The Ramsgate Literary Festival Highlights

The Ramsgate Literary Festival Highlights

Here are some of the highlights of the Ramsgate Literary Festival. For more details of when these events take place, please have a look at the itineraries for Thursday 24th September and Friday 25th September.

“KZN Literary Tourism & the South Coast Writers’ Trail” – Prof. Lindy Stiebel

The highly acclaimed Prof. Lindy Stiebel will be officially opening the festival with a presentation titled “KZN Literary Tourism and the South Coast Writers.” Lindy Stiebel is Professor Emeritus of English Studies at the University of KwaZulu-Natal. She is the also the author of a number of books, her latest being, “Thomas Baines: Exploring Tropical Australia.” 2016 will see her further work on Lewis Nkosi entitled “Writing Home: Lewis Nkosi on South African Literature.” She also looks forward to the the e-publication of “A Literary Companion to KwaZulu-Natal,” a book which collects over 10 years of the KZN Literary Tourism projects which she leads. In addition to these books, Lindy Stiebel has published many articles on South African literature, spatial discourse and literary tourism.

“Why record local history?” – Ruth Fifield

Ruth Fifield is a is a local English teacher and lover of history. Her book, “The Postmasters Mistress”,  based on the life love story of Elna Jennings (94), a Port Edward resident, took eight enjoyable years to finish.  Ruth will present a fascinating paper entitled “Why record local history?”

“Ramsgate Recollections” – Doreen Gaze

A resident of Ramsgate for more than half a century, Doreen has done a great deal of research, interviewed many people, as well as drawn on her memories and her Ramsgate experiences to produce her fascinating “Ramsgate Recollections.”

It is packed with historical facts and figures, fascinating stories, wonderful old photographs and an amazing assortment of larger than life characters, all employed to tell the story of Doreen’s home town. She has also tracked down many long-time Ramsgate residents and invited them to share their stories with her readers. With Ramsgate such an integral part of the South Coast, anyone who lives anywhere in this area would find her book well worth while. Not only is it a valuable piece of South Coast history – it is a thoroughly entertaining read. Her book will be on sale at the festival as well as at The Gaze Gallery in Ramsgate

“Personal Reflections” – Libby Cochrane

Local historian and much loved journalist and writer Libby Cochrane, author of  three books, the latest being “Southbroom Remembering Yesteryear” will present  her subject entitled “Personal Reflections”

Book Launch and “The March of the Inniskilling Fusiliers” – Ron Lock

Ron Lock will launch his latest book, “Tales of the Old East Coast.” In this fascinating book, he tells the story of a famous cannibal, a nasty character who went by the name of Sosangita and who lived alongside the Umzimkulu estuary during Port Shepstone’s very early years.

Ron will then present a paper on “The March of the Inniskilling Fusiliers – a tale set in 1842”

“Ignoring The Elephant in the Room” and “Nuclear Power in SA – the need for civil society to actively engage in national discourses” – Mr. Prithiraj Dullay

Another highlight on the day’s calendar, is the guest appearance of Mr. Prithiraj Dullay, author of “Salt Water Runs in My Veins.” This is a compendium of 21 short stories that extend over 100 years; and encapsulates Dullay’s life whilst growing up on the South Coast. He is a respected university academic, columnist and he also writes extensively for several newspapers. In 2003 he developed and became the Senior Officer of the DUT College Lecture Programmes, bringing renowned scholars, writers, filmmakers, poets, scientists, artists and others to the institution. Among these were Mark Shuttleworth; Prof. CNR Rao, world leader on nano technology; American Astronauts and no other than Professor Fatima Meer. He was responsible for the creation of the bronze bust of Steve Biko that stands in Freedom Square in front of the main Library. Mr. Dullay is a controversial and highly acclaimed individual who will present two papers entitled “Ignoring The Elephant in the Room” and “Nuclear Power in SA – the need for civil society to actively engage in national discourses”

“You are wired to win” – Bongi Malishe

Bongi Malishe,author of five motivational books written in Zulu, will present an up-beat talk on relationships, being a woman and the passion that drives her. Her books include: “Ubuhlungu bokuthand’ ungathandwa, ayipheli impilo ngokuphela kothando” (meaning: the pain of loving a person who doesn’t love you anymore-life doesn’t end when the relationship ends) and “Umbango wembokodo ongenasizathu” (it is about the unnecessary competition women always have – discourages the bad attitude and urges women to learn to tolerate each other).

She started writing in 2004 and managed to publish her first book in 2011. “The journey was not easy but at the end of the day I reaped the fruits of working hard. I enjoy reading and writing. Each and every day I want to learn what is happening around me”

“The Miracle and Wonder of Publishing your First Story” – Sarah Unsworth

Sarah Unsworth, local entrepreneur, poet and first time author of children’s novel “Leaving Essenwood – Simons Story” will talk about her journey to becoming a published author. Her novel was published twelve years after completion.

“Namibia is a Great Source of Interesting Tales” – Annette Brink

South Coast author Annette Brink drew heavily on her years spent in Namibia and other remote corners of southern Africa when she wrote her Afrikaans novel, “Dans Met Die Jakkals.”

“I thoroughly enjoyed every minute I spent writing it,” she said. As well as all its fascinating locations, the book offers adventure, romance and the gentle, down to earth characters that are typical of the people she knew before she headed south to live by the sea.

(Review by Judy Davis, South Coast Herald)

“Footprints in Paradise” – Prof. Clive Dennison

Clive Dennison has had a love affair with his “Garden of Eden” — or the Wild Coast — for as long as he can remember. It was where he decided biochemistry was his passion in life; where he was able to bond with his father through fishing; where he could be naughty and climb up a forbidden lighthouse; and where he spent time with the people he loved the most. The Wild Coast was for Dennison, like for many South Africans living in the fast lane, an escape; a place to feel free and adventurous.

Dennison has captured the “brief” history of this tumultuous area in his book, A Brief History of the Wild Coast, which gives a better understanding of who has occupied the shores of the Wild Coast and what impact this has had on the area as a whole. The book is easy to read and has a fresh style about it. It is as if Dennison is sitting next to you on a Wild Coast beach, embarking upon another tale about Captain Turner, or Dr Drewe or perhaps even his favourite character, millionaire medicine man Khotso Sethuntsa.

(Review by The Witness)

“Survivor – South Coast: How heritage happens to hurry hope” – John GI Clark

John GI Clarke hopes to write the wrongs of the world, informed by his experience as a social worker, humanitarian and lay theologian. He discovered a talent for writing and storytelling while travelled around crisis prone trouble spots in Africa for three years (2002 – 2005) as a humanitarian worker and embedded journalist with the World Health Organisation’s Emergency Humanitarian Action Unit.

He lives in Johannesburg, but has for the past decade worked mostly with the Amadiba community on the Pondoland Wild Coast having found himself caught up in the struggles of the King and Queen of the AmaMpondo and the rural residents living along the Pondoland Wild Coast to thwart the ambitions of an Australian mining company to mine their ancestral lands for heavy minerals. His recently published book “The Promise of Justice: King Justice Mpondombini Sigcau’s struggle to save the Kingdom of the Mpondo from unjust developments”, narrates the saga which also featured in the multi award winning documentary The Shore Break, produced by independent film maker Ryley Grunenwald (see )

Poetry by Candlelight at The Burlesque Café

The Burlesque Café is the perfect setting for Poetry by Candlelight. Calling all local poets to submit work for selection

Hazel’s World of Miniatures

Hazels World of Miniatures, a private museum of handcrafted and vintage miniatures will be open to allow public the opportunity of viewing the wonderful collection of miniature literary scenes. Her works feature to name a few include “The Victorian Street Scene,” a Charles Dickens London Christmas Carol setting as well as children’s story tales scenes featuring the famous “Geppetto’s Workshop” from the Enid Blyton novel Pinocchio

“Conteporary Realism Mastered” – Errol Boyley

A Retropsective Art Exhibition entitled “Conteporary Realism Mastered” by Errol Boyley will be open to the public at the Riverbend Crocodile Farm Art Gallery

BEACH PICNIC: “The story of Alan Paton and his life works” – Nazim Gani

The Alan Paton Centre’s Nazim Gani Head and Senior Librarian at the Alan Paton Centre. will present the story of Alan Paton and his life works in the delightful setting of the beach lawns in front of the WhaleBack Cottage on Ramsgate’s Little Billy Beach, this is where his book “Cry The Beloved Country” was completed in 1946.

Tangent Strings

Tangent Strings, thanks to the generous sponsorship from The Waffle House, will present a clasical duet at The Paton Picnic outside WhaleBack Stone Cottage, Little Billy Beach, Ramsgate. Bring your deck chairs and pack your picnic hampers to enjoy this wonderful occasion.

A Selection of pieces by Mozart, Bach, Vivaldi, Haydn, Corelli, Handel and other well known composers including Rossini, Strauss Waltzes. Music from Tschaikovsky ballets, through to Cole Porter jazz numbers, are on the menu

Gela Tolken presents “The Words We Use”

Gela Tolken will present an exquisite exhibition of her jewellery. The Jewelry Exhibition will be held at Artists’ Gallery in Ramsgate.

The South Coast Spring Wine Festival

30 estates presenting over 200 wines at Riverbend Crocodile Farm tickets cost R120 per person and include snacks and your tasting glass.

Who to contact...

Tel: 082 812 7944

Email: [email protected]


Author: Veronica Ridderhof

Veronica loves being creative. Most days find her behind the computer creating or designing something awesome. Veronica enjoys running, trying new recipes and relaxing with a good book and her cat, Bubby.

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