The Abantu book festival is a South African event that was established in 2016. The aim was to provide a platform for writers and readers to share ideas and interact. Thando Mgqolozana a South African based in Cape Town came up with the black/ African event idea. It was inspired by Thando’s frustration with the whites regarding the South African literature scene.
Most people considered it a risky move because initially the book festivals were often hosted by whites with a few blacks in attendance. On the contrary, many people especially black readers and writers showed up in 2016 and it was termed as a success. It is hosted in the Soweto theatre.
It was then hosted again in 2017 and 2018 as it was an annual event. In the latter year, Social Media was used as a marketing tool to promote the event. The Abantu book festival was a success in both years. Readers and authors from different parts of Africa look forward to this year’s annual festival and we are sure it will offer more successful opportunities to share and interact than the previous years.
The Abantu book festival goes beyond books. The organizers of the four-day programme have incorporated a series of events and activities aside from the support of the black authors and content creators. The aim of these extra events is to promote culture. Some of these activities include a film screening, music performance, and poetry, and photography, dance, engaging conversations, great cultural food, and drinks.
The previous year, 2018, was graced by excellent and renowned authors such as Gcina Mhlophe, Uhuru Phalafala, Kagiso Lesego Molope, Phumlani Pikoli, Wamuwi Mbao, Mphuthumi Ntabeni, Mxolisi Ntshali, Novuyo Rosa Tshuma, Sue Nyathi, Lebohang Masango, Jolyn Phillips, and Gail Smith.
The four-day event is a great opportunity to create connections and grasp opportunities for both readers and writers. Abantu festival not only nurtures a community of black readers and writers but also plays a key role in the illiteracy eradication in Africa. It is a great chance for any young and upcoming creative because there is a lot to learn and share. Most of the upcoming creators have met up with their mentors through such events. You also get a chance to bond with your loved ones and meet well-known authors. Now let us prepare for the 2019 Abantu Book Festival, I’m sure it will be epic.