Home Lifestyle Try the unexpected over the Franschhoek Literary Festival weekend

Try the unexpected over the Franschhoek Literary Festival weekend

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Bolu Babalola author of Honey & Spice

The Franschhoek Literary Festival is back with a bang, offering book lovers and culture enthusiasts an extraordinary weekend of literary delights from 17 to 19 May 2024. While several author sessions and workshops have sold out, there is still time to avoid disappointment by planning your weekend activities over the next few days.

If you’re overwhelmed and thinking “Where do I start?”, we recommend that you first secure your seat to various sessions on the programme, then make a reservation at some of the top restaurants and wine estates in the Valley.

Here are some of the sessions currently piquing the interest of Festival fans:

Friday, 17 May 2024

  • Screen Grab: Irish romance sensation Cecelia Ahern (PS, I Love You) and SA crime pioneer Angela Makholwa – whose Red Ink is out on Showmax – swap notes on the art of crafting a screen adaptation.
  • The Post-Patriarchy: The books by these three panellists feature queer male protagonists who are fathers, or sons, or both. Koketso Sachane connects the dots with S.J. Naudé (Of Fathers and Fugitives), Wisani Mushwana (A Soft Landing) and Alistair Mackay (The Child).
  • Melodies in Words: An Evening of Art Song and Poetry: Well-known duo Lynelle Kenned (Soprano) and Stefan Lombard (Pianist) introduce old and new art song favourites in German, French and Afrikaans. The programme offering is beautifully brought together by poetic translations read by actress Jazzara Jaslyn.

Saturday, 18 May 2024

  • Sweet and Spicy with Bolu Babalola: Mohale Mashigo spends an hour in the hot-but-hilarious world of British-Nigerian author Bolu Babalola, whose campus-romance blockbuster Honey & Spice exploded on BookTok.
  • In the Thirst Person: Having good sex is apparently easier than writing good sex scenes. But that’s not rocket science, surely? Letlhogonolo Mokgoroane juggles the ins and outs of high-end lit smut with Busisekile Khumalo (Sunshine and Shadows), Joy Watson (The Other Me) and Kobby Ben Ben (No One Dies Yet).
  • Red Ink on Screen: Angela Makholwa and actress Nqobile Nunu Khumalo talk to Mohale Mashigo about the TV adaptation by Showmax of Red Ink, Makholwa’s hit thriller about a writer’s entanglement with a serial killer.

Sunday, 19 May 2024

  • A Cheeky Chat: Join the Cheeky Natives podcasting duo (Alma-Nalisha Cele & Letlhogonolo Mokgoroane) as they shoot the breeze with British-Nigerian author Bolu Babalola (Honey & Spice) and Candice Carty-Williams (People Person).
  • How to Grip Your Reader: Join Danielle Weakley as she learns about the narrative tricks that make a book unputdownable from Femi Kayode (Gaslight), Fiona Snyckers (The Hidden) and Nick Mulgrew (Tunnel).
  • The End of an Ego-System: Don Pinnock talks to Adam Welz (The End of Eden) and Sandra Swart (The Lion’s Historian: Africa’s Animal Past) about the animal–human relationships that have profoundly shaped our history.
  • Flower of Babel: Sandile Ngidi, who judged the entries for the latest (12th) edition of the Sol Plaatje European Union Poetry Anthology, explores South Africa’s rich poetic memory with contributors Mapule Ramaila Moswane and Vuyokazi Ngemntu.

All the books featured on the 2024 programme will be on sale at the Festival through Exclusive Books; and are also available at the FLF Exclusive Books Online Store here.

In addition to a stellar lineup of authors and panel discussions, this year’s Festival offers to showcase the hidden gems and unique experiences that make Franschhoek a “must-visit” destination. Here are a few things to do during the festival weekend (or should you decide to extend your stay):

  • Franschhoek Wine Tram adventure: Explore the picturesque vineyards and wineries of Franschhoek aboard the iconic Wine Tram. Sample award-winning wines and indulge in gourmet cuisine while soaking in the breathtaking views of the Valley.
  • Artisanal chocolate tasting: Delight your taste buds with a decadent chocolate tasting experience at one of Franschhoek’s renowned chocolatiers.
  • Hike to Mont Rochelle Nature Reserve: Weather permitting, early birds will be able to embark on a scenic hike in the Mont Rochelle Nature Reserve and immerse themselves in the natural beauty of the Western Cape. Enjoy panoramic views of the Valley and encounter diverse flora and fauna along the way.
  • Vintage shopping spree: Take time to browse through Franschhoek’s charming boutiques and antique shops for one-of-a-kind treasures and other satisfying finds. Discover vintage clothing, home décor and collectibles reflecting the town’s rich heritage.

To find out more about what Franschhoek has to offer, click here. For additional information about the Festival and the speakers, including the complete programme and ticket details, please visit the Festival site.