Authors to challenge literary conventions

In the centre is Yusuf Daniels, author of Living Coloured (Because Black and White Were Already Taken). With him are Rushda Behardien and her husband Ghaalid, from Lansdowne.

Living Coloured author Yusuf Daniels and teen thriller writer Amr Salie will be announcing a joint venture at the first Cape Flats Book Festival.

The festival will take place at West End Primary School, in Merrydale Avenue, Lentegeur, from 9am until 5pm on Saturday August 31 and Sunday September 1.

Authors, illustrators, publishers and literacy groups will be telling their stories, selling books and sharing their reading experiences in the form of panel discussions and workshops.

The project between Mr Daniels, 48, and 13-year-old Amr will see the mixing of ages and genres to challenge literary conventions and norms.

Mr Daniels’ best-seller, Living Coloured (Because Black and White Were Already Taken), has been in the top 10 of books sold in the country since it hit bookstores in June.

The first-time writer penned his memoirs in a collection of short stories within a month and two weeks and had it published less than four months later.

Author and game developer Amr, from Sandvlei Farm in Macassar, had Blameless and Mothmen Files published within two years.

Mr Daniels was born in Bridgetown, later moving to Portland and now lives in Kenwyn.

He is the headliner for the festival, which is being hosted by literacy NPO, Read to Rise (“Author works to bring healing and hope”, Plainsman, August 7).

The duo will announce the outcome of their collaboration, share writing experiences and highlight that there are no hard and fast rules to writing.

Since his rampant success, Mr Daniels has been profiling small businesses on social media, with posts being shared close to a thousand times.

He hopes to take Amr to stardom with a revamp of his first book Blameless, which was launched in 2017.

Mr Daniels rewrote the first chapter of this thriller within an hour, giving it a dash of colour, humour and spirit, which Amr’s parents loved.

He said the 10-chapter book may have a new title and will have readers in stitches.

Living Coloured (Because Black and White Were Already Taken), which was written between December and January, weaves together both culture and nostalgic glimpses into childhood on the Cape Flats.

“The book was mainly written to make people smile,” said Mr Daniels.

His stories started as Facebook updates, which friends liked and shared.

Mr Daniels referred to Amr as a genius and said their partnership is testimony of great works coming from the Cape Flats.

Amr’s mother Maryam, who is also his manager, said Mr Daniels’ editing improved Amr’s story.

“It remains Blameless, with a dash of colour, a twist”.

She said Amr’s writing has already redefined the status quo of children authors and is for more mature readers.

He was just 10 years old when he wrote Blameless, which was only published the next year.

Entry to the Cape Flats Book Festival is free.

Read to Rise visits primary schools in Mitchell’s Plain and Soweto to distribute the Oaky series books and interact with foundation phase pupils and gift mini-libraries to teach them book ownership and share the book’s message.

The series was written by Westridge-born author Athol Williams and illustrated by his wife, Taryn Lock, who is also the co-founder and executive director of the organisation.