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AWWS announces Keynote Speaker

More about the Speaker

More about the programme: AWWS to Close with a Special Afro Jazz concert

AWWS Projects & Previously hosted writers  


The African Women Writers Symposium (AWWS) has announced its keynote speaker, Ms Patricia Smith, for the 2021 7th edition. The award winning poet and writer will deliver the keynote address in Memoriam Lecture for Nobel Laureate Nadine Gordimer, Nadine Gordiner on 4 December 2021 at Soweto Theatre, Johannesburg, from 4 PM to 5:30 PM. The AWWS will resume on 12 December 2021 at the Amazulu Gardens Kloof, Durban from 12 to 5 PM with a cultural music and poetry.


More about the Speaker

Ms Patricia Smith is a writer and poet based in the United States of America. She authored eight poetry books and has been recognised with awards for her great literary work and contribution to the arts. In 2021 she was recognised with the Ruth Lily Poetry Prize. In 2017 her poetry book, Incendiary Art won the Kingsley Tuffs Poetry Award, an NAACP Image Award, and a finalist for both the Neustadt International Prize for Literature and the Pulitzer Prize among others. 


More about the programme: AWWS to Close with a Special Afro Jazz concert

The AWWS will kick start with a poetry workshop hosted by Silke Heiss and Rotche Kester. From 1:45 to 3:30 PM at Soweto. The workshop will be followed by customary law experts, Nomboniso Gasa and Prof Farid Esack, with a discussion titled-Gender Equality: Challenges of building a cultural and religious diverse nation. 

The evening session will be warmed up by established poets and musicians like Noluthando Mkhungo, Melissa Moyo, Busiswe Mahlangu, Zandile Caroline Sibanda, Silke Heiss, Themby Khumalo, House sensation Thabsie, Leomile, violinist Neo Motsatse, and many more.


Afro Arts SA in partnership with Amazulu will deliver an Afro Jazz concert in Durban with the following artists: award-winning and multi-talented singer and trombone player Siya Makhuzeni, zulu, and jazz guitar maestro, Bheki Khoza with his band. More poets to be featured include Sindiswa Lady Africa Zulu, Thando Fuze, and  Luleka Mlhanzi.


Sindiswa Lady Africa Zulu
Sindiswa Lady Africa Zulu: Poet, author and public speaker

Previously hosted writers & AWWS Projects

The Nadine Gordimer In Memorium lecture in the past hosted the following writers; Leila Abouleila (Egypt/Sudan), Gillian Slovo (UK/SA), Aminata Forna (Sierra Leon/UK), Lorna Goodison (Jamaica) among others.  AWWS recently completed a successful educational arts programme in Modimolle, Limpopo. 



The Gordimer Lecture will be live-streamed on the following platforms:

Facebook: Africa Women Writers Network

Facebook: Joburg Theatre

Weblink url: afroarts.co.za


By: Mogotladi Makgato


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