In continuation of its global outreach, the Port Harcourt World Book Capital 2014 participated in the South African Book Fair 2014 at the Cape Town International Convention Center, which opened on Friday June 13 and ran through Sunday June 15.
On Sunday, June 15, the PHWBC staged a session of Readings and Conversations on the theme Possibilities of African Literature in the 21st Century at its Stand D31-D36 at 1pm.
Among the writers that participated in the Reading Sessions were the Etisalat Literature Prize runner-up, Yewande Omotosho, author of Bom Boy; and South African award-winning writer, teacher and activist, Magona Sindiwe. Others were Imraan Coovadia, author of Green-eyed Thieves and High Low In-between; Patricia Schonstein, author of A Time of Angels and Apothecary’s Daughter, Shafinaaz Hassim, author of SoPhia and Daughters are Diamonds, and Dorothy Dyer, an English teacher in Cape Town. They read from Sonwabiso Ngcowa’s book.
The panel of Discussants on the theme were Bibi Bakare-Yussuf of Cassava Republic, Dorothy Dyer of Cover to Cover and Rose Francis of African Perspectives. Writers Yewande Omotoso and Shafinaaz Hassim also participated in the conversations.
The conversation was moderated by Nigerian academic and head of the Centre for African Studies, University of Cape Town, Prof. Harry Garuba, who is easily described as the ‘midwife’ of the second generation of Nigerian poets.
The event also featured a formal briefing on the PHWBC by the Project Director, and CEO of the coordinating organization, Rainbow Book Club, Mrs Koko Kalango. It was coordinated by Mrs Emma Arogundade of Bruce Mau, assisted by Claire Kelly, both based in Cape Town.
The event was well attended as the PH WBC stand overflowed with an enthusiastic audience comprising writers, publishers, students, members of cultural organizations and the Press.
In April, the PHWBC had staged a similar literary session at the London Book Fair 2014, where it hosted the Nobel laureate Prof Wole Soyinka and Rivers State Governor Rotimi Amaechi as special Guests of Honour.