16 June 2008

Notes from the Book Fair... first patch.

Good times. Cape Town Book Fair is taking place this Youth Day long weekend at Convention Centre. Our first appointment was to go and listen to some of the younger generation authors talking about their work in a panel discussion. One of my current favourites Niq Mhlongo was the initial reason, and we also managed to get some one on one interview time (well, two on one to be precise), and he talked to us about his work, African values and how to get young people interested in reading. We had consensus that over-emphasising Shakespeare (to whom I haven’t yet even given a chance) can easily scare people away from reading just in general. That same topic we also covered with another panelist from the discussion, Thembelani Ngenelwa. It was a real pleasure to hear what both of these guys had to say and since we’ve been so excited about the new wave of Mzansi literature I felt privileged to be able to connect with some of the more interesting talents. The actual panel also featured Zukiswa Wanner and Willem Anker. With them we didn’t have interviews, but recorded the discussion itself so there may be some material coming with them as well. We’ll put some audio online from these interviews.

Niq Mhlongo interviewed

Niq again

Thembelani Ngenelwa

George Bizos

We’ve also been busy recording more material for our forthcoming Xenophobia documentary which attempts to look a little deeper and understand what’s been happening in South Africa. On top of our otherwise insightful interviewees we added one more definite A-lister on the roster. We talked with legendary George Bizos and what an honour it was indeed.

Three more days left and we’re planning to attend all of them if everything goes as planned. From Sunday I’m definitely most looking forward to Sihle Khumalo who wrote the brilliant travel book Dark Continent My Black Arse. But more about that when it has happened.

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