By Tanya Waterworth
The Durban Book Fair this weekend will be a local is lekker feast for all bookworms – young and old.
Starting on Saturday morning until Sunday afternoon at Mitchell Park, there will be writers and poets, round-table discussions and motivational talks on all things literary. This includes the likes of Raashida Khan (The Cursed Touch and Your Voice, My Strength), Professor Aswin Desai (Wentworth), Nathi Oliphant (Blood, Blades and Bullets), S’bo Vilakazi (Who Shall Stand), Ismail Mahomed (My Journey in The World of Arts, Thabane Magubane (The Carpenter’s Son) and Elwyn Bonhomme (Did you Tell Them?), as well as a host of others.
Poet Sihle Ntuli said this week that he would be launching Rumblin’, his new collection, which is focused on life in Durban.
Ntuli, who grew up in Durban and was inspired at a young age by praise poets, holds a Master of Arts degree in Classical Civilisations and previously lectured at the University of Free State. He said while Durban had been touched on in his other work, in this collection “Durban is more pronounced. There is not much representing Durban in black poetry. It is where I come from and life here is what I know best. There are so many different cultures here, you can really immerse yourself in the people and the culture.”
His poetry was shortlisted for the Dalro Poetry Prize in 2017 and he has had work published in South Africa and across the continent in notable journals such as Lolwe, Down River Road and The Johannesburg Review of books.
Author Krish Govender, speaking on the launch of his new book, South African Short Stories for Young Readers, said all the stories are based in KwaZulu-Natal.
This is Govender’s fifth book and he said it was dedicated to all young South Africans who were struggling with the pandemic.
“There is a need for stories based here for our young readers. There are not a lot of local stories and this book has stories with which they can identify. I want to encourage young readers to read about South Africa and have an appreciation for our city and culture.
“I hope many young learners will read this book, learn about our painful past and not take our freedom for granted.
“I use factual information and thread a story through it,” said Govender, adding that while his books were for younger readers, his oldest reader was 83: “That’s my mom, she’s my biggest fan,” he said.
Govender started writing a couple of years ago as a bucket list wish and his first book, Finding My Family, was launched two years ago at the International Writers Festival. It enjoyed such success he wrote a follow-up book, Losing My Family, and plans a third to make it a trilogy.
He was a teacher in mathematics and computer science and also holds an Honours degree in management and a Master’s in business science. He now owns a retail enterprise.
Govender will launch his book at 10am on Sunday, while Ntuli’s launch is at 2pm the same day.
There will be other book launches on both days. Sunday also includes a tribute to writer and poet BW Vilakazi, a motivational talk by S’busiso Mazibuko, a talk on Promoting Communication using English and isiZulu, and Nivashni Nair, author of What’s On My Mind? Making Babies, will chat PCOS polycystic ovarian syndrome.