LitNet Interview: Ayanda Xaba, participant in the Brussels to Karoo residency

The Jakes Gerwel Foundation and Passa Porta international house of literature in Brussels are thrilled to welcome two Belgian and four South African writers to their two-week Brussels to Karoo residency at Paulet House in KwaNojoli, Eastern Cape.

Belgians Nele Van den Broeck and Gerda Dendooven and South Africans; Sibuyiselo Sbuja Dywili; Shireen Mall; Charl-Pierre Naudé and Ayanda Xaba are now sharing the two-week residency borne out of Professor Jakes Gerwel’s considerable legacy. As it was from the Vrije Universiteit of Brussels in 1979 that he received his doctorate in Literature and Philosophy (magna cum laude).

Below is an interview between Naomi Meyer and Ayanda Xaba on the residency.

Ayanda, I see that you will be working on your third book at Paulet House. Are you already working on this project? Why did you apply for this residency?

I decided to continue with a different project, a book very dear to me because it’s about the history of Ladysmith, my hometown. I have started both projects, but decided to focus on this one manuscript so I can have a proper amount of time to do it.

I applied for the residency to get the time to write away from home and the responsibilities that come with being a full-time guardian of three children.

Read further here:

Ayanda Xaba (1990) is originally from Ladysmith in KwaZulu-Natal. Her passion for writing began at 10 years old, blossoming during high school when she formed part of a writers’ group, Dancing Pencils, that saw her work being published in numerous anthologies. She published her first novel, The EZ Gang (umSinsi Press), at 16, followed by five self-published hard copies: Ulala: The Journey of Discovery, award-winning Through Her Eyes, The Maiden & The Bear, SCARRED and DAMNED; and an e-book, No One’s Hero, on Amazon. Ayanda is a contributor for FunDza Literacy Trust and her work has also been featured in Reader’s Café Africa, Drum magazine, Kalahari Review, and Gamaphile. She obtained a Creative Writing Certificate from INTEC College and a Journalism Diploma from ICESA Education and continuously improves her writing skills by attending workshops. In February 2024, she coordinated the inaugural iLembe Book Festival that took place at the Luthuli Museum in KwaDukuza (Stanger) in KwaZulu-Natal. She will be working on the third book in her SCARRED series, Triggered.

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