09h00 - 09h45 | The Barnyard at Casterbridge | R50 | Book Now Billionaires under Construction. The Lowveld Book Festival and KLCBT present a breakfast event with DJ Sbu’. Have you ever wondered what goes on inside a successful entrepreneur’s head… how they come up with their ground-breaking ideas, how they turn them into a business, how they handle failure and what it takes to get them where they are today? Billionaires under Construction answers these questions, and more, as it charts the rise and rise of Sbusiso Leope.
09h30 - 12h00 | Casterbridge Hollow Boardroom | R100 | Book Now Workshop by Isabella Morris: A ticket to the world Who doesn’t dream of travelling the world for free? Travel writing is one way of doing it. In this hands-on workshop, writers will learn the basic skills needed to become a travel writer and how to break in to the industry without experience.
Isabella Morris - writer, ghostwriter, editor, teacher - is the author of two full-length books, a book of short stories, and Kuperard’s 2018 Culture Smart! South Africa. Her stories and articles have appeared in numerous publications, locally and internationally, and she’s been nominated for the Pushcart prize. Isabella earned her MA in Writing from Wits University and is the owner of The Write Place, which offers editing and writing instruction locally and internationally. She has won numerous awards for her writing, but is still thrilled to have received an honourable mention from JM Coetzee for her 2009 short story Bluette.
“I enjoy teaching writing because as a writer myself, I know how difficult it is to find a way into a story, and so it is always such a joy to show writers different ways of approaching and framing their stories.” When not teaching, Isabella is writing her own stories and editing other writers. She enjoys reading Arabic fiction in translation.
10h15 - 11h00 | Casterbridge Hollow Lounge | R50 | Book Now An Invitation to Dream. How storytelling through memoir and poetry can take readers on journeys of discovery. Athol Williams shares stories from his autobiography, Pushing Boulders, and in discussion with poets Mercy Dube and Tlhookomelo Mashile discuss how their poetry invites readers into their worlds, and invites readers to rekindle old dreams or create dreams anew. All three poets will recite poems.
10h15 - 11h00 | The Barnyard at Casterbridge | R50 | Book Now The Drawbacks of Telling it all to a Greedy Public. With Sam Cowen (From Whiskey to Water) and Gareth Cliff (Cliffhanger). At some stage, enough revelation becomes damaging and, I dare say, one might even regret it.
11h30 - 12h15 | Casterbridge Hollow Lounge | R50 | Book Now Scarred but not for life. After a deliberate and malicious act changed Kim McCusker’s life forever, Tracey McDonald finds out about the impact this senseless attack has had on her outlook on life; the choices she has made as a result and her attitude towards surviving and thriving in life despite what has come her way.
11h30 - 12h45 | The Barnyard at Casterbridge | R50 | Book Now When things fall apart - can writing and ranting help to reverse our National Decline? Gus Silber is an award-winning journalist, editor speechwriter and author, in discussion with Richard Pithouse (Writing the Decline), Dale McKinley (SA’s Corporatised Liberation), Sizwe Yende (Eerie Assignment) and Athol Williams (Pushing Boulders).
13h45 - 14h30 | Casterbridge Hollow Boardroom | R50 | Book Now Bridget Hilton Barber in discussion with David Hilton Barber : “The past no longer belongs only to those who lived in it; the past belongs to those who claim it, and are willing to explore it and infuse it with meaning for those alive today” - with reference to his book, the Malaboch War and other stories.
I am a writer of non-fictional historic works. My book, The Infamous Malaboch War and other gripping stories of the Old Transvaal and Beyond is an eclectic collection of stories of people and events that in my view have been under-recorded and warrant exposure. Although I do not warrant comparison with them, I identify with the genre of writers such as TV Bulpin and AP Cartwright who popularised travel and history. I subscribe to the notion that was first expressed by George Cory, the eminent historian whose name is embodied at the Cory Collection at the Rhodes University Library: “It is no more than the grateful duty of a succeeding generation to revere the memory of those who bore the heat and burden of the days long gone. But better than merely holding in one’s memories of departed heroes is the placing on permanent record the account of their lives and works.”
The war against Malaboch has been extensively covered in articles published by the South African Military History Society and elsewhere. However it was my reading of Notes from my Diary on the Boer campaign of 1894 against the chief Malaboch of Blaauwberg, district Zoutpansberg, South African Republic by the Rev Colin Rae (published by Juta in 1898) that sparked this fresh look at the campaign. The Rev Rae observes that “through the campaign the poor Malabochians were seldom aggressors, their attitude being nothing more or less than a gentle protest against what they considered an unjust encroachment on their ancestral rights.” The author wrote: “In presenting the following account to the indulgence of the public, I am keeping a promise made to my comrades in the Malaboch campaign, who were kind enough to think that a published diary of events would be of interest, not only to those who were engaged in the expedition, but to a larger number who watched the proceedings of each day with anxiety, and who are deeply interested in South African affairs generally.”
I believe the reasons given by Rae are no less relevant today.
The exploration of the Limpopo was undertaken by a military man stirred to adventure. His aim was to find an easier outlet to the sea, and hence England, for the gold mined at Tati, than the yet undeveloped land route. Whether he was paid is moot. Nevertheless he was the first person to travel the full extent of the river to its outflow into the Indian Ocean.
The Lady Trader ended her days on a farm in the northern Drakensberg. It was called Ravenshill and I have visited it many times. It is redolent with the history of its time - Frank Eland, who was her farm manager, was killed during a skirmish with a Boer commando while serving with the Bushveld Carbineers.
The Bechuanaland piece was triggered by my visits to Francistown while researching my book on the Tati Concession.
Rory Hensman’s was a story to be told. I inspired my friend John Gordon Davis to write it and he visited us several times from his home in Spain. There’s much more to be said about Rory and his elephants but that will have to wait for another time.
I met Albert Machimani at the behest of Tito Mboweni while penning his memoir - yet to be published.
The other chapters in the book are wide-ranging. 13h45 - 14h30 | Casterbridge Hollow Lounge | R50 | Book Now Wildlife Wars. Tall tales and true from the frontline of the fight to save Africa’s natural heritage.Quinton Coetzee in discussion with Tony Park (The Cull), Mario Cesare (Heart of a Game Ranger) and Nikki Meyer (Game for Anything/Rhino Walking Safaris)
13h45 - 14h30 | The Barnyard at Casterbridge | Free | Book Now Youth and Adult Literature… Derick van der Walt in conversation with Mattie Coetzee. Derick discusses his three youth books: Lien se Lankstaanskoene, Willem Poprok and Hoopvol and his two adult books: Daan Dreyer se Blou Geranium and Bambaduze. Mattie will also touch on Derick’s new book Tussen Vriende, which will be out later this year. (An Afrikaans event)
15h00 - 15h45 | Casterbridge Hollow Boardroom | R100 | Book Now Workshop: How to Write Your Family History David and Bridget Hilton Barber, present guidelines on the process for those who are interested in recording their family’s memoirs. This includes a power point presentation.
15h00 - 15h45 | Casterbridge Hollow Lounge | Free | Book Now The Need for Diversity in Youth and Children’s Literature. A discussion with Jayne Bauling (Game Plan); Elaine Pillay (Zwai and the little Creature) and Bandile Sibuyi.
15h00 - 15h45 | The Barnyard at Casterbridge | R50 | Book Now Love, Loss and Literature: the fifth Mrs Brink, Karina M Szczurek, in conversation with Arthur Sithole. The Fifth Mrs Brink tells the story of Karina M Szczurek’s life before, during and after her marriage to Andre P Brink. Polish-born Karina was twenty-seven when she met the acclaimed writer 40 years her senior, and they spent a decade together. Here she chronicles their relationship and finally facing the challenges of Andre’s deteriorating health in the last year of his life.
16h15 - 17h00 | Casterbridge Hollow Lounge | R50 | Book Now Murder she Wrote. Fiona Snyckers leads a discussion with Jassy Mackenzie and Angela Makholwa. As thriller writing evolves both locally and internationally, women writers are at the forefront of new sub-genres like domestic suspense and grip-lit. The success of these can be seen in runaway bestsellers like Gone Girl and The Girl on the Train. Join these mistresses of local thriller writing as they discuss the latest developments in thriller writing.
16h15 - 17h45 | The Barnyard at Casterbridge | R50 | Book Now Forgotten World - An Audio Visual talk. Marius Bakkes (The Lowvelder) in conversation with Prof Peter Delius (Professor of History at Wits University) about his book Forgotten World: the stone-walled settlements of the Mpumalanga Escarpment.
18h00 | Casterbridge Cinema | R50 | Book Now Beyond the River - Directed by Craig Freimond and introduced by Piers Cruikshanks. An uplifting true story about the partnership between Piers Cruikshanks and Siseko Ntondini that inspired the movie Beyond the River. Cruikshanks is an English teacher, an Academic director and an acclaimed sportsman. Ntondini a paddler from the Soweto Canoe Club, with the dream of winning the gold medal in the Dusi. Their decision to train together as a team entailed overcoming both cultural and physical challenges to the required level of expertise. A feel-good adventure story with special appeal to those interested in sport and training for goals. SUNDAY 20th AUGUST
10h00 - 12h00 | Casterbridge Hollow Boardroom | R100 | Book Now Isabella Morris presents her Workshop: From Start to Finish Isabella Morris presents a practical workshop that focuses on taking a writing project from start to finish. How to get the idea onto the page; how to sustain the writing momentum until The End. This course will include theory, practical exercises and worksheets to take away.
10h00 - 10h45 | Casterbridge Hollow Lounge | R50 | Book Now An Eerie Assignment: Carol Sanderson (Rise FM) talks to Sizwe Yende: A memoir detailing Sizwe’s experience as an investigative journalist probing the corruption of the Mpumalanga government officials under the leadership of Premier David Mabuza.
10h00 - 10h45 | The Barnyard at Casterbridge | R50 | Book Now The Disruptors: Can business change the world? Can the world change business? Kerryn Krige and Gus Silber meet South Africa’s social entrepreneurs, journeying through their failures and successes in setting up businesses that exist to achieve social change and profit. This session is a lesson in what works, what hasn’t and why South Africa is the perfect environment for social entrepreneurship.
11h15 - 12h00 | Casterbridge Hollow Lounge | FREE | Book Now The Poole Diaries. Louis Changuion introduces the author Bill Yeowart. Robert Poole kept a diary in which he meticulously recorded his thoughts, impressions and observations, for the entire first year of the Boer war. This work, until now, an unknown document, sheds new light on the war which took place more than a hundred years ago.
11h15 - 12h00 | The Barnyard at Casterbridge | R50 | Book Now Brave Lotus Flower Rides the Dragon. Gareth Cliff interviews Tracy Todd - an intimate and inspiring memoir of a Quadriplegic.
12h30 - 13h15 | Casterbridge Hollow Lounge | FREE | Book Now The Duke from Haenertsburg. Marius Bakkes chats to Louis Changuion. An overview of the life and times of the 11th Duke of Atholl. It is an extraordinary story of a man who did not expect to be elevated into this position and who accepted the title rather reluctantly.
12h30 - 13h15 | The Barnyard at Casterbridge | R50 | Book Now Roads and Stories. Nicky Manson (Editor Lowveld Living Magazine) talks to Fikile Hlatswayo, author of the hilarious and subversive Blacks do Caravan; Adam Cruise who has written the intriguing King Soloman the Showman and Bridget Hilton-Barber, author of Student, Comrade, Prisoner, Spy, a powerful tale of her time as a student activist, detained after she was betrayed by her friend who was a spy for the apartheid security police.
14h00 | Casterbridge Cinema | R50 | Book Now Beyond the River - Directed by Craig Freimond and introduced by Piers Cruikshanks. An uplifting true story about the partnership between Piers Cruikshanks and Siseko Ntondini that inspired the movie Beyond the River. Cruikshanks is an English teacher, an Academic director and an acclaimed sportsman. Ntondini a paddler from the Soweto Canoe Club, with the dream of winning the gold medal in the Dusi. Their decision to train together as a team entailed overcoming both cultural and physical challenges to the required level of expertise. A feel-good adventure story with special appeal to those interested in sport and training for goals.