South Africa Children’s Book Fair 2017 set to rock Jozi

Gcina Mhlophe
Gcina Mhlophe

The South Africa Children’s Book Fair 2017 is set to happen at the Birchwood Hotel in Boksburg in Johannesburg from June 15-18, 2017. Some of the guests to feature include Philani Dladla, Nosipho Shabalala, Azrah Osman, Dr Gcina Mhlophe, James Murua and Cath Alexander.

In 2009, A Book for Every Child Foundation with Vuyokazi Biyana at the helm was founded in 2009 with the aim of bringing back the culture of reading. The foundation’s first project renovated and stocked up Igugu Primary School library in Mofolo South, Soweto with new books. In 2016, the foundation started on a new journey as they attempted to host South Africa’s first literary festival dedicated to children’s literature; unfortunately with the director and driving force Biyana being unwell it had to be rescheduled for 2017.

This year the festival, supported by the City of Ekurhuleni, promises big things. Its main aim is to promote and increase literacy levels in the South African country and foster the joy of reading in children. The next generation of readers will be encouraged to develop reading skills, enabling them to read and explore the wealth of information found in books.

The fair also intends for children book writers, publishers, illustrators especially those in disadvantaged areas to have their own platform where they can discuss challenges facing their market and find ways of expanding it to a wider network.

Apart from growing love of reading in the kids and giving industry players a platform, the festival is hoping to raise funds to enable the Foundation to execute its ultimate goal of building and renovating libraries in our community schools so they don’t have to depend on donors. This especially applies in primary school libraries in disadvantaged communities throughout the country.

So who will be featuring at the venue in Johannesburg in June? There will be publishers, writers, comic strip writers, illustrators, storytellers, librarians, suppliers of art board games and other equipment that is used for the development of children as well as other interested parties to participate in our inaugural children’s book fair.

Celebrated storyteller and children book writer Dr Gcina Mhlophe who we last saw giving the keynote address at the Abantu Book Festival will be one of the key participants. Also featuring will be Philani Dladla, author of the Pavement Bookworm who will lead motivational talks. Azrah Osman, a renowned illustrator will host workshops, introducing the children to the amazing world of illustrations.

Nosipho Shabalala
Nosipho Shabalala

Nosipho Shabalala will be launching her debut novel I want to touch the rainbow a book written for the age group 4 to 7 years at the festival. The book is a must have for every parent who has young kids. Another writer to feature will be Cath Alexander whose book Timothy’s Tomatoes is published by Porcupine Press. The book aimed at Grade 1 and 2 learners’ hopes to reach children in more disadvantaged schools, where literature is so desperately needed.

This year’s special guest is James Murua a journalist, writer and a blogger from Kenya renowned for being the leading blogger on the continent that writes about African Literature. He will be hosting book reviews, workshops, seminars and as well as being on panels.

Full details of the festival

Dates: June 15-18, 2017

Venue: Birchwood Hotel, Boksburg, Johannesburg

Entry fees

Parents (and young adults over 18): R50.00
Pensioners: R30.00
Teens: R20.00
Children under 13 years:
FREE Children should be in the company of adults at all times.

Tickets are available on line at Webtickets and at Pick n Pay stores. You can also get them at the festival official Facebook page or its official website.

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29 Thoughts to “South Africa Children’s Book Fair 2017 set to rock Jozi”

  1. Yaaaas!
    You keep winning. Congratulations yet again.

  2. Rujeko Moyo

    Great stuff! I’ma be there

  3. Zimkhitha

    Great piece of work Vuyo we will Definitely attend ….

  4. Lebohang Masilo

    bring back the culture of reading, knowledge is power

  5. Anna

    Well done Vuyokazi, keep up the great work. This is a great initiative indeed.

  6. Carmen Joel

    What an awesome intiative. Well done Vuyokazi Biyana, you are an inspiration and truly a building block for the generations who will feed to the leaders of tomorrow.

  7. Amanda

    Great initiative to promote literature amongst our young generation, we have to change the mind set and stigma that if you want to hide something from a black man put it in a book. The future generation should know that it starts with reading and who else to teach but us. Let us not enslave our slaves we have been freed from slavery so why not pick up that book and get as much information as we can to better ourselves and future. Thank you Ms. Biyana for enlighting our future leaders.

  8. Portia

    Wow, what a initiative.
    I cant wait for June……

  9. Vuyi

    keep the good work going …. and keep rocking

  10. Bernice

    Wow… Congratulations Vuyo and James, we looking forward to this event for our kids and they will enjoy and benefit as well.

  11. Nazo

    Wow Kazi. i see you. a big well done you.
    Looking forward to the fair, what a great initiative getting the future reading.

  12. Dineo

    Well done Vuyo…..

  13. Welile

    This is a very good initiative

  14. Ossie Osman

    This is such a wonderful input. Its my wish that the effort is equelled and bettered by the participants for whom its intended.

  15. Uwais Razack

    Definitely won’t be missing this! All the best Azrah Osman and to all the other participants!

  16. Heather

    Congrats Vuyo ….. looking forward to attending

  17. Mpho

    Wow Vuyo! This is great stuff. Congratulations.

  18. lerato.kgori@standardbank.co.za

    Congratulations Kazi, you are a true “mbhokodo” ,i am so proud of you . looking forward to the event .

  19. Simphiwe Ndziba

    Absolutely amazing…one can’t say enough…I am definitely inspired Vuyo

  20. Zimasa Groom

    An event to look forward to. We will definitely be there. Reading will be a culture.

  21. Nosipho

    I honestly cannot wait for this…Thank you Vuyo

  22. Faye

    Sounds super exciting cant wait to see what our yoing initiatives have in store for us, great stuff Im sure. Well done Azrah rooting for you all the way.

  23. Thandeka

    Good word! Let reading become a valued activity…..

  24. Sifiso Mdluli

    Congratulations Azrah Osman and all the other guests!! Will definitely be attending this event!

  25. Zoleka

    This is a great initiative Vuyo,Done out of love for the younger generation.In a society were young children”s attention span is on the low and getting worse by the day due to children not reading anymore.

  26. laura

    beautiful initiative…… and its all about building our children’s future…… love this Vuyo

  27. This is a great initiative. It needs our support!

  28. This is a great initiative, Vuyo. It needs our support!

  29. Thobile

    This is awesome. how can one get involved in support of this initiative ?

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