The inaugural Gaborone Book Festival will be held from the 21-22 September 2018 at Maitisong. The two day book festival will have panels, talks, readings, conversations, book chats, book launches and book sales all headlined by the featured local and guest authors. Until now, there was no existing book festival or fair in Gaborone, the capital city of Botswana.
Locally, the confirmed and featured authors are Lauri Kubuitsile,Michael Dingake, Andrew Sesinyi, Ednah Rosen, Modirwa Kekwaletswe, Donald Molosi, Brigitta Zwani, Tomeletso Sereetsi, Thalefang Charles, Monirul Bhuiyan, Nelson Letshwene, Kgomotso Jongman and Bongani Malunga, whom their books cover a wide range of themes and topics.
From across the continent, the confirmed authors are Lola Shoneyin, Margaret Daymond, Zukiswa Wanner,Victor Kgomoeswana, Esinako Ndabeni, Sihle Mthembu, Niq Mhlongo, Sabata Mokae as well as publisher, Thabiso Mahlape.
The partners and sponsors of the Gaborone Book Festival are Maitisong, Botswana National Library Services,The Business Weekly and Review, The Gazette, Press Photo Agency, Orange Botswana, Sebilo Books, Executive Catering, Distell Botswana and private individuals.
The 21st September, which will be the opening night will include a conversation with Michael Dingake focusing on his biography, readings of selected Bessie Head letters and interpretation by author, Margaret Daymond.On the night,there will be authors meet and greet as well as book sales.
The 22 September which is the main festival day, will kickstart with a writers seminar involving all those in the book ecosystem. The seminar will cover issues of marketing and publishing.
This will be followed by an exciting programme for all, filled with panel discussions, conversations, inspirational book chats, readings and book sales amongst others. With the diversity and experience of the authors, the festival touch on varied, in depth topics highlighted by featured authors including culture, music, fiction, travellogues, memoirs,politics,mental health, culinary and cuisine. Furthermore, Festival will also have a fun and exciting space for 100 students from government primary schools, a section made possible by the Orange Foundation.
“We are excited that majority of our authors are local which shows that there is so much literary talent in Botswana, which needs to be promoted and nurtured in many ways. We are appealing to the public to attend the festival to immense themselves in the joy of literature, reading and to appreciate our home grown talent and African talent,’said Keikantse Phele, one of the co-founders of the GBF Trust.
Keikantse further said -“Since the beginning of this year, the GBF Trust has been involved in a number of book related activities to get readers in the city and beyond ready for the festival. We are excited about the authors we have secured for the book festival.” On selecting the authors, the Trust was looking for authors who have been part of our platforms in 2018, who have written on important topics/themes that are conversation sparkers, books that have made a mark in Botswana, across the continent, beyond and are some award winning.
“Some of our guest authors are celebrated or award winning. We would also like to feature similar local authors on our platforms to introduce them to more and new reader as well as show them the possibilities that exist for them in the continent and beyond as they interact with the guest authors and publishers.” Keikantse said.
The trust continues to call on corporates, companies, familes and individuals to sponsor or partner on this important initiatives aimed at encouraging and inspiring Batswana to read.