What happens when you round up a gaggle of talented South African authors and let them loose in a brewery? Laughter (with some snorting), sharing of ideas and a few classic Facebook posts. Oh, they might have sold some books too.
Sunday the 10th September the sprawling grounds that house the Black Horse Brewery in Magaliesburg was home to reprobates of a different kind. The parking lot hugging the Italian-esq architecture of the brewery was overflowing with people hungry to peruse the cream of South African Indie literature whilst simultaneously sipping an ale.
It's a warm and cosy Wednesday evening. Parents are at home with their children, winding down after long day at the office. Not being a parent and arguably not even an adult, I find myself wondering through the shelves at Skoobs Bookstore in MonteCasino, Johannesburg. The thing I love most about Skoobs is that African authors are displayed loudly and proudly. Not just the serious stuff but the fiction authors also have a home on the shelves, something not common in many of the mainstream stores. I digress, the reason for my evening stroll through the BookStore-Within-A-Casino? BOOKSDIRECT.
Imagine for a moment, an initiative to give hundreds of South African youths employment. Keeping the imagination active, imagine a solution to the problem of getting books into far reaching towns scattered throughout the South African landscape, aimed at eradicating illiteracy. Now imagine if these two objectives were also able to empower the under-appreciated African author? (Are you having literary orgasms yet?)