Wakatama Allfrey (Zimbabwe, chair), Femi Terry (Sierra Leone) and Muthoni Garland (Kenya). The judges will meet on 12 December to select the five 2016 scholars. The winners’ names will be announced shortly afterwards.

The scholars each receive £18,000 (about R310,000), paid over the course of a year, to allow them to take time off to write the book they have proposed.

2016 Morland Writing Scholarships shortlist

Abdul Adan – Somalia
Jekwu Anyaegbuna – Nigeria
Ayesha Harruna Attah – Ghana
Rotimi Babatunde – Nigeria
Dayo Forster – Gambia
Amy Heydenrych – South Africa
Abubakar Ibrahim – Nigeria
Nneoma Ike-Njoku – Nigeria
Julie Iromuanya – Nigeria
Hamse Ismail – Somalia
William Ifeanyi Moore – Nigeria
Lidudumalingani Mqombothi – South Africa
Nick Mulgrew – South Africa
Otosirieze Obi-Young – Nigeria
Okwiri Oduor – Kenya
Adeola Oeyemi – Nigeria
Olawale Olayemi – Nigeria
Troy Onyango – Kenya
Mary Ononokpono – Nigeria
Koye Oyedeji – Nigeria
Bryony Rheam – South Africa
Sandisile Tshuma – Zimbabwe

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2016 South African Literary Awards (SALAs) winners announced

Dit kom van ver afKarnaval en lentShirley, Goodness & MercyEggs to Lay, Chickens to HatchVry-Beyond TouchUnSettled and Other StoriesFlame in the SnowVlakwaterIt Might Get LoudBuys – ’n GrensromanSweet MedicineKamphoerAskari

 

Alert! The winners of this year’s South African Literary Awards (SALAs) have been announced.

The SALAs were founded in 2005 by the wRite associates and the Department of Arts and Culture, to celebrate literary excellence in all the languages of South Africa.

TT Cloete and Chris van Wyk were honoured with Posthumous Literary Awards, while Ingrid Winterbach and Johan Lenake received Lifetime Achievement Literary Awards.

The K Sello Duiker Memorial Literary Award – for writers under the age of 40 – is shared by Willem Anker and Panashe Chigumadzi.

The First-time Published Author Award is also shared this year, by Francois Smith and Jacob Dlamini.

The Literary Journalism Award, Creative Non-Fiction Award or South African National Poet Laureate Prize were not awarded this year.

See the full list of winners:

 
2016 South African Literary Awards (SALAs) winners

Posthumous Literary Awards:

TT Cloete, for his body of work
Chris van Wyk, for his body of work

Poetry Awards:

Gilbert Gibson, Vry
Arja Salafranca, Beyond Touch

Nadine Gordimer Short Story Award:

Sandra Hill, Unsettled and Other Stories

Literary Translators Award:

Leon de Kock & Karin Schimke, Flame in the Snow: The Love Letters of Andre Brink & Ingrid Jonker

Lifetime Achievement Literary Awards:

Ingrid Winterbach, for her body of work
Johan Lenake, for his body of work

K Sello Duiker Memorial Literary Awards:

Willem Anker, Buys
Panashe Chigumadzi, Sweet Medicine

First-time Published Author Award:

Francois Smith, Kamphoer
Jacob Dlamini, Askari

Chairperson’s Award:

Gcina Mhlophe, for her body of work
 
 
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Report from the first Bridge Book Festival: Books are incredible; access to books is more incredible – Yewande Omotoso

Words by Thato Rossouw, most images by Purilarb Tommy Cherngphatthana

Yewande Omotoso and fans

 

“Books are incredible, but what is more incredible is access to books,” were writer Yewande Omotoso’s opening remarks as she sat down to do a reading on the Bridge Books balcony during the inaugural Bridge Book Festival.

The Woman Next DoorThe Relatively Public Life Of Jules BrowdeEyes in the NightAffluenzaHappiness is a Four-Letter WordFrom Whiskey to Water

 

The one-day festival, which was hosted in association with Sunday Times, took place on 29 of October throughout the Johannesburg CBD – at Bridge Books on 85 Commissioner Street; Corner House on 77 Commissioner Street; the Rand Club on the corner of Lovedale and Fox; and Ernest Oppenheimer Park on the corner of Albertina Sisulu and Joubert Street.

It featured book readings and discussions, and Omotoso said: “the event is brilliant for its location, in particular, how it uses the city.”

Readers and book fansReaders and book fans
Readers and book fans

 
Bridge Books owner Griffin Shea said he wanted to use the festival to give people an invitation to visit the city centre and walk inside heritage buildings that can sometimes be closed off.

“Because so many buildings downtown are weighed with history, it’s also important to redefine our urban spaces,” he said. “One way to do that is by celebrating contemporary South African culture, like our outstanding writers.”

Readers and book fansReaders and book fans

 
The festival featured a variety of writers including Omotoso, Nozizwe Cynthia Jele, Raphael d’Abdon, Sarah Godsell, Flow Wellington, Nomavenda Mathiane, Niq Mhlongo and Samantha Cowen, and, after reading from their latest work, the writers had the opportunity to answer questions from the audience.

Yewande Omotoso reading

 
Omotoso, the award-winning author of two novels, read from her latest book, The Woman Next Door, and discussed her work, inspiration and future plans with the audience. When asked about her main interests when writing her books, and whether or not she ever has “messages” in her work for her readers, Omotoso said her interest is in writing about “the myth of purity”, but she added, “I don’t try to teach people anything.”

Omotoso also spoke about the connection she has with the characters she develops in her stories, saying that she could never have written any of them if she didn’t have a connection with them.

Readers and book fansReaders and book fans

 
Another author who had a reading at the festival was former journalist Nomavenda Mathiane who, after her reading in the foyer of the City Central building, spoke about the importance of having Africans tell their own stories and the journey that ended with her writing her new book, Eyes in the Night. Mathiane outlined the lessons she learned while writing the book and how valuable they were for her. “I have learned so much about myself, my family and the Zulu nation from writing this book. It has been the best experience I have ever gone through,” she said.

Nomavenda Mathiane

 
The audience was treated to a taste of upcoming work as well, as author of the famed novel turned movie Happiness is a Four-Letter Word, Nozizwa Cynthia Jele, read a chapter from an untitled work in progress, which she hopes to have published late next year. After reading from the new novel, which she described as totally different from Happiness is a Four-Letter Word, she spoke about the struggles of writing a second novel after the success of her first one.

Present at the event were publishers, writers and readers. Some of the reading groups that were present include the Hector Peterson Museum Book Club, the Bookamoso Book Club and the BookWormers Book Club, among others.

The event ended on a successful note with an after party, where authors, readers and publishers came together to discuss their love of books and the work they do. Shea said the event was an indication of the goodwill that people have for downtown Johannesburg and the number of people who want the city to succeed. “It’s also a celebration of the joy that our city takes in reading,” he continued. “We have to keep looking for new ways to tap into that enthusiasm.”
 

Celebrating Joburg and South African writing: 2016 Bridge Book Festival programme revealed

 

* * * * *

Thato Rossouw and Jennifer Malec (and others) tweeted live from the event:

 
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Celebrating Joburg as the inspiration for great South African writing: The 2016 Bridge Book Festival

Celebrating Joburg and South African writing: 2016 Bridge Book Festival programme revealed

 
On Saturday, 29 October, the Bridge Book Festival will celebrate Johannesburg as the inspiration for great South African writing, by bringing writers and readers together in the city’s historic core.

The daylong event brings a dozen writers, poets and illustrators to explore landmark sites in downtown Johannesburg.

Not to be missed!

Event Details

  • Date: Saturday, 29 October 2016
  • Time: 10 AM to 5 PM
  • Venues: Bridge Books, as well as The Rand Club, Oppenheimer Park and Corner House.
  • Tickets: Webtickets or Facebook

 
 
2016 Bridge Book Festival programme

null#ZuptasMustFall and Other Rants
1. Fred Khumalo
Time: 10am to 10.45am
Venue: Bridge Books
Fred Khumalo will be reading from his latest book #Zuptas Must Fall.
Ticket cost: R20
 
 
 
 
 
poetree
2. Poetree
Time: 10am to 10.45am
Venue: Corner House
Different artists from Poetree will entertain with their poems.
Ticket cost: R20
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
The Woman Next Door
3. Yewande Omotoso
Time: 11.15am to 12.30pm
Venue: Bridge Books
Yewande Omotoso will be reading from her latest novel The Woman Next Door.
Ticket cost: R20
 
 
 
 
 
nullThe Relatively Public Life Of Jules Browde
4. Daniel Browde
Time: 11.15am to 12.30pm
Venue: The Rand Club
Daniel Browde will be reading from The Relatively Public Life of Jules Browde.
Ticket cost: R50
 
 
 
 
 
nullEyes in the Night
5. Nomavenda Mathiane
Time: 11.15am to 12.30pm
Venue: Corner House
Nomavenda Mathiane will be reading from her book Eyes in the Night.
Ticket cost: R20
 
 
 
 
 
nullThe God Who Made Mistakes
6. Ekow Duker
Time: 12.30pm to 1.45pm
Venue: Corner House
Ekow Duker will be reading from his latest novel The God Who Made Mistakes.
Ticket cost: R20
 
 
 
 
 
nullBroke and Broken
7. Lucas Ledwaba and Leon Sadiki
Time: 1.45pm to 2.30pm
Venue: Bridge Books
Lucas Ledwaba and Leon Sadiki will be reading from their book Broke & Broken.
Ticket cost: R20
 
 
 
 
 
nullAffluenza
8. Niq Mhlongo
Time: 1.45pm to 2.30pm
Venue: Corner House
Niq Mhlongo will be reading from his collection of short stories Affluenza.
Ticket cost: R20
 
 
 
 
 
nullHappiness is a Four-Letter Word
9. Nozizwe Cynthia Jele
Time: 3pm to 3.45pm
Venue: Bridge Books
Nozizwe Cynthia Jele will be reading from her novel Happiness is a Four-Letter Word.
Ticket cost: R20
 
 
 
 
 
nullFrom Whiskey to Water
10. Samantha Cowen
Time: 3pm to 3.45pm
Venue: Corner House
Samantha Cowen will be reading from her memoir From Whiskey to Water.
Ticket cost: R20
 
 
 
 
 
bridge books
11. Cocktail party at Bridge Books
Time: From 4pm
Venue: Bridge Books
Drinks with the authors at Bridge Books.
Ticket cost: R100
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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