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Local and international writers gather in Windhoek for literary festival

Local and international writers gather in Windhoek for literary festival

Staff Reporter

INTERNATIONAL and local writers are participating in readings and panel discussions as well as facilitating creative writing workshops for readers, writers, and literature lovers at the Doek Literary Festival held at the Goethe-Institut in Windhoek.

Doek and the United Kingdom-based University of East Anglia’s (UEA) International Chair of Creative Writing (ICCW) host the festival from 21 to 23 April.

Sponsored by Bank Windhoek, this year’s event will focus on fiction in novel and short form.

The 2022-2023 Doek Collective is a diverse cohort of emerging Namibian writers whose works have been featured in Doek!
Literary Magazine or are forthcoming in other publications.

The Doek Collective consists of young literary talent Charmaine //Gamxamus, Roxane Bayer, Kay-Leigh De Sousa, and Ndawedwa Denga Hanghuwo, who won the inaugural fiction prize of the Bank Windhoek Doek Literary Awards in 2021, Katherine Hunter, Filemon Iiyambo, Dalene Kooper and Ange Mucyo.

Rémy Ngamije, Doek’s founder and chairperson, editor-in-chief of Doek! and award-winning author of The Eternal Audience of One, round up the group of Namibian writers.

Headlining the festival is Tsitsi Dangarembga, award-winning Zimbabwean novelist, playwright and filmmaker, and UEA’s inaugural Chair of International Creative Writing.

Her books Nervous Conditions, The Book of Not, and This Mournable Body have received numerous literary awards, including a shortlisting for the Booker Prize in 2020.

She was also the recent recipient of the Windham-Campbell Prizes, one of the world’s richest literary prizes. The BBC named nervous Conditions in 2018 as one of the top 100 books to have shaped the world.

Dangarembga will be joined by the first African woman to be awarded the Goethe Medal, Zukiswa Wanner, the South African editor, publisher, and author of the award-winning novels The Madams, Men of the South, and London Cape Town Joburg.

Wanner’s novels have been shortlisted for awards including the South African Literary Awards and the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize.

Nigerian writer Femi Kayode, who won the UEA/Little Brown Award for his debut novel Lightseekers, and Canadian writer and professor of creative writing at UEA Jean McNeil, who has written more than 14 books and been awarded numerous literary honours for her works, are also on the international guest list.

“As a connector of positive change, we are proud to be associated with the festival,” said Bronwyn Moody, Bank Windhoek’s Head of Corporate Social Investment, Sponsorships and Events.

“We understand that literature reflects humanity and helps us understand each other better.”

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