Dudu Busani-Dube and Mandla Langa to speak at Africa Book and Design Festival

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Rising star in illustration Lethabo Huma's work is part of the festival's past, present and future theme of storytelling. (Image supplied by the ABDF)
Rising star in illustration Lethabo Huma's work is part of the festival's past, present and future theme of storytelling. (Image supplied by the ABDF)
  • The first ever Africa Book and Design Festival (ABDF) will take place this week. 
  • The event will take place both virtually and in-person. 
  • The three-day festival will end with a special event to celebrate Dudu Busani-Dube's book being turned into a local TV show.


The first Africa Book and Design Festival (ABDF) takes place at the Future Africa Campus at the University of Pretoria from 11 to 13 November, focusing on literature and design on the continent and encouraging the growth of a reading culture.

Supported by the Department of Sports, Arts and Culture’s Literacy Department, the festival will be a hybrid event, with live internet broadcasts of in-person events that will happen before a small, select audience. 

The festival’s closing event will be at Summer Place in Sandton, on Saturday 13 November, and will be sponsored by Showmax. 

The lead speaker is Dudu Busani-Dube, author of the highly successful Hlomu series of novels, whose book The Wife is being adapted into a telenovela to be screened on Showmax

Busani-Dube will lead a panel of women storytellers talking about the lives and loves of today’s African women.

The Wife will stream on Shomax from 11 November. 


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ABDF director Nonhlanhla Matshazi said: “We’re delighted for Showmax to be part of an initiative that is entrenched in the empowerment of the creative sector, not just in South Africa but Africa at large.” The partnership, she said, would help to “create space for current and future African storytellers to be inspired”.

On the programme that takes place at University of Pretoria’s Future Campus are leading writers such as Mandla Langa, whose novel The Lost Language of the Soul was recently published, and Sue Nyathi, bestselling author of The Golddiggers and A Family Affair, as well as Fred Khumalo, author of the fact-based novels Dancing the Death Drill and The Longest March, and Jamil F Khan, whose memoir of growing up queer, Khamr: The Makings of a Waterslams, recently won one of two debut prizes awarded by the University of Johannesburg as part of its UJ Prize. Rising illustration star Lethabo Huma will also participate.

In a press release, the ABDF said: "Storytelling is an integral part of African culture; used to pass down knowledge, to pass down customs or traditions from generation to generation and to shape societal narratives."

For more information, visit Africabookanddesign.com.

Sign up on the ABDF website and you could be one of 50 people to attend the event at Summer Place. 

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