Africa Century International African Writers Conference unveils 2019 line-up

The 8th annual Africa Century International African Writers Conference takes place in Pretoria in November.

Event details

Date: 7 November 2019
Venue: Ditsong National Museum of Cultural History, Bosman and Visagie Streets, Pretoria Central

Press release:

The 8th annual Africa Century International African Writers Conference will celebrate and shine a light on dying indigenous languages and explore ways of preserving and developing them through paper presentations, workshops and lectures.

The conference is themed ‘Africa Writing in Tongues: Towards Social, Political, Heritage and Culture Justice’, and celebrates Unesco’s International Year of Indigenous Languages (IY2019).

National Poet Laureate Wally Mongane Serote will present a poetry workshop as part of the National Poet Laureates programme, which will roll-out fully next year, 2020.

The Conference theme for 2019 is a sequel to that of last year (2018) – Unifying Africa: Writing and Reading African Languages. Presentations focused on the role of language in society and how Africa can advance herself through a sustainable future.

Prof Professor Mandla Stanley Makhanya, Principal and Vice Chancellor of the University of South Africa, the keynote speaker, will deliver the 8th International African Writers Day Lecture under the Conference theme.

The 2019 speakers include:

  • Muyanga Innocent Ziba, lecturer in Communication and Journalism, University of Livingstonia, Malawi.
  • Sandile Tshabalala, MPhil Commercial Law candidate at the University of Cape Town, a junior company secretary at TMF Group based in Amsterdam, Netherlands, legal research in governance and strategy for Mazars South Africa.
  • Nonkosi Tyolwana, director, Social Cohesion & Diversity: Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT).
  • Menzi Thango, academic, poet, editor and publisher. He lectures isiZulu Linguistics in the Department of African Languages at the University of the Free State, QwaQwa Campus.
  • Monicca Thulisile Bhuda, culture activist, indigenous researcher and an ethnomathematician, holds a Bachelor (Hons) degree in Indigenous Knowledge Systems (IKS) from the North West University (2017) with distinction, a Master’s degree in IKS also from the North West University (2019) with distinction and currently doing her PhD in IKS.
  • Prof. Vuyisile Msila, professor at University of South Africa’s (Unisa’s) Leadership and Transformation. He is the former Head of the Institute for African Renaissance Studies at Unisa.
  • Itumeleng Molefi, science educator and freelance writer whose writing focuses on science and the arts.
  • Gugulethu Neo Bodibe, Setswana writer and researcher.

The conference is line with the United Nations (UN) declaration that 2019 is the International Year of Indigenous Languages (IY2019). The UN wants to raise awareness of indigenous languages not only to benefit native speakers of these languages, ‘but also for others to appreciate the important contribution they make to our world’s rich cultural diversity’.

Language is a fundamental part of our daily lives, in each society, country, and nation. To express anything in our mind or in our heart it can only happen through the language. It is the heart of each society’s unique identity, cultural history, and memory. Through language, people maintain their community’s history, customs, and traditions; they also use it to build the future of following generations.

Established in 2012 by the wRite associates, the Africa Century International African Writers Conference is a historical gathering of literary intellectuals and authors from across the world. The main aim of the conference is to afford African writers, scholars and community at large a platform to deliberate on issues of social, political and human rights importance through its seminars and the International African Writers Day Lectures.

For more information and attendance please visit or write to

Categories Fiction Non-fiction South Africa

Tags Africa Century International African Writers Conference Book events News Pretoria

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