“If you don’t like my story, write your own.” Chinua Achebe’s words have been taken to heart.
It’s a wonderland of writing and book making out there. New voices, new stories, new energy, new ways of saying things. New ways of publishing, self-publishing prime among them. So, as not-so-traditional publishers who always look for new ways of doing things, we thought it was time to face up to our challenges.
On Wednesday, 2 August we hope to have a robust and thought-provoking debate and discussion that will help us find out:
• How do we reflect this new spirit from its inception?
• How do we help craft, edit, shape, or not, these new stories?
• How do we decolonise editing?
The evening will be emceed by Thabiso Mahlape, the founder of BlackBird Books. The panel, with speakers Sabata-Mpho Mokae, Dudu Busani-Dube, Helen Moffett, Rehana Rossouw and Malebo Sephodi, will be chaired by Redi Tlhabi, author of Endings & Beginnings and ex-702 Talk Radio host.
Wednesday, 2 August
18:00 for 18:30
Wits Senate Room
Senate House, East Campus
Limited seating. RSVP to secure your place.
We will welcome voices from the audience.
Please use Senate House basement parking, which is accessible from 28 Jorissen Street. If it is full, please enter through the Yale Road entrance and use the public parking around the Origins Centre and the Planetarium.
ABOUT THE PANELLISTS
Thabiso Mahlape is a publisher with Jacana Media. She launched her own imprint BlackBird Books in 2015. The imprint seeks to provide a platform and a publishing home to both new voices and the existing generation of black writers and narratives.
Sabata-Mpho Mokae writes in English and Setswana. He is the author of a teen novella Dikeledi and a biography The Story of Sol T. Plaatje. His first novella, Ga ke Modisa [I’m Not My Brother’s Keeper] won the M-Net Literary Award for Best Novel in Setswana as well as the M-Net Film Award in 2013. The book is now prescribed at North West University as well as Central University of Technology. Mokae also won the South African Literary Award in 2011. In 2014 he was a writer-in-residence at the University of Iowa. He is a creative writing lecturer at the Sol Plaatje University in Kimberley.
Dudu Busani-Dube is a successful self-published author. She chose to self-publish because she wanted to tell her stories using her own style and language. She believes that handing over her work to a traditional publisher and editor would not allow her to keep her style and for characters to use language in the way that best expressed their experiences, which is the very thing that has made her Hlomu The Wife series relatable and successful.
Helen Moffett is a poet, editor, academic, and feminist activist. She’s authored, co-authored or collated books ranging from university textbooks to poetry to erotica. She’s worked in publishing for 25 years, and cut her teeth as a development editor first as OUP’s academic editor and then as the editor of the academic journal Feminist Africa. Authors she’s edited include some of the country and continent’s brightest literary and academic stars. She specialises in mentoring younger editors, black women in particular, and this was a feature of the Short Story Day Africa anthology, Migrations, where she worked with the talented Bongani Kona and Efemia Chela.
Malebo Sephodi is an activist and writer who takes special interest in gender, development, science and economics in Africa. She is known as ‘Lioness’ and describes her life as nomadic. She is the founder of Lady Leader, a platform that allows black women to just be.
Rehana Rossouw is an award-winning author. Rehana has been a journalist for three decades and has also taught journalism and creative writing. She has a Master’s in Creative Writing from Wits University. She has judged the Sunday Times Literary Awards and believes in the power of words and not using glossaries to describe Cape Town slang.
Redi Tlhabi is a journalist, producer, author and a radio presenter. Tlhabi has an Honours degree in Political Economy and English Literature. She has been a television and radio journalist for the SABC, Primedia and eTV.