Gau-Trained is officially public property! Yesterday (24 February), we launched the Gau-Trained collection at African Flavour Books in Braam, Johannesburg. What an incredibly warm and beautiful evening we had.
No doubt, the nerves were there – for both me and my interviewer, Christa Dee – but when we sat down and started the session we were instantly calmed by the lovely energy in the room. Our hosts, Fortiscue and Nokuthula Helepi (owners of the wonderful store) were as gracious as ever. These beautiful souls have created such an exquisite space for African writers and their passion for literature is admirable. And let’s not forget the African Flavour Books staff… I mean, if there’s ever been a combined energy and force to grow and support literature in SA, these are the people you’d want in your corner.
And the people came out! I was so moved by the amount of people who attended and BOUGHT BOOKS! Looking at everyone’s faces as we chatted and shared: the smiles, the ooh’s and ah’s, the giggles at my stupid jokes… Everyone just made it so easy for me to be free. I am so grateful that the Gau-Trained journey has started on such a high note and so well received. This was exactly what I wanted: that people relate to the story and find inspiration in every page.
And then I shocked Connie Fick by mentioning her as one of my favourite authors hahaha… The priceless look on her face as everyone turned to look at her. Shame, she was so shy (sorry Ms Connie ) So now, everyone should spread the word hahaha!
Putting this book together has truly been a roller-coaster journey. I couldn’t have done it without the love and support of my ride-or-die team. From reading sessions and critiques and running around for things, to financial support and emotional strength when I was unravelling at the seams, I can honestly say that their love has kept me going. Thank you Rolland and Ilze (especially) and Lesedi my boy, and everyone who has had a hand in making this dream come true.
I have so much to say, but right now I’m tearing up just looking at the photos that guests have tagged me in. To each and every person who attended, bought books, sent messages, and those who will still support, you are seen and loved. SO much appreciation goes to all of you.
We’re on to the next one… Next week (3 March) we’re doing it again at Bridge Books in Maboneng. This time we’ve got Thando Bam-Francis opening the session with poems from his new collection Uno Flato. I’ll also be sharing in a more conversational style, no interviewer this time. So all you book clubbers and bloggers and readers and lovelies, do come out.