South African Book Fair makes reading fun. Other book fairs might want to take notes

The 2019 South African Book Fair is looming, and while some book fairs seem like they try to be as boring as possible, South Africa takes things a little less seriously, and, in the words of the Sunday Times, puts the fun back into reading, with an event that is,

jam-packed with activities that combine fun with a deeply enriching experience, making it the perfect day out for families.

Running September 6 to 8 in Johannesburg, the report tells us,

experts in learning and teaching materials will be on hand to share their insights with parents, guardians and children on what books to read for learning and fun.

Among the many family highlights is Stories of Africa, a multi-lingual storytelling by activist and poet Gcina Mhlophe, whose traditional tales of Africa deepen our understanding of history and encourage children to read.

Also not to be missed is the acclaimed Dance of the Dung Beetles, which sees scientist Marcus Byrne and writer Helen Lunn bring to life the mysterious lives of the creatures through 3,000 years of history and mythology.

And that’s not all.

Free performances take place in the National Book Week Magic Tent. From toddlers to grandparents, all are welcome to join in a celebration of the affirmative power of books and reading that includes:

  • An appearance by The Gruffalo and a multilingual reading of Julia Donaldson’s engaging story.
  • Illustrator Toby Newsome entertaining the young ones with Gogo’s List, the acclaimed Ghanaian children’s book.
  • isiZulu storyteller Zanele Ndlovu bringing ancient tales to life through uMakhwenyana accompanied by the strings of her indigenous musical instruments.
  • Yes Yanga! coming to life through a spirited sharing by the much-adored Refiloe Moahloli of her latest children’s book, in English, isiXhosa and isiZulu.
  • Appearances by Funda Bala, our delightful National Book Week reading promotion mascot.

With plenty to eat and drink, easily accessible parking, public transport and more than 100 authors, poets, storytellers, creators and expert facilitators, the three-day event is not to be missed.

Is it any wonder that South Africa’s book market is a different world from most of Africa?

And in case you’re wondering how people will find out about the event, the SABF team understand the power of social media.

Check out the South Africa Book Fair on TwitterInstagram or Facebook for fine examples of social media being used to build interest in books and book events, and visit the SABF website here.

This post first appeared in Publish Africa – the digital advantage #5

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