Zambian Writers at The 21st Time of the Writer
Time of the Writer is a yearly writer’s festival that is held in South Africa by the Centre of Creative Arts and the University of KwaZulu-Natal, which runs for one week in selected locations in Durban. It has been running since 1998. This years’ Time of the Writer featured our very own Zambian Writers Kafula Mwila, Luka Mwango and Jennipher Zulu. Time of the Writer 2018 continued to dazzle residents of Durban, South Africa on Wednesday, March 14, 2018. Other writers who featured in venues around the city on this day were, Lesego Rampolokeng, Unathi Slasha, Mohale Mashigo, and.
It was a Wednesday to remember for Durban residents as writers from the Time of the Writer festival made their way to different venues. One of these venues was the Westville Library where two panels that had been witnessed in the previous evening were repeated to an audience of learners as well as residents of the Westville area.
The two panels replicated were the “Can Traditions Be Challenged” featuring Unathi Slasha and Jennipher Zulu moderated by James Murua and “The Art of Keeping Secrets” featuring Ayobami Adebayo and Mohale Mashigo moderated by Shubnum Khan. The two panels had a younger audience in the main which meant that they had an “inspiring the youth” kind of vibe going for them. The youngsters seemed to be enthused by the writers who had been put in front of them that morning.
Priya Narismulu and Kafula Mwila
The evening is where the really good stuff happens and that Wednesday delivered and had a slight disappointment. The disappointment came in the first panel of the evening which was to be “Literature as a healing process” moderated by Priya Narismulu featuring Kafula Mwila and Grizelda Grootboom. The latter of the writers had to drop out of the panel at the last minute for reasons that weren’t made clear. That meant that the stage would be shared by the moderator Narismulu who is a lecturer at the University of Kwazulu-Natal and Zambian writer Kafula Mwila.
Kafula Mwila was the most accomplished of the three Zambians who gone come to South Africa and it was evident when she read from her short story collection Kafula’s Essentials: A Short Story Collection. When she read, the moderator turned to the audience and said; “any questions?” The thing is that it is usually traditional for the moderator to ask a few questions to the panelists to warm them up before the audience chip in.
Danyela Demir, Luka Mwango and Lesego Rampolokeng
The best was to be witnessed in the second session as University of Johannesburg lecturer Danyela Demir introduced her panellists Lesego Rampolokeng and Luka Mwango with “Letters From the Dust.” The two read from their works of fiction with Rampolokeng reading from his novel Bird-Monk Seding while Mwango read from Perdition. The two writers are both very good readers with Mwango the younger writer enthralling the audience with the tale of the man thinking he is getting laid but getting dead instead.
To these three writers keep flying the flag high for mother Zambia and keep inspiring writers of the next generation.