​The Department of Sport, Recreation, Arts and Culture (DSRAC) MEC Bulelwa Tunyiswa will launch the annual Literature Festival (Lit-Fest), previously known as Wordfest at the 44th National Arts Festival (NAF) in Grahamstown Monument, Eastern Cape on 2nd July 2018. Word artists from the Eastern Cape and other parts of the country will converge at the Lit-Fest to feast from an array of literary activities such as book launches; storytelling; poetry sessions; book reviews and analysis.Well known and highly regarded literary experts and academics have been invited to be part of this year’s Lit-Fest, such as Professor Ncedile Saule – a renowned novelist and a multi award winner. He will come and share his vast experience in writing with our budding writers. Our word artists will be afforded an opportunity to interact with him and ask questions.

Other literary heavy weights expected to grace the occasion include among others – Dr Mahanke of Free State Language Services, Dr Hoza from Walter Sisulu University, Dr Mona of the Language Centre at Fort Hare Univesity; Dr Malete from University of Free State; Dr Sam of the School of Languages at Rhodes University; Dr Satyo and Dr Mdaka also of the University of Fort Hare.

One of the unique aspects of this year’s Lit-Fest will be the shooting of iimbongi DVD, which will take place at the National English Literary Museum (NELM) on July 4, 2018. The idea is to document and profile our iimbongi to give stature, publicity and exposure so that they are known and given platform to perform across the country. The ultimate idea of the festival is to produce word artists who can be self- reliant and be able to make livelihood out of their trade.  

MEC Bulelwa Tunyiswa is excited to be part of this year’s NAF 44th edition, “It’s that time again! Once more the Eastern Cape has rolled out the red carpet for the hundreds of artists, traders, arts lovers, journalists and everyone else who has made the journey to join our feast of the arts.”

“This year’s NAF is one in which an emphasis is being placed on giving a voice to the voiceless in our society, something that is timeous and vital in our emerging democracy. At the same time we recall and commemorate the legacy and values of the two giants from our Province – Nelson Mandela and Albertina Sisulu, both of whom would have commemorated their 100th birthdays this year were it for their passing,” said MEC Tunyiswa.

DSRAC also invited institutions that deal with literature, such as the Centre for the Book in Cape Town; Steve Biko Centre; National English Literary Museum (NELM); Pan South African Language Board (PANSALB); DSRAC Library Services, DSAC Northern Cape, Sesotho Literary Museum and all language and literature stake holders.

The NAF is South Africa’s oldest and the continent’s biggest Arts Festival staged each year in June and July in Grahamstown. It was founded by Prof Roy Sargeant and Prof Guy Butler in 1974, with the idea of offering the arts community a platform to showcase their work without any middlemen who would benefit from their earnings and it remains so to this day. 
Members of the media will be briefed on the state of readiness and what to look forward to on this year’s NAF at press conference that will be held on 27 June 2018 in Makana Council Chamber, Grahamstown Town Hall at 14h00. 

For media queries, contact:

Mr Andile Nduna
Cell: 071 411 4820
Email: Andile.Nduna@ecsrac.gov.za 

Department of Sport, Recreation, Arts and Culture Eastern Cape
No. 5 Eales Street,
King William's Town,
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