As Durban prepares for the 2016 Time of the Writer Festival, KWAZI DLAMINI spoke to the community around the KwaMashu library, which will host the festival on Tuesday.
Lungile Ngubane, 45, KwaDabeka, librarian
Since we knew that the festival was going to be held here, I tried to make it part of my job to know a little about it and I read pamphlets and posters that we received. I know that there will be writers from all over Africa to discuss literature. We have also invited at most five learners from each school within the KwaMashu township to be part of the festival. I think this will help aspiring writers to get mentorship from these experienced writers. I hope this is a start of something new; they will continue to bring this seminar in this township because we are not exposed to such opportunities. It will really help the community and shows we are being noticed, we are a big library as we cater for the whole KwaMashu township, I am really happy about this.
Samukelisiwe Zuma, 19, Shayamoya, unemployed
Personally I am not really into books but I think it is a good thing for the community of KwaMashu to have these authors from all over Africa on our doorsteps sharing their writing knowledge with us. I believe this will help the community get information about the art of writing, not just books, but writing in general for people who want to be journalists as well. Young, upcoming writers will also get some pointers on their writing skills and will also get a chance to nurture those skills. Maybe this will be a chance for us young unemployed people to consider writing as a career we can take. It is a groundbreaking opportunity for the community, especially the youth and I will definitely attend. Hopefully they will bring it back the following year.
Ntando Luthuli, 40, Shayamoya, eThekwini waters
I think this will be an opportunity for us people of KwaMashu to unleash our talent in writing; most people are not working and I think they can make a life out of writing and showcase their talent. This is part of development in our area, as you said writers from other African countries will be here which means they will see our beautiful place and they will spend money in our shopping malls or even in our spaza [shops] which is good for our economy. I believe if they bring it back next year it will attract more crowd because it will be known as a yearly event and be part of our calendar and everyone will forward to it.
Nothando Khanyile, 17, Mount Royal, student
The community will be uplifted by this event and I am happy to see an event of this nature in townships because we always see soccer and netball tournaments used to uplift young people but they never think that not all of us want to have a career in sport. Not to generalise or anything but black people do like to read and I believe this will also awaken the desire to read especially in young people. Should I finish classes early I will definitely attend I will probably learn new things about writing and reading.
Muzi Biyela, 28, A Block hostel, unemployed
I saw the posters outside about the festival and because I am unemployed I will attend it to get knowledge from the writers. You will never know, maybe the reason I am unemployed is because God had a chosen career for me which is writing, maybe this is the day I meet my faith. I hope young people benefit a lot from this event because they are the ones who will tell our stories to the future generation. I only know Eusebius McKaiser from all these writers, I am following him on Facebook because of his thought-provoking analysis of issues affecting this country today and it will be an honour to see him here in our township.
See the programme for The Time of the Writer festival here.
The Daily Vox is the official media partner of this year’s Time of the Writer festival.