iLembe Book Festival

iLembe Book Festival is a collaborative book event that establishes a space to celebrate and reflect on the human experience. With the theme

“Our Time, Our Stories, Our Voices,”

the festival aims to foster intimate engagement in literature and poetry among the community of iLembe District Municipality and the surrounding communities. Prominent authors, thought leaders, and a generation of fearless voices will converge to tell our stories, to us, in our voices.

The arts and culture are the pulse of any society. The role of literature in South Africa is more relevant today than before. As a country emerging from years of apartheid regime, we are only now finding our voices and telling our stories. Literature adds reality to our lives, and as authors, we understand the power of a written and spoken word and how it influences, can dismantle oppressive systems and bring about social cohesion.

The Happiness Literary Foundation (HLF) (NPC registration number: 2022/460246/08) an artist-run, not-for-profit organisation that fosters and promotes the culture of reading and writing within South Africa communities and invests in the professional development of local artists. The organisation offers several cultural and literary programmes and events for the artists and public that cover a range of global and local topics. iLembe Book Festival is one of the foundation’s programmes. 

With two of the committee members, Nozizwe Cynthia Jele and Dudu Busani-Dube having recently moved to KwaDukuza Municipality, it was clear that there are limited events that feature literature in the district and municipality. The idea of iLembe Book Festival was born from there.

iLembe District Municipality is about 65km north of Durban and is endowed with a wealth of rich historical and cultural history. iLembe comprises four local municipalities between Durban and Richards Bay: Mandeni, KwaDukuza, Maphumulo and Ndwedwe.

To showcase the best of local writing with a spotlight on talent from the province.

Promote the use and inclusion of local languages, especially isiZulu.

To establish a major cultural event in the municipality that is accessible and appealing to all social groups.

To become an annual event that contributes towards enabling the social connectedness (social cohesion) of this community.

Contribute to building a culture of writing and reading among the people of all ages of iLembe District Municipality and surrounding municipalities.

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