Central Book Festival to celebrate homegrown stories

Authors Anne Schlebusch, Charley Pietersen, and Itu Lebese will be at the Central Book Festival. PHOTOS: Supplied

A literary festival designed for the central part of South Africa is set to be one for the books. To encourage book buying within the city, Trevor Mokeyane told Bloemfontein Courant his travels as an exhibitor at both national and international book fairs inspired him.

He then realised there is a need for book fairs in this region that will focus on emerging authors and publishers. “What sets this book festival apart is there will be a focus on the indigenous languages of the province – Sesotho and Setswana – and writing workshops will be conducted for aspirant writers. There will be sessions where some ‘unknown’ writers will get an opportunity to reintroduce their books,” he explained.

He added the ideal of the Central Book Festival, Our Stories! Our Heritage!, is to get each household in the country to have at least a book, other than a school textbook. Mokeyane’s passion for books stretches far beyond the titles he has acquired during his career but also has allowed him to network with great names in the industry who will be in attendance at the festival.

“Some featured authors will include Charley Pietersen who is from Bloemfontein but is now based in Gauteng. There is also Anne Schlebusch who has written Bloomers. We are fortunate that former Minister of Science and Technology Mr Mosibudi Mangena has accepted our invitation and will grace the occasion. Itu Lebese (20) is the author of Trouble in Diepsloot and a poetry book.”

Mokeyane advised that attendance is based on preferences. “There will be plenty of book discussions during the festival as this is a multi-venue event held over three days. Namely at NALN, National Museum, Halevy Hotel, and St Margaret’s Church Hall.”

The inaugural Central Book Festival will take place from 22-24 September 2023.

For more information contact Trevor at omoolebooks100@gmail.com, info@ centralbookfest.co.za, or on WhatsApp at 073-648-7050.

Gypseenia Lion