Yesterday, the 25th of July, one of South Africa’s most prolific writers, Zakes Mda was the guest speaker at a function at the National Library of South Africa, Pretoria. There were many dignitaries and guests present including guests from the United States embassy as Zakes divides his time between South Africa and the United States.
The main programme started about 6:43pm when the Programme Director, Mr Mandla Matyumza took to stage, gave the ground rules and then introduced the Chairperson. Mr Matyumza happens to be the Executive Director for the book in Cape Town.
The Chairperson, Ms Sibongile Nxumalo spoke mainly about the Department of Art & Culture Book Club (DAC) and then Prof. Muxe Nkondo introduced the guest speaker. Prof. Nkondo read a brief write-up about Zakes under the title – Zakes Mda: Playwright, Novelist, Poet, and Scholar before Zakes took to stage.
For the first part, Zakes read the first few pages of his new novel expected to be released in November/December. He ended the readings with a lovely poem titled, Let them Come with Rain.
Siphiwo Mahala facilitated the second part of the programme which entailed questions and responses. A number of questions spanning from the first story written by Zakes to the subject matter of his books were asked and given responses.
The programme ended with book signings and book buying.