Spilt beans, a dash and a fest
IT’S ABOUT TO GET LIT
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.
AN EPIC NEW BOOK FEST
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