Open Book Cape Town 2015 | Western Cape Government

Open Book Cape Town 2015

The Open Book Festival, also referred to as Open Book Cape Town is a book and literary festival that takes place every year in September. Playing host to a variety of authors the world over, the festival opened its doors for the first time in 2011. This year’s festival will be taking place from 9 to 13 September 2015.

Fugard Foyer

Most of the events will be taking place at the Fugard Theatre with related events taking place at other venues as well.  

What can you expect from the festival?

The Open Book Festival has a wide variety of events planned for this week. Check the programme schedule to find out more.

The Open Book Festival showcases South Africa's best talents

The Western Cape Government supports initiatives which showcases the best of South African writing, as well as events which are aimed at creating a significant and sustainable contribution to our future, by building a love of reading and books among the youth of Cape Town. We want to draw representative audiences to all Open Book events.

The events are open for anyone to attend from booklovers to authors, poets, publishers, Western Cape learners and teachers. Everyone who attends will be able to engage authors and key figures in dialogues.

Highlight events of the festival

Author signing

Here are some of the events taking place this week:

Thursday 10 September 2015

  • “Draw Off” between Marc Boutavant and Chris Riddell.
  • "Where The Wild Things Are" - a discussion between authors Justin Fox, Vernon Head and Helen Macdonald, hosted by John Maytham.
  • “Ford Presents PJ Powers” with PJ Powers.

Friday 11 September 2015

  • “Writer Sports” with Lauren Beukes, Khaya Dlanga, Patrick Gale, Petina Gappah, Fred Strydom, Laura van den Berg and Kathryn White. Master of Ceremony: Ben Williams.
  • “Is South Africa Heading for a Blackout?” with author James Styan and Jan-Jan Joubert.

Saturday 12 September 2015

  • “Poetry Slam” with judges Vus’umuzi Phakathi, Koleka Putuma and Shameema Williams and Masters of Cermonies, Thabiso Nkoana and Roache Du Plessis.
  • “Russia Under Putin” with Masha Gessen and Andrey Kurkov having a pen dialogue. It will be chaired by Pippa Green.

Sunday 13 September 2015

  • “InZync Poetry Invades Cape Town” with Koleka Putuma (SA’s first national slam champ), Pieter Odendaal, Mbongeni Nomkonwana (Lingua Franca) and Adrian Diff who will perform poetry alongside the legendary Malika Ndlovu.

What are the prices for shows at the Open Book Festival?

Ticket prices range from R45 to R100 for some shows. There are also a number of events which are free.

For more information you can visit the Open Book Festival website, or you can contact Frankie Murrey on 082 958 7332.

Profiles of some of the authors at the Open Book Festival:

Chris Riddell

Chris Riddell is a prize-winning children’s book author and illustrator. He is also a political cartoonist for the Observer. He has won many awards and in June 2015, he was appointed as the UK Children’s Laureate.

Chris Riddell

Zelda Le Grange

Zelda Le Grange began working as a secretary in 1992. She became 1 of Former President Nelson Mandela’s personal secretaries in 1997 and in 2002, she became a permanent employee of the Nelson Mandela Foundation after leaving government.

Zelda Le Grange


Jonathan Shapiro or Zapiro as he is known was a cartoonist for the Mail and Guardian newspaper since 1994. He is currently a cartoonist for the Times (since May 2009). Zapiro has received numerous international and South African awards as well as 2 honorary doctorates.


PJ Powers

PJ Powers is an acclaimed South African musician and has shared the stage with Eric Clapton, Joan Armatrading and Hugh Masekela. She is known by her African name, Thandeka. She released her biography, “Here I Am” written by Marianne Thamm in 2014.

PJ Powers

The Open Box initiative

Open BoxThis project is organised by Open Book Cape Town. It is a low-cost high-value initiative which does not need extra staff to manage it and is cost-effective enough to ensure the sustainability of the project.

Open Boxes will be used for certain grades in schools, starting in the Early Childhood Development phase. These boxes will contain books for children to read, games which they can play, materials which can be used for activities and other resources which teachers and learners will be able to use.

On 23 April 2015, known as World Book Day, the first handover of the Open Box was given to Mrs Davis and her Grade R class at St Mary’s Primary School in Cape Town in April. In July the second box was handed over to St Mary’s but this time to the Grade 1 class and tomorrow the third box will be handed over to St Mary’s for the Grade 2 class. 

The content on this page was last updated on 10 September 2015