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Panashe Chigumadzi, author of These Bones Will Rise Again.

The Abantu Book Festival kicks off today, 6 December, and will end on 9 December. Among the festival’s guests are winners and finalists of the 2018 Brittle Paper Awards: Zimbabwean-South African Panashe Chigumadzi, who won our Essays & Think Pieces Award for “History Through the Body or Rights of Desire, Rights of Conquest”; South African Sibongile Fisher, who won our Creative Nonfiction Award for “The Miseducation of Gratitude”; and South African Mapule Mohulatsi, who was a finalist for our Anniversary Award for “The Nervous Condition of the Mother Tongue.”

Mapule Mohulatsi, author of Mizz President.

Chigumadzi and Mohulatsi are at the event to discuss their new books. Chigumadzi’s These Bones Will Rise Again (The Indigo Press, June) combines reportage, memoir and critical analysis to “reflect on the November 2017 ousting of Robert Mugabe, radically reframing the history of Zimbabwe to include the perspectives of workers, women and urban movements.” Mohulatsi’s Mizz President (Everychild Books, August) is a 32-page children’s book about a girl thrust into an unexpected position of power.

The three authors can be met at the event. Here are their schedules.

Sibongile Fisher. Photo credit: Mlungisi Mlungwana.



Kids’ Zone

Eyethu Lifestyle Centre: 11:30-12:30

Performance ft. Lebohang Masango & Mapule Mohulatsi


Topic: On Historical Fiction: Broken Rivers and Dance Drills

Eyethu Lifestyle Centre: 14:30-15:30

Moderator: Sibongile Fisher

Description: What goes into historical fiction? Accomplished scribe, Fred Khumalo, and debutant Mphuthumi Ntabeni, discuss the ins and outs of historical fiction.

Featuring: Mphuthumi Ntabeni, Fred Khumalo



Kids’ Zone

Eyethu Lifestyle Centre: 11:00

Performance ft. Mapule Mohulatsi & Mzwandile Ntombela



Topic: This Generation

Eyethu Lifestyle Centre: 10:00-11:00

Moderator: Panashe Chigumadzi

Featuring: Lola Shoneyin, Novuyo Rosa Tshuma


Here is the opening event.


Eyethu Lifestyle Centre: 18:00

Host: Lebo Mashile

Musical Performance: Zuko Collective

Poetry Performance: Mxolisi Mtshali

Keynote Address: Bibi Bakare-Yusuf


And the hotly-anticipated Main Event featuring Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.


Eyethu Lifestyle Centre: 13:00-14:00

In conversation: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie with Pumla Dineo Gqola.


See the rest of the programme on the Abantu Festival website

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Otosirieze is deputy editor of Brittle Paper. He is a judge for the 2018/19 Gerald Kraak Prize. 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 combined English and History at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, is completing a postgraduate degree in African Studies, and taught English at Godfrey Okoye University, Enugu. Find him at, where he accepts writing and editing offers, or on Instagram or Twitter: @otosirieze. When bored, he Googles Rihanna.


  1. Meet 2018 Brittle Paper Awards Winners at Abantu Book Festival – The Journalist - 2018/12/07

    […] See the rest of the programme on the Abantu Festival website. Or follow The Journalist on Twitter. This article was originally published by Brittle Paper. […]

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