Guess who’s coming to the SA Book Fair? Shining Nigerian literary star Ayòbámi Adébáyò, that’s who. It’s particularly big news because she’s just been shortlisted for the Bailey’s Women’s Fiction Prize for her debut novel, Stay With Me.
The organisers say that Adébáyò will be tackling issues such as, “What are the narratives that move us as a continent? Are these the same for all Africans?”
She’ll be joined by Bibi Bakare-Yusuf, founder of the hugely important Cassava Republic Press; Lola Shoneyin, founder of the Aké Arts and Book Festival; the Cornell-Kiswahili Prize’s Mũkoma wa Ngũgĩ; and Billy Kahora of Kenya’s Kwani literary network.
The action goes down at Museum Africa in Newtown from September 8 to 10.
Read more at southafricanbookfair.co.za
– Charl Blignaut
This weekend sees the 25th edition of the Icon Comic and Games Convention – Home of the Superhero – at the Gallagher Convention Centre in Midrand. The expo usually draws up to 10 000 people and is a celebration of comic books, gaming, cosplay and all things pop culture.
“For three days every year, Icon has created a space in Johannesburg where geeks of all ages and interests can gather, shop and play. The signature event on geek calendars each year has a rich and storied history: Icon has long been the home of national championships, of hard-fought table top and board gaming warfare, cosplay competitions, and, most of all, loads of fun,” says the website. It’s South Africa’s longest running and largest pop culture event, and popular American cosplay star Linda “Vampy Bit Me” Le is there to judge today’s 2017 cosplay finals at 4pm. If you hurry, you can still catch the last leg of the festival today, which closes at 5pm. Other interesting panels happening today include a discussion by Johannesburg writer and artist Eryn Gunzenhauser on her first comic book, The Legend of Dollaretta, and a one-hour “Monster Lab,” where Johannesburg-based comic book artist James L Sutter will work with fellow artist Sean Izaakse to create a brand-new monster from scratch. Also be sure to catch the The Variants Cover podcast team discussing what audiences can expect from the most anticipated movie of 2018 – The Black Panther. T’challa became the first mainstream black superhero in comics well before the introduction of figures like The Falcon, Green Lantern, John Stewart and Luke Cage.
– Grethe Kemp
Get tickets at iconcgc.co.za/tickets for R250 South Africa’s newest literary star Masande Ntshanga’s debut novel The Reactive is getting a UK edition – and a trippy, spankingnew cover design.
It’s fitting for a complex and beautifully written novel about three friends who sell illegal pharmaceuticals.
The US edition appeared last year and a German translation has also been announced.
– Charl Blignaut
LINDA ‘VAMPY BIT ME’ LE
Masande Ntshanga’s new book cover