Massive books launch at the festival

BULAWAYO - A record nine books are set to be launched during this year’s edition of the Bulawayo’s top arts jamboree, the Intwasa Arts Festival.

The week-long festival will kick off next week Tuesday, September 18 to 22.

Since the festival inception eight years ago, this will be the first time such a number of literary works are launched.

Last year only two books were launched during the festival.

Ericah Gwetai, mother to the late female novelist Yvonne Vera will be launching her latest book called Embracing the Cactus.

This will be her third book since her distinguished daughter passed away.

Gwetai’s first literally work was Petal Thoughts a tribute to Vera followed by Realities, a collection of short stories which was also lunched last year during the same festival.

All book launch events will take place at the National Gallery in Bulawayo.

Naison Thwala will also witness his latest Ndebele novel Umfukula Wenhlathu being unveiled on the last day of the festival.

His first ever novel was turned into a set book by the Education, Sport, Arts and Culture ministry signifying how talented Thwala is.

The festival will also embrace the launching of a  collective effort by the Zimbabwe Academic Non Fiction Authors (Zana) called Writing Without Boundaries.

Festival director Raisedon Baya said the book as the title suggest is a collection of poems, short stories and articles and will be launched on Saturday, September 22.

Former 2010 Intwasa Festival short story winner Novuyo Rose Tshuma will be launching her South African-published debut novel called Shadows, in a move that proves how the festival has managed to tap and nurture talent.

The South African-based upcoming writer who had her new book initially launched in Johannesburg last week will re-launch it in her country of birth.

South African-based human rights organisation, Human Rights Media Centre will be introducing a set of three books in Zimbabwe.

The books which are a contribution by both Mzansi and Zimbabwean writers include Then Light Went Black, Life Lines and Looking Inside.

These will be launched on Friday September 21.

Baya said Then Light Went Black is all about writers telling their stories and how they went blind while Life Lines is also a compilation of stories about challenges of life without sight.

The last book Looking Inside, Baya said it’s a story about albinism.

In addition, Bulawayo-based young poet Njabulo Moyo will be launching his debut book, an anthology of motivational poetries called African Sketches.

The book according to Moyo is a reflection of modern African psyche which in a way drifts away from the tradition of protest and praise poetry thereby bringing a fresh elegance in motivational poetry.

It will be unveiled on Wednesday September 19.

Newly registered Bulawayo-based monthly magazine, The Southern Star by Chayah Media Services will also utilise the big festival to kick start its journey in the cut-throat publishing industry.

The launch has been slotted for Thursday, September 20.

Baya told the Daily News that this year’s massive book launches will be capped by a last day training programme called, the “Business of Writing” workshop.

“With all having been done in the literally sector we will cap it all with a quite crucial programme called the “Business of Writing” workshop.

It will be a good platform for the writers as it will address all the issues from creating until the book is published,” said Baya a seasoned writer in his own right.

He said the workshop that is being supported by the British Council will be directed by Bulawayo’s leading publishers Amabooks run by Jane Morris.

Talented writers Thwala and Poetry Bulawayo director Mgcini Nyoni will grace the occasion as guest presenters.

The festival will also see prominent author and one of the pioneer writers of the Ndebele language Isaac Mpofu being honoured.

“We have also chosen the platform to honour one of the first writers in the Ndebele language, Isaac Mpofu for his unwavering contribution to the literary industry.

He has virtually done almost everything to preserve the mother language from being eroded hence our decision to honour him,” Baya added.


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