#TOW2016: Live blog day 1

The Time of the Writer festival is upon us, and The Daily Vox team will be following it all over Kwazulu Natal, as authors and artists work on “Decolonising the book”. You can follow the happenings right here.


TOW Tuesday programme

8:00 PM: After some music, we’re launching Mishka Hoosen’s debut novel. 🏿🏿

Mishka Hoosen

6:40 PM: Kwanele Sosibo writing in the Mail & Guardian is on point with his observation on the centrality of language in our processes of decolonisation.

“Language is often the elephant in the room when writers who write in English speak to township audiences who may or may not be readers of these authors’ books,” he says.

6:30 PM: We’re at the Ekhaya Multi Art Centre in KwaMashu for this evening’s session of the festival. Mishka Hoosen will be launching her book “Call it a difficult night” and we’ll also have two panel discussions thereafter -The woke ones better not go to bed early tonight. Ekhaya Multi Art Centre


2:50 PM: We’ll back later today from Ike’s Books in KwaMashu but in the meanwhile, here’s TO Molefe speaking about whose stories are we telling.

2:10 PM: We’re back live on Periscope, watching authors and audience members report back on their discussions. Already one group has explained how access to books, as a means of accessing knowledge, is highly fraught. Many, many schools are not equipped with libraries and for others, municipal libraries are too far away.

1:30 PM: In small groups authors and writers have been discussing what exactly knowledge is, and how we relate to books.

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11:45 AM: What is knowledge? The first panel discussion of the festival has forced scrutiny on what exactly knowledge is. “Knowledge is all around us,” says Panashe Chigumadzi. What about the knowledge of our grandparents? How then, do we overcome this gap, when such great value is placed on knowledge as something that resides in books? Decolonisation is certainly not going to be easy.


11:15 AM: And we’re live. You can watch the first panel discussion live on Periscope.

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10:45 AM: This morning’s venue is the KwaMashu library. When Kwazi Dlamini visited KwaMashu last week, he found that the library regulars were very excited about the festival. Here’s Muzi Biyela, 28, from 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.

10: 40 AM: Last night’s opening ceremony was 🔥🔥🔥. We have a highlights package for you here.

10:35 AM: Goooooood morning, fam! We’re looking forward to a day of stimulating conversation at the Time of The Writer Festival. Many authors have already arrived at the KwaMashu library.