• Angela Makholwa is one of the headline authors at the iLembe book festival.
  • It takes place in KZN from 1 to 3 February.
  • The theme of the festival is ‘Our Time, Our Stories, Our Voices’.

Leading South African authors – including Angela MakholwaJoanne Joseph and Nathi Olifant – will be taking part in the inaugural iLembe Book Festival, which takes place in KwaZulu-Natal next month.

The theme of the festival is Our Time, Our Stories, Our Voices.

The not-to-be-missed literary event takes place at the Luthuli Museum in Groutville, KwaDukuza, part of the iLembe District Municipality, from Thursday, 1 February, to Saturday, 3 February.

The festival will bring together a cross-section of more than 30 South African authors in 15 sessions and includes a poetry slam and a full children’s programme.

The main book festival on Saturday, 3 February, has a content-rich programme, which is packed with insightful conversations and talks, lively debates and one-on-one author sessions.

The line-up includes discussions on the art of mining the past for hidden treasures for writing inspiration, how would-be authors can get their books published, the rise of local book adaptations to television and film, popularity of crime fiction, how to pen a memoir and Ubuciko Nokulondolozwa Kolimi (Art is the Preservation of Language).

READ | Copycat murders and a stalker on the loose: Angela Makholwa is back with a gripping sequel

There will be one-on-one sessions with KwaZulu-Natal authors Nelly Page, Olifant and Thenjiwe Msane.

Makholwa burst onto the literary scene in 2007 to both public and critical acclaim with her debut thriller, Red Ink, one of the first crime fictions by a black author in South Africa.

The book – which is set in Johannesburg – has been adapted into a screenplay and will be streaming on Showmax from February this year. This was followed by The 30th Candle, which has also been adapted into a Netflix screenplay.

Makholwa’s latest book, The Reed Dance Stalker, is a sequel to Red Ink and was published in October last year.

Her other novels include Blessed Girl, which was shortlisted for the UK’s Comedy Women in Print prize. The book was also shortlisted for the National Institute for the Humanities and Social Sciences’ Literary Awards.

Joseph is a broadcaster and media personality who has written a number of books, including Drug Muled: Sixteen Years in a Thai Prison and Children of Sugarcane, a novel set against the backdrop of 19th century India and the British-owned sugarcane plantations of Natal.

Durban-based Olifant is a former crime and political journalist who worked for various newspapers, including The Sunday Times, Independent Media and The Witness. He has 17 years of journalism experience.

His debut novel, Blood, Blades and Bullets – Anatomy of a Glebelands Hitman won the 2021 The Book Behind Awards for Best English Novel: Male.

The Fugitives – A Glebelands Hitmen Crime Thriller is his second novel.

The final book in the trilogy, Assassins Endgame, will be released this year.

The iLembe Book Festival is a collective effort by local authors, including Commonwealth Writers’ Prize winner Nozizwe Cynthia Jele, the acclaimed Hlomu series author and journalist Dudu Busani-Dube, and Scarred writer Ayanda Xaba, who are all part of this year’s organising committee.

The iLembe Book Festival will include:

  • Creative writing workshops taking place on Friday, 2 February, aimed at upskilling local aspiring authors;
  • Visits to local primary and secondary schools to drop off books and encourage young people to read and write. It will take place on Thursday, 1 February;
  • Main book festival takes place on Saturday, 3 February;
  • Book sales: The festival will offer a platform to independent local booksellers to sell books at the event at discounted prices. In addition, the festival will have a special book stall for local self-published authors to allow them space to showcase their writing; and
  • Food, arts and craft vendors will be available on site on Saturday, 3 February.

The iLembe Book Festival is made possible through funding from the Department of Sports, Arts and Culture, Presidential Employment Stimulus Programme, the National Arts Council, and the partnership with the Luthuli Museum.

To read more about visit: https://www.news24.com/life/books/angela-makholwa-headlines-the-ilembe-book-festival-in-kzn-next-month-20240115