Maverick Life – Books

Five events not to miss at Kingsmead Book Fair

By The Reading List 30 April 2019

The Reading List nails its colours to the mast and tells you where to wander at the eighth Kingsmead Book Fair.

Following hot on the heels of the Franschhoek Literary Festival (FLF), the Kingsmead Book Fair (KBF), now in its eighth year, takes place in Johannesburg on Saturday, 25 May.

In addition to the main programme, the KBF has a Children’s Programme and a Teen Programme, and its setting – all events happen on the Kingsmead school campus – makes it very family-friendly indeed.

Books will be on sale throughout the day, and there is a fine selection of food and drink to keep your energy levels up/down/sideways.

Heck, the fair even launched its own mobile app this year. You really can have it all!

Below, find five picks from us on how to spend your hard-earned ticket money.

But first, a quick Author Watch™. Fans of local fiction are in for a treat, as esteemed writers visiting the festival this year include Imraan Coovadia (A Spy In Time), Amy Heydenrych (Shame on You), Ekow Duker (Yellowbone), Mike Nicol (Sleeper), Masande Ntshanga (Triangulum), Craig Higginson (The Dream House), Mphuthumi Ntabeni (The Broken River Tent) and Sue Nyathi (The Gold Diggers). Plus, Simon Sebag Montefiore makes his way up from Franschhoek, and is joined on the International Writer Watch List™ by acclaimed children’s author Fleur Hitchcock, who will be chatting about her new book, the thrilling, murderous tale The Boy Who Flew.

Apart from sticking to the names above like glue, try your very best not to miss these events, too:

The Comedy Channel, 9.30am
Hagen Engler (Black Twitter, Blitz and a Boerie as long as your leg), Melusi Tshabalala (Melusi’s Everyday Zulu) and the Daily Maverick’s Rebecca Davis (Self Helpless – A Cynic’s Search for Sanity) and Zapiro (WTF) crack wise.

An Ancestry of Activism, 11am
Malebo Sephodi speaks to Lukhanyo Calata (My Father Died For This), Rekgotsofetse Chikane (Breaking a Rainbow, Building a Nation), Tembeka Ngcukaitobi (The Land Is Ours) and Rehana Rossouw (New Times) about South Africa’s intergenerational tradition of protest.

More Than A Match, 2.30pm
Luke Alfred (Vuvuzela Dawn), sports blogger Kate Nokwe and Ernest Landheer (A Captain’s Journey) revisit the sporting moments that have shaped our nation from 1994 to the present. Sports reporter Tumi Kgasoe cheers them on.

We, The People, 4pm
How can democracy survive in these troubled times? And, most importantly, what can ordinary citizens do to uphold it? Michelle Le Roux (Lawfare), Ferial Haffajee, Jane Duncan (Stopping the Spies) and Steven Friedman (Power in Action: Democracy, Citizenship and Social Justice) discuss with Sithembile Mbete.

New Visions, 4pm
Meet some of the contributors to New Daughters of Africa, the international anthology of writing by women of African descent. Fresh, vibrant voices have been gathered together to pay tribute to the heritage that unites them. With Phillippa Yaa De Villiers, Reneilwe Malatji and Yewande Omotoso, and chaired by Contributing Editor of The Johannesburg Review of Books, Efemia Chela.

We also like the look of these events, too – check ’em out:

  • An Education for Life (9.30am)
  • From Text to TV – is the book always better? (9.30am)
  • Lessons from the Past (12.30pm)
  • The Story of a Caged Bird (2.30pm). ML

Visit The Reading List at for South African book news daily.


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