Knysna Literary Festival starts tomorrow

Mark Collins, who was captain of Sanlam Painted Wolf – the team that made headlines last year by coming fourth in the Africa Expedition adventure race held in Australia – will be inspiring and captivating audiences at the Knysna Literary Festival. Photo: Supplied

KNYSNA NEWS - This year's eighth Knysna Literary Festival is upon us tomorrow, Thursday March 16 until March 19.
 
Festival manager Sasha Campbell says bookings have been excellent, with some events having sold out the same day they opened.
 
While there are still some hot seats to be had at some of the talks, listed below, Campbell said she was very excited about the Children's Theatre to be held at Knysna Primary School from 09:00 until 10:00 on Thursday, March 16.
 
"It is really exciting to see over 300 children coming to this event and thanks to generous sponsors, children from Fraaisig, Concordia and Rheenendal will be attending," says Campbell.
 
Go to www.knysnaliteraryfestival.co.za to book events.
 
Beyond the Wall by Mark Collins will be held at the Conrad Pezula Resort and Spa, 11:30 to 12:30 on Sunday, March 19. Tickets at R150 are still available.
 
Collins, who was captain of Team Sanlam Painted Wolf and made headlines last year by coming fourth in the Africa Expedition adventure race held in Australia, will be inspiring and captivating audiences.
 
Expedition racing is, according to Collins, arguably the toughest sport on earth as teams race nonstop and unsupported for up to 200 hours over mountains, rivers, jungles, deserts and oceans.
 
During his talk Collins will talk about his racing career spanning 18 years, the lessons learnt, the strategies he used.
 
"During Africa Expedition 2016 we had just the most incredible support from the community of Knysna, so as much as I look forward to talking at the festival, this is also my chance to to thank the community for their support and say how much it meant," says Collins.
 
Jan Smuts Unafraid of Greatness by Richard Steyn will be at the Conrad Pezula Resort and Spa from 09:00 to 10:00 on Friday March 17. Tickets at R150 are still available.
 
The book Steyn has written is intended to remind a contemporary readership of the remarkable achievements of Jan Smuts, who he describes as an impressive soldier-statesman. Steyn will be talking about what he calls the huge strengths and weaknesses of Smuts during a time when neither the National Party or the ANC were particularly interested in him.
 
"He is a founder of modern South Africa with all its strengths and weaknesses and a hugely important character in the history of this country," said Steyn. "I look forward to explaining why Smuts was such a significant character and why his reputation should be kept alive,"
 
Steyn says he was extremely happy to be invited to talk at the Knysna Literary Festival since this will be a new audience for him, having previously been at the Franschoek Book Festival.

Anastacia Tomson will talk about her book Always Anastacia at the Turbine Hotel and Spa from 09:30 to 10:30 on Saturday, March 18. Tickets at R150 are still available.
 
Anastacia Tomson is a medical doctor, author and activist, and also transgender – challenges that make her quite unique. Just from a sneak peek at her book and after speaking to her, this talk is sure to be motivating for everybody who attends.
 
"I'm always very excited to share the details of my story with new audiences," says Tomson. "It is always a privilege to visit Knysna, knowing that it is a town with a unique character and identity, and a rich cultural history, not to mention overwhelming natural beauty.
 
"I feel like it is a privilege to have a platform through which I can connect with people and give them a window into these experiences that are so often regarded as foreign but which, in reality, have a very relatable and common human element that underpins them all."
 
Tomson says she recognises that progress towards understanding, compassion and empathy is best achieved through sharing and through making oneself vulnerable, and this has always been the driving motivation behind why she does what she does – and shares so openly about it.
 
The audience is sure to come away inspired after hearing how, although many of Tomson's hardships and challenges are behind her, she truly believes that through talking about those experiences she can make a difference for the better in the lives of others. "It is this hope that spurs me on, despite the risks inherent in sharing so openly and candidly," says Tomson.
 
Moeletsi Mbeki will be hosting a talk, A Manifesto for Social Change, at the Conrad Pezula Resort and Spa from 14:00 to 15:00 on Friday, March 17. Tickets at R150 are still available.
 
Moeletsi Mbeki is a journalist, private business entrepreneur and political commentator as well as editor of Advocates for Change: How to Overcome Africa’s Challenges (2011) and editor of Architects of Poverty: Why African Capitalism Needs Changing (2009).
 
A Manifesto for Social Change is the third of a three-volume series that started seven years ago investigating the causes of our country’s – and the continent’s – development obstacles. Architects of Poverty: Why African Capitalism Needs Changing (2009) set out to explain what role African elites played in creating and promoting their fellow Africans’ misery.
 
Advocates for Change: How to Overcome Africa’s Challenges (2011) set out to show that there were short to medium-term solutions to many of Africa’s and South Africa’s problems, from agriculture to healthcare, if only the powers that be would take note.
 
And now, more than 20 years after the advent of democracy, we have A Manifesto for Social Change, the conclusion in the "trilogy". Literary Festival manager Sasha Campbell says that Mbeki, " is an amazing speaker, with so much insight, definitely a speaker not to be missed."
 
 
Moeletsi Mbeki will talk about social change in South Africa. Photo: Supplied 
 
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