South Africa: Book Festival Ready to Rise On the Cape Flats

Mitchells Plain in Cape Town will play host to the Cape Flats Book Festival, which runs from August 31 to September 1.

Described as "a first" for the region by literacy non-profit organisation Read to Rise, the festival will showcase local authors, illustrators, literacy NGOs, specialists, publishers and booksellers. There will be book readings, talks, workshops and a puppet show for children and adults alike.

"The Book Festival hopes to create excitement on the Cape Flats about reading through positive engagement with books. The festival will be held over the weekend leading up to National Book Week from September 2 to 8," Read to Rise said in a statement.

Athol Williams, Read to Rise's chairperson, said: "Establishing the Cape Flats Book Festival is an act of hope. It is like planting a tree in a desert. From the outside, this may look like a pointless endeavour because trees don't grow in a desert, but those who look to the Cape Flats in hope know that this is not a desert, that there are hidden lakes and gushing rivers that may not be seen but are there nonetheless."

Williams added it would be no ordinary book festival as "it comes with a vision of transforming a seeming desert into a magnificent forest - this is the Cape Flats Book Festival".

More than 40 authors will be speaking over the two days. There will be 30 exhibitors, including Bargain Books and Exclusive Books. Various prizes will also be up for grabs.

Some of the festival highlights include:

Luthando Lucas (award-winning author);

Diana Ferrus (who brought Saartjie Baartman's remains back to South Africa);

Menziwa Tsholoba (author of In and Out of Robben Island );

Loyiso Mkize and Clyde Beech (Kwezi Comics illustrator);

Fatima and Gadija Sydow (of Kaap, Kerrie en Koesisters);

Nikki Jacobs will launch her new children's book Mean Cow ;

Zubeida Jaffer (award-winning journalist);

Workshop for people wanting to self-publish (by Tshienda Publishers);

Literacy Workshops by Maurisa Moloto for adults to help children to read;

Ryland Fisher (journalist and author of Race ) will be talking about current affairs in South Africa with Raymond Joseph, Ncebakazi Mnukwana and Solly Moeng;

Yusuf Daniels ( Living Coloured , a South African bestseller);

Athol Williams (award-winning poet);

OAKY Puppet Show;

OAKY Mascot

The festival will be held at West End Primary School, Merrydale Avenue, Lentegeur, Mitchells Plain, Cape Town, from August 31, starting from 09:00 to 17:00 and September 1 from 10:00 to 17:00.

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