Book festival set to bring stories of the Cape Flats to life

Acclaimed writer and poet Diana Ferrus will be part of the 2023 Cape Flats Book Festival line-up, which takes place in Mitchell’s Plain in November.

Excitement is building for the third Cape Flats Book Festival, set to take place on Saturday and Sunday November 4 and 5 at West End Primary School in Lentegeur, Mitchell’s Plain.

The festival is hosted by literacy NGO Read to Rise and this year’s book festival is sponsored by the Western Cape Government, the Department of Cultural Affairs and Sports and West End Primary School.

“The Cape Flats Book Festival is rewriting the narrative of the Cape Flats by bringing stories, ideas and dreams to life,” says Read to Rise, co-founder and author Athol Williams.

“We are recasting literary festivals as events relevant and accessible to everyone. We are building bridges between communities. Our mission is to explicitly bring South Africa’s authors and publishers to the Cape Flats and to showcase the Cape Flats’ authors.

“These two worlds, so often structurally divided, are brought together at the festival.”

Athol Williams and Taryn Lock, co-founders of literacy NGO Read to Rise, which hosts the annual Cape Flats Book Festival.

“We’re excited to be hosting the third Cape Flats Book Festival in November and have some amazing authors and poets lined up. There’s lots for both adults and children and the events are free to attend.” says Taryn Lock, executive director of Read to Rise.

Premier Alan Winde, Read to Rise chairman Nicholas Williams and West End Primary principal Clive Arries will attend the opening ceremony on Saturday November 4 at 10am.

This year the programme includes poets Diana Ferrus, Siphokazi Jonas, Khadija Heeger, poets from the Cape Cultural Collective, Poets Vannie Kaap, the Mengelmoesdigters, and 13-year-old poet Leila Phoenix Alexander, among others.

Authors include Patric Tariq Mellet, Nadia Kamies, Tessa Dooms and Lynsey Chutel (Coloured), Nikki Munitz (Fraud), Yusuf Daniels, Joy Watson, Sarah Isaacs (Glass Tower), Mia Arderne, Baydu Adams, Nadine Dirks (Hot Water), Sindiwe Magona, Megan Choritz, Gertrude Fester, Dennis Cruywagen, Willy Mathys and many more.

Children’s book authors include Karen Theunissen, Nonikiwe Mashologu, Naomi Meyer, Anthony Silverston, Christina Kleynhans, CA Davids, Paulvin Webster and many more.

There will be over 30 sessions during the two days with over 50 speakers. There will also be a poetry and identity workshop by the Life Righting Collective and an information session for aspiring writers.

Oaky the mascot will also make an appearance at the Cape Flats Book Festival at West End Primary School in Lentegeur.

Kids can come see the Oaky Puppet Show and enjoy an appearance by Oaky the mascot. There will be exhibitors with books and food on sale, ensuring fun for both adults and children.

The book festival takes place on Saturday November 4, from 10am to 4pm and on Sunday November 5, from 10am to 2.30pm at West End Primary School in Merrydale Avenue, Lentegeur. Entry is free.

For more information or if you would like to assist Read to Rise in promoting youth literacy, visit or email You can also follow Read to Rise on Facebook and Instagram.