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20 years and more to come: the past paving the future of Time of the Writer

The Time of the Writer literary festival has entered its 20th year. Last year’s festival featured some of South Africa’s best writers gathered together to flourish under the theme of Decolonising the Book. This year it will continue to run a week-long programme featuring acclaimed writers, poets and academics discussing the theme of “The past paving the future”.

The festival pays tribute to the centenary anniversary of the sinking of the SS Mendi, written about by Fred Khumalo in his featured novel, Dancing the Death Drill. Besides Khumalo, this year’s participants include, among others, Zakes Mda, Sibongile Fisher, EKM Dido and Lidudumalingani Mqombothi.


The festival is hosted by the University of KwaZulu-Natal’s Centre of Creative Arts and is set to take place from 13 to 18 March 2017. With emphasis placed on writers and alumni from KwaZulu Natal, a variety of talks, seminars, readings, book launches and workshops are planned. The focus for the second decade’s event is on short stories and the topic of film adaptations of literature.

The director of the Centre of Creative Arts, David wa Maahlamela, said in a statement: “This year marks the second decade of the Time of the Writer thus we have a full programme that includes the launching of a national literary gem, uNodumehlezi kaMenzi, an isiZulu version of (the late) Professor Mazisi Kunene’s internationally-acclaimed Emperor Shaka the Great.”

The programme consists of day and evening programmes hosted at various locations in Durban including multiple libraries and the Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre at UKZN.

If #TOW2017 is anything like last, year, no one’s going to want to miss it. Not for anything.

The Daily Vox is the official media partner of the 2017 Time of the Writer festival, which runs from 13-18 March 2017. For the full programme, click here.

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