JBF Launches of the 2017 Guests of the Fair

The Jozi Book Fair (JBF) is thrilled to announce the launch of our two Guests of the 9th Jozi Book Fair Festival: Shailja Patel and Kopano Matlwa. The launch of the Guests will be on 3 June 2017, at the House of Movements in Johannesburg (by invitation only).

Shailja Patel is an internationally acclaimed Kenyan poet, playwright, theatre artist, and political activist, and Kopano Matlwa is a South African medical doctor and author of three novels. The Guests are chosen based on their values and their work, which reflects the aims of the Jozi Book Fair. Given this year’s theme ‘Women and Literature’, which looks at the roles women play in their communities, both the Guests of the Fair are women who will encourage a lot of women to read the world and the world.


Both Matlwa and Patel have been actively involved in activist work and have published a number of books. While at the University of Cape Town (UCT), Matlwa furthered her schoolgirl interest in community outreach projects as a volunteer for the Students’ Health and Welfare Centres Organisation, a student-run NGO at UCT that aims to improve the quality of life for people in developing communities. Patel is very active in terms of equality and peace in Kenya. She is a founding member of Kenyans For Peace, Truth and Justice, a civil society coalition that works for an equitable democracy in Kenya.

Both the Guests of the Fair reflect the aims of the JBF of active citizenship and democracy.

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