THE highly-acclaimed writer Zakes Mda will be flying in from the United States to attend the literature festival during this year’s Free State Arts Festival to run from 11 to 16 July.
Mda will deliver the inaugural Sol Plaatje lecture. Also a visual artist, Mda will have some of his works on display.
Some of the authors expected to grace the festival include, amongst others, the Hertzog prize winner Adam Small, celebrating his 80th birthday as well as the release of his latest drama.
Another legendary writer, playwright and actor, John Kani, will be speaking at the festival about his most recent theatre productions.
The ever-popular Marita van der Vyver will be visiting the festival from France.
Other international guests include Chika Unigwe, originally from Nigeria, who rose to fame in Belgium, and was described by South African writer Zukiswa Wanner as one of the five most renowned writers from Africa.
Also attending will be Iranian writer Kader Abdolah, whose novels have been translated into more than 21 languages.
Abdolah, a political refugee who escaped from Iran to the Netherlands in the 1980s, went on to establish himself as one of the most prominent Dutch novellists.
Wilfried N’Sondé, originally from the Congo, who now lives in France, will also be a festival guest.
Afrikaans books and writers will feature prominently, in addition to other indigenous languages such as Sotho and Zulu, at this year’s Free State Arts Festival.
Several authors will also be celebrating literature in English at the first literature festival during this event in Central South Africa.
To run over six days at the University of the Free State (UFS), the initiative is a partnership between the university and the Vrystaat Arts Festival.
The feast aims at enhancing a culture of reading X not just in the Free State, but nationally, through marketing books as well as embracing new developments in the field of writing.
The theme of this year’s literature festival is Our Africa and promises to provide all booklovers and readers tantalising food for thought.