'Does Shakespeare have a place in African literature?' asks book fair


Piles of books




JOHANNESBURG – The decolonisation of literature, the importance of telling African stories, and women in literature.

These are some of the topics that will be discussed at the Future Nation School’s Book Fair and Literary Festival which kicks off in Lyndhurst, Johannesburg on Friday.

There will be programmes for children, teens and adults focusing on literature, poetry, arts and writers.

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Visitors will have a chance to listen to and meet some of their favourite authors and local icons, like Khaya Dlanga, Hugh Masekela, Sizwe Mpofu-Walsh, Redi Tlhabi, Elinor Sisulu and Malaika wa Azania, asking questions like: does Shakespeare have a place in African literature?

Over 40 speakers will be taking part.

Sifiso Learning Group and Future Nation Schools Chief Operating Officer, Sonqoba Maseko said the purpose of the festival is to add to the discussion, production and celebration of African stories and African authors to ensure an increase in African voices to make sure their stories are more readily available.

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She said the decolonisation of literature is a continuing process. “Progress is an ongoing journey that we would like to see and be part of accelerating especially within the education space and in ensuring more African stories are documented…”

Maseko said the festival is for families passionate about African literature, dance, culture and arts at all ages from pre-school to adults. 

“It is an opportunity for the little ones to appreciate reading, poetry, African stories and crafts while having fun. The festival is also an opportunity for parents to feast on African content, writers and stories while also enjoying a spread of African food, drinks and exhibitors as well as the African Flavour Books Pop-Up Book Store.”

*View the attached video, where author and editor Yamkela Khoza Ty Wakadi, and Arts Alive writer Natalia Molebatsi, discuss the importance of books in the African context.