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with presentations by

Prof Sihawukele Ngubane

Dr Bongani Nyoka

Sandile Ngidi

Lorato Trok

Dr David Wa Maahlamela

Sihle Khumalo

Peter Schneider

Lisa Combrink

Monica Seeber

Join us as we celebrate the Power of Authors

ANFASA is hosting its second annual Power of Authors Virtual Symposium

The Power of Authors is a conversation among authors, about authors to debate and speak about the crucial role authors play and have played in bringing about change in society.

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Throughout history the author has played the voice of opposition; a source of information, entertainment and wisdom; a record keeper for oral histories of various cultures and a creator of knowledge. Authors have been the bridge to society, and they have existed since ancient times.

The 2nd Annual Power of Authors Virtual Symposium will look at the role that prominent South Africa Authors played in influencing change, giving people hope and courage during the hard times of apartheid as well as looking at how have those authors influenced the current and future thought leaders and their contribution in shaping the society

The conference will focus on three distinct parts:

  • Debating, exploring and re-establishing the role that influential authors played in the past and present.

  • Claiming the right to earn an income and exploring ways of strengthening income. Authors are creators of knowledge, and their creation has economic value. Rather than asking if authors can make a living from their work, the question is posed – is the role that authors play adequately rewarded? What is the status of the author in society?

  • What is the role and contribution of authors in the development and the preservation of South Africa’s indigenous languages? Are there enough books written or translated to and from indigenous languages?

Programme Details

Tuesday, 12 May 2022 09:00-13:00

Karabo Kgoleng

Conference Moderator

Opening of the conference and welcoming the attendees.
A brief introduction to the discussion among authors, about authors.

Prof Sihawukele Ngubane

This programme is subject to change without prior notice.


Karabo Kgomotso Kgoleng


Karabo Kgoleng is a journalist and facilitator who works with writers and academics in the humanities to give their work a public life.

She believes that engagement in social and cultural issues contributes significantly to the transformation of individuals and communities across geopolitical borders.

Karabo is a recipient of the South African Literary Award for Journalism and is a sought-after speaker on storytelling as central to public intellectual and cultural life. She has also adjudicated prestigious literary awards and worked on selection panels for short story anthologies. She has worked as Books Editor for City Press, talk show host at SAfm and Talk Radio 702, and at the Department of Arts and Culture as Deputy Director: Books and Publishing.

She holds a BA Honours in Migration and Displacement and is currently pursuing her MA in the same field at The African Centre for Migration and Society at the University of the Witwatersrand http://www.migration.org.za/karabo-kgoleng/. She is also a junior researcher for the Africa Asia Dialogues. 

Bongani Nyoka

Dr Bongani Nyoka


Dr Bongani Nyoka is a lecturer in the Department of Political and International Studies at Rhodes University. He holds a doctorate in sociology from the University of South Africa. Dr Nyoka is the author of two books, Archie Mafeje: Voices of Liberation (HSRC Press, 2019) and The Social and Political Thought of Archie Mafeje (Wits University Press, 2020). The latter book won the 2021 Rhodes University Vice-Chancellor’s Book Award. A 2013 CODESRIA laureate, Dr Nyoka’s research interests include African intellectual history and revolutionary theory.

Motsa Portrait 2

Prof Zodwa Motsa



Zodwa Motsa is a Full Professor of English at the University of South Africa. She has served in the Vice Chancellor’s Office as the Executive Director: Department of Leadership and Transformation, Motsa has been the Director of Scholarship in the Change Management Unit, Director: UNISA-Ethiopia Centre and Chair of Department: UNISA Department of English. She has published widely on English drama, theatre, African literatures and the impact of colonial education in Africa. A Fulbright scholar (of Michigan State University), Motsa has also supervised several Master’s and Doctoral candidates. She is a translator, an interpreter, and a writer whose interests in education in Africa, identities, and curriculum justice in the post-colonial era inform both her scholarly research and creative writings. Prof Motsa is renowned for advocating the repositioning of indigenous lore and systems as the foundation for modern literature in siSwati and African Literature as can be seen in some of her Africa-centred theories of theatre informing university syllabi. Motsa’s scientific publications approximate 50 outputs. Her most recent publication, An Introduction to the Literature of eSwatini (December 2020), is an expanse historical-literary analysis of the literature of eSwatini from inception to date. The Soyinka Impulse (July 2019) explores the impact of Africa’s major artistic contribution to world theatre, while Remembering and Reconstructing Identities in Post War South Africa (2021) sharply reflects on the physical and psychological ravages of war in society, specifically, South Africa. In “Kaziyang’emasisweni: Masilela and Kunene’s Dialogue of Great Civilisations Across Time” (in press 2022) Motsa juxtaposes Greek, Anglo and Nguni philosophies to demonstrate the magnanimity of these grand cultures in society advancement. A keen advocate for the re-centering of Africa’s ontologies in research and tuition in the university, Motsa’s (2017) contribution in the Higher Education curriculum justice discourse has earned her international repute in the UK, Asia and the USA. She serves in various boards as President, Chief Editor (journals) and Chief Guest Editor both within South Africa and internationally.  Motsa has taught in several institutions, principal amongst which are: The University of Swaziland, the Medical University of Southern Africa and the University of South Africa. As a Director in Ethiopia for seven years at the UNISA Ethiopia Centre Motsa was responsible for Doctoral and Masters students. A grounded teacher of literatures, Motsa balances with ease and equal expertise her position of exploring the literary and grammatical word in English and in siSwati. Zodwa Motsa’s primary ethos is the positioning of the African intellectual enterprise as unique and equal contributor to the world tapestry of knowledges. Africa is central to her core business.


Mélikah Abdelmoumen


Mélikah Abdelmoumen is a writer and editor born in Chicoutimi in 1972. She holds a PhD in literature from the Université de Montréal and has published numerous articles and short stories, as well as several novels and essays, including Les désastrées (2013) and Douze ans en France (2018)—she lived in Lyon from 2005 to 2017. From June 2019 to 2021, she worked as an editor at Groupe Ville-Marie Littérature, in Montréal, and she is currently the editor-in-chief at the journal Lettres québécoises. Her next book, Baldwin, Styron et moi, will be published by Mémoire d’encrier in February 2022. 


Prof Sihawukele Ngubane


Prof Sihawukele Ngubane is an academic and astute professional, educator, researcher, communicator, Author and Editor of published books and a protocol in isiZulu Royalty customs and traditions and a Professor of isiZulu Language, Literature and Culture at the University of KwaZulu-Natal and one of the most senior and accomplished isiZulu Linguist in the country.  His visionary perspective has earned him opportunities to work on local and national strategic positions and as a Leader of the African Renaissance Movement in KwaZulu-Natal since 2002 to date; Zulu Royal Household Trust; DALRO; USiba Writers Association; and also chairs Pan African Writers Society (PAWS).

Sandile Ngidi

Sandile Ngidi


Sandile Ngidi grew up at Amahlongwa on the KwaZulu-Natal south coast. He is a port, art critic and literary translator who writes in Zulu and English.

Sandile is a student at the University of Cape Town’s Department of Historical Studies, courtesy of the Andrew Mellon Foundation and the ground-breaking History Access programme. He is an associate of the Archive and Public Culture (APC) Research Initiative, and the Five Hundred Year Archive (FHYA).

His forthcoming MA mini dissertation is on Mazisi Kunene’s epic poem, Emperor Shaka The Great (1979). Sandile is committed to critical scholarship that centre Blackness, and rises against the violence of Western modernity, and its present, ever-mutating traumatic and maddening aftermaths.

In 2018, Mahlephula Press published his poetry chapbook, You Can’t Tell Me Anything Now. His poetry features in Halala Madiba – Nelson Mandela in Poetry, a collection published by Aflame Books and edited by Raks Seakhoa and Richard Bartlet.

Together with Prof Innocentia Mhlambi, Sandile is the editor of Mintirho ya vulavula: Arts, national identities, and democracy in South Africa, published by Mistra (via Jacana Media) in February 2021.

Sandile is committed in radical intellectual practices that question colonial, and neocolonial archival practices in South Africa in particular. He agrees with the recently departed South African literary scholar, Bhekizizwe Peterson, that, ‘the twenty-first century must tun to indigenous-language models if what is sought is a properly self-defining intellectual history’.


Dr David Wa Maahlamela


David wa Maahlamela is the author of Moswarataukamariri (2006), Sejamoledi (2012), and Ditlabonyane (2012). He also compiled an anthology, Tša Borala (2014). His accolades include the PanSALB Multilingualism Award, Maskew Miller Longman Award, the Darlo Prize New Coin Poetry Award, and the South African Book Development Council Award. One of the very few to be named twice on the Mail & Guardian Top Young South Africans list, Maahlamela chaired the National Arts Council’s literature advisory panel. He served as a director of various international festivals including Poetry Africa as well as Time of the Writer. Currently, a fellow at the University of Johannesburg’s Johannesburg Institute for the Advanced Study (JIAS), he holds MA in Creative Writing (cum laude) and PhD in African Languages from Rhodes University. Among others, the 38-year-old language and literary scholar is a former chairperson of the Pan South African Language Board.

Peter Schneider
Manager, Public Lending Right Program
Gestionnaire, Programme du droit de prêt public
Executive Secretary, Public Lending Right Commission
Secrétaire général, Commission du droit de prêt public
Photo: Martin Lipman

Peter Schneider


Peter Schneider has served as the Manager and Executive Secretary to Canada’s Public Lending Right Commission since 2012. In this role, he leads a dedicated team who deliver the PLR Program under the auspices of the Canada Council for the Arts in Ottawa, Canada. He has delivered detailed reports about the evolution and progress of the Canadian PLR Program at numerous PLR International conferences, including Dublin (2013), The Hague (2015), Paris (2017), and London (2019).

The Canadian PLR Program is overseen by the 15-member Public Lending Right Commission, a permanent advisory body which brings together the expertise and guidance of authors, translators, librarians, publishers, and government representatives from both English and French language communities. More than 20,000 creators (authors, illustrators, narrators, photographers, and translators) are presently registered with the Canadian PLR Program. PLR payments are made each February to recognize the public use and value of print books, ebooks, and audiobooks held in public libraries across Canada in all languages. The current PLR budget is nearly $15 million Canadian dollars.

Prior to joining PLR, Peter worked for ten years as a program officer at the Canada Council for the Arts, administering grant competitions to professional writers and to literary and art magazines. His early career experience included stints as an accredited journalist, newspaper editor, and community radio producer.

Lisa Combrinck

Reflections on the Power of Authors

Lisa Combrinck is the head of the National Language Service at the Department of Sport, Arts and Culture. She was previously the head of Communications in the then Department of Arts and Culture. She is a poet, an essayist and an organizer of literary events. She has worked in national government in various capacities for more than twenty years. Prior to that she worked as a lecturer and an editor.


Prof Daniel Matjila


DS Matjila is Professor in the Department of African Languages and Head of Centre for Pan African Languages and Cultural Development at Unisa. He is also a research fellow at the University of Michigan. His research interests include literacy, applied linguistics, psycho-linguistics, literature and cultural history. He has presented scientific papers nationally and internationally and published articles on language, culture and literature in various journals. He is also a writer of short stories, novels and readers. DS Matjila is NRF rated researcher

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Lorato Trok


Lorato is an early literacy consultant and expert in developing reading for pleasure books for young children, especially in African languages. She has more than 20 years’ experience in publishing, writing and story development in children’s literature. Lorato started her career as a librarian at Robert Moffat Library in her home town of Kuruman, Northern Cape. Her other career highlights include being a Project Coordinator at the Centre for the Book in Cape Town, a specialist unit of the National Library of South Africa for the award winning (IBBY 2004) First Words in Print project, a project where children’ stories were created with input from publishers in all 11 official South African languages and distributed across the country in homes and schools. In 2005 Lorato was invited to help launch the “Reading Africa” program at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Library, Washington, D.C.

Lorato worked as a Publishing Programme Manager at Room to Read South Africa, an American based INGO. One of the children’s books she produced for Room to Read won a prestigious UNICEF Best ECD publication in 2011//2012. She was also an editor and Project Manager, Schools Publishing at Oxford University Press. She was a South Africa, Lesotho and Zambia Country Co-ordinator for the African Storybook Initiative, a digital publishing platform for children’s stories across Africa. She has contributed a number of stories in English and Setswana on the website. She is also a published author of 17 children’s books (including radio stories) and young adults. She has presented papers locally and internationally on children’s literature.

Lorato is a creative writing facilitator and has facilitated multilingual writing workshops in South Africa, Zambia, Lesotho, Swaziland, Kenya and the United States of America for teachers, learners, writers and librarians. In December 2017 and 2020, Association of Non-Fiction and Academic Authors of South Africa (ANFASA), supported by the Norwegian Embassy awarded Lorato a writing grant to write a biographies of her ‘Unsung Heroes’ series of Rosina Sedibane Modiba, South Africa’s first Black female athlete to compete against white athletes during the apartheid years and set multiple records. The second book in this series, The Forgotten Scientist: The Story of Saul Sithole is about the untold story of a pioneering black scientist who made a great contribution to the fields of anthropology and ornithology in South Africa.

Lorato’s book, Rosina Sedibane Modiba: A Dream Denied was selected as one of the five United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 5: Gender Equality and Empowerment of all women and girls for the UN Africa Chapter SDG Book Club, December 2021.

Lorato is currently a consulting Managing Editor for Puku Children’s Literature Foundation, supervising the team and processes involved in sourcing and publishing multilingual content for Puku’s digital platforms. She has done work for almost all of South Africa’s early literacy organisations. She is currently a consultant for Nal’ibali Reading-for-enjoyment campaign, South Africa’s biggest literacy promotion initiative, with multiple responsibilities, including co-ordinating and quality checking the translation and editing of all Nal’ibali Reading-for-enjoyment campaign product for multiple platforms in Setswana, Sesotho and Sepedi from handover of manuscript to final/ printed product, as well as translate and/or edit all Setswana documents.

Lorato’s translation and editing work is vast and have translated more than 100 works of children’s literature into Setswana and on a smaller scale into Afrikaans. Some of the story books she has translated in Setswana through the African Storybook Initiative (www.africanstorybook.org) are prescribed reading for enjoyment books in some schools in the North West Province. Her work in promoting African languages and early literacy spans all nine South African provinces, across the African continent and the United States of America. At the beginning of 2019 she was one of the authors commissioned to translate selected English prose works from English to Setswana by the University of Sol Plaatje’s Repatriation of Letters project. She translated award winning author Lesego Kagiso Molope’s This Book Betrays my Brother from English to Setswana. In 2020 she won an IBBY award for best translation.

Lorato is on the Executive Committee of IBBY SA (International Board on Books for Young Children) responsible for membership drive, IBBY Reviews Chair and a board member of the Pan South African Language Board (Setswana National Language Body).


Sihle Khumalo


Sihle Khumalo is South Africa’s award winning and bestselling author. He has written four books and contributed to two. His book, Almost Sleeping My Way to Timbuktu, won the 2014 South African Literary Award (creative non-fiction category). He was educated at Durban University of Technology as well as at Wits and Stellenbosch Business Schools. His next book will be published in September 2022.


Monica Seeber

Closing Address

Monica Seeber founded ANFASA in 2004 and was its first director. She is currently a member of the ANFASA Board. She is a publishing consultant and book editor, and co-author with Nicholas Evans of The Politics of Publishing in South Africa (2001) as well as a guide to the management of copyright in book publishing, written for WIPO. Monica has also written numerous articles on copyright and publishing. She is a founder member of the African Publishers Network (APNET).

This programme is subject to change without prior notice.


The conference is presented by the Academic and Non-Fiction Authors’ Association of South Africa (ANFASA), in proud association with the Royal Norwegian Embassy and the Norwegian Non-Fiction Writers and Translators Association (NFF)

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