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JBF hosts book expo

Publishers and NGOs will exhibit their publications on 25 and 26 October at the Jozi Book Fair at Museum Africa in Newtown, Joburg.

A meaningful reading and writing culture is essential for human rights and active citizenship, and Jozi Book Fair (JBF), a project of Khanya College in Joburg, aims to build a diverse reading and writing culture, JBF representative Elijah Kodisang says in a statement.

The aim of the JBF is to build a diverse reading and writing culture, and to promote small publishers and indigenous languages. Our target audience is children, students, youth, women, workers, activists, small publishers and the general public. A meaningful reading and writing culture is essential for people to exercise their human rights and their citizenship,î  Kodisang explains.

He says this year the theme of the JBF 2013 is: Reading the word and the world: the role of libraries. 

Historically, libraries collect, organise, protect and preserve knowledge and information, and make this available to individuals and communities. In South Africa, after almost 20 years of democracy, only five percent of schools and few communities have access to libraries. JBF also has a cultural exchange partnership with the Gˆteborg Book Fair, based in Sweden. The Fair has something for everyone, from children to youth and teaching pregnant mums to read to their unborn children.î 

Kodisang adds that the Fair includes among others: literary work, conversations with authors, lesbian flash fiction, round-table discussions on various issues from the publishing industry to land struggles and a focus on women, power and sexuality in South Africa. There is a dedicated programme for youth that includes book-related skills workshops, and a strong focus on children and childrenís literature in three countries: Tanzania, Sweden and South Africa. 

There are illustrious delegations from Tanzania, including the Guest of the Fair, Walter Bgoya, a publisher, childrenís author and activist. He is accompanied by the renowned academic and activist, Professor Issa Shivji; and Pilli Dumea, an educationist who promotes reading in indigenous languages and English in rural and urban Tanzania. There are special seminars by Gˆteborg Book Fair on publishing; and Bgoya and Shivji will participate in a public meeting at the University of Johannesburg on The thought of Mwalimu Julius Nyerere,î  says Kodisang.

The Gˆteborg Book Fair delegation includes a librarian, the reading ambassador, childrenís author, and educationists. They will focus on a range of issues from publishing to promoting reading for children and adult education.

Kodisang adds that many local writers, illustrators, academics, artists, self-publishers and poets will host seminars workshops, and book launches. ìThis year the Fair continues to promote indigenous languages in general, and more specifically books and authors who write in isiXhosa, Setswana and Afrikaans. This is the first fair to host Afrikaans-speaking writers and publishers.î

The Fair is open to the public. A special programme for schools will be on 25 October, and Jozi Childrenís programme on 26 October. 

For more call 011 336 9190 or 

visit www.jozibookfair.org.za

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