Internationally acclaimed authors and poets, actors and media personalities will participate in the ninth edition of the Jozi Book Fair (JBF) at the Mary Fitzgerald Square in Newtown, Johannesburg, from Thursday August 31 to Sunday September 3.
The JBF, supported by the City of Johannesburg, is an educational and cultural festival for schools, children, book clubs, men and women, academics, communities and the public.
More than 30 high schools and hundreds of people are expected to take part in the more than 150 events lined up for the four-day event.
The Women and Literature-themed fair puts into historical context work done by women in literature and the arts globally.
Some of the women authors who will be at the event are Shaija Patel from Kenya, Lindsey Collen from Mauritius and Malin Persson Giolito from Sweden.
JBF Co-ordinator Nosipho Mdletshe said the line-up would also include authors, poets and JBF patrons such as Zakes Mda, James Matthews, Keorapetse Kgositsile, Diana Ferrus, Mohale Mashigo, Marah Louw, Malebo Sephodi, Reneiloe Malatji, Jayne Bauling, Dumisani Sibiya, Ashwin Desai, Pregs Govender and Christa Kulijan.
The highlights of this year’s festival will include conversations with authors.
Media personality Penny Lebyane will engage Louw on her book It’s Me, Marah, while Mashigo will have a chat with Sephodi, the author of Miss Behave.
Malatji, author of Love Interrupted, will explore how relationships change as women gain independence, while SABC journalist and author Thandeka Gqubule will give a talk on her book No Longer Whispering to Power: The Story of Thuli Madonsela.
Award-winning guests Kopano Matlwa and Patel will discuss their works on several panels.
According to Mdletshe, there will be more than 20 workshops on short-story writing, poetry, photography and social media.
Mdletshe said for learners there would be topics on careers in library and information services, reading music and playing in a band, and getting stories published. She said learners would also have the opportunity to converse with authors Sibiya, Mashigo, Bauling and Batjha Kaofela.
There will also be a number of book launches. These include Kaofela’s anthology of 10 short stories by teens from township schools, three books on #FeesMustFall by Leigh Ann Naidoo, Oliver Metho, and Crispen Chungo, and several other launches by self-publishers and small publishers.
Roundtable discussions will cover topics such as women and literature, white monopoly capital and feminism. There will also be a panel discussion on the Mining Charter.
School bands and the Moses Molelekwa Foundation will provide the entertainment, while the Inner City Youth will perform plays such as Sizwe Banzi Is Dead, The Island and For Coloured Girls.
The fair will also screen the film Whale Caller, directed by Zola Maseko. The film is adapted from a book of the same title by Mda.