Merely a year after being named a CACE Africa Writivist, Kat Kai Kol-Kes will be making her debut at the 2016 Writivism Festival in Kampala, Uganda from 22-26 August 2016. The Gaborone-based trailblazing ARTivist is billed as one of the African speakers at the international literary festival acknowledged as the largest such festival in Africa. Kol-Kes is set to speak about her work which branches across the full artistic spectrum from music to theatre and, of course, literature.
Kol-Kes graduated from the University of the Witwatersrand with a BA Honours in Dramatic Arts, and has grown to be one of the leading voices on LGBT issues in Botswana and across the African continent. Her debut anthology of poetry titled “…on about the same old things” was published earlier this year by UK based publishers Bahati Books and has received remarkable mention and reviews so far. The collection of poetry offers observations of love, family, politics and faith from a queer African point of view. “It’s an immense honour to be able to do what I love, to have a voice that matters to my people of Africa and use it to change lives” said an excited Kol-Kes on her continental debut as an author. Speaking about financing of artistic work she expressed her disappointment that many companies in Botswana still don’t see the value in sponsoring independent artists who can serve as ambassadors for their brands citing that her company Kat Kai Kol-Kes International was established with the sole drive to promote artistic exports from Botswana to the world.
Kol-Kes, who is a Global Shaper and a YALI Fellow, has already flown the Botswana flag internationally this year as the coordinator of the Botswana performance core which appeared at the World Culture Festival in New Delhi, India, in February; she also presented at the World Economic Forum on Africa in Kigali. Last year, she was one of 7 Africans nominated for the inaugural African Feather of the Year award at the Chevrolet Feather Awards held in Johannesburg, South Africa.
The 2016 theme for the festival is “Connecting Literature to Reality” and will feature book launches, workshops and a literary award ceremony while bringing many writers from different stages and walks of life for the common goal of encouraging the growth of African literature. Kol-Kes’ anthology is available on Amazon.com and Okada Books. She is a regular contributor to local and international publications including Afrolutionist.com, and Peolwane Magazine and her creative writing can be found on her website and blog: thisiknead.blogspot.com