The 16th Time of the Writer festival, organised by UKZN’s Centre for Creative Arts (CCA)enjoyed a successful opening night at the Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre.

Seventeen writers from South Africa, Africa and abroad – at the festival for a thought-provoking week of literary dialogue, exchange of ideas and stimulating discussion – were featured on the night.

All participating writers made brief presentations, while the newly appointed Deputy Vice-Chancellor of the College of Humanities, Professor Cheryl Potgieter, addressed the excited crowd, placing great emphasis on the importance of the Arts.

‘As in previous years, the focus of the Time of the Writer festival is on attracting local writers and  writers from other countries on the continent as well as those from other parts of the world,’ said Potgieter.

‘All the participants complement the festival’s aims and goals and essentially the ideology which drives the festival.

‘The festival reflects the mission and vision of the University which is to be the Premier University of African Scholarship. The College of Humanities is particularly proud to host and support this initiative and thanks all who have volunteered their time, interest and expertise to the 2013 Time of the Writer,’ said Potgieter.

A musical act by Zimbabwean band Tanga Pasi had the audience enthralled and an emotional tribute to the late Phyllis Naidoo took place on stage where excerpts from her selected works were read.

According to CCA project co-ordinator, Miss Tiny Mungwe, festival-goers could expect an exciting week of panel discussions with writers talking about their writing and the issues dealt with in their work.

In addition to nightly showcases, there was a broad range of day activities including seminars and workshops to promote a culture of reading, writing and creative expression. This included an educator’s forum with teachers on the implementation of literature in the classroom, the community writing forum with members of the public interested in literature, visits to schools, and a prison writing programme.

Book launches took place at the Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre’s Wellington Tavern deck with the first launch of the festival being Amagalelo, a UKZN and Independent Newspapers sponsored book of stories in isiZulu and English by various authors.

author email : mungroo@ukzn.ac.za