Time of the Writer has come and gone but our team spoke to attendees about whether they think the festival’s stated objective of “Decolonising the Book” will be effective and what it was that convinced them to attend some of the events.
Mncane Buthelezi, 76, retired teacher
I personally feel that the festival will achieve its objective which I feel was to motivate the youth to read and write, and help them realise the importance of reading books. We know that change is not an easy transition, but gradually it will take place. As an elderly person I feel as if the festival is excluding us in its current implementation of change. I say this because they have night sessions that I would love to attend, but unfortunately I cannot do so for I am too old to travel at night. What I would suggest is for the evening sessions to take place at a more central, easily accessible location.
Mhlengi Duma, 26, student
I think the festival will help motivate and inspire young aspiring writers. I myself am a writer of poetry and skits. This festival has exposed me to information that I haven’t been exposed to in previous years. I like to read which is why I agree with baba Fortiscue Malepa Helepi when he says that “this myth that black people don’t read is not true”. I have personally read books by authors such as John C Maxwell.
Mbalenhle Nkosi, 14, student
I feel that reading is a very important skill for one to have. Like Dr Maria Van Driel said, “to read the word is to read the world”. I spend most of my spare time in the library reading books like “Street of the Kings” and “Children for Life”
I’m here to witness everything that’s going on. I have an assignment from school – I’m a journalism student – so I’m here to cover the story for class from a certain angle with regards to people talking about their experience about Time of the Writer so far.
What brings me here is the fact that last year I attended Time Of the Writer at Durban University of Technology, where we had Mzilikazi wa Afrika come and speak to us. I thought maybe I’d come here to learn something, because he talked very good things about education and I thought maybe I could learn more.