Storytelling is an integral part of African culture; used to pass down knowledge, to pass down customs or traditions from generation to generation and to shape societal narratives. This year, the art of storytelling comes to life at the first Africa Book and Design Festival (ABDF). Supported by the Department of Sports, Arts & Culture.

There has never been a better time than right now to be a reader of African literature. If you’re looking for something to read, and you want it to have the word ‘’African’’ to it Africa Book and Design festival have got you covered.

Authors, Mandla Langa, Dudu Dube, and rising star in illustration Lethabo Huma are a reflection of the past, present and future theme of storytelling at the Africa Book & Design Festival. With a host of other respected authors and designers set to headline the tailored programme; expect engaging intercultural and intergenerational conversations which was held from the 11th to the 13th of November in a Hybrid format for both digital and in person participation for a limited audience, at The Future Africa Campus at the University of Pretoria.

Fellow bookworms were treated to various African authors, including:
• Sue Night
• Richard Convingham
• Nomsa Mwamuka
• Shubnum Khan
• Jamil F Khan
• Lerato Mogoatle
• Zulaikha Patel
• Busisekile Khumalo
• Phindiwe Mabhena
• Tshego Monaisa
• Fred Khumalo
• Brent Meersman

True to their  key message that “If you don’t read, make sure your children do”, the love for storytelling was born from the love of books at a young age; a sentiment all the authors who are taking part in the event have shared. What is exciting about the time we are in is that women are leading the charge in changing the narrative of African story telling as young female authors emerge with stories that tell the life of modern African women from colourful ‘eKasi’ in Johannesburg to the hustle and bustle of Lagos.

The closing event of the Africa Book and Design Festival also hosted  the Bookies Under the Stars brought to you by Showmax; an evening of books and bubbles at Summer Place, Sandton on Saturday, 13 November 2021. The event was led by Dudu Busani-Dube, author of the Hlomu Book Series which has inspired the first Showmax original telenovela, The Wife; and Damilare Kuku, author of the highly anticipated Nearly All the Men in Lagos are Mad.

So go forth and read africa!