In spite of concerns about the political environment we carefully evaluated the risks and decided to go forward with the festival. The festival was opened with a musical performance by Ceci. Then introductory remarks were given by Lineo Segoete, the Festival Director. Lineo was followed by ‘Mantsane Rantekoa, who spoke beautifully about her daughter Liepollo Rantekoa, the amazing woman who created Ba re e ne re in 2011. Tabita Monale hopped on stage and spoke briefly about a student writing competition that Ba re e ne re had organised. Then accomplished novelist Niq Mhlongo gave a moving keynote address on “Cultivating the next generation of readers and writers in Southern Africa”. And finally the day’s events were closed by Ba re e ne re team member Zachary Rosen.
Thank you to the Rantekoa family, Keynote Speaker Niq Mhlongo and everyone that made an appearance at the opening reception of the festival.
It exceeded our expectations and we are even more excited about the next two days. #Barelitfest