Happy National Book Week, South Africa!
It’s official, National Book Week is TEN YEARS OLD and to celebrate we had an enthusiastic start to the week by hosting four Indigenous Language Reading Festivals across Polokwane (Limpopo), Xhora Mouth and Port Elizabeth (Eastern Cape), and Happy Valley (Western Cape) on Monday 2, September 2019.
We welcomed South Africa’s reading awareness week with an early start at Xhora Mouth JSS School where learners from grade 1 to grade 9 were entertained, educated and celebrated. Learners were grouped by age and took part in various interactive activities. Teens were inspired by storytelling and poetry, and soon after were entertained by the FunDza Club’s Chatterlog & Mobisite. Younger grades were visited by Funda Bala, enjoyed storytelling & Cotlands Toy Library. The groups later reconvened for a special motivational talk by #NBWturns10 ambassador Unathi Magubeni. We visited three different venues and various learners in Xhora Mouth.
We, along with our partners and hosts, would like to extend our heartfelt appreciation to The Sisulu Family and New Africa Books for generously donating isiXhosa books to the 1500 children that attended in Xhora Mouth today.
In Limpopo, our team joined hosts at the Polokwane City Library where a number of local schools were in attendance. Actress Mogau Motlatswi gracefully played her part as our #NBWturns10 ambassador in this region. Despite her hectic travel schedule, she soon had the children on their feet who were talking nineteen to a dozen. Speaking to the children, Mogau said, “Reading is fundamental and while speaking and writing are critical to interaction, reading opens avenues to grow.” Polokwane hosted a Sepedi Reading Festival which Mogau also joined and said, “Reading in the mother tongue brings books to life and accentuates the joys of reading for children and families who speak the language at home.”
At the Raymond Mhlaba Sports Center in Nelson Mandela Bay, SABDC Chair Person Andries Oliphant addressed those in attendance as a guest speaker and highlighted his journey through reading. Deputy Director Bongiwe Chigumbu of Library Services also spoke and stressed on the importance of reading. A round-table discussion took place with authors from across the country, including Andile Nayika, poetry was recited and learners enjoyed a dance routine on roller-skates as entertainment.
To round-off a magnificent start to our tenth birthday was our Western Cape event that took place at the Happy Valley Community Hall. #NBWturns10 ambassador, Emile XYZ took attendees on a journey of storytelling through hip hop. Guests and learners were entertained by a puppet show & traditional “Kaapse Klopse”. Primary School learners experienced the toy library while high school learners enjoyed the Wordathon game. Arts and Culture MEC, Anroux Marais was also in attendance. The MEC remains a champion of National Book Week and reads to the audience as well as donates books to them.