This book festival is more than just an event for bookworms. The Abantu Book Festival, which was five days long, encouraged and celebrated black literature, something we don’t witness often enough.
Abantu Book Festival is an annual literary event held in Soweto, South African’s artistic heartland, featuring authors from South Africa, Africa, and the diaspora. Abantu is the Nguni word for people, which makes this the people’s festival. Their vision being: We see a Soweto with a vibrant culture of reading.
With African literature struggling to thrive because of the lack of accommodation in the market, it is sometimes viewed as illegitimate and inauthentic. This of course is the skewed perspective produced by the masses, however, African authors struggle to gain identification in the market because of it. The Abantu Book Festival tackles this issue and many more by providing the right platform for African authors to showcase their work, especially in an environment where black African readers can feel and be included.
The first edition of Abantu Book Festival was on 06 -10 December 2016, a five day experience of readings, discussions, music and other forms of storytelling folded in the mix.
We hope that this festival will improve the popularity of our African authors and also improve literacy amongst our African communities.