The 11th Jozi Book Fair
This year we celebrate the 11th Jozi Book Fair (JBF) Festival which will take place from 29 August -1 September 2019 at the Mary Fitzgerald Square, in Newtown, Johannesburg. Every year we choose a theme that the festival will focus on. This year, the theme is Literature and Newspapers. The thememobilises everyone to read daily, in homes, schools, orphanages, communities and workplaces.
Historically newspapers have been used as a main form of communication as books are expensive. Newspapers are important as they provide information for people to know what is happening around them. Newspapers today are privately owned by a few people who decide what content goes into those newspapers. It is important for us working class people to create our own alternative newsletters. The JBF produces a monthly My Class. In order for us to produce our own media, we need to read and write regularly.
JBF aims to deepen the culture of reading and writing in all languages. Every month the JBF as a project runs workshops for the OVC Coordinators and the Library Monitors to assist them with reading and writing skills and enhance their cognitive skills. The legacy of apartheid has resulted in a poor education system, books are expensive and there are not enough libraries in the township schools and communities. The project provides book-clubs with books to read and is currently in a process of distributing book boxes. This will ensure that every book club has books.
The festival provides a space for all the constituencies that JBF works with to come together and showcase the work they have done throughout the year. Book-club members have been reading throughout the year and will have an opportunity to meet and converse with published authors at the Festival. The children from OVCs come and showcase their work in a Children’s programme. The programme consists of workshops, book launches, exhibitions, round-tables, discussion, film etc. The festival brings together over 500 schools, children, authors, students and members of the public. The festival is a space for debate and discussion. ENTRANCE is FREE for all sessions!!! Schools are required to register beforehand to participate.
By Nosipho Mdletshe