About Us

The LitDistrict celebrates Joburg’s book culture, past and present. We bring together the City Library, booksellers, and readers in our area while working to make it a safe, walkable neighbourhood.

"Just a book by itself, if it has the right messages in it, can change a whole human being. It can remake a person."
- Miriam Tlali

Management & trustees

The Literary District is managed by the African Book Trust, a registered charity. Below is our team of dedicated management & trustees.


Griffin Shea

Griffin Shea, Founder

Griffin Shea owns Bridge Books, an independent bookstore in downtown Johannesburg. He also founded the African Book Trust. Before opening Bridge Books, Griffin worked as a journalist for 15 years, mostly with the international news agency AFP. He is currently working on a PhD in Publishing Studies at Wits.

Harry Ntombela

Harry Ntombela has over 17 years of experience in the financial services sector. He joined the Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) Regional Leadership Center Southern Africa (RLC SA) in 2016 and is currently a Partnerships and Communications Head for the programme. Beyond his work at YALI, he is passionate about reading and making South African books as widely available as possible.

Gillian Godsell

Gillian Godsell

Dr Gillian Godsell is a retired academic who has lived all her life in Johannesburg and has a deep love for the city. She has served on and chaired a variety of non-profit boards, ranging from Industrial Psychology to Entrepreneurship to Education. She currently chairs the Council of Education, a small grant-making body started in Paul Kruger’s day. She has three daughters living in Johannesburg, and is active in her local church. Her favourite pastime is reading to her two grandchildren.

Lorraine Sithole

Lorraine Sithole is an influential figure in South Africa's literary space. She is the founder of the BookWorms Book Club based in Gauteng. Lorraine is also a writer and a publisher. One of her recent writing projects is her contribution to Niq Mhlongo's Black Tax, published in 2019. Untimely Beginnings is her latest publishing project – a collection of 17 real-life stories of widowed women who open up about their incredible loss while attempting to piece their lives together after the loss of their spouses.

Steering Committee

Josine Overdevest

A passionate inner-city resident and an avid reader, Josine is excited to see these two loves come together in the Johannesburg Literary District. Being present in the dynamics of the city inspired her to found Flying Cows of Jozi, a company aimed at giving wings to the passion & potential of digitally skilled young STEM teachers to play their valuable role in 21st century education. Josine also facilitates intimate walks through Town to experience the diverse sights, sounds and special encounters that spell Jozi.

LitDistrict Partners

We wouldn’t be able to do what we do without the support of our partners.

Thanks to the Social Employment Fund (SEF), we have been able to make great strides in bettering the LitDistrict. With their help, we have been able to hire 15 cleaners to help us clean up Library Gardens, the old Post Office on Rissik Street, as well as surrounding blocks. 

Advertising Brand Partnerships

Our advertising partners allow us to continue transforming our district into a safe and welcoming space. We’re always excited to partner with like-minded brands.

Contact us for street library or bookseller stand advertising inquiries.

Hold An Event

The Joburg Literary District is a hub of cultural activity. It’s the perfect place to hold events such as book launches, walking tours, and more.

If you’d like to have an event in the LitDistrict, we can assist with connecting you to the right person to help you. Contact us below to find out more.