Spilt beans, a dash and a fest

CityPress - - Voices -


It seems we’ve en­tered the era of books be­ing pub­lished around news­mak­ers and con­tro­ver­sies. That can’t be a bad thing, es­pe­cially when some of the au­thors you can ex­pect books from in the first half of this year in­clude for­mer ANC mem­ber of Par­lia­ment and all-round spiller of beans Vytjie Men­tor (pic­tured), as well as a for­mer pros­e­cu­tor for – and critic in chief of – the Na­tional Prose­cut­ing Au­thor­ity.


Book Dash, the awe­some South African project that teams up cre­atives to cre­ate new, free chil­dren’s books (pic­tured) is about to go PanAfrican. On Satur­day, Fe­bru­ary 25, it will bring to­gether writ­ers and il­lus­tra­tors from Togo, Kenya, Ethiopia, Zim­babwe, Tan­za­nia, Uganda, Nige­ria, South Africa, Ger­many and Ivory Coast at the Goethe-In­sti­tut to cre­ate new books. They have only 12 hours to come up with a sto­ry­book that will be dis­trib­uted to kids. You can also down­load and print out and dis­trib­ute any of the Book Dash books at their web­site, book­dash.org.


The Pan-African writ­ers’ col­lec­tive Jal­ada Africa this week an­nounced some news that had our toes curl­ing with glee. They will be host­ing a mo­bile lit­er­ary and arts fes­ti­val across 12 cities in five east African coun­tries. Their buses get rolling on March 3 and will come to a stop on March 31, vis­it­ing Nairobi, Nakuru, Kisumu and Mom­basa in Kenya; Mwanza, Arusha, Dar es Salaam and Zanz­ibar in Tan­za­nia; Kam­pala and Ka­bale in Uganda; Ki­gali in Rwanda; and Goma in the Demo­cratic Re­pub­lic of the Congo. At th­ese stops they will stage full-day events aimed at con­nect­ing African artists.

There will be po­etry read­ings, panel dis­cus­sions, de­bates, theatre per­for­mances, cre­ative writ­ing mas­ter classes, art in­stal­la­tions and film screen­ings (the won­der­ful Nairobi Half Life is on the bill). The fes­ti­val will be em­brac­ing tech­nol­ogy and en­cour­ag­ing smart­phone films and lit­er­ary record­ings. Can they do South Africa next please? Find out more at jal­ada.org/fes­ti­val.

– Charl Blig­naut

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