South African Book Fair 2020 goes virtual

By Staff Reporter Time of article published Sep 6, 2020

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The annual National Book Week (NBW), which actively celebrates books through indigenous language reading festivals across the country, will move online this year.

National Book Week is South Africa's official reading awareness week dedicated to encouraging reading and promoting books.

An initiative of the South African Book Development Council (SABDC), in partnership with the Department of Sport, Arts and Culture, NBW will be hosted from September 7 to September 13.

The programme this year includes digital content and to-do-activities which will be presented virtually on NBW’s Facebook page, respecting the boundaries of social distancing whilst still promoting all things books, writing and creativity.

The programme includes reading-related activities, storytelling, poetry sessions, writing workshops, play-based learning and motivational talks in all South African languages.

New additions to the line-up include magic shows and puppet making workshops which should find new audiences all over the country.

A segment on “Stories from Africa” led by the multi-talented Gcina Mhlophe is also being introduced. With NBW now virtual, people from around the world will be able to watch the legendary storyteller perform.

“Books and reading can’t cease to exist because of the pandemic. More than ever, it’s crucial that South Africa celebrates the importance of reading and books, hence we ask the country to join us in bringing more books to the people,” says Elitha van der Sandt, CEO, SABDC.

She adds: “Authors write books during the most catastrophic human experiences. They record and capture these moments, good and bad, which allow the reader to transcend the barriers they face in everyday life.

South Africans all over the country will be able to access some of the content that is usually enjoyed at the reading festivals. Furthermore, the virtual format allows NBW to bring in more performers, more activities, and more speakers who otherwise would not have been able to participate.

Click here for more information and the programmes.

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