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Line up revealed for Soweto's first African book festival

The objective of the event is to explore the ways in which African stories are told.

The Abantu Book Festival is from 6 to 10 December 2016. Picture: Facebook

JOHANNESBURG - The Abantu Book Festival has published it's line up of performing artists and writers ahead of its inaugural event scheduled for 6 to 10 December.

The first edition of the Soweto based festival will be hosted at the Eyethu Lifestyle Centre in Mofolo, as well as the Soweto Theatre in Jabulani.

Under the theme Our Stories, the gathering will celebrate African authors and stories through written and spoken word, visual arts, music and film, including a series of workshops and panel discussions.

In a statement, organisers explain that the objective of the event is to explore the ways in which African stories are told, and how these inform, or are informed by our ways of being.

"This significance of this festival for the South African and African literary landscape cannot be overemphasized, particularly at a time when the Fallist movement has centralized decolonization in the South African discourse. The festival organizers see this initiative as part of the decolonization project. So too is the importance of holding it in Soweto - the country's artistic and cultural melting pot - 40 years after June 16, 1976."

Curator Panashe Chigumadzi said: "Some of our authors have been telling stories for as long as others have been alive, while others have just begun but are bringing incredible innovations to the art. Together with our storytellers, we'll be looking black to the future."

The lineup includes:

Angela Makholwa, Bheki Peterson, Bongani Madondo, Bontle Senne, Chika Unigwe, Dikeledi Deekay Sibanda, Duduzile Zamantungwa Mabaso, Don Mattera, Elinor Sisulu, Eusebius McKaiser, Florence Masebe, Fred Khumalo, Gcina Mhlope, HJ Golakai, James Murua, Khadija Patel, Khaya Dlanga, Khosi Xaba, Koleka Putuma, Lebo Mashile, Lesego Rampolokeng, Lidudumalingani Mqombothi, Malaika wa Azania, Mbali Matandela, Mongane Wally Serote, Natalia Molebatsi, Ndumiso Ngcobo, Niq Mhlongo, NoViolet Bulawayo, Nozizwe Jele, Pamela Maseko, Percy Mabandu, Phillippa Yaa De Villiers, Pumla Dineo Gqola, Redi Tlhabi, Rehana Rossouw, Sabata-mpho Mokae, Sandy Ndelu, Sihle Khumalo, Simamkele Dlakavu, Siphiwe Mpye, Siphiwo Mahala, Thabiso Mahlape, Thandiswa Mazwai, Thato Magano, Unathi Kondile, Unathi Magubeni, Vangi Gantsho, Xolisa Guzula, Yewande Omotoso, Zukiswa Wanner.

Others have yet to be confirmed.

African Flavour Books will be selling African and diaspora titles at the venues throughout the festival.

An official programme with a schedule of events is expected to be released next month.

Timeline

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