Saturday, March 24 marked the end of the Time of the Writer Festival. The festival, to me, was a huge success. I have never attended any huge writers festival as big as this before. The organisation was superb. It was an important festival that brought renowned and various writers from all parts of the world. Readers were able to meet their favourite writers and talk to them personally. Writers also shared to readers about their books.
The evening programme started with a book launch – Guitar Road: Rick Andrew, Self-published at the Wellington Tavern Deck. Then after there was Music by Rick and Gill Andrew.
The first panel discussion took off. The topic for discussion was ‘Inner City Stories.’ The writers were Cynthia Jele and Kgebetli Moele both from South Africa. The facilitator was Zukiswa Wanner. I must confess that this was the best panel discussion I enjoyed throughout the whole programme. Zukiswa handled the discussions brilliantly and often put the writers on the spot-light.
For instance, Zukiswa asked Cynthia that, ‘You quit your day job to be a full time writer? Who does that?’ Cynthia answered by saying, ‘No. I didn’t quit to be a full time writer. I quit because I wanted to go into business…’
Kgebetli was asked if he is the main character in his book ‘Room 207’? He answered by saying that, ‘I think I am not that character because my name is Kgebetli. I am not connected with room 207.’
After a short break, the second panel discussion began with Colin Channer (Jamaica) and Kwame Dawes (Ghana/Jamaica). The topic for discussion was ‘Roots, Reggae and Writing’. The facilitator was Chris Abani. I very much enjoyed the discussions. Both writers read from thier pieces.
The entire festival ended on a successful note. I was able to talk to almost all the eighteen writers. Thanks to Sharlene Versfeld, the Publicist for the festival who scheduled for me to meet the writers.