Participants announced for 23rd Time of the Writer Festival

04 March 2020 - 13:29
The 23rd Time of the Writer Festival will take place from March 16 to 21.
The 23rd Time of the Writer Festival will take place from March 16 to 21.
Image: Supplied

The University of KwaZulu-Natal’s (UKZN) Centre for Creative Arts (CCA), in partnership with eThekwini Municipality, will host the 23rd Time of the Writer International Festival from March 16 to 21.

SA is known for its diverse ethnic and cultural society. Parallel to this, the country is commended for its Bill of Rights as the cornerstone of this young democracy. At the same time, there is a tendency to marginalise the LGBTQ+ community and the country is faced with a scourge of gender-based violence.

In a diverse, unequal society empathy is crucial and a writer’s contribution to understanding one another is critical.

The importance of creating and maintaining communities in which reading is the norm as a means to understand each other’s stories cannot be denied or ignored. It is against this backdrop that Time of the Writer has chosen “Do you read me?” as this year's theme.

“It is imperative for one to seek understanding of the next to eliminate social ills. As we enter a new decade, let the book and literature be the medium of communicating and understanding that will lead us to the future,” said festival curator Siphindile Hlongwa.

Participating writers:

  • Forgiveness advocate, author and public speaker Candice Mama (SA)
  • Comic book and Hindi film aficionado Ebrahim Essa (SA)
  • Novelist and poet Euclene Busi Maphumulo (SA)
  • Journalist and award-winning author Fred Khumalo (SA)
  • Writer and poet Haska Shyyan (Ukraine)
  • Fiction writer Jennifer Makumbi (Uganda)
  • Storyteller and short story author Keletso Mopai (SA)
  • Fiction and non-fiction writer Kirsten Miller (SA)
  • Children’s book writer Lebohang Masango (SA)
  • Children’s book writer Refiloe Moahloli (SA)
  • Novelist Nozizwe Cynthia Jele (SA)
  • Rwandan-born Namibian novelist, short story writer, essayist, columnist, poet and photographer Rémy Ngamije (Namibia)
  • Sociologist and writer Shafinaaz Hassim (SA)
  • Literary critic, novelist, short story writer and playwright Siphiwo Mahala (SA)
  • American political theorist and writer Tiffany Willoughby-Herard (USA)

As part of the eThekwini Homegrown programme, five writers from Durban — Joe Spirit, Nelly Shozana, Rodney Roskruge, Sylvia Garib and Zanele Dlamini — have been selected to participate in the daytime panel discussions.

“The line-up features seasoned writers whom we hope will drive the conversation forward to a better future. The Time of the Writer platform has been created for audiences,” adds Hlongwa.

Tickets are available from Webtickets and Pick n Pay.


Time of the Writer is one of the largest and longest-running literature festivals in Africa. Over the years it has hosted a wide variety of internationally acclaimed thought leaders, including South African writer Zakes Mda and Zimbabwean author NoViolet Bulawayo.

The festival is made possible with support from the eThekwini Municipality and the national and KwaZulu-Natal departments of arts and culture.

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Article provided by International Time of the Writer