Author highlights at South African Book Fair 2019

02 Sep 2019
created 02 Sep 2019
Part of National Book Week, from September 6-8, the annual South African Book Fair (SABF) brings together more than 100 African authors, journalists and critics for a weekend packed with literary discussion, storytelling and, of course, book sales.

This year's fair, themed #OurStories, is held at Constitution Hill and highlights a programme that champions the realisation of indigenous knowledge systems and culture via storytelling. Here's a look at some of the biggest local and international writers, poets, journalists, scholars and authors taking part in South African Book Fair 2019. 


Life Reclaimed | Letshego Zulu, Ndileka Mandela and Gabi Lowe
Three women share their inspirational stories of survival, catharsis and transcendence. Letshego Zulu is the widow of racing driver Gugu Zulu, who lost his life scaling Mount Kilimanjaro. Gabi Lowe is the author of Get Me To 21, which recounts her daughter Jenna's dream to live to the age of 21. Ndileka Mandela is the eldest granddaughter of Nelson Mandela, a role that came with a lifetime of challenges and expectations.

My Dad Has a Helicopter | Sihle Khumalo and Lesego Tlhabi
A satirical look at the rainbow nation through the eyes of travel writer Sihle Khumalo (author of Rainbow Nation My Zulu Arse) and comedian Lesego Thlabi (better known as Coconut Kelz). 

Multilingualism in South Africa |  Gcina Mhlophe, Xolisa Guzula and Zanele Ndlovu
Language activists and educational pioneers, poet Gcina Mhlophe, children's book authors Xolisa Guzula and Zanele Ndlovu explore multilingualism as an answer to Mzansi's literacy deficit.

Sex Talk with Dr T  | Dr Tlaleng Mofokeng
Medical doctor, activist and columnist Dr Tlaleng Mofokeng, author of the recent bestseller A Guide to Sexual Health and Pleasure, de-stigmatises sex and women's bodies with her frank approach to taboos.

Vagabond – Travels in Mzansi & Beyond | Sihle Khumalo, Lerato Mogoathle
The ever-hilarious Sihle Khumalo and journalist and continental drifter Lerato Mogoathle (who has been called South Africa's answer to Elizabeth Gilbert) break new boundaries in African travel writing with their honest and insightful accounts of exploring our country and continent. 

Gangster State  | Pieter-Louis Myburgh, Johann van Loggerenberg
Journalist Pieter-Louis Myburgh reveals how he uncovered the wheeling and dealing of Ace Magashule, and ended up writing the political exposé of the year. He is joined by Johann van Loggerenberg, whose hot-off-the-press Tobacco Wars kicks at yet another hornet's nest.

In Dependence | Sarah Ladipo Manyika, Sue Nyathi, Jolyn Phillips
Nigerian-British author and Professor of Literature at San Francisco University, Sarah Ladipo Manyika, best known for her novels Dependence and Like a Mule Bringing Ice Cream to the Sun, is joined by South African writers Sue Nyathi and Jolyn Phillips to compare notes on the intricacies of story.

Keorapetse Kgositsile Poetry Café  | Vangi Ganthso, Lee Mokobe, Sabelo Soko, D'Bi Young, Upile Chisala
This performance poetry evening is hosted by dynamic spoken word ambassadors Hear My Voice with local and international guests including Vangi Ganthso, Lee Mokobe, Sabelo Soko, D'Bi Young (Jamaica) and Upile Chisala (Malawi).


Love Without Borders | Fred Khumalo, Sarah Ladipo Manyika, Remy Ngamije
South African literary giant Fred Khumalo, international star Sarah Ladipo Manyika and debut author Remy Ngamije transcend geography (and all that it symbolises) in their contemporary masterpieces of human connection.  

Lawfare – The Fight for Justice in SA, Then and Now |  Charles Abrahams, Michelle le Roux, Peter Storey.
Class-action human rights lawyer Charles Abrahams and international legal expert Michelle le Roux, the co-author of Lawfare: Judging Politics in South Africa, discuss how courtrooms sit at the forefront of the fight for justice. They are joined by retired Bishop and revered activist Peter Storey.

Beyond Party Politics | Prof. Kojo Yankah 
Prof. Kojo Yankah, an ex-member of Ghana's parliament and celebrated writer and journalist, visits South Africa for the launch of his book about J.J. Rawlings, Ghana's longest-serving Head of State. He examines corruption and democracy in the broader context of governance beyond party politics. 

Rebels, Rage and Revolution | Rekgotsofetse Chikane, Wandile Ngcaweni, Sarah Mokwebo, Adam Habib
Wandile Ngcaweni and Sarah Mokwebo, the editors of  a collection of essays by the students behind the Fees Must Fall movement, debate its meaning with the then-chancellor of Wits University, Adam Habib, and Oxford scholar Rekgotsofetse Chikane, who have both published books on the subject. 

The South African Book Fair takes place at Constitution Hill from September 6 to 8. See the full programme of events online at Note that you must book in advance for each session as space is limited. A day pass (which includes access to up to five sessions) cost R100. Book your tickets online here.


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