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Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is coming to South Africa for the 2018 Abantu Book Festival. The announcement was made this morning on Twitter by the festival organizers. She joins a list of guests that includes Cassava Republic founder Bibi Bakare-Yusuf, This Mournable Body author Tsitsi Dangarembga, Fred Khumalo, Helon Habila, Happiness Is a Four-Letter Word author Nozizwe Cynthia Jele, Lagos Poetry Festival founder Efe Paul Azino, House of Stone author Novuyo Rosa Tshuma, In Memory of Forgetting poet Wana Udobang, These Bones Will Rise Again author Panashe Chigumadzi who just won the 2018 Brittle Paper Award for Essays, Ake Festival founder Lola Shoneyin, Mizz President author Mapule Mohulatsi, and 2018 Brittle Paper Award for Creative Nonfiction winner Sibongile Fisher.

Founded last year by the festival director Thando Mgqolozana, the Abantu Book Festival is a platform for black writers in the white-dominated literary landscape of South Africa. Its mission is “to create a platform that amplifies the voices of black writers, as well as be a home for black readers.” It “envisions itself as an annual pilgrimage and sanctuary for its participants and visitors.” Its programme is “a feast for the whole family, which includes poetry and musical performances, writing and publishing workshops, panel discussions and in-conversations, dance, as well as film-screening woven into the mix.”

The festival’s day events are held at the Eyethu Lifestyle Centre in Mofolo, where entry is free, and the night sessions at the Soweto Theatre in Jabulani, where tickets cost R20.

The 2018 event will take place from 6-9 December. Chimamanda will be in conversation with Professor Pumla Dineo Gqola at Eyethu Lifestyle Centre.

Follow the festival on social media with #AbantuBookFest.

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About Otosirieze Obi-Young

View all posts by Otosirieze Obi-Young
Otosirieze Obi-Young, writer and journalist, is Deputy Editor of Brittle Paper. He is a judge for the 2018/19 Gerald Kraak Prize and the 2019 Miles Morland Writing Scholarships. He is an editor at 14, Nigeria’s first queer art collective, which has published volumes including We Are Flowers (2017) and The Inward Gaze (2018). He is the curator of the Art Naija Series, a sequence of e-anthologies of writing and visual art focusing on different aspects of Nigerianness, including Enter Naija: The Book of Places (2016), which explores cities, and Work Naija: The Book of Vocations (2017), which explores professions. His fiction has appeared in The Threepenny Review and Transition. He has completed a collection of short stories, You Sing of a Longing, is working on a novel, and is represented by David Godwin Associates literary agency. He has an M.A. in African Studies and a combined honours B.A. in History & International Studies and English & Literary Studies, both from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. He taught English at Godfrey Okoye University, Enugu. Find him at otosirieze.com, where he accepts writing and editing offers, or on Instagram or Twitter: @otosirieze. When bored, he Googles Rihanna.

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