The Sol Plaatje University in Kimberley kicked off Africa Month celebrations in the province by holding a colloquium on the state, past and present, of South African literature.
The colloquium was held in partnership with the Department of Arts and Culture.
Famous South African writers Zakes Mda, Mandla Langa and Eusebius McKaiser headlined the colloquium.
Community members gathered at the university where the discussion delved into challenges facing authors in the country.
The discussion also touched on how indigenous languages play a crucial role in highlighting the black South African narrative.
Mda says there is an abundance of authors who write in indigenous languages but distribution of these books is a problem.
“There’s great literature published out there in South Africa in all the different indigenous languages. There are wonderful novels, plays and poetry that are published by various publishers some of which are independent publishers that publish in indigenous languages. The problem of course is distribution and I will encourage then people to read this literature.”
Author Eusebius McKaiser says sometimes the quality of writing in the country suffers because authors cannot commit full time to their craft.
“It’s very hard to be a full time writer in South Africa because we don’t make enough money from the sales of our books and that means that you don’t write as regularly as you want. It also means that you don’t have the luxury of time to workshop your books or manuscripts as thoroughly as you should. And that’s a big problem for our country.”
Deputy Minister of Arts and Culture Rejoice Mabudhafasi says the department encourages young authors to write their stories in African languages to build archives for future generations.