Five luminaries will headline this year’s African Writers’ Conference scheduled for National Library of South Africa, Tshwane on Friday, 7th November 2014. The conference is a prelude to the South African Literary Awards prize giving ceremony to be held later that evening at the same venue.
Billed to deliver papers at the Conference is award-winning Ghanaian academic and daughter of the country’s first post-colonial President Kwame Nkrumah, Dr Samia Yaba Nkrumah. She will deliver a paper titled “Towards Africa’s Socio-cultural Liberation“. Samia is a sought-after thinker and scholar whose intention is to rekindle the Pan Africanist vision and philosophy of her late father. Dr Nkrumah is credited with the first African Renaissance and continental Uhuru vision. He was toppled in a military coup in 1966.
Samia, called the ‘new Mandela’ by the prestigious American newspaper Huffington Post, is the founder of the Kwame Nkrumah Pan African Centre and Africa Must Unite!, organizations geared towards promotion of Kwame Nkrumah’s vision, philosophy and political culture within the context of a united Africa. “We must integrate our economies for the benefit, upliftment and development of African people”, she says.
Also delivering a paper titled “Tradition and Democracy: Strategies of Inclusion and Exclusion in the Post Colony” will be University of South Africa Head of Theory of Literature Division Prof Andries Oliphant. A Research Fellow at the Mapungubwe Institute for Strategic Reflection, Oliphant who is also the winner of the Thomas Pringle Award for Short Stories and the Book Journalist of the Year Award is a literary scholar and cultural policy advisor who chaired the Ministerial Arts and Culture Task Team and co-wrote the White Paper on Arts, Culture and Heritage.
A serving adjudicator at the South African Literary Award (SALA) Panel since 2010 Oliphant’s in-depth understanding and vast knowledge of literature and its impact in the development of the continent’s people post-colony will be best articulated in his presentation.
The conference will also bring together thinkers whose contribution will advance the vision of this august gathering whereby intellectuals and academics equally share their experiences. Dr Marlies Taljard, who is attached to the University of North West, Potchefstroom campus, and is an authority on Afrikaans literature will also present a paper which will provide clarity on challenges facing African writers in this millennium. Dr Taljaard is also a SALA adjudicator.
Also presenting will be Ms Kedumetse Motlhankane and Dr Zagba Narh Oyortey who is the Executive Director of the Ghana Museums and Monuments Board since 2013.Dr Zagba Oyortey is also a cultural management expert with experience of delivering work in both the tangible and intangible aspects of Heritage.
The writer’s conference will precede the award ceremony at which 19 finalists out of 123 authors who submitted their books in South African languages will be honoured. “We are delighted at the growth of these prestigious South African Literary Awards”, said Prof Zodwa Motsa, Chairperson of the South African Literary Awards Advisory Board.
The 2014 South African Writers Literary Awards winners, including the recipient of the Chairperson Award, will be announced at the ninth annual SALA Awards Gala Dinner at the state-of-the-art National Library of South Africa, Tshwane, on Friday, 7 November 2014.
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