South African Book Fair Literary Programme

Welcome to the SABF Literary Programme. The Exhibition, Magic Tent and Demo Library all all free events. All other events cost R30 except for the Test Kitchen sessions which cost R100 and the Bus Tour which costs R250. We trust you will enjoy planning your visit. Once you have decided on your sessions, you will need to book through our event organisers here. You can download printable versions of the programme here: Friday 8 September | Saturday 9 September | Sunday 10 September

Although the registration system takes 40-60 seconds to load it is very good and allows you to book numerous sessions at one time. You will follow this process to book your tickets:

  • Select the day/s you wish to attend
  • Select the time slot
  • Select the session (only one session per time slot can be selected)
  • Click submit button (here you can either edit the information or choose to go to the next page)
  • Choose your payment option
  • Click submit button

// Local /
Exhibition

Date: 8-10 September

Time : 09:45-18:00

Come and discover the South African Book Industry! This is a unique opportunity to see a full display of all the different kinds of books produced in South Africa. Check out the careers in the sector, visit the Research Lane and the Library Village. A must-do visit.

FREE

// Children /
Magic Tent

Date: 8-10 September

Time : 09:45-18:00

National Book Week (NBW) will be bringing its own brand of wonder to the SABF this year, through the NBW Magic Tent. All are invited to attend events at the tent, from smaller children to grandparents; and to revel in the affirmative power of books and reading − for the first time or the thousandth time.

FREE

// Libraries /
Demo Library

Date: 8-10 September

Time : 09:45-18:00

The City of Joburg will introduce you to the services available at your local library. Come and meet your friendly librarian, and learn how to make the world open itself to you.

FREE

// Young Adult Workshop /
Let’s write!

Date: 8 September

Time : 10:00-11:00

A workshop on creative writing, for teens.

Athambile Masola

// Young Adult Workshop /
Origin story – Comic book writing & what it takes

Date: 8 September

Time : 10:00-11:00

Join Loyiso and Clyde, the creators of Kwezi, the African superhero, as they take us on a captivating comic-creation journey.

Clyde Beech

Loyiso Mkize

// Children's Theatre /
James and the Giant Peach

Date: 8 September

Time : 10:00-11:00

A magical production based on Roald Dahl’s universal story of the same name. Back from sold-out performances at the National Arts Festival, its cast of University of Johannesburg students bring this firm favourite to life. For children of all ages.

// Young Adult Workshop /
Americanah

Date: 8 September

Time : 11:15-12:15

Athambile Masola works through the text of this novel by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie with learners who are studying it at school. Teachers are welcome to join in and gain from Athambile’s insights.

Athambile Masola

// Young Adult /
Innovative reading and writing with youth

Date: 8 September

Time : 11:15-12:15

Fundza shares its innovative reading-and writing-promotion programmes with youth. Not to be missed!

Ros Haden

// Authors in Discussion /
The San community on its code of research ethics and on storytelling

Date: 8 September

Time : 11:15-12:15

The SA San Council discusses its recent decision to institute a code of research ethics. It also interviews San storyteller and writer, Kapilolo Mario Mahongo. This presentation comes under one of the SABF’s aim: Protecting #OURSTORIES.

Kapilolo Mario Mahongo

Leana Snyders

// Cooking Demonstration /
Karoo Kitchen

Date: 8 September

Time : 11:15-12:15

Heritage recipes and true stories from the heart of South Africa. Discover the traditional recipes, veld remedies and diverse culinary tales, as Sydda shares a recipe from her book, Karoo Kitchen.

Sydda Essop

// Children /
For us by us: Child authors on their craft

Date: 8 September

Time : 11:15-12:15

Michelle Nkamankeng reads from one of her books and talks about the process of writing. Join this passionate nine-year-old author, who is currently finalising her fifth book.

Masello Motana

Michelle Nkamankeng

// Authors in Discussion /
Getting published

Date: 8 September

Time : 12:30-13:30

A published author and a publisher discuss the process and possible paths to getting published.

Niq Mhlongo

Terry Morris

// Authors in Discussion /
The art of adaptation (… and the letting go)

Date: 8 September

Time : 12:30-13:30

Book to film: The process to adapting a work of fiction for stage or screen.

Nozizwe Jele

Craig Higginson

// Authors in Discussion /
The unseen hand

Date: 8 September

Time : 13:45-14:45

The influence of African spirituality, culture and tradition in the writing process.

Unathi Magubeni

Perfect Hlongwane

Kapilolo Mario Mahongo

Leana Snyders

// Authors in Discussion /
Steve Bantu Biko’s philosophy

Date: 8 September

Time : 13:45-14:45

What it means for our country 40 years after his death.

Fasiha Hassan

Millard Arnold

Victor Dlamini

// Authors in Discussion /
Hidden figures: African women in the global imagination

Date: 8 September

Time : 13:45-14:45

A discussion on African women and their (often unseen) influence. Talking about Charlotte Maxeke, Noni Jabavu and others. Barbara Boswell moderates a discussion with Makhosazana Xaba and Athambile Masola.

Makhosazana Xaba

Barbara Boswell

Athambile Masola

// Libraries /
Libraries: From austerity to digital

Date: 8 September

Time : 13:45-14:45

The global health status of libraries, with our guest from Kansas Public Libraries.

Mandla Ntombela

Carol Levers

// Fiction Writers Read /
Book Talk: The Fantastics

Date: 8 September

Time : 15:00-16:00

South African writers read texts that imagine the future of South Africa: Select readings from Fast Forward.

Steven Boykey Sidley

Lauren Beukes

Nikhil Singh

Loyiso Mkize

// Non-fiction Discussion /
One-on-one with Jay Naidoo

Date: 8 September

Time : 15:00-16:00

Richard Poplak holds a discussion with ex-cabinet minister, freedom fighter and occasional farmer.

Jay Naidoo

Richard Poplak

// Poetry Café /
Poetry Café with the Ekurhuleni Poetry Project

Date: 8 September

Time : 15:00-16:00

Ekurhuleni Poetry Project

// Fiction Discussion /
One-on-one with Mukoma Wa Ngugi

Date: 8 September

Time : 16:15-17:15

A discussion with a significant African writer on writing and his work.

Brian Wafawarowa

Mukoma Wa Ngugi

// Non-fiction Discussion /
Colourism, gender, and beauty

Date: 8 September

Time : 16:15-17:15

A discussion on how colourism impacts ideas about beauty, women, girls and self-image.

Angela Makholwa

Lerato Mbangeni

Verashni Pillay

Koleka Putuma

// Fiction Discussion /
Book-club reads: Bring your glass…

Date: 8 September

Time : 16:15-17:15

A wonderful panel of writers in conversation – the dream of a book club.

Jennifer Platt

Pamela Power

Gail Schimmel

Ayòbámi Adébáyò

// Poetry Café /
Poetry Café with Hitman CEO and Lorraine Sithole

Date: 8 September

Time : 16:15-17:15

Hip-hop poetry performance by Hitman CEO and Lorraine Sithole

Hitman CEO

Lorraine Sithole

// Non-fiction Discussion /
Untold history

Date: 8 September

Time : 17:30-18:30

So many South African stories still to be told: The Anglo-Boer War and more

Grace Musila

Nomavenda Mathiane

// Authors in Discussion /
Hugh Masekela and Zakes Mda chat

Date: 8 September

Time : 17:30-18:30

Two South African icons chat about life, the arts and everything else.

Hugh Masekela

Zakes Mda

// Poetry Café /
Poetry Café with Phillipa Yaa de Villiers, Nick Mulgrew and Koleka Putuma

Date: 8 September

Time : 17:30-18:30

Three of South Africa’s most poetic voices come together in their craft.

Phillippa Yaa de Villiers

Nick Mulgrew

Koleka Putuma

// Young Adult Workshop /
Last Stop on Market Street

Date: 9 September

Time : 10:00-11:00

Award-winning US-based children’s illustrator, Christian Robinson (with help from Masello Motana) illustrates and reads from this New York Times best-selling children’s book.

Masello Motana

Christian Robinson

// Authors in Discussion /
Future scenarios South Africa

Date: 9 September

Time : 10:00-11:00

Key South African thinkers discuss possible future scenarios for the country.

Brian Kantor

Ferial Haffajee

Justice Malala

// Children's Theatre /
James and the Giant Peach

Date: 9 September

Time : 10:00-11:00

A magical production based on Roald Dahl’s universal story of the same name. Back from sold-out performances at the National Arts Festival, its cast of University of Johannesburg students will bring this firm favourite to life. For children of all ages.

// Children /
For us by us: Child authors on their craft

Date: 9 September

Time : 11:15-12:15

Stacey Fru, award-winning ten-year-old author, reads from her book and talks about the process of writing.

Victorine Mbong Shu

Stacey Fru

// Authors in Discussion /
Johannesburg: A love story

Date: 9 September

Time : 11:15-12:15

Some of the city’s authors speak and read about the place they call home; and on the ways in which it has been represented in fiction.

Niq Mhlongo

Ivan Vladislavić

Harry Kalmer

Fiona Melrose

// Cooking Demonstration /
Test kitchen with Antonia De Luca

Date: 9 September

Time : 11:15-12:15

Antonia, chef and owner of Leafy Green Café, offers a recipe with a local flavour from her
soon-to-be-published book.

Antonia de Luca

// Authors in Discussion /
Crafting your personal narrative within the new creative economy

Date: 9 September

Time : 11:15-12:15

Insights and strategies for creating and building a personal brand – Whether we are writers, publishers or illustrators, we need to create a brand in order to sell what we produce.

Shukri Toefy

// Non-fiction Discussion /
Telling #OURSTORIES

Date: 9 September

Time : 12:30-13:30

A discussion on why it matters that we shift the Western academic lens, and on how this may be done.

Melvin Kaabwe

Christa Kuljian

Simamkele Dlakavu

Grace Musila

// Young Adult /
Youth leads the way to new content

Date: 9 September

Time : 12:30-13:30

Young authors discuss the content they are producing

Bontle Senne

Christian Robinson

Loyiso Mkize

// Authors in Discussion /
Social media, writing and the new novel

Date: 9 September

Time : 12:30-13:30

A discussion about the effects of social media on the writing process and the form of the novel.

Fiona Snyckers

Pamela Power

Karabo Kgoleng

// Authors in Discussion /
The Somizi effect

Date: 9 September

Time : 12:30-13:30

Let the dominoes fall

// Non-fiction Discussion /
African democracy: Writing, revolution and the state of democracy

Date: 9 September

Time : 13:45-14:45

A panel discussion on the state of African democracy; on how African countries impact each other; on media freedom; and more…

Ferial Haffajee

Firoz Khan

Billy Kahora

// Non-fiction Discussion /
Philosophy Café

Date: 9 September

Time : 13:45-14:45

An informal session on African philosophy.

Zimitri Erasmus

// Authors in Discussion /
One-on-one with Bra Zakes

Date: 9 September

Time : 13:45-14:45

Beloved prize-winning South African writer, Zakes Mda, discusses his life’s work with Phemelo Motene.

Phemelo Motene

Zakes Mda

// Authors in Discussion /
Women at work: Creating spaces for women’s fiction – Why, how, and does it matter?

Date: 9 September

Time : 13:45-14:45

Do prizes (especially women-only prizes) contribute to or hinder the process?

Yewande Omotoso

Shubnum Khan

Fiona Melrose

Ayòbámi Adébáyò

// Fiction Writers Read /
Book Talk: In tribute to writers from history

Date: 9 September

Time : 15:00-16:00

Fiction writers pay tribute to the legendary authors and books that have influenced their work.

Nikhil Singh

Shubnum Khan

Ameera Patel

// Authors in Discussion /
One-on-one with Deon Meyer

Date: 9 September

Time : 15:00-16:00

Globally renowned crime-fiction author, Deon Meyer, discusses his latest novel, Fever.

Jenny Crwys-Williams

Deon Meyer

// Non-fiction Discussion /
The other rainbow: Queer rights and writing in Africa and beyond

Date: 9 September

Time : 15:00-16:00

What are the challenges that face queer writers in Africa? How do we overcome them?

B Camminga

Makhosazana Xaba

// Cooking Demonstration /
Test kitchen with Yemisi Aribisala

Date: 9 September

Time : 15:00-16:00

Nigerian chef Yemisi Aribisala creates a favourite dish. Yemisi is the author of the prize-winning Longthroat Memoirs: Soups, Sex and Nigerian Taste Buds.

Yemisi Aribisala

// Non-fiction Discussion /
Gender and power

Date: 9 September

Time : 16:15-17:15

A discussion on the correlation between gender and power, and on how this shifts based on time and location.

Verashni Pillay

Lola Shoneyin

// Non-fiction Discussion /
One-on-one with Jay Naidoo

Date: 9 September

Time : 16:15-17:15

Richard Poplak holds a discussion with ex-cabinet minister, freedom fighter and occasional farmer, Jay Naidoo.

Jay Naidoo

Richard Poplak

// Non-fiction Discussion /
Literary access and pleasure: Access through language, genre and other means

Date: 9 September

Time : 16:15-17:15

Griffin Shea asks the question: What are the different means we can use to create greater access to books and reading?

Griffin Shea

Mukoma Wa Ngugi

Bibi Bakare-Yusuf

// Poetry Readings /
Poetry Café with Rustum Kozain and Lebo Mashile

Date: 9 September

Time : 16:15-17:15

Readings by some of South Africa’s most important poetic voices.

Rustum Kozain

Lebo Mashile

// Non-fiction Discussion /
Book Talk: In tribute to African writers

Date: 9 September

Time : 17:30-18:30

Writers pay tribute to African authors and books that have influenced them.

Yewande Omotoso

Unathi Magubeni

Lidudumalingani Mqombothi

// Non-fiction Discussion /
Media freedom in the age of post-fact, fake news and paid Twitter

Date: 9 September

Time : 17:30-18:30

The recent phenomenon of using social media to manufacture fake news in order to influence people and their thinking seems set to continue. How should the media and their readers respond?

Richard Pithouse

Kalim Rajab

Gugulethu Mhlungu

// Poetry Café /
Poetry café with Natalia Molebatsi, Mũkoma wa Ngũgĩ, Kobus Moolman

Date: 9 September

Time : 17:30-18:30

Poetic performances not to be missed.

Natalia Molebatsi

Kobus Moolman

Mukoma Wa Ngugi

// Non-fiction Discussion /
What the library gave me

Date: 10 September

Time : 10:00-11:00

A discussion on the importance and magic of libraries.

Masande Ntshanga

// Authors in Discussion /
Contemporary African design and beauty

Date: 10 September

Time : 10:00-11:00

A discussion on contemporary African design and beauty, from sishweshwe to the runways.

Juliette Leeb Du-Toit

Stephanie Jason

// Children's Theatre /
James and the Giant Peach

Date: 10 September

Time : 10:00-11:00

A magical production based on Roald Dahl’s universal story of the same name. Back from sold-out performances at the National Arts Festival, its cast of University of Johannesburg students brings this firm favourite to life. For children of all ages.

// Bus Tour /
Bus Tour

Date: 10 September

Time : 10:00-11:00

A bus tour of an intriguing part of Johannesburg, accompanied by the reading of evocative and informative writings about the city.

Nthikeng Mohlele

Harry Kalmer

// Fiction Discussion /
Why we write as we do

Date: 10 September

Time : 10:00-11:00

Two significant African writers discuss writing and their own work

Imraan Coovadia

Mukoma Wa Ngugi

// Authors in Discussion /
South Africa and the future of sport

Date: 10 September

Time : 11:15-12:15

A wide-ranging discussion on the future of South African soccer, cricket and rugby.

Thando Manana

Andre Odendaal

Matthew Booth

// Fiction Discussion /
Reflections of a life spent writing: Our elders show us the way.

Date: 10 September

Time : 11:15-12:15

Kopano Matlwa moderates a discussion with some of South Africa’s iconic writers as they speak about what a life of writing has meant to them.

Kopano Matlwa

Sindiwe Magona

Zakes Mda

Achmat Dangor

Deon Meyer

// Non-fiction Discussion /
Racism, the immovable stain

Date: 10 September

Time : 11:15-12:15

We discuss racism, its seeming intractability over the ages, and ‘what comes next’.

Gugulethu Mhlungu

Zimitri Erasmus

Khadija Patel

// Cooking Demonstration /
Test kitchen with Mpho Tshukudu

Date: 10 September

Time : 11:15-12:15

Mpho Tshukudu, author with Anna Trapido of Eat Ting: Lose weight. Gain health. Find yourself. Join Mpho as she offers healthy eating solutions based on traditional southern African foods, and proposes modern versions of time-honoured favourites.

Mpho Tshukudu

// Non-fiction Discussion /
Music and memory

Date: 10 September

Time : 12:30-13:30

When music, writing and biography intersect, a new kind of magic emerges.

Marah Louw

// Fiction Writers Read /
Book Talk: Fiction writers read from a work in progress

Date: 10 September

Time : 12:30-13:30

Writers read from work they are currently writing.

Yewande Omotoso

Lidudumalingani Mqombothi

Ayòbámi Adébáyò

// Non-fiction Discussion /
Dare Not Linger

Date: 10 September

Time : 12:30-13:30

Achmat Dangor and Mandla Langa critically examine the presidency of Nelson Mandela and the challenges he faced in leading the first democratic parliament; and discuss this soon-to-be-released book and its potential influence on South Africa’s future. In association with the Nelson Mandela Foundation.

Victoria Collis-Buthelezi

Mandla Langa

Achmat Dangor

// Readings by Authors /
Book Talk: Writers read from work in progress

Date: 10 September

Time : 13:45-14:45

Writers read from work they are currently writing.

Nthikeng Mohlele

Masande Ntshanga

// Non-fiction Discussion /
Literary culture and democracy: The role of fiction and writerly responsibility

Date: 10 September

Time : 13:45-14:45

A discussion on the role literature plays in a democracy and what, if anything, a writer’s responsibility might be.

Imraan Coovadia

Richard Pithouse

Lola Shoneyin

Bibi Bakare-Yusuf

// Poetry Readings /
Poetry Café with Mbali Vilakazi and Rustum Kozain

Date: 10 September

Time : 13:45-14:45

Join Mbali Vilakazi, Rustum Kozain and other moving poetic voices from South Africa.

Rustum Kozain

Mbali Vilakazi

// Authors in Discussion /
The long shadow: Colonialism, corruption and apartheid

Date: 10 September

Time : 15:00-16:00

How long does a system predicated on corrupt relationships and nepotism continue to relate to our current politics?

Hennie van Vuuren

Michael Schmidt

Mandla Langa

// Non-fiction Discussion /
Nationalism, xenophobia and global dystopia: What next?

Date: 10 September

Time : 15:00-16:00

Unease seems to have taken hold globally in the face of rising nationalism. What are the roots of this phenomenon, and what does it augur?

Jonathan Klaaren

Gugulethu Mhlungu

Richard Poplak